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Statistically Speaking

Windows 10 400 Stats

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

This week’s race: Windows 10 400
Traditional Name: Pennsylvania 400  
Other Notable Names: Purolator 500, Miller Genuine Draft 500, AC Spark Plug 500

In the “doesn’t it seem like we just did this department,” Pocono Raceway hosts their second race in seven weeks. With new rules’ packages at Kentucky Speedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, plus wild card races at Sonoma Raceway and Daytona International Speedway it seems as if more has happened in the interim than normally occurs between Pocono’s pair of performances.

The Windows 10 400 is also the third consecutive flat track race. Events are already in the books at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Indy in the past two weeks. That allows masters of the minimally-banked courses to maximize momentum and keep their current Pocono streaks alive.

One of this week’s most interesting stats is that two drivers, Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards both won in their first Pocono effort. Check out other great starts listed below.

10 best drivers at Pocono

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

1. Jeff Gordon
Last six races average finish at Pocono: 7.17
Career avg. finish: 10.0 in 45 attempts

Indy was a miserable experience for Gordon. He entered the race with the best three-year average finish and as the defending winner, but barely managed to avoid finishing last. Pocono could be a repeat performance, but if the race goes green for a long period at the end, he might also earn his seventh career win on this track.

2. Kyle Larson
Last six races average finish at Pocono: 8.00 (3 starts)
Career avg. finish: 8.0 in 3 attempts

Larson has never finished worse than 11th at Pocono. He had an even more impressive record at New Hampshire two weeks ago, however, and that could not keep him out of trouble now. His Indy performance and another top-10 at Pocono tips the balance in his favor and makes him an acceptable risk.

3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Last six races average finish at Pocono: 8.83
Career avg. finish: 15.2 in 31 attempts

If not for a broken transmission in the 2013 Pennsylvania 400, Earnhardt would probably sit atop this list. His sweep of Victory Lane in 2014 and back-to-back top-fives prior to that make him one of the most attractive picks this week, but only if he practices and qualifies well.

4. Kevin Harvick (tied with Biffle)
Last six races average finish at Pocono: 10.00
Career avg. finish: 13.2 in 29 attempts

Harvick finished second in his last two Pocono races. He was second last week at Indy in the Brickyard 400. He wants to win in the worst possible way because he has not visited Victory Lane in the last 16 weeks of this season and must be getting tired of Kyle Busch garnering all the attention.

4. Greg Biffle (tied with Harvick)
Last six races average finish at Pocono: 10.00
Career avg. finish: 15.8 in 25 attempts

Biffle needs a boost and Pocono is the site of some of his recent successes. In the past six races, he has one runner-up finish in 2013, another top-five, one more top-10 and a worst effort of 16th. Given the right strategy and some luck, he could be a dark horse to win and that would completely change his attitude.

6. Kurt Busch
Last six races average finish at Pocono: 10.17
Career avg. finish: 14.4 in 28 attempts

Busch has the sixth-best, three-year average finish, but it could be much better if he was able to finish what he started. Five of his last six races started on the first three rows, but he slipped back in the pack four times after doing so. That was not always bad news, however, like this June when he finished fifth after winning the pole.

7. Brad Keselowski
Last six races average finish at Pocono: 11.33
Career avg. finish: 13.7 in 11 attempts

Keselowski’s average finish took a hit in the past two races when he was slowed by crash damage and finished outside the top 15. He is still one of this week’s interesting picks, however, because he has completed all but one lap in the 11 races he started on the tricky triangle.

8. Ryan Newman
Last six races average finish at Pocono: 11.50
Career avg. finish: 12.4 in 27 attempts

With an average finish of seventh in the six races preceding the Axalta 400 this June, Newman was at the very top of the three-year average finish list. An accident some 20 laps from the end of that race spoiled a five-race, top-10 streak and almost dropped him out of the top 10.

9. Jamie McMurray
Last six races average finish at Pocono: 11.67
Career avg. finish: 19.3 in 25 attempts

McMurray is heading in the right direction. Only one of five races from August 2011 through August 2013 ended among the top 10, but all of them ended on the lead lap. He continues to finish with the leaders and the latest three of them were also among the top 10.

10. Clint Bowyer
Last six races average finish at Pocono: 12.33
Career avg. finish: 19.3 in 25 attempts

The best news for Bowyer fans is that he has finished on the lead lap in his last 14 consecutive Pocono races. Even when he misses, it is not by much and he has never scored a DNF on this oddly-shaped and tricky track.

Others of Note

11. Jimmie Johnson
Last six races average finish at Pocono: 12.67
Career avg. finish: 9.6 in 27 attempts

Johnson does not care about his position in the three-year average standings especially since it is skewed by an accident last August when he was experimenting with camber. Whatever he learned must have been applied this June because he finished third in the Axalta 400.

12. Joey Logano
Last six races average finish at Pocono: 12.83
Career avg. finish: 15.6 in 13 attempts

A blown engine in June 2014 may keep Logano from achieving the top 10 in regard to three-year averages in the next few races. Otherwise he has been almost perfect with two top-fives, another two top-10s, and a 13th in his last six attempts. Stats can be misleading and Logano is one of this week’s favorites despite his position in 12th.

13. Martin Truex Jr.
Last six races average finish at Pocono: 13.83
Career avg. finish: 15.1 in 19 attempts

On balance, Truex’s last six races at Pocono have been better than average. He has three top-10s compared to two results outside the top 20. The scales really get tipped in his balance because of this June’s victory in the Axalta 400. Last year Earnhardt swept Victory Lane and it could be Truex’s turn this year after his strong Indy run last week.

16. Denny Hamlin
Last six races average finish at Pocono: 17.17
Career avg. finish: 11.8 in 19 attempts

Hamlin enters the weekend with three consecutive top-10s at Pocono and another in June 2013, but his luck has been uneven. He crashed eight laps from the end of the rain-shortened 2012 Pocono 400 by #NASCAR and also at the beginning of the next year’s edition of that same race.

22. Matt Kenseth
Last six races average finish at Pocono: 23.17
Career avg. finish: 15.7 in 31 attempts

Kenseth’s sixth-place finish this June was the first time in the last six races at Pocono that he finished better than 20th. Joe Gibbs Racing has been solid on flat tracks and the No. 20 should be able to score another solid run, but it is far from a certainty. 

 

Rank

Driver

3 Yr. Avg. Fin

Attempts

1.

Jeff Gordon

7.17

6

2.

Kyle Larson

8.00

3

3.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

8.83

6

4.

Kevin Harvick

10.00

6

4.

Greg Biffle

10.00

6

6.

Kurt Busch

10.17

6

7.

Brad Keselowski

11.33

6

8.

Ryan Newman

11.50

6

9.

Jamie McMurray

11.67

6

10.

Clint Bowyer

12.33

6

 

11.

Jimmie Johnson

12.67

6

12.

Joey Logano

12.83

6

13.

Martin Truex Jr.

13.83

6

14.

Tony Stewart

14.67

6

15.

Austin Dillon

17.00

3

16.

Denny Hamlin

17.17

6

17.

Kasey Kahne

17.33

6

18.

Kyle Busch

18.33

6

19.

Carl Edwards

20.17

6

20.

Justin Allgaier

21.00

3

21.

Casey Mears

22.00

6

22.

Matt Kenseth

23.17

6

23.

David Ragan

24.33

6

24.

Michael Annett

25.33

3

25.

David Gilliland

26.00

6

26.

Cole Whitt

26.33

3

27.

Aric Almirola

26.50

6

28.

Travis Kvapil

26.67

6

29.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

27.00

5

30.

Paul Menard

27.17

6

31.

Alex Bowman

29.33

3

32.

Sam Hornish Jr.

30.00

2

33.

AJ Allmendinger

31.80

5

34.

Landon Cassill

32.00

6

35.

Timmy Hill

32.67

3

36.

Josh Wise

33.33

6

37.

Danica Patrick

33.60

5

38.

Reed Sorenson

34.33

3

39.

JJ Yeley

35.60

5

40.

Alex Kennedy

36.33

3

Exercise Caution

Most caution flags: 13 (2 times), 2005 Pennsylvania 500, 1990 Miller Genuine Draft 500
Fewest caution flags: 1, 1978 Coca-Cola 500
Average number of caution flags per race: 6.6

Final Caution, last five races:
June 2015: Lap 142 of 160 – two-car accident in turn one (Ryan Newman and AJ Allmendinger)
August 2014: Lap 154 of 160 – one-car accident in turn two (Kurt Busch)
June 2014: Lap 144 of 160 – three-car accident in turn two (Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch, and Carl Edwards)
August 2013: Lap 157 of 158 – one-car accident in turn two (Matt Kenseth)
June 2013: Lap 155 of 160 – one-car accident in turn three (Dave Blaney)

Most caution laps: 57, 2004 Pocono 500
Fewest caution laps: 3, 1978 Coca-Cola 500
Average number of caution laps per race: 31.0

Leading the way

Most leaders: 24, 1989 AC Spark Plug 500
Fewest leaders: 4 (3 times), 2013 Party in the Poconos 400 presented by Walmart, 1985 Van Scoy Diamond Mine 500, 1978 Coca-Cola 500
Average number of leaders: 10.5

Most lead changes: 56, 1979 Coca-Cola 500
Fewest lead changes: 10, 1998 Pennsylvania 500
Average number of lead changes: 24.1

Victory Lane

Last five winners at Pocono (starting position):
June 2015: Martin Truex Jr. (3)
August 2014: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (9)
June 2014: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (8)
August 2013: Kasey Kahne (18)
June 2013: Jimmie Johnson (1)

Worst starting position for race winner: Carl Edwards (29th) 2005 Pocono 500

A race at Pocono has been won by the pole sitter 15 times and from the front row 24 times in 74 races.

Races won from the pole:
June 2013: Jimmie Johnson, Party in the Poconos 400 presented by Walmart (set by NASCAR rule book)
June 2012: Joey Logano, Pocono 400 by #NASCAR
June 2009: Tony Stewart, Pocono 500 (set by NASCAR’s rule book)
June 2008: Kasey Kahne, Pocono 500
July 2006: Denny Hamlin, Pennsylvania 500
June 2006: Denny Hamlin, Pocono 500
July 2003: Ryan Newman, Pennsylvania 500
July 2002: Bill Elliott, Pennsylvania 500 by Pep Boys
June 2001: Ricky Rudd, Pocono 500

Active winners at Pocono 
Jeff Gordon: 6
Denny Hamlin: 4
Jimmie Johnson: 3
Kurt Busch: 2
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: 2
Carl Edwards: 2
Kasey Kahne: 2
Tony Stewart: 2
Greg Biffle: 1
Brad Keselowski: 1
Joey Logano: 1
Ryan Newman: 1
Martin Truex Jr. 1

Top-10 All-time Winners:
Jeff Gordon: 6
Bill Elliott: 5
Denny Hamlin: 4
Tim Richmond: 4
Rusty Wallace: 4
Darrell Waltrip: 4
Bobby Allison: 3
Geoff Bodine: 3
Dale Jarrett: 3
Jimmie Johnson: 3
Bobby Labonte: 3

First time winners at Pocono:
Denny Hamlin: 2006 Pocono 500
Jeremy Mayfield: 1998 Pocono 500

Running at the End

The following active drivers have been running at the end of every Pocono race they started:
Clint Bowyer (19)
Martin Truex Jr. (19)
David Ragan (17)
Travis Kvapil (16)
Brad Keselowski (11)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (5)
Justin Allgaier (3)
Michael Annett (3)
Alex Bowman (3)
Austin Dillon (3)
Timmy Hill (3)
Kyle Larson (3)
Cole Whitt (3)
Trevor Bayne (1)
Jeb Burton (1)
Matt DiBenedetto (1)
Ty Dillon (1)
Brett Moffitt (1)

Great Starts

Active drivers with top-10s in their first start on this track:
Denny Hamlin: 1 (both 2006 races)
Carl Edwards: 1 (2005)
Jimmie Johnson: 3 (2002)
Kyle Busch: 4 (2005)
Kyle Larson: 5 (2014)
Tony Stewart: 6 (1999)

Current Streaks

At Pocono
Denny Hamlin, three top-10s
Jamie McMurray, three top-10s
Kevin Harvick, two top-fives
Joey Logano, two top-fives
(Ryan Newman snapped a five-race top-10 streak this June by finishing 39th)
(Dale Earnhardt Jr. snapped a four-race top-10 streak this June by finishing 11th)

On flat tracks
Kevin Harvick, 11 top-10s
Joey Logano, 11 top-10s
Matt Kenseth, five top-10s
Kurt Busch, four top-10s
Kyle Busch, three top-10s
Brad Keselowski, two top-10s

In 2015
Kurt Busch, seven top-10s
Kevin Harvick, five top-10s
Kyle Busch, three wins
Brad Keselowski, three top-10s
Matt Kenseth, three top-10s

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.