charlottearticleLast May, David Reutimann’s gamble to stay out paid off. He actually won with the help of Mother Nature. He was running in 14th when the final caution came out for rain on lap 221 of the scheduled 400 laps. Reutimann inherited the lead when he stayed on the track, while the rest of the lap cars headed to the pits.

Kyle Busch was leading the race, but was putting up with a fast closing Kasey Kahne right before the caution came out.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was on the losing end of the stick, starting 27th and never moving much higher as he fought an ill-handling car after numerous adjustments on pit road. He would eventually fall 2 laps down and land in 40th position.

Will Mother Nature, or a gamble win it again? Let’s break down the numbers and see who has the best shot statistically speaking.

Track Specs

Superspeedway: 1.5-mile quad oval
Race Length: 400 laps, 600 miles
Banking: turns: 24 degrees; straights: 5 degrees
Straights: Frontstretch – 1952.8 feet; Backstretch – 1360 feet
Grandstand Seating: 171,000
Pit Road Speed: 45mph
Pace Car Speed: 55mph

Track Stats

70 – Races

25,331 – Total Laps

2,937 – Total Cars

730 – Leaders

938 – DNF’s @ 2.38%

May, 2009 Results (Top 15)

David Reutimann

Ryan Newman

Robby Gordon

Carl Edwards

Brian Vickers

Kyle Busch

Kasey Kahne

Juan Montoya

Joey Logano

Matt Kenseth

Denny Hamlin

Bobby Labonte

Jimmie Johnson

Jeff Gordon

Bill Elliot

May Laps Led Stats For Charlotte (2009)

173 – Kyle Busch

33 – Brian Vickers

6 – Jimmie Johnson

5 – David Reutimann

2 – Dave Blaney

2 – Ryan Newman

1 – Michael Waltrip

1 – Robby Gordon

1 – Joey Logano

May Avg Running Position For Charlotte (2009)

2 – Kyle Busch

5 – Brian Vickers

5 – Jimmie Johnson

5 – Kasey Kahne

7 – Joey Logano

7 – Juan Montoya

8 – Carl Edwards

10 – Denny Hamlin

12 – David Reutimann

12 – Matt Kenseth

May % Laps In Top 15 For Charlotte (2009)

99.6 – Kyle Busch

99.1 – Kasey Kahne

98.7 – Brian Vickers

98.2 – Carl Edwards

98.2 – Juan Montoya

98.2 – Joey Logano

97.8 – Jimmie Johnson

95.2 – Denny Hamlin

89.0 – David Reutimann

82.8 – Kurt Busch

Last 2 Races At Charlotte Avg Running Position

4.0 – Jimmie Johnson

5.0 – Kasey Kahne

6.0 – Kyle Busch

8.0 – Matt Kenseth

10.0 – Joey Logano

11.0 – Jeff Gordon

11.5 – Kurt Busch

13.5 – David Reutimann

13.5 – Ryan Newman

13.5 – Mark Martin

13.5 – Tony Stewart

Last 2 Race Avg Finish At Charlotte

5.0 – Kasey Kahne

6.0 – Matt Kenseth

6.5 – Ryan Newman

7.0 – Jimmie Johnson

7.0 – Kyle Busch

7.0 – Joey Logano

8.0 – David Reutimann

9.0 – Jeff Gordon

12.0 – Brad Keselowski

16.0 – Tony Stewart

16.0 – Martin Truex Jr.

Last 4 Races At Charlotte Avg Running Position

5.3 – Jimmie Johnson

5.8 – Kyle Busch

7.3 – Kasey Kahne

10.0 – Joey Logano (2 races)

11.3 – Tony Stewart

11.5 – Greg Biffle

11.5 – Kurt Busch

12.5 – Jeff Burton

12.8 – Mark Martin

14.0 – Jeff Gordon

Last 4 Race Avg Finish At Charlotte

3.3 – Kasey Kahne

5.3 – Kyle Busch

7.0 – Joey Logano (2 races)

7.5 – Jeff Gordon

11.3 – Greg Biffle

11.5 – Jeff Burton

12.0 – Brad Keselowski (1 race)

13.8 – Ryan Newman

14.5 – Mark Martin

14.5 – David Reutimann

Last 4 Race % In Top 15 At Charlotte

96.2 – Jimmie Johnson

94.1 – Kyle Busch

89.1 – Kasey Kahne

84.0 Joey Logano

77.3 – Tony Stewart

76.1 – Kurt Busch

68.0 – Greg Biffle

66.7 – Mark Martin

66.2 – Jeff Burton

65.4 – David Reutimann

Last 4 Race AVG LAPS LED At Charlotte

62 – Kyle Busch

50 – Jimmie Johnson

40 – Brian Vickers

33 – Kasey Kahne

28 – Jeff Gordon

19 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.

17 – Kurt Busch

16 – Tony Stewart

15 – Jeff Burton

14 – Denny Hamlin

Last 4 Race Avg Rating At Charlotte

119.6 – Kyle Busch

116.8 – Jimmie Johnson

116.0 – Kasey Kahne

101.0 – Joey Logano

94.6 – Jeff Burton

93.8 – Jeff Gordon

93.7 – Greg Biffle

93.4 – Tony Stewart

92.7 – Kurt Busch

92.1 – Brian Vickers

Top Team Averages At Charlotte

11.25 – Stewart Haas (4 races)

14.00 – Joe Gibbs (13 races)

16.90 – Roush Fenway (20 races)

18.35 – Hendrick (17 races)

18.75 -Earnhardt Ganassi (4 races)

18.93 – Richard Childress (15 races)

Past Winners At Charlotte / Starting Position

2009 – Jimmie Johnson – 1st

2009 – David Reutimann – 21st

2008 – Jeff Burton – 4th

2008 – Kasey Kahne – 2nd

2007 – Jeff Gordon – 4th

2007 – Casey Mears – 16th

2006 – Kasey Kahne – 2nd

2006 – Kasey Kahne – 9th

Top Charlotte TESTING speeds (Wed PM)

183.943 – A.J. Allmendinger

181.775 – Jimmie Johnson

181.397 – Scott Speed

181.141 – Martin Truex Jr.

181.068 – Reed Sorenson

180.874 – Brian Vickers

180.383 – Jeff Burton

1803.699 – Denny Hamlin

180.687 – Paul Menard

180.626 – Kasey Kahne

Last 10 Races At Charlotte Top Driver Ratings

118.9 – Jimmie Johnson

104.4 – Kyle Busch

102.1 – Kasey Kahne

101.0 – Joey Logano

91.2 – Mark Martin

88.5 – Jeff Gordon

88.5 – Matt Kenseth

88.0 -Brian Vickers

87.6 – Greg Biffle

87.5 – Jeff Burton

85.2 – Carl Edwardsa

84.2 – Tony Stewart

82.6 – Denny Hamlin

81.6 – Kurt Busch

80.3 – Brad Keselowski

‘09 – ‘10 Cookie Cutter Tracks (Avg Fin)

Atlanta, Texas and Charlotte

8.3 – Matt Kenseth

9.9 – Kasey Kahne

11.4 – Jeff Gordon

12.1 – Kurt Busch

12.4 – Ryan Newman

12.8 – Kyle Busch

13.3 – Tony Stewart

13.5 – Denny Hamlin

13.6 – Greg Biffle

14.1 – Jimmie Johnson

14.1 – Kevin Harvick

‘09 – ‘10 %  In Top 15 For Cookie Cutter Tracks

88.9 – Kurt Busch

82.4 – Kasey Kahne

82.2 – Denny Hamlin

78.1 – Jeff Gordon

77.9 – Tony Stewart

77.3 – Jimmie Johnson

74.9 – Matt Kenseth

70.5 – Juan Montoya

69.4 – Kyle Busch

62.5 – Greg Biffle

Who’s Hot – Last 3 Races For 2010 (Avg Fin)

3.0 – Kyle Busch

4.7 – Jeff Burton

5.3 – Denny Hamlin

5.3 – Kevin Harvick

5.7 – Jeff Gordon

9.3 – Carl Edwards

9.7 – Matt Kenseth

10.0 – Ryan Newman

10.3 – David Reutimann

12.7 – Martin Truex Jr.

2010 Lap Leaders

709 – Jeff Gordon

589 – Jimmie Johnson

558 – Kyle Busch

471 – Kurt Busch

344 – Denny Hamlin

279 – Jeff Burton

178 – Kasey Khane

172 – Juan Montoya

132 – Kevin Harvick

125 – Greg Biffle

Drivers to watch for the Coca Cola 600.

Being that the winner has won from the top 10 starting position 79 of 102 times, our focus is on those top 10 starters.

My winner has to be

Jimmie Johnson – due to his exceptional record here I have to lean toward the 48 team. In 17 races here, 6 were wins, 4 back to back followed by two 2nd place finishes. His last 3 race average here is 6.67 with last year’s late race coming as a win.

Kasey Kahne – won back to back in 2006 and again in 2008. He just missed later in 2008 placing 2nd. The early race at Charlotte last year, Kahne was charging Kyle Busch for the lead  before a pit, then later, Mother Nature reared her ugly face,  that took him out of the running. And the last race at Charlotte last year, he placed 3rd. Kahne’s average finish in the last 4 races at Charlotte is 3.25.

Kyle Busch – leads most of the categories and is a strong contender here. The JGR cars will be ones to possibly keep an eye on this weekend. His last 5 races here averaged a 4.8 with those being; 3rd, 3rd, 4th, 6th and 8th.

Jeff Gordon – In the last 5 races there, he has placed 1st, 4th, 8th, 14th and 4th.

Not So Hot

Juan Montoya – Average Finish At Charlotte is 28.7 with 28th, 37th, 30th, 34th, 8th and 35th.

Honorable Mention

Bobby Labonte – loves this place. He is starting 38th, but he has the 3rd best finishing average since 2000 at 10.6.