The Frontstretch: Matt McLaughlin's Driver Handicaps : Subway 500 by Matt McLaughlin -- Wednesday October 17, 2007

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Matt McLaughlin's Driver Handicaps : Subway 500

Matt McLaughlin · Wednesday October 17, 2007

 

2007 Martinsville “2” Driver Handicaps

Jeff Gordon – In the last nine Cup races at Martinsville, Gordon has won four times, finished second twice, and never finished outside the Top 10. In 29 Martinsville career starts, Gordon has won seven times, and is averaging a seventh place finish.

Jimmie Johnson – This Spring, Johnson outraced teammate Jeff Gordon off the fourth corner to the checkers to win his second consecutive Martinsville race. He has Top 10 finishes in ten of his eleven Cup starts here, and an average finishing position of seventh.

Clint Bowyer – Bower placed eleventh here this Spring, but finished 23rd and 22nd in both of last year's Martinsville races.

Tony Stewart – Stewart has won here twice (most recently in 2006) and has Top 10 results in ten of his 17 Martinsville Cup starts.

Carl Edwards – Edwards hasn't managed a Top 10 result here in six starts, and is averaging a 22nd place finish.

Kyle Busch – Busch has Top 10 finishes in three of his five Martinsville Cup starts.

Kurt Busch – Even with his win here in 2002, Busch is still averaging a 20th place finish here after 14 starts.

Kevin Harvick – Harvick has been wildly inconsistent at Martinsville. In twelve starts, he has four Top 10 finishes, but those are offset by four finishes of 30th or worse. Of course, you can’t say Harvick and Martinsville together without recalling the Spring of 2002, when he was forced to sit out the Cup race as punishment for his antics during that Saturday's truck race. Also of note: Harvick won the Busch race held here last season.

Denny Hamlin – Hamlin desperately wants to win at what he considers to be his home track. He's come close at Martinsville, finishing second in this race last year and third this Spring after leading 125 laps.

Jeff Burton – Burton won here all the way back in 1997. Once a consistent Top 10 performer at the paper clip oval, Burton has hit a rough patch over the last few years, with a 42nd place finish last Fall derailing any hopes he had for the title. However, he did manage a sixth place finish here in the Spring.

Martin Truex, Jr. – The guy with the big fish on his hood has floundered at Martinsville – he's averaging a 28th place finish here after three starts.

Matt Kenseth – Kenseth's tenth place finish here this Spring was just his fourth Martinsville Top 10 result in 15 races.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – Junior's best results here are a pair of third place finishes back in 2003 and 2004. Overall, he has Top 10 results in seven of his 15 Martinsville Cup starts. But Martinsville is tough on engines, and the RCR / DEI engine program may prove to be his Achilles' heel.

Casey Mears – Mears' sixth place finish in this race last year was his only Top 10 result in nine Martinsville Cup starts. He's averaging a 26th place finish in those nine races.

Ryan Newman – Here's an odd stat – Newman has Top 10 finishes in five of the last eight Martinsville races, but none in the last three.

Greg Biffle – Martinsville clearly has Biffle baffled. He's averaging a 26th place finish here after nine starts, and has never finished better than 17th here.

Bobby Labonte – Labonte won at Martinsville in 2002, and has Top 3 finishes in three of the last four Martinsville Spring races. Quick, where did Labonte score his sole truck series win? Right here in Martinsville, back in 2005.

J.J. Yeley – Yeley's best finish is 20th after three Cup starts at this .526-mile oval.

Jamie McMurray – McMurray has Top 10 finishes in six of his nine Martinsville starts, and finished second here in 2004. He also won a Truck race here three seasons ago.

Kasey Kahne – Despite finishing second here in 2005, Kahne's averaging a ho-hum 17th place finish at Martinsville after seven starts.

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