October 30, 2009

Crash-prone Edwards, Hornish already sustain damage at 'Dega

Barely eight minutes into practice, Sam Hornish Jr. and Carl Edwards slammed into one another in an accordion-style accident that was apparently started when Jeff Gordon was forced out of his drafting line.

Our View If you were listening to this morning's fantasy segment on SiriusXM radio, you would have head me predict that Sam Hornish Jr. and Carl Edwards would crash in the Amp Energy 500. It's not race time yet, but both drivers sustained crash damage in less than 10 laps.

Clint Bowyer was also spun off the track in the aftermath.

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Top-10 Avg. Running Position: Talladega #NASCAR

Average Running Position
Sum of driver position on each lap - divided by the laps run in the race.
Number of Races: 9
AMP Energy 500 Pre-Race
For point-paying races in current and past four years, at this track.
Talladega Superspeedway

RankDriverAverage FinishAverage Place
1Joey Logano9.012.9
2Tony Stewart14.013.3
3Denny Hamlin18.913.6
4Juan Montoya18.613.6
5Kurt Busch11.214.7
6Dale Earnhardt Jr.21.815.2
7Matt Kenseth16.415.6
8Brian Vickers16.815.8
9David Ragan14.016.0
10Elliott Sadler20.216.1

McGrew to crew Earnhardt

The "interim" has been removed from Lance McGrew's title. According to Hendrick Motorsports PR, he has been named crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Our View Earnhardt believes he needs someone with a heavy hand to keep him in control; so far, McGrew has not been that personality but he knows where to work.

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Top-10 Driver Ratings: Talladega

Driver Rating
Formula combining the following categories: Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.
Number of Races: 9
AMP Energy 500 Pre-Race
For point-paying races in current and past four years, at this track.
Talladega Superspeedway

Rk.DriverAvg. FinBest RatingAvg.
1Brad Keselowski198.998.9
2Denny Hamlin18.912594.8
3Tony Stewart14117.292.4
4David Ragan14121.592.3
5Dale Earnhardt Jr.21.811990.1
6Brian Vickers16.8107.690.1
7Joey Logano988.888.8
8Kurt Busch11.2107.387.7
9Matt Kenseth16.4120.186
10Jeff Gordon20.6135.585.9

Percentage Laps in top-10 and -5 at Talladega

The fewer drivers there are in front of your driver, the fewer there are to make a mistake.

Here is a list of the drivers who have spent the most time at the front of the pack:

DriverTop-10 Laps%Top-5%Possible Laps
Dale Earnhardt Jr58562%39942%946
Denny Hamlin56760%37339%946
Tony Stewart46950%34837%946
Kyle Busch41844%27829%946
Juan Montoya41143%20522%946
David Ragan39842%17218%946
Brian Vickers30540%15220%754
Joey Logano7640%3519%188
Elliott Sadler37940%16317%946
Kurt Busch35838%17518%946
Jimmie Johnson33736%19421%946
Jeff Gordon32234%21122%946
Martin Truex Jr30933%15917%946
Matt Kenseth29231%11913%946
Ryan Newman28430%14215%946
David Stremme22430%9312%756
Brad Keselowski5328%126%188
Reed Sorenson26428%748%946
Jeff Burton26027%13114%946
Paul Menard24326%12713%946
David Reutimann23825%9710%946
Casey Mears23325%899%946
Kasey Kahne19621%839%946
Jamie McMurray18820%10711%946
Michael Waltrip14920%507%754
Kevin Harvick15616%616%946
Marcos Ambrose2915%53%188
Greg Biffle12914%778%946
Sam Hornish Jr4913%175%376
Clint Bowyer12213%323%946
Joe Nemechek11712%435%946
Bobby Labonte11312%435%946
Tony Raines6011%285%570
Regan Smith7710%193%758
Carl Edwards849%243%946
Dave Blaney298%113%378
Scott Speed116%63%188
Michael McDowell116%00%188
John Andretti113%41%376
Mark Martin53%32%188
Robby Gordon192%61%946
A J Allmendinger10%10%376
Max Papis00%00%188