Loop update 2006-10-23

* Pre-race Driver Rating predicts Johnson's strong performance DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 23, 2006) -- Pre-race Driver Rating was once again successful in predicting a strong finish in last weekend's Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Race ...

* Pre-race Driver Rating predicts Johnson's strong performance

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 23, 2006) -- Pre-race Driver Rating was once again successful in predicting a strong finish in last weekend's Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

Race winner Jimmie Johnson had the fourth best pre-race Driver Rating at Martinsville and drove the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet to Victory Lane. This marks the 13th time this season that the winning driver has had a pre-race Driver Rating ranking in the top four.

Johnson now ranks third in championship points, 41 behind leader Matt Kenseth. Johnson's strong run is also evident in Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup specific Loop Data. He has the best Driver Rating in the Chase at 104.5.

Johnson also leads several other key Loop Data categories in the Chase. He has run the highest percentage of Fastest Laps (12.2%) in the Chase; leads the way in percentage of Laps in the Top 15 (80.5%); percentage of Laps Led (21.5%) during the Chase and has the best Average Starting position (8.3) of any Chase driver.

Looking ahead at the remaining races in the Chase Johnson may be one of the drivers poised to make a run at the championship. He has the fourth-best cumulative Driver Rating at the remaining tracks in the Chase. Johnson also has the third-best Driver Rating heading into this weekend's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, which should translate into a strong finish there.

Driver Rating is also useful when predicting how a driver will run at a particular track. In fact, a strong statement is that any driver that has the top Driver Rating going into a race can reasonably be predicted to finish in the top seven of the upcoming race as long as he encounters no problems with the car or is involved in an on-track incident.

Loop Data Analysis from STATS LLC:

From Stefan Kretschmann of STATS LLC (the company that compiles NASCAR's Loop Data):

"Jimmie Johnson is getting hot in the second half of the Chase, reeling off a second-place finish and a win in the past two races. Johnson has the best Driver Rating during the Chase (104.5) and now finds himself only 41 points behind leader Matt Kenseth. He not only has the led the largest percentage of laps in the Chase (21.5%), but also has the greatest percentage of Fastest Laps (12.2%). For the entire season, Jimmie Johnson has the second best Driver Rating (100.2) and has the most Quality Passes (1810).

"Looking forward to the next three races, Jimmie Johnson has a Driver Rating of 98.6 in races earlier this year at those tracks. However, Kasey Kahne has the best Driver Rating in those races (118.5) and Matt Kenseth has a stronger Driver Rating (103.9) as well.

Loop Logic ...

The average top Driver Rating for 2006 is 129.2. The average finish for the top rated pre-race driver is 12.406.

The average Driver Rating of the winning driver in 2006 is 98.4. The average pre-race Driver Rating rank for the winning driver is 9.323.

FAST FACTS

Loop Data -- Chase Drivers

Driver Rating NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series <pre> Chase Season-to-Date 1. Jimmie Johnson 104.5 100.2 2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 101.9 93.6 3. Jeff Gordon 101.5 98.8 4. Jeff Burton 95.5 96.7 5. Matt Kenseth 94.4 102.8 6. Kevin Harvick 93.0 96.0 7. Kasey Kahne 90.7 93.2 8. Mark Martin 87.5 90.3 9. Kyle Busch 84.9 93.2 10. Denny Hamlin 80.2 91.5

For more information, contact: Mike McCarthy, NASCAR Public Relations, (386) 681-4271 or mmccarthy@nascar.com.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Kevin Harvick , Jimmie Johnson , Kasey Kahne , Denny Hamlin , Kyle Busch , Mark Martin , Chase Johnson