Statistically Speaking

SpongeBob 400 Stats

Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

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

For the second time this season, NASCAR runs back-to-back races on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks. In weeks two and three of 2015, the Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway and the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway allowed eight drivers to develop momentum and score back-to-back top-10s.

Kevin Harvick was on his incredible run of first- and second-place finishes—and wound up taking the trophy at Vegas after narrowly missing at Atlanta. Dale Earnhardt Jr. also scored consecutive top-fives, while Joey Logano, Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex Jr., AJ Allmendinger, Brad Keselowski, and Ryan Newman backed up one top-10 with another.

The drivers who missed the mark did so by a wide margin, led by Jimmie Johnson who won Atlanta and finished 41st at Vegas and Denny Hamlin who was 38th in Georgia but fifth in Nevada. Still, the predominance of the finishing results throughout the field was within a narrow range.

Now, fantasy players have the same opportunity to place-and-hold drivers as the SpongeBob SquarePants 400 will be run at Kansas Speedway, followed by the all-star race, and then the Coke 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Choose carefully in the coming week.

10 best drivers at Kansas

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

1. Matt Kenseth
Last six races average finish at Kansas: 6.67
Career avg. finish: 14.2 in 18 attempts

Last year’s fall Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas was a tire-killer and the chaos that ensued shuffled the order at the top of the charts. Kenseth finished 13th, which was only the second time in the past nine races on this track that he failed to score a top-10.

2. Kyle Larson
Last six races average finish at Kansas: 7.00
Career avg. finish: 7.0 in 2 attempts

Larson has made this chart a couple of times in 2015 based on two strong rookie runs. That has increased expectations surrounding him and devastated disappointed players. Eventually he will show the same muscle as his rookie season and become fantasy relevant again.

3. Kevin Harvick
Last six races average finish at Kansas: 7.33
Career avg. finish: 11.6 in 18 attempts

Harvick’s three-year average at Kansas is positively impacted by a victory in fall 2013 and a second in this race last year, but it is not as if he has struggled greatly in his other attempts. He enters the weekend with a nine-race, top-12 streak and should easily beat his average of seventh and few percentage points.

4. Martin Truex Jr.
Last six races average finish at Kansas: 8.67
Career avg. finish: 18.2 in 13 attempts

Four of Truex’s last six races at Kansas ended in top-fives including a sweep of the runner-up position in 2012. Those results easily offset two sub-15th-place results in the past three races and so long as he does not struggle, he will be part of the top-10 list again this fall.

5. Kasey Kahne
Last six races average finish at Kansas: 9.00
Career avg. finish: 13.8 in 15 attempts

In the past three years, Kahne has been an all or nothing driver at Kansas. Three of his six results ended in top-fives with two others being 15th or worse. That leaves only one moderate result of eighth and has fantasy owners a little nervous about starting the No. 5 despite his solid six-race average.

6. Carl Edwards
Last six races average finish at Kansas: 9.33
Career avg. finish: 10.1 in 15 attempts

Edwards had a couple of modest runs at Kansas in fall 2012 and spring 2013; he finished 14th and 17th respectively. The remainder of his last 11 attempts all ended in the top 10, which makes him a consistently strong fantasy pick. If he is going to turn his 2015 season at Joe Gibbs Racing around, that should happen in the SpongeBob 400.

7. Jeff Gordon
Last six races average finish at Kansas: 10.33
Career avg. finish: 10.3 in 18 attempts

Handicapping Gordon in 2015 has less to do with his historical statistics and more to do with wondering exactly when bad things are going to stop happening. He crashed on the last lap of both the Daytona 500 and Geico 500, which is hurting his season-long average. Even on more predictable racks, he has a tendency to lose the handle at inopportune times and cannot close the deal.

8. Paul Menard
Last six races average finish at Kansas: 10.67
Career avg. finish: 15.6 in 12 attempts

In straight up games, Menard is less attractive than he might be in a salary cap contest. His last six races at Kansas ended in two results outside the top 15 and only one top-five. His consistency—with nine consecutive results of 19th or better—recommends him this week, but it is unlikely that he will challenge for the win.

9. Jimmie Johnson
Last six races average finish at Kansas: 11.67
Career avg. finish: 9.5 in 17 attempts

Johnson would be much higher on this list if he had not been a victim of the tire-killing Hollywood Casino 400 last year. He entered that weekend with an 11-race, top-10 streak, of which two were victories. So long as the team does not experiment with tire camber, he should be a lock to finish in the top-10 again.

10. Denny Hamlin
Last six races average finish at Kansas: 12.40 (5 starts)
Career avg. finish: 14.5 in 13 attempts

Hamlin started the 2015 similarly-configured, 1.5-mile track season with a 38th at Atlanta, but he has been fairly solid since. His fifth at Vegas was followed by an 11th at Texas. He could face an uphill battle this week. After winning the 2012 STP 400, he has finished outside the top 15 on average in his last four starts.

Others of Note

12. Joey Logano
Last six races average finish at Kansas: 13.67
Career avg. finish: 19.8 in 11 attempts

This has been said a few times this year, but it is literally a matter of time before Logano is part of the top 10 in terms of his six-race average finish. Before joining Penske Racing, he failed to crack the top 10 a single time and had only one top-15. He crashed in his first attempt with his current team, but swept the top five in his next three with a victory last fall in the Hollywood Casino 400.

13. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Last six races average finish at Kansas: 15.00 (5 starts)
Career avg. finish: 16.6 in 17 attempts

Last fall Earnhardt and his teammate Johnson finished nose-to-tail in the running order and the No. 88 outran the No. 48. Unfortunately Junior finished 39th and his most recent Kansas races were not sufficient to place him among the top 10.

14. Brad Keselowski
Last six races average finish at Kansas: 15.17
Career avg. finish: 13.1 in 10 attempts

Last year’s Hollywood Casino 400 was a tire killer and Keselowski was one of the victims. He remained on track at the end, but was 45 laps off the pace. One good sign is that he has qualified in the top-10 in his last three races, which means he will climb in the order once he figures out how to keep up with the adjustments on his car.

18. Aric Almirola
Last six races average finish at Kansas: 18.17
Career avg. finish: 18.2 in 6 attempts

Almirola is well down the six-race average chart, but there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic this week. Three of those reasons are a streak of top-10s from 2013 through last spring. Considering just how many marquee teams suffered tire-related problems in that race, his 31st in the fall can be overlooked.

19. Jamie McMurray
Last six races average finish at Kansas: 19.33
Career avg. finish: 20.3 in 16 attempts

Last year was bad for McMurray at Kansas, but he showed a lot of consistency in 2012/2013 with a worst result of 16th. One of these was a seventh in the 2013 STP 400 and if he can get back in that range, he is going to be a great value in salary cap games. 

 

Rank

Driver

3 Yr Avg. Finish

Attempts

1.

Matt Kenseth

6.67

6

2.

Kyle Larson

7.00

2

3.

Kevin Harvick

7.33

6

4.

Martin Truex Jr.

8.67

6

5.

Kasey Kahne

9.00

6

6.

Carl Edwards

9.33

6

7.

Jeff Gordon

10.33

6

8.

Paul Menard

10.67

6

9.

Jimmie Johnson

11.67

6

10.

Denny Hamlin

12.40

5

 

11.

Austin Dillon

13.50

2

12.

Joey Logano

13.67

6

13.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

15.00

5

14.

Brad Keselowski

15.17

6

15.

Tony Stewart

15.20

5

16.

Greg Biffle

15.83

6

17.

Clint Bowyer

17.00

6

18.

Aric Almirola

18.17

6

19.

Ryan Newman

19.33

6

19.

Jamie McMurray

19.33

6

21.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

20.50

4

22.

Kurt Busch

21.67

6

23.

Michael Annett

24.50

2

24.

Danica Patrick

24.60

5

25.

AJ Allmendinger

25.60

5

26.

Sam Hornish Jr.

27.33

3

26.

David Gilliland

27.33

6

28.

Casey Mears

28.67

6

29.

Landon Cassill

29.50

6

30.

David Ragan

30.17

6

31.

Cole Whitt

31.50

4

32.

Alex Bowman

33.50

2

33.

Reed Sorenson

33.80

5

34.

JJ Yeley

34.17

6

35.

Josh Wise

37.00

6

36.

Justin Allgaier

38.67

3

37.

Michael McDowell

39.60

5

38.

Mike Bliss

40.50

4

 

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

Final Caution, last five races:
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)
April 2013: 219 of 267: debris
October 2012: 237 of 267: 1-car accident in turn 1 (Sam Hornish Jr.)

Most caution laps: 71, 2013 Hollywood Casino 400
Fewest caution laps: 18, 2012 STP 400
Average number of caution laps per race: 40.7

Leading the way

Most leaders: 14, 2009 Price Chopper 400 by Kraft Foods
Fewest leaders: 8, 2013 STP 400
Average number of leaders: 10.7

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

Victory Lane

Last five winners at Kansas (starting position):
October 2014: Joey Logano (4)
May 2014: Jeff Gordon (13)
October 2013: Kevin Harvick (1)
April 2013: Matt Kenseth (1)
October 2012: Matt Kenseth (12)

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 18 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
Jeff Gordon: 3
Greg Biffle: 2
Jimmie Johnson: 2
Matt Kenseth: 2
Tony Stewart: 2
Denny Hamlin: 1
Kevin Harvick: 1
Brad Keselowski: 1
Joe Nemechek: 1
Ryan Newman: 1
Joey Logano: 1

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

Running at the End

The following active drivers have been running at the end of every Kansas race they started:
Denny Hamlin (13)
Paul Menard (12)
Brad Keselowski (10)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (4)
Austin Dillon (3)
Cole Whitt (3)
Michael Annett (2)
Alex Bowman (2)
Kyle Larson (2)
Trevor Bayne (1)
Ryan Blaney (1)
Brendan Gaughan (1)

Greg Biffle failed to finish his first race in 2002, but has been running at the end of the last 16.

Great Starts

Active drivers with top-10s in their first start on this track:
Jeff Gordon: 1 (2001); he also won the 2002 race
Ryan Newman: 2 (2001)
Jamie McMurray: 7 (2003)
Tony Stewart: 8 (2001)
AJ Allmendinger: 9 (2008)
Clint Bowyer: 9 (2006)
Kurt Busch: 9 (2001)
Brendan Gaughan: 10 (2004)
Jimmie Johnson: 10 (2002)

Current Streaks

At Kansas
Joey Logano, three top-fives
Carl Edwards, three top-10s

On similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks (Atlanta, Charlotte, Texas, Las Vegas, Kansas, Chicagoland, and Kentucky)
Kevin Harvick, five top-twos
Brad Keselowski, four top-10s
Dale Earnhardt Jr., four top-10s
Martin Truex Jr., three top-10s
Joey Logano, three top-10s

In 2015
Jimmie Johnson, four top-threes
Kevin Harvick, two top-10s
Martin Truex Jr., two top-10s

 


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