Early Rankings: Darlington, 2016

Kevin Harvick photo

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

Update: I’ve posted my final Darlington 2016 driver rankings, which improve upon these early rankings.

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

  • The loop data for the past 15 Sprint Cup races (excluding Daytona Talladega, Sonoma and Watkins Glen;
  • the loop data for the past four races (excluding Daytona);
  • the loop data for the past four races at Darlington;
  • the loop data for the past six races at the other tracks in the Steeps track group (i.e., Bristol, Dover, Homestead and Las Vegas);
  • the practice and qualifying data for the past four races at Darlington; and
  • the practice and qualifying data for past six races at the aforementioned Steeps.

The results:

  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Kyle Busch
  3. Carl Edwards
  4. Denny Hamlin
  5. Martin Truex Jr.
  6. Joey Logano
  7. Kurt Busch
  8. Matt Kenseth
  9. Brad Keselowski
  10. Jimmie Johnson
  11. Kyle Larson
  12. Jeff Gordon
  13. Kasey Kahne
  14. Ryan Newman
  15. Ryan Blaney
  16. Chase Elliott
  17. Austin Dillon
  18. Greg Biffle
  19. Jamie McMurray
  20. Paul Menard
  21. AJ Allmendinger
  22. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  23. Tony Stewart
  24. Aric Almirola
  25. Clint Bowyer
  26. Trevor Bayne
  27. Casey Mears
  28. Chris Buescher
  29. Regan Smith
  30. Danica Patrick
  31. Brian Scott
  32. David Ragan
  33. Landon Cassill
  34. Michael McDowell
  35. Matt DiBenedetto
  36. Michael Annett
  37. Josh Wise
  38. Cole Whitt
  39. Jeffrey Earnhardt
  40. Reed Sorenson

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