Early Rankings: Talladega I, 2016

Dale Earnhardt Jr. photo

Dale Jr. tops my early Talladega I driver rankings. (photo courtesy nascar)

Update: I’ve posted my final Talladega I driver rankings.

Here are my early driver rankings for this week’s race at Talladega. I compiled them by crunching the loop data for the past four plate races, the qualifying data from past three plate races, and the loop data for last year’s Daytona Duels (albeit weighted very lightly). Those metrics reflect speed, the ability to pass and the ability (and inclination) to run a lot of laps up front.

The results:

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

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