June 1, 2009

Pocono's last five races

Last week Jeff Gordon had one of his worst races of the year. He never found the handle on his Chevy and was consistently one of the slowest drivers in traffic. Even if he fails to win this week, however, Gordon should have a strong run since he enters the week with the best average finish during the last five races.

If not for an unsuccessful pit gamble last fall, that honor would almost certainly go to Denny Hamlin who had a victory in fall 2006, a sixth and two thirds prior to his team's miscalculation. Those are the only two drivers with an average better than 10th.

Kevin Harvick nearly made the list. He settles into third on the list with an average of 10.0, which could make this one his best opportunities to break out of his funk in quite some time.

Average finish, last five races

DriverAvg Finish2008.22008.12007.22007.12006.2
Jeff Gordon 6.401014413
Denny Hamlin7.20233361
Kevin Harvick 10.0041317115
Mark Martin 10.608109719
Tony Stewart 11.00235657
Matt Kenseth 11.0011714914
Ryan Newman 11.8014187218
Jeff Burton 11.8021511139
Jimmie Johnson 12.40365426
Kurt Busch 13.003881162
Martin Truex Jr13.40151722310
Dale Earnhardt Jr14.6012421243
Carl Edwards 16.8019211439
Casey Mears 17.00222610423
Kasey Kahne 17.6071272231
Brian Vickers 19.6028229354
Bobby Labonte 20.20331130198
Clint Bowyer20.8063981041
Greg Biffle 21.001315233024
David Ragan22.005243326
Kyle Busch22.20364312812
Tony Raines22.5018
Jamie McMurray 23.60920402920
Joe Nemechek 25.504129
David Stremme25.67

Dave Blaney 26.403122204316
Regan Smith26.502528

Juan Montoya28.5040381620
A J Allmendinger28.7519124539
Elliott Sadler 29.202734322132
Reed Sorenson29.203533282426
J J Yeley29.203944351711
Paul Menard30.2542252628
David Gilliland30.7534163934
Robby Gordon 31.753736
David Reutimann32.0030194138
Sam Hornish Jr34.002642

Michael Waltrip 40.404337384440
Derrike Cope 44.00

Mike Bliss 46.50


IRL: Patrick's joke not so funny

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency is not laughing about what Danica Patrick insists was a joke, according to Foxsports.com. When asked if she would take performance enhancing drugs, Patrick responded, "Yeah, it would be like finding a gray area. In motorsports, we work in the gray areas a lot. You're trying to find where the holes are in the rule book."

Our View: That certainly doesn't sound like a joke—but then again that's one problem with print. It doesn't catch the inflection of a driver's voice and we are willing to give her the benefit of the doubt on this one.

N'Wide: Bayne to driver for MWR

Trevor Bayne has signed an eight-race deal to drive for Michael Waltrip Racing, beginning this week at Nashville Superspeedway, according to NASCAR.com.

Our View: Youth continues to flood into NASCAR; Bayne is 18—and he made his debut at Bristol this spring driving a lightly-funded entry for Jimmy Mean to a 23rd-place finish.

Other races for MWR will be at Kentucky, the Milwaukee Mile, Gateway, O'Reilly Raceway Park, Iowa, Bristol and Phoenix.