Early Rankings: Talladega I, 2012

Here are my early driver rankings for this week’s race at Talladega. I compiled them by crunching the loop and qualifying data for the 2011 and 2012 races at Daytona and Talladega, which reflects speed, the ability to pass and the ability (and inclination) to run a lot of laps up front:

  1. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  2. Clint Bowyer
  3. Jeff Gordon
  4. Jimmie Johnson
  5. Matt Kenseth
  6. Paul Menard
  7. Greg Biffle
  8. Jeff Burton
  9. Carl Edwards
  10. Tony Stewart
  11. Regan Smith
  12. Ryan Newman
  13. Marcos Ambrose
  14. Kurt Busch
  15. A.J. Allmendinger
  16. Trevor Bayne
  17. Kasey Kahne
  18. Brad Keselowski
  19. Kevin Harvick
  20. Joey Logano
  21. Juan Pablo Montoya
  22. Jamie McMurray
  23. Landon Cassill
  24. Bobby Labonte
  25. Kyle Busch
  26. Martin Truex Jr.
  27. Denny Hamlin
  28. Aric Almirola
  29. Travis Kvapil
  30. Casey Mears
  31. Dave Blaney
  32. David Ragan
  33. Michael Waltrip
  34. David Reutimann
  35. Michael McDowell
  36. Joe Nemechek
  37. David Gilliland
  38. Terry Labonte
  39. Tony Raines
  40. David Stremme
  41. J.J. Yeley
  42. Bill Elliott [PC}
  43. Josh Wise (i)
  44. Robert Richardson (i)

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