Early Rankings: Darlington, 2017

Martin Truex Jr photo

Martin Truex Jr. tops my early Darlington driver rankings. (photo courtesy nascar)

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

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

  • The loop data for the past 15 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 seven 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 seven races at the aforementioned Steeps.

The results:

  1. Martin Truex Jr.
  2. Kyle Busch
  3. Kevin Harvick
  4. Erik Jones
  5. Denny Hamlin
  6. Matt Kenseth
  7. Kyle Larson
  8. Brad Keselowski
  9. Jimmie Johnson
  10. Joey Logano
  11. Kurt Busch
  12. Chase Elliott
  13. Ryan Newman
  14. Kasey Kahne
  15. Jamie McMurray
  16. Ryan Blaney
  17. Daniel Suarez
  18. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  19. Clint Bowyer
  20. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  21. Austin Dillon
  22. Paul Menard
  23. AJ Allmendinger
  24. Aric Almirola
  25. Trevor Bayne
  26. Chris Buescher
  27. Ty Dillon
  28. Danica Patrick
  29. Michael McDowell
  30. David Ragan
  31. Matt DiBenedetto
  32. Landon Cassill
  33. Corey LaJoie
  34. Cole Whitt
  35. Gray Gaulding
  36. Reed Sorenson
  37. Jeffrey Earnhardt
  38. #51 Car – Driver TBA
  39. Derrike Cope
  40. Carl Long

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