April 13, 2021

by a NASCAR fanatic - not affiliated with NASCAR
NASCAR

Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are among the drivers to follow this weekend. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Driver Averages Driver RatingsLoop DataPast WinnersPast Pole WinnersTire Notes

To assist in making your fantasy racing picks, MRN.com’s Jeff Wackerlin takes a look at some notes and statistics for Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

Who’s HOT at Daytona
• Denny Hamlin has finished sixth or better in the last six races, including a win in this year’s Daytona 500.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. has two wins in the last five races, including this event last year.
• Austin Dillon has finished in the top 10 in four of the last five races, including the last two Coke Zero 400s.
• Jimmie Johnson, who is the last driver to sweep both races at Daytona in 2013, has finished in the top five in three of the last five races and has led 107 laps in that span.
• Tony Stewart, who ended an 84-race winless streak last weekend, is a four-time winner of the July race.
• Kevin Harvick has finished in the top five in the last three races.
• Kurt Busch has finished in the top 10 in his last three starts.
• Joey Logano has two top 10s in the last three races, including a win in the 2015 Daytona 500.

Who to Keep an Eye On at Daytona 
• Kyle Busch, the 2008 July Daytona winner, has posted an 8.2 average finish in his last four restrictor-plate starts (Daytona and Talladega).
• Chase Elliott, who has won the pole in his two Sprint Cup Series plate starts, led 27 laps and finished fifth at Talladega in May. 
• Martin Truex Jr. (7.5), Jamie McMurray (10.5), Brad Keselowski (10.5) and Ryan Blaney (14.0) each rank in the top 10 in average finish at the two restrictor-plate races this season.
• Matt Kenseth has combined to lead 79 laps in the two restrictor-plate races this season.
• Ryan Newman has posted a 9.5 average finish in the last two Daytona races.
• Casey Mears has finished 11th or better in five of his last six Daytona starts.
• Carl Edwards has finished fifth in two of his last three restrictor-plate starts. 
• David Ragan, Trevor Bayne and Aric Almirola are among the winners in the last 12 Daytona races.

Best Average Finish at Daytona

Last # of Races

Avg. Fin.

Two Races

Denny Hamlin 2.0

Four Races

Denny Hamlin 3.5

Six Races

Denny Hamlin 8.7

Eight Races

Dale Earnhardt Jr. 10.0

10 Races

Dale Earnhardt Jr. 10.1

* – The best average finish is based off a driver who has competed in every race during that time span.

Stats in Last Five Restrictor-Plate Races – Daytona and Talladega (Ordered by Avg. Fin.)

Driver Win Top 5s Top 10s Laps Led Avg Start Avg Fin.
Kyle Busch* 0 2 2 42 12.5 8.2
Kurt Busch 0 1 4 2 17.4 9.0
Kevin Harvick 0 2 3 14 20.6 9.2
Jimmie Johnson 0 2 2 137 10.2 12.0
Martin Truex Jr. 0 2 3 2 27.6 13.0
Ryan Newman 0 0 2 4 21.2 13.2
Austin Dillon 0 1 3 9 13.0 13.6
Paul Menard 0 1 2 2 14.2 13.8
Brad Keselowski 1 2 2 47 18.0 15.2
Tony Stewart* 0 0 1 6 15.8 16.0

Daytona Loop Data Stat Leaders (2005-2016, 23 Races)*

*Fastest Early in a Run

*Fastest Late in a Run

*Avg. Running Position

1. Brian Scott

1. Kurt Busch

1. Kyle Busch – 13.1

2. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

2. Ryan Blaney

2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. – 13.6

3. Joey Logano

3. Denny Hamlin

3. Jimmie Johnson – 14.1

4. Clint Bowyer

4. Kyle Busch

4. Denny Hamlin – 14.5

5. Ryan Blaney

5. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

5. Matt Kenseth – 15.0

*Laps in Top 15

*Quality Passes

*Driver Rating

1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. – 2784

1. Jamie McMurray – 3511

1. Kyle Busch – 95.4

2. Kyle Busch – 2693

2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. – 3296

2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. – 95.3

3. Jimmie Johnson – 2682

3. Kasey Kahne – 3229

3. Denny Hamlin – 91.5

4. Matt Kenseth – 2537

4. Carl Edwards – 3215

4. Kurt Busch – 90.5

5. Kurt Busch – 2414

5. Kurt Busch – 3165

5. Matt Kenseth – 90.1

*Must be entered in the Coke Zero 400.
*Fastest Early In a Run: Ranks each driver during first 25 percent of laps run since a pit stop. *Fastest Late In a Run: Ranks each driver during last 25 percent of laps run since a pit stop.
*Quality Passes: Passing a car running in the Top 15 while under a green flag.
*Driver Rating: Formula combining the following categories: Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.

For a look at all the Loop Data for Daytona Click Here to view the Coke Zero 400 Pre-Race Loop Data Book. Click Here to view MRN’s Season Loop Data page.

NASCAR

Season Loop Data Leaders

*Fastest Early in a Run

*Fastest Late in a Run

Avg. Running Position

1. Kevin Harvick

1. Kevin Harvick

1. Kevin Harvick – 7.2

2. Kyle Busch

2. Kyle Busch

2. Martin Truex Jr. – 8.6

3. Joey Logano

3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

3. Jimmie Johnson – 9.5

4. Kurt Busch

4. Jimmie Johnson

4. Joey Logano – 9.6

5. Carl Edwards

5. Martin Truex Jr.

5. Kyle Busch – 9.8

Laps in Top 15

*Quality Passes

*Driver Rating

1. Kevin Harvick – 4401

1. Jimmie Johnson – 1170

1. Kevin Harvick – 112.5

2. Martin Truex Jr. – 4065

2. Brad Keselowski – 1164

2. Martin Truex Jr. – 105.1

3. Kurt Busch – 4042

3. Kevin Harvick – 1148

3. Carl Edwards – 103.3

4. Jimmie Johnson – 3983

4. Joey Logano – 1113

4. Kyle Busch – 102.6

5. Matt Kenseth – 3838

5. Kurt Busch – 1065

5. Joey Logano – 100.4

*Fastest Early In a Run: Ranks each driver during the first 25 percent of laps run since a pit stop.
*Fastest Early In a Run: *Fastest Late In a Run: Ranks each driver during last 25 percent of laps run since a pit stop.
*Quality Passes: Passing a car running in the Top 15 while under a green flag.
*Driver Rating: Formula combining the following categories: Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.

MRN.com Staff Picks

Jeff Wackerlin: Kyle Busch
Pete Pistone: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Robbie Mays: Chase Elliott
John Singler: Kevin Harvick

Driver Notes – Ordered by Top 20 in Average Finish in the Last Five Races at Daytona

Denny Hamlin is the only driver that has finished in the top 10 in each of the last five races at Daytona. He won this year’s Daytona to 500 to lower his average finish to 3.2 in that five-race span.

Austin Dillon has finished ninth or better in four of the last five Daytona races. His two Coke Zero starts have resulted in top 10s. This weekend, Dillon will return in the same car (chassis No. 533) that he finished ninth with in this year’s Daytona 500.

Kurt Busch has finished sixth or better in his last three starts in the July race at Daytona. His 10th-place finish in this year’s Daytona 500 also gave him three consecutive top 10s in his last three starts at the 2.5-mile speedway. Busch also leads all drivers that have competed in all of the last restrictor-plate races with a 9.0 average finish. This weekend, Busch will return in the same car (chassis No. 965) that he finished seventh with this year’s Sprint Unlimited.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. scored two of his four Daytona wins in the last five races. He crashed out of this year’s Daytona 500 to snap a streak of two consecutive top fives. Earnhardt leads all drivers with 197 laps led in the last five Daytona races.

Joey Logano has yet to finish in the top 10 in his three starts in the July Daytona race with Team Penske. Logano does however have 3.5 average finish in his last two Daytona 500 starts, including a win in 2015.

Regan Smith has not raced in the July Daytona race since 2012. He finished in the top 10 in two of his last three starts in the Daytona 500, including an eighth-place finish with Tommy Baldwin Racing in 2016.

Kevin Harvick has finished in the top five in his last three Daytona starts with Stewart-Haas Racing, including a fourth-place run last July. Harvick does own two Daytona 500 wins with Richard Childress Racing, with the last coming in 2010. This weekend, Harvick will debut a new car (chassis No. 972) in the Coke Zero 400.

Casey Mears finished 32nd in this year’s Daytona 500 to snap a streak of five finishes of 11th or better at the 2.5-mile track.

Jimmie Johnson is a three-time Daytona winner with one of them, and the most recent, coming in the July race in 2013. Last year in this event, Johnson led 35 laps en route to a second-place finish. He ranks third in laps led (107) in the last five Daytona races.

Kyle Busch led 19 laps and finished third in this event last season for his sixth top five in 22 Daytona starts. Busch won the July race in 2008.

Michael McDowell finished seventh in his last start in the July race at Daytona in 2014. In his three track starts with Leavine Family Racing he’s posted a 17.7 average finish.

Matt Kenseth has only one top 10 in seven Daytona starts with Joe Gibbs Racing, coming in the ‘500’ in 2014. Kenseth, a two-time Daytona 500 winner, scored his last top 10 (third) in the July race in 2012. This year, Kenseth led 40 laps in the Daytona 500 and was leading on the last lap, but was shuffled back in the last turn.

Clint Bowyer finished 33rd in this year’s Daytona 500, his first track start with HScott Motorsports. The finish snapped a streak of three consecutive top 10s when he was with Michael Waltrip Racing.

Aric Almirola has finished in the top 15 in three of his last four Daytona starts, including a win in the rain-shortened July race in 2014.

Greg Biffle has not finished in the top 10 in the July Daytona race since 2007. Biffle won this event back in 2003.

Ryan Newman finished eighth in this event last season for his first top 10 in five Daytona starts with Richard Childress Racing. In his previous 24 starts, Newman posted six top 10s, including a win in the 2008 Daytona 500. This weekend, Newman will pilot the same car (chassis No. 536) that he finished 11th with in this year’s Daytona 500.

Jamie McMurray is a two-time Daytona winner, with one coming in the 2007 July race. His last of five top 10s came in this event in 2013.

Martin Truex Jr. finished second in this year’s Daytona 500 for his first top five at the track in 22 starts. Truex has finished in the top 10 in two of his last three Daytona starts – both in the ‘500’.

Paul Menard scored his last of three top 10s in the 2012 Daytona 500, which ended a streak of three consecutive finishes of ninth or better at the track. This weekend, Menard will return in the same car (chassis No. 492) that he raced at both Daytona and Talladega Superspeedway with in 2015.

Brad Keselowski recorded his only top 10 (eighth) in the July Daytona race in 2012. His best Daytona finish – one of three top 10s in 14 starts – came in the 2014 Daytona 500, third.

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