Crunching The Numbers: Charlotte All Star WeekendBy David Morgan
After tackling “The Lady in Black” at Darlington last weekend, NASCAR heads home for a two week home stand at Charlotte Motor Speedway, with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series taking center stage during All Star Weekend.
Sprint Cup Series
With 11 points paying races behind them, the Sprint Cup Series heads into one of the wildest races of the year as the Sprint All Star Race is upon us once again. The non-points race that is all for the trophy, bragging rights, and a nice payday of a possible two million dollars for the winner, leads to some brash moves by drivers to get to the front and take the checkers. Since the drivers don’t have to worry about points, the phrase “Bring me the trophy or bring me the steering wheel” perfectly explains a driver’s mindset heading into this race. To add to the drama, the race will have a new format that makes running up front an even more important factor and this race should be a great one not to be missed when these drivers strap in and go for the win on Saturday night.
|Driver||Races||Win||Top 5||Top 10||Pole||Avg. Start||Avg. Finish|
|Dale Earnhardt Jr||13||1||4||10||0||14.2||8.3|
Who To Watch: While any of the drivers who run the Sprint All Star Race have a chance to win, a few stick out above the rest and the driver with the highest average finish among All Star Race participants may surprise you. That driver is Joey Logano, who has an average finish of 5.5 in two starts. Following close in Logano’s steps are last weekend’s winner at Darlington, Matt Kenseth, and five time Sprint Cup champion, Jimmie Johnson. Kenseth has one win, five top fives, nine top tens, one pole, and an average finish of 6.3 in 12 starts. Johnson is close behind with three wins, seven top fives, seven top tens, one pole, and an average finish of 6.6 in 11 starts.
Although not in the top ten of drivers with the best average finish in the Sprint All Star Race, Kyle Busch is another driver to keep an eye on this weekend. Busch has two top fives, three top tens, three poles, and an average finish of 12.4 in seven starts. However, Busch does have four DNF’s in those seven starts. As long as Busch can keep his car in one piece, he could capture his first win in the Sprint All Star Race this weekend.
Camping World Truck Series
The Camping World Truck Series heads into Charlotte this weekend for Friday night’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200, ending a nearly month long hiatus in the schedule. Several Sprint Cup Series regulars will be running the race along with the Truck Series regulars, which driver will come out on top? After 200 miles, we’ll have our answer.
|Driver||Races||Win||Top 5||Top 10||Pole||Laps Led||Avg. Start||Avg. Finish|
|Ron Hornaday, Jr.||8||2||6||6||0||170||7.6||6.8|
Who To Watch: Sprint Cup regular Kyle Busch could have another one of his weekend sweeps if the statistics are to be believed on his career in the Truck Series at Charlotte. In seven starts, Busch has four wins, five top fives, six top tens, two poles, 335 laps led, and an average finish of 3.6. Multi-time Truck Series champion, Ron Hornaday, falls in behind Busch with two wins, six top fives, six top tens, 170 laps led, and an average finish of 6.8 in eight starts. Others to keep an eye on include: Jeb Burton, making his second Charlotte start after finishing in the top ten in his first start last year; Justin Lofton, who has one win, one top five, one top ten, 44 laps led, and an average finish of 9.7 in three starts; and Matt Crafton, who won the last race in the Truck Series before this weekend and has an average finish of 9.8 and one win in 10 starts.