Statistically speaking: a look at Martinsville Speedway


This weekend, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway for Sunday’s STP 500. It’s the sixth race on the 36-race 2014 Sprint Cup schedule. So far, five drivers have won in the first five races, with some of the top active drivers at Martinsville still looking to get to victory lane for the first time this season.

Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon, both who have yet to win in 2014, lead the way among active drivers when it comes to racing at Martinsville, as each has eight wins at the Virginia short track. Denny Hamlin, a Virginia native and a four-time Martinsville race winner, is back this weekend after missing last Sunday’s race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., when a sliver of metal in his eye resulted in vision problems.

Here is a look at how some of the top drivers have fared at Martinsville Speedway over the years, as well as some other Martinsville race facts (stats provided by NASCAR Media Group):

Clint Bowyer (No. 15 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota)

· Four top fives, 10 top 10s

· Average finish of 12.6

· Average Running Position of 12.5, sixth-best

· Driver Rating of 93.8, seventh-best

· Average Green Flag Speed of 91.182 mph, seventh-fastest

· 5,803 Laps in the Top 15 (72.2%), eighth-most

· 512 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), sixth-most

Kyle Busch (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota)

· Eight top fives, nine top 10s

· Average finish of 16.0

· Average Running Position of 13.2, seventh-best

· Driver Rating of 97.0, sixth-best

· 402 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most

· Average Green Flag Speed of 91.292 mph, fourth-fastest

· 6,323 Laps in the Top 15 (70.0%), fifth-most

· 578 Quality Passes, fourth-most

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet)

· 10 top fives, 15 top 10s

· Average finish of 13.2

· Average Running Position of 11.0, fourth-best

· Driver Rating of 98.9, fourth-best

· 455 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most

· Series-high 1,042 Green Flag Passes

· Average Green Flag Speed of 91.288 mph, fifth-fastest

· 6,963 Laps in the Top 15 (77.1%), third-most

· 619 Quality Passes, third-most

Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet)

· Eight wins, 27 top fives, 34 top 10s; seven poles

· Average finish of 6.8

· Average Running Position of 6.2, second-best

· Driver Rating of 121.1, second-best

· Series-high 1,029 Fastest Laps Run

· 857 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most

· Average Green Flag Speed of 91.640 mph, second-fastest

· 8,167 Laps in the Top 15 (90.4%), second-most

· Series-high 660 Quality Passes

Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota)

· Four wins, nine top fives, 13 top 10s; three poles

· Average finish of 8.1

· Average Running Position of 8.8, third-best

· Driver Rating of 111.4, third-best

· 572 Fastest Laps Run, third-most

· Average Green Flag Speed of 91.421 mph, third-fastest

· 6,609 Laps in the Top 15 (82.3%), fourth-most

· 560 Quality Passes, fifth-most

Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet)

· One win, three top fives, 11 top 10s

· Average finish of 16.2

· Average Running Position of 13.8, ninth-best

· Driver Rating of 92.9, eighth-best

· 220 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most

· 869 Green Flag Passes, 10th-most

· Average Green Flag Speed of 91.074 mph, eighth-fastest

· 5,947 Laps in the Top 15 (65.8%), seventh-most

· 510 Quality Passes, eighth-most

Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet)

· Eight wins, 17 top fives, 21 top 10s; three poles

· Average finish of 5.3

· Series-best Average Running Position of 5.8

· Series-best Driver Rating of 124.0

· 954 Fastest Laps Run, second-most

· Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 91.652 mph

· Series-high 8,333 Laps in the Top 15 (92.2%)

· 647 Quality Passes, second-most

Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Team Penske Ford)

· One top five, five top 10s

· Average finish of 10.4

· Average Running Position of 13.5, eighth-best

· Driver Rating of 89.2, ninth-best

· Average Green Flag Speed of 91.071 mph, ninth-fastest

Jamie McMurray (No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet)

· One top five, 12 top 10s; one pole

· Average finish of 16.2

· Average Running Position of 15.9, 12th-best

· Driver Rating of 84.2, 12th-best

· 854 Green Flag Passes, 12th-most

· Average Green Flag Speed of 90.964 mph, 11th-fastest

· 4,817 Laps in the Top 15 (53.3%), 12th-most

· 386 Quality Passes, 12th-most

Ryan Newman (No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet)

· One win, seven top fives, 11 top 10s; three poles

· Average finish of 15.3

· Average Running Position of 15.2, 11th-best

· Driver Rating of 87.4, 11th-best

· 142 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most

· 938 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most

· 5,058 Laps in the Top 15 (56.0%), 10th-most

· 478 Quality Passes, ninth-most

Tony Stewart (No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet)

· Three wins, nine top fives, 15 top 10s; three poles

· Average finish of 13.8

· Average Running Position of 11.1, fifth-best

· Driver Rating of 98.5, fifth-best

· 376 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most

· Average Green Flag Speed of 91.200 mph, sixth-fastest

· 6,113 Laps in the Top 15 (71.6%), sixth-most

· 417 Quality Passes, 11th-most

Martinsville Speedway Data

Season Race #: 6 of 36 (03-30-14)

Track Size: 0.526-mile

Banking/Turn 1 & 2: 12 degrees

Banking/Turn 3 & 4: 12 degrees

Banking/Frontstretch: 0 degrees

Banking/Backstretch: 0 degrees

Frontstretch Length: 800 feet

Backstretch Length: 800 feet

Race Length: 500 laps / 263 miles

Top 10 Driver Ratings at Martinsville

Jimmie Johnson…………………… 124.0

Jeff Gordon………………………… 121.1

Denny Hamlin………………………. 111.4

Dale Earnhardt Jr…………………… 98.9

Tony Stewart…………………………. 98.5

Kyle Busch…………………………… 97.0

Clint Bowyer…………………………. 93.8

Kevin Harvick………………………… 92.9

Brad Keselowski……………………. 89.2

Ryan Newman……………………….. 87.4

Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races (18 total) among active drivers at Martinsville Speedway.

 

Qualifying/Race Data

2013 Coors Light Pole winner:

Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet

98.400 mph, 19.244 secs. 04-05-13

2013 race winner:

Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet

72.066 mph, (03:38:58), 04-07-13

Track qualifying record:

Denny Hamlin, Toyota

99.595 mph, 19.013 secs. 10-25-13

Track race record:

Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet

82.223 mph, (3:11:55), 09-22-96

Martinsville Speedway:

History

· Opened in September 1947 by H. Clay Earles, Martinsville, originally a dirt track, is one of the oldest continuously-operating race tracks in the United States.

· The first NASCAR-sanctioned race at Martinsville was on July 4, 1948.

· The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was Sept. 25, 1949.

· The track was paved in 1955.

· The first 500-lap event at Martinsville was in 1956.

· Concrete corners were added atop asphalt in 1976.

Notebook

· There have been 130 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway, one in the inaugural year and two races per year since 1950.

· 593 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville; 374 in more than one.

· NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty has the all-time most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Martinsville with 67 starts; Jeff Gordon has the most among active drivers with 42.

· Curtis Turner won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Martinsville Speedway in 1949.

· 57 drivers have Coors Light poles at Martinsville, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip with eight; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with seven.

· 12 drivers have won two or more consecutive Coors Light poles at Martinsville Speedway. Four of the 12 have won three consecutive poles at Martinsville: Glen Wood (Fall of 1959 and 1960 sweep); Darrell Waltrip (1979 sweep and spring 1980); Mark Martin (fall of 1990 and 1991 sweep); Jeff Gordon (2003 sweep and spring 2004).

· Youngest Martinsville pole winner: Ricky Rudd (4/26/1981

24 years, 7 months, 14 days).

· Oldest Martinsville pole winner: Morgan Shepherd (4/26/1987

45 years, 6 months, 14 days).

· 47 different drivers have won at Martinsville Speedway, led by Richard Petty with 15; Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon lead the series among active drivers with eight wins each.

· 23 drivers have multiple wins at Martinsville Speedway only four active drivers have multiple wins: Jimmie Johnson (eight), Jeff Gordon (eight), Denny Hamlin (four) and Tony Stewart (three).

· Hendrick Motorsports leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in wins at Martinsville Speedway with 21.

· 21 of 130 races (16.1%) at Martinsville Speedway have been won from the Coors Light pole; seven of those 21 wins came from active drivers: Tony Stewart (2000), Jeff Gordon (2003 twice), Jimmie Johnson (2008, 2012, spring 2013) and Denny Hamlin (2010).

· The Coors Light pole is the most proficient starting spot in the field at Martinsville producing more wins (21) than any other starting position.

· 36 of the 130 (27.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway have been won from the front row: 21 from the pole and 15 from second-place.

· 95 of the 130 (73%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Martinsville Speedway have been won from a top-10 starting position.

· Five of the 130 (3.8%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.

· The deepest in the field that a race winner has started was 36th, by Kurt Busch in the fall of 2002.

· Youngest Martinsville winner: Richard Petty (04/10/1960

22 years, 9 months, 8 days).

· Oldest Martinsville winner: Harry Gant (09/22/1991

51 years, 8 months, 12 days).

· NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt leads the series in runner-up finishes at Martinsville Speedway with seven; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with four, followed by his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson with three.

· Richard Petty leads the series in top-five finishes at Martinsville Speedway with 30; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 27, followed by Jimmie Johnson with 17.

· Richard Petty leads the series in top-10 finishes at Martinsville Speedway with 37; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 34, followed by Jimmie Johnson (21).

· Jeff Gordon leads active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Martinsville Speedway with a 7.238. Ryan Newman is the only other active driver with an average starting position at Martinsville in the top-10 (9.417).

· Three active drivers have a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series average finish in the top-10 at Martinsville: Jimmie Johnson (5.333), Jeff Gordon (6.833) and Denny Hamlin (8.125).

· There have been five NSCS green-white-checkered finishes at Martinsville Speedway: fall 2007 (500/506), fall 2008 (500/504), fall 2009 (500/501), spring 2010 (500/508), and spring 2012 (500/515).

· Jeff Gordon has participated in the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway without a DNF (42).

· Tony Stewart (4/18/1999) and Scott Riggs (4/10/2005) won their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light poles at Martinsville Speedway.

· Mike Bliss (09/27/1998), Travis Kvapil (10/24/2004), Michael McDowell (3/30/2008) and Scott Speed (10/19/2008) made their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career starts at Martinsville Speedway.

· 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have posted consecutive wins at Martinsville Speedway. Fred Lorenzen won four NSCS races straight (the most) from the fall of 1963 through the spring of 1965.

· All 10 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who have won at Martinsville Speedway participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Tony Stewart won at Martinsville with the fewest previous appearances (three).

· Ryan Newman competed at Martinsville Speedway 20 times before winning in the spring of 2012; the longest span of any the 10 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.

· Four drivers have made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Martinsville Speedway: Mark Martin (12); Bobby Labonte (18), Kevin Harvick (19) and Ryan Newman (20).

· Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway is the 4/1/2007 race won by Jimmie Johnson with a MOV of 0.065 second.

· Danica Patrick is the only female driver to compete at Martinsville Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

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