BUSCH: Loop update 2007-02-28

'In The Loop' - Once Again, Driver Rating Gets It Right DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 28, 2007) -- It has nothing to do with any hocus pocus. There are no tarot cards or crystal balls in sight. It's not contrived out of thin air with gimmicky mumbo...

'In The Loop' - Once Again, Driver Rating Gets It Right

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 28, 2007) -- It has nothing to do with any hocus pocus. There are no tarot cards or crystal balls in sight. It's not contrived out of thin air with gimmicky mumbo jumbo.

It is factually based.

"It" is the Driver Rating.

And though the season is only two races old, the Driver Rating has already gotten it right... again.

Matt Kenseth won last Sunday's Auto Club 500 at California Speedway in dominating fashion, leading a race-high 133 laps. Not surprising, he entered the race with a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series-best 110.1 Driver Rating.

A number that is formulated using such integral stats as Wins, Finishes, Average Running Position, Average Speed Under Green -- among others -- the Driver Rating has become increasingly accurate as more Loop Data has been accumulated. Right now, NASCAR has two years worth of Loop Data to call upon.

The top-rated driver in the pre-race Loop Data statistics won the race eight times last year. That's a 22% success rate.

So far this year, the stat is 1-for-2.

And as more Loop Data gets registered, the success rate should grow.

Kenseth came into California with a Driver Rating that was over two points higher than the second-best-rated driver. The results he posted showed that the Driver Rating was right on key.

Of course, only time will tell if the trend holds true but right now, the most optimistic guy in the room has to be Boris Said.

***

The mop-topped road-course specialist leads the pack in Driver Rating going to the only show in town this weekend: the NASCAR Busch Series' Telcel Motorola Mexico 200.

NASCAR's appeal extends south of the border for the third-straight year in a road-course event that has been growing in everything from intrigue to esteem to popularity.

Denny Hamlin won the event last year, while Said won the pole.

But it was the homegrown products who won the adoration of the fans.

All the same angles are in play again this year. The familiar faces of Hamlin and Said are joined by Mexican-born talents Carlos Contreras, Jorge Goeters, Adrian Fernandez and Michel Jourdain Jr.

Said owns the field's top Driver Rating -- he's second overall to Martin Truex Jr. at the track -- and, as usual, should be a force on NASCAR's first trip to a road course in 2007.

A look at the pre-race Loop Data shows that of those who have raced at this track in the past two years, Boris Said, Denny Hamlin, Carlos Contreras and Adrian Fernandez are four drivers to follow on the winding 2.518-mile track.

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup , NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Boris Said , Adrian Fernandez , Carlos Contreras , Denny Hamlin , Michel Jourdain