Early Rankings: Pocono II, 2015

Kevin Harvick photo

Kevin Harvick tops my early Pocono II rankings. (photo courtesy nascar)

Here are my early driver rankings for this week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono. I compiled them by crunching:

  • The loop data for the past 15 Sprint Cup races (excluding Daytona, Talladega and Sonoma);
  • the loop data for the past four races (excluding Daytona);
  • the loop data for the past four races at Pocono;
  • the loop data for the past seven races at the other tracks in the Flats track group (i.e., Martinsville, Phoenix, Indy, Richmond and New Hampshire);
  • the practice and qualifying data for the past four races at Pocono; and
  • the practice and qualifying data for past seven races at the aforementioned Flats.

The results:

  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Brad Keselowski
  3. Kurt Busch
  4. Joey Logano
  5. Kyle Busch
  6. Carl Edwards
  7. Martin Truex Jr.
  8. Jeff Gordon
  9. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  10. Denny Hamlin Continue reading

Final Rankings: Indy, 2015

Kevin Harvick photo

Kevin Harvick remains on top in my final Indianapolis rankings. (photo courtesy nascar)

Here are my final driver rankings for today’s race at Indy. I compiled them by crunching the practice and qualifying data from Indianapolis Friday and Saturday, and then melding it with the historical data:

  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Jimmie Johnson
  3. Kyle Busch
  4. Kurt Busch
  5. Jeff Gordon
  6. Carl Edwards
  7. Joey Logano
  8. Kyle Larson
  9. Martin Truex Jr.
  10. Brad Keselowski Continue reading

Mid-Week Rankings: Indy, 2015

Kevin Harvick photo

Kevin Harvick tops my early Indianapolis rankings. (photo courtesy nascar)

UPDATE: I’ve now completed my final Indy rankings (click here to see them).

Here are my early driver rankings for this week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis. I compiled them by crunching:

  • The loop data for the past 15 Sprint Cup races (excluding Daytona, Talladega and Sonoma);
  • the loop data for the past four races (excluding Daytona and Sonoma);
  • the loop data for the past four races at Indy;
  • the loop data for the past seven races at the other tracks in the Flats track group (i.e., Martinsville, Phoenix, New Hampshire, Pocono and Richmond);
  • the practice and qualifying data for the past four races at Indy; and
  • the practice and qualifying data for past seven races at the aforementioned Flats.

The results:

  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Brad Keselowski
  3. Jeff Gordon
  4. Kurt Busch
  5. Kyle Busch
  6. Joey Logano
  7. Jimmie Johnson
  8. Matt Kenseth
  9. Kasey Kahne
  10. Carl Edwards Continue reading

Final Rankings: New Hampshire I, 2015

Kevin Harvick photo

Kevin Harvick remains on top in my final New Hampshire rankings. (photo courtesy nascar)

Here are my final driver rankings for tomorrow’s race at New Hampshire. I compiled them by crunching the practice and qualifying data from New Hampshire today and yesterday, and then melding it with the historical data:

  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Kyle Busch
  3. Brad Keselowski
  4. Carl Edwards
  5. Joey Logano
  6. Kurt Busch
  7. Matt Kenseth
  8. Jimmie Johnson
  9. Denny Hamlin
  10. Kasey Kahne Continue reading

Mid-Week Rankings: New Hampshire I, 2015

Kevin Harvick photo

Kevin Harvick tops my early New Hampshire rankings. (photo courtesy nascar)

Here are my early driver rankings for this week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire. I compiled them by crunching:

  • The loop data for the past 15 Sprint Cup races (excluding DaytonaTalladega and Sonoma);
  • the loop data for the past four races;
  • the loop data for the past four races at New Hampshire;
  • the loop data for the past seven races at the other tracks in the Flats track group (i.e., Martinsville, Phoenix, Indy, Pocono and Richmond);
  • the practice and qualifying data for the past four races at New Hampshire; and
  • the practice and qualifying data for past seven races at the aforementioned Flats.

The results:

  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Brad Keselowski
  3. Jeff Gordon
  4. Kyle Busch
  5. Joey Logano
  6. Matt Kenseth
  7. Kurt Busch
  8. Martin Truex Jr.
  9. Denny Hamlin
  10. Jimmie Johnson Continue reading

Final Rankings: Kentucky, 2015

brad keselowski photo

Brad Keselowski took over the top spot in my final Kentucky rankings. (photo courtesy nascar)

Here are my final driver rankings for tonight’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kentucky. I compiled them by crunching the practice data from Kentucky on Friday, and then melding it with the historical data:

  1. Brad Keselowski
  2. Kevin Harvick
  3. Joey Logano
  4. Jimmie Johnson
  5. Kurt Busch
  6. Kyle Busch
  7. Martin Truex Jr.
  8. Denny Hamlin
  9. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  10. Jeff Gordon Continue reading

Mid-Week Rankings: Kentucky, 2015

Kevin Harvick photo

Kevin Harvick tops my early Kentucky rankings. (photo courtesy nascar)

Here are my mid-week driver rankings for this week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kentucky. I compiled them by crunching:

  • The loop data for the past 15 Sprint Cup races (excluding DaytonaTalladega and Sonoma;
  • the loop data for the past four races at Kentucky;
  • the loop data for the past eight races at other tracks in the Large Ovals track group (i.e., FontanaKansasTexasCharlotte, Atlanta and Michigan;
  • the practice and qualifying data for the past four races at Kentucky; and
  • the practice and qualifying data for past eight races at the aforementioned Large Ovals.

The results:

  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Brad Keselowski
  3. Jimmie Johnson
  4. Kurt Busch
  5. Martin Truex Jr.
  6. Kyle Busch
  7. Joey Logano
  8. Matt Kenseth
  9. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  10. Denny Hamlin Continue reading

Fantasy NASCAR Alert: No Ryan Blaney at Daytona II

I play Yahoo’s fantasy NASCAR game, and earlier this week I was stoked to see Ryan Blaney listed on the Daytona II entry list. I rate Blaney relatively high at the plate races (so far), so he would’ve made an excellent start saver in Group C.

Alas, rain washed out qualifying yesterday, and that bumped Blaney out of the race because as a part-timer, he lacks owner points and race attempts. Which is how NASCAR sets the field when rain washes out qualifying.

Bottom line: If you’ve tabbed Blaney this week in your fantasy game(s), make sure you swap him out before the green flag waves.

Final Rankings: Daytona II, 2015

Dale Earnhardt Jr. photo

Dale Jr. remains on top in my final Daytona II rankings. (photo courtesy nascar)

The practice speed chart numbers have long held very little predictive value at the restrictor plate races because the cars draft during plate practices. And yesterday, unfortunately, rain wiped out qualifying, depriving us of those speed chart numbers, too. My final Daytona II rankings therefore look very similar to my early Daytona II rankings. I did tweak a couple drivers’ rankings after reviewing some sportsbook betting odds, and of course I pared the list down to the 43 drivers who made the race.

The results:

  1. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  2. Jimmie Johnson
  3. Kasey Kahne
  4. Kurt Busch
  5. Denny Hamlin
  6. Jeff Gordon
  7. Joey Logano
  8. Martin Truex Jr.
  9. Brad Keselowski
  10. Kevin Harvick Continue reading

Early Rankings: Daytona II, 2015

Dale Earnhardt Jr. photo

Dale Jr. tops my early Daytona II rankings. (photo courtesy nascar)

Here are my early driver rankings for this week’s race at Daytona. I compiled them by crunching the loop data for the past four plate races, the qualifying data from the 2014 Daytona 500 and the spring Talladega race (because those are the most recent plate races in which qualifying didn’t involve drafting), and the loop data for this year’s Daytona Duels. Those metrics reflect speed, the ability to pass and the ability (and inclination) to run a lot of laps up front:

  1. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  2. Jimmie Johnson
  3. Kasey Kahne
  4. Kurt Busch
  5. Denny Hamlin
  6. Jeff Gordon
  7. Joey Logano
  8. Martin Truex Jr.
  9. Brad Keselowski
  10. Paul Menard Continue reading