Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Darlington Driver Previews

Not all teams announce their weekly race previews'. Here is a list of those teams that do reveal the information in the teams race preview: 

#1- Jamie McMurray -  In 11 NSCS career starts at Darlington, McMurray has earned three top-five and five top-10 finishes.  He has led 163 laps, which includes laps led in each of the last two races at Darlington.  He has an average start and finish position of 14.3 and 14.5, respectively.  His best start and finish at the track came in 2010, when he started from the pole and finished second.

#2- Brad Keselowski - In 3 starts at Darlington Keselowski has 1 top 5, and 2 top 10's. This weekend’s event will mark the 100th Cup Series start for Keselowski. In that time span Keselowski has picked up six Cup Series wins, 15 NASCAR Nationwide Series victories (17 total), one NNS championship (2010) and over 261,000 Twitter followers.

#5- Kasey Kahne - In nine Sprint Cup starts at Darlington Raceway, Kahne has earned three top-five finishes, including a fourth-place result in this race last year.  Kahne, the defending Darlington pole winner, has four career pole positions at the track, which are the most for any active, fulltime driver there and rank as a personal best for Kahne at any track.  His 2011 qualifying effort established a new track record with a lap of 181.254 mph.  Kahne has started in the top-10 seven times at the Track Too Tough to Tame.  He has completed 99.9 percent of all the laps he’s attempted at Darlington (3,231 laps of 3,235 total), ranking him third among drivers at the track since 2004 when he started his Sprint Cup career.

#9- Marcos Ambrose - Ambrose has made three career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Darlington. Ambrose enters the weekend in 21st place in the Sprint Cup Series point standings. Ambrose’s best finish (13th) at the 1.366-mile track came in 2011.

#10-Danica Patrick - The Southern 500 will mark Danica Patrick’s second career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start. Her first came in February’s raindelayed 54th Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, where she finished 38th having completing only 138 of 202 laps after being involved in a multi-car accident not of her making on lap three.

#14-Tony Stewart - The Southern 500 will mark Stewart’s 475th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and his 20th career Sprint Cup start at Darlington. Stewart has three top-fives, 10 top-10s and has led a total of 20 laps in his 19 career Sprint Cup starts at Darlington. Stewart’s best Sprint Cup finish at Darlington is third, earned in the 2009 Southern 500. His average start is 17.1, his average finish is 12.3 and he has a lap completion rate of 98.9 percent.

#15- Clint Bowyer - Bowyer will make his 7th career NSCS start at Darlington Raceway on Saturday night. In six previous starts, he has one top-10 finish (2007) and two top-15 finishes. Bowyer won the pole position in 2007, led 16 laps and finished ninth. Bowyer averages a 19th place starting spot and 25th place finish.

#16- Greg Biffle - Biffle has an average starting position of 10.3 and average finish of 14.2 at Darlington.  In 11 starts at Darlington, Biffle has led a total of 639 laps, making Darlington his second-highest laps led at any track. Greg has two wins, two top fives, five top 10s; one pole.

#17- Matt Kenseth - In 18 Cup starts at Darlington, Kenseth has completed 5,881 of 6,106 laps (96.3 percent) and led for 154 laps. Kenseth has an average starting position of 21.7 and an average finishing position of 18.1 at Darlington. Kenseth has achieved one pole, one top-five and seven top-10 finishes at Darlington in the Cup series. 

#18- Kyle Busch - Busch has one win, one top-five finish, three top-10s and has led a total of 279 laps in seven career Sprint Cup starts at 
Darlington. His average Darlington finish is 17.1.

#22- A J Allmendinger - After five career starts at Darlington, Dinger enters this weekend looking for his first notable mark in the NASCAR record book. His best start to date was seventh in last year's Darlington race. His best career finish, a 17th, came in the 2009 visit. His average start is 20.6 and average finish is 27.4 entering this weekend.

#24- Jeff Gordon - At Darlington, Jeff Gordon has earned  Seven wins, 18 top fives, 21 top 10s and three poles. He has an Average finish of 11.1,  Series-best Average Running Position of 6.6 and Series-best Driver Rating of 116.2.

#27- Paul Menard - In five previous starts at Darlington, Menard has finished each of his contested races and completed 96.7 percent of his laps (1,793 of 1,838). He has an average starting position of 28.4 and an average finishing position of 26.8 with his best finish of 15th coming in the May 2009 event. Last year, he claimed his best starting position, taking the green flag from 18th in the Southern 500. 

#29- Kevin Harvick - Harvick has made 15 Sprint Cup Series starts at Darlington Raceway during the past 11 seasons. In those races, he has scored two top-five and five top-10 finishes. He has led 63 laps at the track and completed 93.9 percent (4,899 of 5,215) of the laps run. Harvick holds an average starting position of 17.3 and an average finish of 18.9 at track coined “Too Tough To Tame”. 

#31- Jeff Burton - Burton has garnered impressive NASCAR Loop Data statistics at Darlington Raceway since their inception in 2006. Of all drivers entering the 2012 500-mile event, he has the third most green flag passes (403) with 184 coming while running in the top 15 (quality passes). Burton has also spent 1,622 laps in the top 15, which ranks him 10th amongst his competitors. He also has an impressive 13.86 average running position and 86.4 driver rating at the track deemed “Too Tough to Tame.” In 29 starts burton has 2 wins, 8 top 5's and 16 top 10's at Darlington.

#36- Dave Blaney - Blaney will make his 16th start at the Lady in Black. The Track Too Tough to Tame has been good to the Harford, Ohio native. Blaney compiled one top-five and two top-10s in his 15 starts. He collected his best career finish of third in the 2003 spring race. Blaney finished ninth in 2008 with Tommy Baldwin atop the pit box.

#39- Ryan Newman - Newman has seven top fives, nine top ten's, one pole, an Average finish of 11.6 and an Average Running Position of 10.7, fourth-best at Darlington.

#42- Juan Pablo Montoya - In five NSCS career starts at Darlington Raceway, Montoya has one top-five, one top-10 and zero DNF’s (did not finish).  He has completed 1,833 of 1,838 laps run at the track (99.7).  He has an average starting position of 23.2 and an average finishing position of 18.8.  His best start and finish came in 2010 when he lined up 15th and finished fifth.  

#43- Aric Almirola - This weekend will be Almirola’s first Sprint Cup Series start at Darlington Raceway. Almirola also has starts at the track in the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series. His best finish at the track is ninth in the Truck Series.

#48- Jimmie Johnson - Two wins in 13 starts (March and November 2004).  Best starting spot is second (August 2003). Six top-five finishes (46.2 percent) and nine top-10s (69.2 percent). Average start of 13.3 and average finish of 9.8.  One DNF (Did Not Finish) in May 2010.

#51- Kurt Busch - Busch has competed in 15 races at Darlington and has been running at the end of each. Additionally, he’s completed 5,073 of the 5,215 laps run during that same span for a lap-completion rate of 97.3 percent. Busch has two top-five finishes and five top-10s and has 183 laps led in 15 career Sprint Cup starts at Darlington. Busch’s average Darlington finish is 17.1.

#55- Mark Martin -  Mark Martin owns two wins (Sept. 5,1993 & May 9, 2009) and 17 top-5 finishes in 45 starts at Darlington. He’s completed of 14,853 of 15,357 laps (96.7%) and led 801 laps.

#88- Dale Earnhardt Jr - In 17 Sprint Cup Series starts at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, Earnhardt has recorded three top-five finishes and seven top-10s. He has completed 98.2 percent of all laps he's attempted at the 1.366-mile track (5,732 laps of 5,836 total) and has led 170 of those laps.

#99- Carl Edwards - Carl Edwards will make his ninth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Darlington Raceway in this weekend’s Bojangles’ Southern 500. Edwards is currently 11th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings. He has two top-five, six top-10 finishes and one pole this season. In eight starts at the 1.366-mile track, Edwards has three top-five and five top-10 finishes. Edwards scored his best finish at Darlington, second place in 2011 and 2008.  He has completed 95.3% of the laps in his eight races, and led 94 laps.

- Reported in Team News/Press Releases

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