Indianapolis: In the loop

Kenseth On Path To End Roush Fenway Drought At IMS DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 25, 2007) -- Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Matt Kenseth will attempt to end a Roush Fenway Racing drought in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. Owner Jack...

Kenseth On Path To End Roush Fenway Drought At IMS

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 25, 2007) -- Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Matt Kenseth will attempt to end a Roush Fenway Racing drought in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.

Owner Jack Roush's teams have failed to win at only two tracks on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule -- Chicagoland Speedway and Indy. Kenseth came close to grabbing Roush Fenway's first Chicago win two weeks ago, finishing second to Tony Stewart.

He has also come close to winning at IMS -- a few times, actually.

Kenseth finished second there in 2003, and again last year. He finished third there in 2002 and fifth in 2005. He's regularly up front, and despite the victory shortcomings, his Loop Data over the past two years surpasses both Tony Stewart (2005's Indy winner) and Jimmie Johnson (2006's winner).

Below is an IMS statistical comparison of Kenseth, Stewart and Johnson:

Average Finish at Indy (2005-2006)
Matt Kenseth, 3.5
Tony Stewart, 4.5
Jimmie Johnson, 19.5

Driver Rating at Indy (2005-2006)
Matt Kenseth, 114.0
Tony Stewart, 109.2
Jimmie Johnson, 91.6

Average Running Position at Indy (2005-2006)
Matt Kenseth, 5.8
Tony Stewart, 11.1
Jimmie Johnson, 15.4

Laps in the Top 15 at Indy (2005-2006)
Matt Kenseth, 316 of 320
Tony Stewart, 246 of 320
Jimmie Johnson,184 of 320

The consistency of Kenseth's Indianapolis performances over the past two years look uncannily similar.

Oddly enough, over the past two years, the entire Roush Fenway Racing organization has been the class of the field. Not only that, but Richard Childress Racing and Evernham Motorsports have, as a whole, performed better than Joe Gibbs Racing and Hendrick Motorsports, each of whom have sent drivers to Victory Lane.

***

The Race to the Chase -- the 10 races preceding the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup -- continues, as drivers outside the top 12 have seven more races to make a move.

Going into Sunday's race, Kurt Busch looks like a driver who could make a major push this Sunday. Busch -- in 14th place -- has a Driver Rating of 89.8 at IMS over the past two years, which is well above Dale Earnhardt (12th) and Martin Truex Jr. (11th).

Earnhardt has an Indy Driver Rating of 50.8 (39th-best), while Truex has a 58.4 (32nd-best). Busch is 77 points behind Earnhardt and 134 behind Truex.

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Kurt Busch , Jimmie Johnson , Martin Truex Jr. , Jack Roush
Teams Hendrick Motorsports , Roush Fenway Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing