All-Star: In the loop

'In The Loop' - At the All-Star Break, A Look Back DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 16, 2007) -- Of the 11 races run this season, five have featured the Car of Tomorrow. It would make sense, then, that those drivers and teams who have adapted the best...

'In The Loop' - At the All-Star Break, A Look Back

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 16, 2007) -- Of the 11 races run this season, five have featured the Car of Tomorrow. It would make sense, then, that those drivers and teams who have adapted the best to the COT would also have performed the best overall.

One of the top indicators of performance NASCAR has is "Driver Rating." Taking into account a number of statistics, Driver Rating most accurately depicts a driver's race -- and season.

One of the growing myths this season is Hendrick Motorsports alone has dominated the Car of Tomorrow races. Yes, the outfit has won each of the five races (two each by Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, one by Kyle Busch). And, yes, a Hendrick car has finished in the top five 12 times in COT races and in the top 10 14 times.

But Joe Gibbs Racing -- with outstanding COT performances by Denny Hamlin and Tony Stewart -- are right there with Hendrick. Check out the Tale of the Tape comparing Hendrick and JGR.

It is important to note that Hendrick has one more driver in its stable than Joe Gibbs Racing, which makes Gibbs' almost identical numbers all the more impressive.

* * * * * * * * *

The pre-race Driver Rating continues to be an accurate measure of analyzing a race's outcome. Seven of the 11 races (64%) were won by a driver with a pre-race Driver Rating in the Top 10. Here's a quick breakdown of those race-winners:

* Two drivers with the top pre-race Driver Rating won that particular race (Matt Kenseth at California, Jimmie Johnson at Las Vegas)

* One winner had the No. 2 pre-race Driver Rating (Johnson at Atlanta)

* Two winners had the No. 3 pre-race Driver Rating (Johnson at Martinsville, Jeff Gordon at Talladega)

* One winner had the No. 4 pre-race Driver Rating (Gordon at Darlington)

* One winner had the No. 6 pre-race Driver Rating (Gordon at Phoenix).

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Jimmie Johnson , Denny Hamlin , Kyle Busch
Teams Hendrick Motorsports , Joe Gibbs Racing