Loop Data update 2006-08-07

Kasey Kahne's struggles evident in points, data * Loop Data illustrates Kasey Kahne's drop from to 10 * Harvick and Burton lead RCR resurgence in Loop Data DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 7, 2006) -- Earlier this season, Kasey Kahne captured four...

Kasey Kahne's struggles evident in points, data

* Loop Data illustrates Kasey Kahne's drop from to 10
* Harvick and Burton lead RCR resurgence in Loop Data

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 7, 2006) -- Earlier this season, Kasey Kahne captured four victories -- his last coming at Michigan in June -- and was solidly in the top 10 in the series standings.

Kahne -- who has been in the top 10 since the second week of the season -- has now fallen to 11th place and is heading to a track (Watkins Glen International) where he has faltered in the past.

Kahne's four victories came in the first 15 races of the season. Over that same span Kahne led a total of 368 laps and had the Fastest Lap 349 times.

Kahne also ran an impressive 71.7% of his Laps in the Top 15. This strong performance helped him amass a Driver Rating of 98.9 through the first 15 events.

Kahne began to struggle at Infineon Raceway where he finished 31st -- a preview of things to come. Over the last six events he has only one top-10 finish, which came at New Hampshire International Speedway where he finished eighth. Kahne's dismal finishes have given him an Average Finish of 25.7.

More surprising has been Kahne's inability to run with the leaders. He has led only one lap and has been in the top 15 only 42.7% of the time.

Kahne's Driver Rating now reflects his adverse performance. His Driver Rating of 70.3 ranks him 19th among drivers with at least five starts over the last six events.

The most telling statistic for Kahne maybe his average point gain: For the first 15 events Kahne averaged 136.7 points per race, in the last six events he has only averaged 87.3 points per race.

RCR Resurgence Continues ...

The two drivers who have fared the best over the past six races are Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton. Harvick and Burton have the two best Driver Ratings over that span at 107.9 and 105.1, respectively.

Harvick and Burton have also gained the second- and third-most points during the six-race span gaining 884 and 861 points, respectively. Kyle Busch is the only driver who has gained more points with 938.

Harvick has been able to make these gains by running with the leaders; he has run 89.7% of his Laps in the Top 15, more than any other driver. Harvick also has the best Average Running Position of 8.144 and the second best Average Finish of 8.3 over the last six events.

Loop Data Analysis from Stefan Kretschmann of STATS LLC:

"With Watkins Glen next on the schedule, you can expect another shake up in the standings for the drivers racing for a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart currently sit eighth and ninth in points but with their stellar performances at road courses over the past two years, they figure to climb up in the standings. Jeff Gordon won the race earlier this year at Infineon Raceway and has a road course Driver Rating of 102.7 over the past two years, good for fourth among active drivers. Tony Stewart won both road course races last year and has the best road course Driver Rating among active drivers with a 129.4.

"Kurt Busch needs to make up a lot of points soon to stay in contention, and a road course should be just what he needs. Busch has the third-best road course Driver Rating with a 106.2 and should be able to pick up ground on both Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne who struggle mightily at road courses (Driver Ratings of 62.1 and 63.3 respectively). If Greg Biffle can equal his top-five performance at Infineon Raceway earlier this year (on his way to a 113.5 Driver Rating), he could find himself right back in the mix for the Chase for the 10th spot as well."

Loop Logic ...

* Jeremy Mayfield has completed 1,155 Green Flag Passes but has been passed 1,422 times, a difference of 267.

* Tony Stewart has led 923 laps or 15.4% of all laps this season.

* Series leader Jimmie Johnson leads all drivers with 1,250 Quality Passes. Johnson has a percentage of Quality Passes of 80.1%.

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Jeremy Mayfield , Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick , Greg Biffle , Kurt Busch , Jimmie Johnson , Kasey Kahne , Kyle Busch