Blog Entry

Tony Stewart

Posted on: June 21, 2009 10:51 am
 
Here's a look at the top five in points and five drivers to watch in Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350. All statistical references are for Sprint Cup races at Infineon Raceway unless otherwise indicated. Driver rating is based on the past four races at the track.

1. Tony Stewart, 109.5 driver rating
Stewart has two wins and six top 10s in 10 starts. He used his second win, in 2005, to spark his run to his second Cup championship. He is second only to Juan Pablo Montoya in driver rating but leads the way in fastest laps run and quality passes.

2. Jeff Gordon, 100.1
Gordon owns NASCAR's best record on road courses with nine wins, five of which have come at Infineon. He has 12 top 10s in 16 starts, with three straight dating to 2006. And besides his five wins, he has finished second twice and third three times, including last year.


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3. Jimmie Johnson, 75.2
Among active tracks, Infineon has been the site of Johnson's fewest top 10s. He has two in seven races. On the positive side, Johnson qualified second last year and led a career-high 27 laps on the way to a 15th-place finish. Doing well at road courses -- Johnson is winless at Infineon and Watkins Glen -- is a high priority for Johnson.

4. Kurt Busch, 102.6
Busch has been unable to turn his great starting positions into enough good finishes. Since qualifying 41st as a rookie in 2001, Busch has qualified in the top five five times in addition to starting in sixth and 14th. His average finish in his eight starts, however, is 19.1. He has three top-five finishes, but last year he started third and finished 32nd.

5. Ryan Newman, 101.9
Among drivers with at least five starts at Infineon, Newman has the third-best average finish: 9.4 (trailing the late Dale Earnhardt's 8.6 and Gordon's 9.3). In seven starts, Newman has five top 10s along with finishes of 14th and 20th. He finished seventh last year.

Watch out for ...

8. Mark Martin, 90.2
Last week's winner has a terrific record on road courses with 32 top 10s in 41 starts. One of his four victories on road courses came at Infineon, where he has 13 top 10s in 18 starts, including seven top fives. He last raced at Infineon in 2006, and this will be his first road-course race in nearly three years.

9. Kyle Busch, 104.8
Busch swept the road-course races last year, winning at Infineon from 30th on the grid. He led 78 laps, including the last 42. Only Montoya in 2007 won from starting deeper in the field (he started 32nd).

12. Jeff Burton, 96.5
Although he has never won on a road course in 30 races, Burton has the seventh-best driver rating at Sonoma. Three of his past four finishes have been solid: seventh, third and 13th last year. The third is Burton's only top five in 15 starts. With only a three-point lead over 13th-place David Reutimann, Burton needs another strong run.


Category: Fantasy Racing
Tags: Stewart
 
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