Tag Archives: Atlanta

Mid-Week Rankings: Atlanta, 2014

Jeff Gordon is the clear early favorite at Atlanta this week. (photo courtesy nascar)

Jeff Gordon is the clear early favorite at Atlanta this week. (photo courtesy nascar)

Here are my early driver rankings for this week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta. 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 Watkins Glen);
  • the loop data for the past four races at Atlanta;
  • the loop data for the past seven races at other tracks in the Large Ovals track group (i.e.,  Michigan,  Kentucky,  Fontana,  Charlotte,  Texas, and  Kansas);
  • the practice and qualifying data for the past four races at Atlanta; and
  • the practice and qualifying data for past seven races at the aforementioned Large Ovals.

The results:

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

Final Rankings: Atlanta 2013

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

  1. Matt Kenseth
  2. Carl Edwards
  3. Jimmie Johnson
  4. Kyle Busch
  5. Kasey Kahne
  6. Clint Bowyer
  7. Martin Truex, Jr.
  8. Kurt Busch
  9. Juan Pablo Montoya
  10. Denny Hamlin Continue reading

Early Rankings: Atlanta, 2013

Here are my early driver rankings for this week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta. 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 Watkins Glen);
  • the loop data for the past four races at Atlanta;
  • the loop data for the past eight races at other tracks in the Large Ovals track group (i.e., Michigan, Kentucky, Fontana, Charlotte, Texas, and Kansas);
  • the practice and qualifying data for the past four races at Atlanta; and
  • the practice and qualifying data for past eight races at the aforementioned Large Ovals.

The results:

  1. Matt Kenseth
  2. Kyle Busch
  3. Jimmie Johnson
  4. Kasey Kahne
  5. Kurt Busch
  6. Carl Edwards
  7. Martin Truex, Jr.
  8. Denny Hamlin
  9. Clint Bowyer
  10. Jeff Gordon Continue reading

Final Rankings: Atlanta, 2012

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

  1. Jimmie Johnson
  2. Denny Hamlin
  3. Greg Biffle
  4. Matt Kenseth
  5. Kyle Busch
  6. Jeff Gordon
  7. Kasey Kahne
  8. Martin Truex, Jr.
  9. Mark Martin
  10. Tony Stewart Continue reading

Mid-Week Rankings: Atlanta, 2012

Here are my early driver rankings for this week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta. 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 Watkins Glen);
  • the loop data for the past four races at Atlanta;
  • the loop data for the past eight races at other tracks in the Large Ovals track group (i.e., Michigan, Kentucky, Fontana, Charlotte, Texas, Chicagoland and Kansas);
  • the practice and qualifying data for the past four races at Atlanta; and
  • the practice and qualifying data for past eight races at the aforementioned Large Ovals.

The results:

  1. Jimmie Johnson
  2. Denny Hamlin
  3. Kasey Kahne
  4. Greg Biffle
  5. Martin Truex, Jr.
  6. Mark Martin
  7. Matt Kenseth
  8. Jeff Gordon
  9. Kyle Busch
  10. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Continue reading

Race Preview Update: Atlanta II

The Sprint Cup teams got in both practices and qualifying at Atlanta yesterday under warm, sunny skies. Today’s forecast on Weather.com calls for more of the same, and that’s a boost for predictability. Add together yesterday’s prelim data with the solid historical data I discussed on Wednesday, plus the consistent, rain-free weather, and predictability should rate well above average. Right?

Not really. First, this weekend featured the funky, compressed prelim schedule in which the teams practice twice and then qualifying on the same day. Most teams work on their race-trim setups during Practice 1 and maybe for a little while early in Practice 2, but then they turn to qualifying-trim. That gives us far less race-trim data to review than we get on a normal weekend. Continue reading

Race Preview: Atlanta II

Kurt Busch took the checkered flag at Atlanta this spring. (Photo Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)

This week the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Georgia for a run at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS). AMS is a 1.5-mile, D-shaped track with 24 degrees of progressive banking. These specs make AMS very similar to the tracks in Charlotte, Texas and, to a somewhat lesser degree, Las Vegas. We already have decent practice, qualifying and race data from all three of these tracks this year, plus the data from the Atlanta race in March, and I think that allows us to get a very good handle on who should run well on Sunday.

Handicapping Atlanta II
I crunched the 2010 Las Vegas, Atlanta, Texas and Charlotte data to produce initial driver rankings, and then merged those results with the rankings produced by running just the Atlanta data (thereby tilting the results toward the Atlanta numbers). I came up with a top 10 I feel pretty good about: Continue reading

Race Recap: Atlanta

I strongly recommended Mark Martin for the March 7 race in Atlanta, and he bombed. Or did he?

Martin started fourth but immediately began plummeting back through the field. The track was a bit cooler than expected, but I don’t think that explains why the 5 was suddenly so off the pace after his stellar pre-race performances–something must’ve been wrong with the car. One of Fox TV’s pit reporters said Martin radio’d in that the car was so tight it was “plowing,” but that’s all the info I heard (if anybody knows more, I’d love to hear it). Anyway, he landed somewhere back in the 30s before a yellow came out and he got some pit time.

And then he began marching back up through the field. Not as fast as he fell, but he was making nice progress. Until a rear tire went down on the front stretch, that is. He’d climbed back up into the teens when the tire went down, causing him to perform a nerve-wracking slide through the infield. That incident put him back in the 30s again. He went back to work and climbed back into the mid teens again before he wrecked and finished 33rd.

So, although the end result stunk, it seems clear Martin did indeed have a strong car once he got the initial kink worked out.

OK, time for an off week, and then off to Bristol!