'In the Loop' - Martin Looks to Repeat at Kansas DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 26, 2006) -- The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series makes its only visit to Kansas Speedway this weekend. Kansas, much like Homestead-Miami Speedway, is unique in that the only...
'In the Loop' - Martin Looks to Repeat at Kansas
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 26, 2006) -- The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series makes its only visit to Kansas Speedway this weekend. Kansas, much like Homestead-Miami Speedway, is unique in that the only stop the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series will make at these two respective tracks will be during the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.
Last season's race at Kansas Speedway saw a dominating performance by Mark Martin. This season, Martin needs to replicate his performance of last year to remain alive in the Chase.
NASCAR's Loop Data from 2005 at Kansas shows that Martin certainly knows how to get around the 1.5-mile oval.
Martin started from the 19th position in 2005 and had to make his way to the front of the field, completing 25 Quality Passes -- a pass over a car running in the top 15 -- along the way.
Once he reached the front of the field, Martin led 139 laps and maintained an Average Running Position of 4.049, second-best in that category. On the rare occasion he slipped out of the lead, Martin wasn't very far back in the pack, as he ran an impressive 253 Laps in the Top 15.
All of this helped Martin amass a Driver Rating of 135.7 on the day to lead that category at Kansas.
SPEED STATS: Where does speed matter at Kansas?
Martin's winning car at Kansas last season had to be fast. Martin's Roush Racing teammate, Greg Biffle, was hot on Martin's trail but was unable to get around him for the win.
Biffle also had a fast car, turning the Fastest Lap 60 times on the day. Although Martin had the Fastest Lap only 12 times he was able to hold off Biffle for the win.
Martin's speed on the frontstretch and backstretch at Kansas was not that impressive. He ranked 14th in Speed on the Frontstretch and 16th in Speed on the Backstretch.
Martin made up the ground he lost on the straightaways in the turns. Martin recorded the sixth-best Speed in Turn 1 followed by the second-best Speed in Turn 2, the fourth-best Speed in Turn 3 and the fourth-best Speed in Turn 4.
Kansas Speedway generates some of the best racing in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. The frontstretch is where the most passing happens. Turn 4 ranks second.
Passing Thoughts ...
• Kasey Kahne has completed the most Green Flag Passes at Kansas with 84. Kahne has been passed 66 times, giving him a Passing Differential of 18.
• Carl Edwards has more Quality Passes than any driver at Kansas with 39, giving him a Quality Passing Percentage of 88.6%.
• Matt Kenseth has a Passing Differential of -13 at Kansas, the lowest of any Chase driver.
Others Drivers to Watch ... Who has a chance to be a spoiler this weekend? Loop Data reveals other notables:
• Greg Biffle: Ranked second in Driver Rating 132.3. ... Has the best Average Running Position of 3.112. ... 90.6% of his passes have been Quality Passes. ... Has completed the most Fastest Laps at Kansas with 60.
• Tony Stewart: Ranked third in Driver Rating 117.6. ... Has the third-best Average Running Position of 4.079. ... 100% of his passes have been Quality Passes. ... Completed 98.1% of his Laps in the Top 15.
From STATS LLC (the company that compiles NASCAR's Loop Data) ...
"Last year at Kansas, the current Chase drivers were spread throughout the field but there was one constant: Roush Racing was the team to beat. Mark Martin won the race and teammates Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth all came away with top-five finishes as well. Biffle and Martin held the top two places in Average Running Position (3.112 and 4.049) and also had the best Driver Ratings, with Martin out dueling Biffle to a score of 135.7 to 132.3. Kenseth was Fastest Early in a Run (171.256 mph), while Biffle was the Fastest Late in a Run (167.126 mph). Biffle piloted the fastest car in turns one, two and three, helping him post the Fastest Green Flag Speed of 168.920. Roush drivers combined to lead for 258 of the 267 laps (96.6%) and only 4 of the 9 laps they didn't lead were under green. " -- Stefan Kretschmann, STATS LLC.