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Statistically Speaking

GoBowling.com 400 Stats

by Dan Beaver
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

This week’s race: GoBowling.com 400
Traditional Name: None
Other Notable Names: SpongeBob SquarePants 400, STP 400, 5-hour Energy 400

Talladega is predictable only in its unpredictability. A race on this track occasionally goes start to finish without a "Big One" crash. Last week featured at least four—depending on how one defines that term—and only five cars made it to the end of the show without some sort of damage.

Nearly all of the bent sheet metal was severe and quite a few drivers one has grown accustomed to seeing at the end of the show, were not on track when NASCAR threw the final caution as the field was in sight of the finish line. The most notable DNFs (failure to finish) went to Joey Logano and Carl Edwards. Logano had been running at the end of 62 consecutive races before his Talladega woes. Edwards had been running on the lead lap of his past 28 attempts.

Other notables to see long streaks of races in which they were running at the end included Kasey Kahne (15 consecutive races, Michael Annett (13), Chris Buescher and Matt DiBenedetto (eight apiece), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (seven), Matt Kenseth (six), and Paul Menard (five).

Often ending a streak in this manner is the beginning of a slow slide downward. Greg Biffle snapped a league-leading streak of 57 races end at Auto Club Speedway this spring and then crashed out of the Duck Commander 500 two weeks later.

10 best drivers at Kansas

Over the past six races, these drivers have the best average finish on this track.

1. Kevin Harvick
Last six races average finish at Kansas: 7.50
Career avg. finish: 11.4 in 20 attempts

Last year during the Chase, Harvick had quite a few stutter-steps. Kansas was one of these when a penalty ultimately cost him a lap to the leaders and sent him home 16th. That snapped a 10-race, top-15 streak with a perfect record of finishes on the lead lap, but a victory in fall 2013 offsets the deficit.

2. Joey Logano
Last six races average finish at Kansas: 9.00
Career avg. finish: 17.2 in 13 attempts

Logano has been perfect at Kansas in recent attempts. He won the last two fall races and has a current, five-race streak of top-fives. There is only one statistic that works against him and that is because he has finishes worse than he started in 10 of 13 races, which costs fantasy players place-differential points.

3. Matt Kenseth
Last six races average finish at Kansas: 9.17
Career avg. finish: 13.8 in 20 attempts

Kenseth bears some responsibility for the accident that sparked so much controversy last fall. He blocked Logano so aggressively that the No. 20 slapped wall and Logano felt his patience evaporate. Kenseth got the short end of the straw when he was spun out of the lead, but his 14th-place finish in the Hollywood Casino 400 was his 11th consecutive top-15 finish on this track—all of which ended on the lead lap.

4. Carl Edwards
Last six races average finish at Kansas: 10.17
Career avg. finish: 10.6 in 17 attempts

Edwards has been solid at Kansas throughout his career. In 17 starts, he has failed to be running at the end of only one race and completed all the laps in all but one other event. Nearly all of his results land in the top 10, and that makes him a great value in some games. He has been so strong in recent weeks, however, that there is a growing concern about his cap value.

5. Jimmie Johnson
Last six races average finish at Kansas: 10.33
Career avg. finish: 8.7 in 19 attempts

Two accidents are the only thing that stands in the way of Johnson and a perfect Kansas record. He sustained damage in the 2004 race when this track hosted only a fall event and he spent 80 laps behind the wall in October 2014. He won the 2015 edition of this event, however, and was third when the series returned last fall.

6. Kasey Kahne
Last six races average finish at Kansas: 10.50
Career avg. finish: 13.4 in 17 attempts

On average, Kahne is one of this week’s top choices but as with so many tracks he can be a little hit or miss. He finished 17th in this race last year before scoring a fourth in the fall. In 2014, his spring effort was strong with a third, but he stumbled in the fall. In 2013, fall was better than spring and it has been more than three years since he swept the top 10 at Kansas in a season.

7. Martin Truex Jr.
Last six races average finish at Kansas: 12.00
Career avg. finish: 17.3 in 15 attempts

Last year before this race, Truex had an average finish of 8.7. That would put him second on the list this week, but a sweep of the second position in 2012 has aged out of the three-year formula. In spring 2013 Truex finished third, but he has only two other top-10s in the past five races and could fall completely off the list before the Hollywood Casino 400 in October unless he reverses his fortune.

8. Paul Menard
Last six races average finish at Kansas: 13.33
Career avg. finish: 16.0 in 14 attempts

Menard is in a similar situation to Truex. Half of his last six races ended in top-10s, but the trend is not in his favor. Three of his latest four races have been worse than 15th so he really needs a good run to stabilize his position in the points’ standings and make the No. 27 fantasy relevant.  

9. Ryan Newman (tied with Larson)
Last six races average finish at Kansas: 14.50
Career avg. finish: 17.3 in 20 attempts

Newman is listed among the top 10, but he may not be the best value this week. He was great in his first three starts in 2001-2003 and finished better than he started each time. Since then, he slipped back from his qualification effort 14 times in 17 starts.

9. Kyle Larson (tied with Newman)
Last six races average finish at Kansas: 14.50
Career avg. finish: 14.5 in 4 attempts

One of Larson’s best opportunities to win a Cup race came on this track in 2014 with a second-place finish. That was part of a three-race streak of top-15s on this course, but he stumbled last fall and lost four laps to the leaders. If the race develops a long run at the end, he could get another top-10 because he was fourth-quickest in terms of 10-lap averages in final practice.

 

Rank

Driver

Avg. Fin. L3Yr

Attempts

1.

Kevin Harvick

7.50

6

2.

Joey Logano

9.00

6

3.

Matt Kenseth

9.17

6

4.

Carl Edwards

10.17

6

5.

Jimmie Johnson

10.33

6

6.

Kasey Kahne

10.50

6

7.

Martin Truex Jr.

12.00

6

8.

Paul Menard

13.33

6

9.

Ryan Newman

14.50

6

9.

Kyle Larson

14.50

4

 

11.

Brad Keselowski

14.67

6

12.

Aric Almirola

15.33

6

13.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

15.33

6

14.

Greg Biffle

15.33

6

15.

Kurt Busch

17.00

6

16.

Ryan Blaney

17.00

2

17.

Denny Hamlin

18.20

5

18.

Kyle Busch

19.00

5

19.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

19.83

6

20.

Jamie McMurray

20.00

6

21.

Clint Bowyer

20.17

6

22.

AJ Allmendinger

20.40

5

23.

Austin Dillon

22.50

4

24.

Danica Patrick

23.33

6

25.

Trevor Bayne

24.50

2

26.

Casey Mears

25.17

6

27.

Tony Stewart

26.40

5

28.

Michael Annett

26.50

4

29.

Matt DiBenedetto

27.50

2

30.

Cole Whitt

30.00

5

31.

David Gilliland

30.33

6

32.

David Ragan

31.50

6

33.

Landon Cassill

32.83

6

34.

Josh Wise

33.00

5

35.

Reed Sorenson

34.50

4

36.

Joey Gase

37.50

2

37.

Michael McDowell

37.75

4

Drivers with Only One Start

 

Brian Scott

12.00

1

 

Regan Smith

22.00

1

 

Ty Dillon

26.00

1

 

Exercise Caution

Most caution flags: 15, 2013 Hollywood Casino 400
Fewest caution flags: 3, 2012 STP 400
Average number of caution flags per race: 8.8
In 2016: 7.3

Final Caution, last five races:
October 2015: 264 of 267: “The Spin” Joey Logano spun Matt Kenseth from the lead after Kenseth pinched him into the wall; Kenseth would later retaliate and draw a penalty at Martinsville.
May 2015: 257 of 267: 1-car accident (Ricky Stenhouse Jr.)
October 2015: 237 of 267: 1-car accident, backstretch
May 2014: 204 of 267: 1-car spin in turn 2 (Kurt Busch)
October 2013: 244 of 267: 1-car accident in turn 2 (Brian Vickers)

Most caution laps: 71, 2013 Hollywood Casino 400
Fewest caution laps: 18, 2012 STP 400
Average number of caution laps per race: 41.1
In 2016: 40.9

Leading the way

Most leaders: 14, 2009 Price Chopper 400 by Kraft Foods
Fewest leaders: 8, 2013 STP 400
Average number of leaders: 10.6
In 2016: 9.2

Most lead changes: 26, 2009 Price Chopper 400 by Kraft Foods
Fewest lead changes: 13 (2times), 2013 STP 400, 2002 Protection One 400
Average number of lead changes: 19.2
In 2016: 22.5

Victory Lane

Last five winners at Kansas (starting position):
October 2015: Joey Logano (14)
May 2015: Jimmie Johnson (19)
October 2014: Joey Logano (4)
May 2014: Jeff Gordon (13)
October 2013: Kevin Harvick (1)

Worst starting position for race winner: 25th, Brad Keselowski: STP 400

A race at Kansas has been won by the pole sitter 4 times and from the front row 5 times in 20 races.

Recent races won from the pole:
October 2013: Kevin Harvick, Hollywood Casino 400
April 2013: Matt Kenseth, STP 400
September 2008: Jimmie Johnson, Camping World RV 400 by Coleman
October 2004: Joe Nemechek, Banquet 400 by Con Agra Foods

Active winners at Kansas
Jimmie Johnson: 3
Joey Logano: 2
Tony Stewart: 2
Matt Kenseth: 2
Greg Biffle: 2
Denny Hamlin: 1
Brad Keselowski: 1
Ryan Newman: 1
Kevin Harvick: 1

Top-10 All-time Winners:
Jimmie Johnson: 3
Jeff Gordon: 3
Joey Logano: 2
Tony Stewart: 2
Matt Kenseth: 2
Greg Biffle: 2
Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Ryan Newman, Mark Martin, Kevin Harvick, and Joe Nemechek (1 each).

First time winners at Kansas:
None, Brad Keselowski earned his second win in the 2011 STP 400

Similarly-configured, 1.5- and two-mile tracks (Kansas, Atlanta, Charlotte, Texas, Las Vegas, Chicagoland, and Kentucky)
All time

Jimmie Johnson: 25
Jeff Gordon: 16
Dale Earnhardt Sr.: 14
Tony Stewart: 12
Matt Kenseth: 11
Richard Petty: 11
Bobby Allison: 11
Cale Yarborough: 10
Mark Martin: 10
Carl Edwards: 9
Darrell Waltrip: 9

Running at the End

The following active drivers have been running at the end of every Kansas race they started:
Paul Menard (14)
Brad Keselowski (12)
Regan Smith (7)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (6)
Cole Whitt (5)
Michael Annett (4)
Kyle Larson (4)
Trevor Bayne (3)
Ryan Blaney (2)
Matt DiBenedetto (2)
Joey Gase (2)
Brian Scott (1)

Greg Biffle failed to finish his first race in 2002, but has been running at the end of the last 18.
Austin Dillon crashed last fall and snapped a four-race streak in which he had been running at the end.

Great Starts

Active drivers with top-10s in their first start on this track:
Ryan Newman: 2 (2001* and again in 2002)
Jamie McMurray: 7 (2003 and again in 2004)
Tony Stewart: 8 (2001* and again in 2002)
AJ Allmendinger: 9 (2008)
Clint Bowyer: 9 (2006)
Kurt Busch: 9 (2001*)
Jimmie Johnson: 10 (2002)
* inaugural race

Current Streaks

At Kansas
Joey Logano, five top-fives
Jimmie Johnson, two top-fives
Brad Keselowski, two top-10s
Kurt Busch, two top-10s

On similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks (Atlanta, Charlotte, Texas, Las Vegas, Kansas, Chicagoland, and Kentucky)
Kurt Busch, 10 top-10
Jimmie Johnson, five top-fives
Kyle Busch, five top-fives
Kevin Harvick, four top-10s
Dale Earnhardt Jr., four top-10s
Joey Logano, two top-fives

In 2016
Kurt Busch, four top-10s
Kyle Busch, two second-place finishes

Dan Beaver

Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 20 years with a little help from his >650,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.