Crunching The Numbers: Charlotte

When race fans think of Memorial Day weekend in the motorsports world, one thing immediately comes to mind and that is NASCAR taking to the track at Charlotte Motor Speedway for their traditional May race weekend that many consider to be the greatest weekend of motorsports all year long with NASCAR at Charlotte, IndyCar at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Formula 1 at Monaco.

Sprint Cup Series

The two weeks that Charlotte Motor Speedway hosts the Sprint Cup Series in May features two races on the extreme opposite side of the distance scale, with last weekend’s NASCAR Sprint All Star Race being one of the shortest and this weekend’s running of the Coca-Cola 600 as the longest of the season. The 400 lap race, which starts in the daytime and runs into the night can give teams fits when trying to set up the car to run well in both the daytime and nighttime. Look for the team that can keep up with the adjustments as darkness descends on the track to be up front at the end with a chance at the win.

American Muscle
Driver Races Win Top 5 Top 10 Pole Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish
Joey Logano 8 0 2 5 0 3 14.5 10.1
Jimmie Johnson 23 6 11 15 3 1439 7.3 11.4
Carl Edwards 16 0 5 10 0 98 18.2 12.0
Kasey Kahne 18 4 7 10 0 807 10.5 12.4
Tony Stewart 28 1 6 12 1 695 15.8 14.0
Aric Almirola 2 0 0 0 1 3 9.0 14.0
Denny Hamlin 15 0 3 8 0 159 14.1 14.1
Matt Kenseth 27 2 7 14 0 455 17.8 14.2
Kyle Busch 18 0 8 11 1 793 15.0 15.3
Bobby Labonte 40 2 12 17 3 807 15.7 15.5

Who To Watch: Joey Logano, who was at the top of the list with the best average finish heading into last weekend’s All Star Race also finds himself at the top of the list for best average finish in points races at Charlotte Motor Speedway with two top fives, five top tens, and an average finish of 10.1 in eight races at the track. Coming off of a second place finish in the All Star Race last weekend, Logano could find his way to Victory Lane for the first time this season.

Last weekend’s All Star Race winner, Jimmie Johnson, is no slouch at Charlotte as his No. 48 team has seemed to own this place over the years. Johnson has an impressive career at the track with six wins, 11 top fives, 15 top tens, three poles, 1439 laps led, and an average finish of 11.4 in 23 starts. With stats like that, Johnson could very well pull the All Star Race/Coca-Cola 600 sweep 20 years after legendary driver Dale Earnhardt accomplished that same feat.

Others to keep an eye on include All Star Race pole sitter, Carl Edwards, who has five top fives, 10 top tens, 98 laps led, and an average finish of 12.0 in 16 starts; and Kasey Kahne, who gave Jimmie Johnson a run for his money in the opening laps of the final segment of the All Star Race before fading to fourth by the end of the race. Kahne has four wins, seven top fives, 10 top tens, 807 laps led, and an average finish of 12.4 in 18 races.

Nationwide Series

In the lead up to the Coca-Cola 600, the Nationwide Series will have their chance on track in the History 300 on Saturday afternoon. In what seems to be a recurring theme in the Nationwide Series, several Sprint Cup regulars will be running this race in order to learn some information for the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, meaning we’ll see another round of the Nationwide regulars versus the Cup regulars.

Driver Races Win Top 5 Top 10 Pole Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish
Kyle Busch 19 6 14 16 0 903 10.2 6.3
Austin Dillon 2 0 0 1 0 0 2.0 8.5
Joey Logano 9 1 4 5 1 155 6.9 8.6
Brian Vickers 10 0 5 6 1 91 13.2 11.1
Kevin Harvick 22 0 4 13 2 274 11.9 11.5
Trevor Bayne 3 0 1 1 0 0 12.7 12.3
Matt Kenseth 20 3 9 11 4 662 10.0 13.6
Justin Allgaier 9 0 2 4 0 6 14.7 14.3
Mike Bliss 16 2 5 5 0 43 17.9 16.2
Elliott Sadler 12 0 4 5 1 16 12.8 17.2

Who To Watch: The drivers with the best average finishes that will be running in the History 300 seems to be split almost 50/50 between the Cup regulars and Nationwide regulars with Kyle Busch at the top of the heap. Busch has six wins, 14 top fives, 16 top tens, 903 laps led, and an average finish of 6.3 in 19 starts. The top Nationwide regular is Austin Dillon, who only has two starts at Charlotte, but has an average finish of 8.5 with one top ten finish. Others who could find their way to Victory Lane on Saturday include: Joey Logano, with one win, four top fives, five top tens, one pole, 155 laps led, and an average finish of 8.6 in nine starts; Brian Vickers, who has five top fives, six top tens, one pole, 91 laps led, and an average finish of 11.1 in 10 starts; Kevin Harvick, with four top fives, 13 top tens, two poles, 274 laps led, and an average finish of 11.5 in 22 starts; Trevor Bayne, with one top five, one top ten, and an average finish of 12.3 in three starts; and Matt Kenseth, who has three wins, nine top fives, 11 top tens, four poles, 662 laps led, and an average finish of 13.6 in 20 starts.

Although, not on the list, the top two drivers in points, Regan Smith and Sam Hornish, Jr., could also find their way to Victory Lane this weekend to add to their lead on the other drivers in the points.

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