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Statistical Advance: Analyzing the Alabama 500

Top 10 Driver Ratings at Talladega

Chase Elliott .............................. 91.4
Dale Earnhardt Jr........................ 91.0
Brad Keselowski......................... 88.7
Kurt Busch................................. 88.4
Jimmie Johnson.......................... 88.1
Matt Kenseth.............................. 87.1
Joey Logano............................... 84.6
Ryan Blaney............................... 84.3
Denny Hamlin............................. 84.2
Kevin Harvick............................. 81.5
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2017 races (25 total) among active drivers at Talladega Superspeedway.

History

· Construction began on what was then known as the Alabama International Motor Speedway on May 23, 1968.
· The first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega was held on Sept. 14, 1969 - won by Richard Brickhouse (Dodge).
· The name changed to Talladega Superspeedway in 1989.
· Fourth repaving completed on Sept. 19, 2006.
· There have been 96 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Talladega Superspeedway, one MENCS event in 1969, and two races per year since 1970.

Starts

· 450 drivers have competed in at least one Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega; 309 in more than one.
· Dave Marcis and Terry Labonte lead the series in starts at Talladega with 61 each.
· Matt Kenseth leads all active drivers in starts at Talladega with 35; followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. with 34.
· Bobby Isaac (eight starts) leads the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in average starting position at Talladega with a 3.625.
· Jimmie Johnson (31 starts) leads all active drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in average starting position at Talladega with a 10.484.
· A total of 69 drivers have made their first series start at Talladega; Ryan Reed (10/23/2016) and Jamie McMurray (10/06/2002) are the only two active drivers to make their series debut at Talladega Superspeedway.

Poles

· Bobby Isaac won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Talladega in 1969 with a speed of 199.466 mph. In fact, Isaac won the first three poles at the 2.66-mile superspeedway.
· 41 drivers have won at least one Coors Light pole at Talladega, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott with eight (1985 sweep, 1986 sweep, 1987 sweep, spring 1990 and fall 1993).
· Elliott Sadler leads all active drivers in Coors Light poles at Talladega with three (2003, 2005, 2006).
· Five active drivers are tied for the second-most poles at Talladega with one each - Martin Truex Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Chase Elliott and Ricky Stenhouse Jr..
· 11 drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Talladega. Bill Elliott holds the record for most consecutive poles at Talladega with six straight from 1985 - 1987.
· Youngest Talladega pole winner: Chase Elliott (05/01/2016 - 20 years, 5 months, 3 days).
· Oldest Talladega pole winner: Mark Martin (10/23/2011 - 52 years, 9 months, 14 days).
· Six drivers have posted their first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Coors Light pole at Talladega - Brian Scott (05/04/2014); Juan Pablo Montoya (04/26/2009), Travis Kvapil (10/5/2008), David Gilliland (10/8/2006), Stacy Compton (04/22/2001) and Jeremy Mayfield (07/28/1996).

Wins

· 46 different MENCS drivers have won at Talladega Superspeedway, led by Dale Earnhardt with 10 victories.
· Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads all active drivers with six wins; followed by Brad Keselowski with four.
· Richard Childress Racing and Hendrick Motorsports are tied for the most wins at Talladega in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with 12 each.
· Nine different manufacturers have won in the MENCS at Talladega; led by Chevrolet with 40 victories; followed by Ford with 25 and Toyota with three.
· 14 of the 96 (14.6%) Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Talladega have been won from the Coors Light pole - Most recent: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. earlier this season.
· The outside front row (second-place) starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (20) than any other starting position at Talladega.
· 34 of the 96 (35.4%) Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Talladega have been won from the front row: 14 from the pole and 20 from the second starting position.
· 68 of the 96 (70.8%) Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Talladega have been won from a top-10 starting position.
· Eight of the 96 (8.3%) Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Talladega have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
· The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Talladega is 36th, by Jeff Gordon in the 2000 spring race.
· The deepest in the field that an active race winner has started at Talladega is 34th, by Denny Hamlin in the 2014 spring race.
· Youngest Talladega winner: Bobby Hillin Jr. (07/27/1986 - 22 years, 1 month, 22 days).
· Oldest Talladega winner: Harry Gant (05/06/1991 - 51 years, 3 months, 26 days).
· Nine drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series have posted consecutive wins at Talladega; Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads the series in consecutive wins at Talladega after posting four-straight from the fall of 2001 - 2003.
· A total of 11 drivers have won their first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega - Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (5/7/2017), Brad Keselowski (04/26/2009), Brian Vickers (10/08/2006), Ken Schrader (07/31/1988), Phil Parsons (05/01/1988), Davey Allison (04/30/1987), Bobby Hillin Jr. (07/27/1986), Ron Bouchard (08021981), Lennie Pond (08/06/1978), Dick Brooks (08/12/1973) and Richard Brickhouse (09/14/1969).
· Matt Kenseth competed at Talladega Superspeedway 25 times before winning the 2012 Playoff race; the longest span before a win of any the 12 active Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Talladega winners.
· Matt Kenseth (25), Kevin Harvick (18), and David Ragan (12) all made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Talladega.
· Kurt Busch leads the series among active drivers with the most Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Talladega without visiting Victory Lane at 33; followed by Ryan Newman with 31.

Additional Finishing Positions

· Buddy Baker and Tony Stewart are tied for the series-most runner-up finishes at Talladega with six each. Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads all active drivers with five.
· NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt leads the series in top-five finishes at Talladega with 23. Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads all active drivers with 12.
· Dale Earnhardt leads the series in top-10 finishes at Talladega with 27. Kurt Busch leads all active drivers with 18.
· Pete Hamilton (five starts) leads the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in average finishing position at Talladega with a 5.600.
· Ricky Stenhouse Jr. leads all active drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in average finishing position at Talladega with a 10.375.

Track / Event Specific Stats

· There have been 13 MENCS races resulting in NASCAR Overtime at Talladega.
· Only two of the 96 series races at Talladega Superspeedway have been shortened due to weather conditions.
· Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega Superspeedway five times: fall of 2002, fall of 2009, spring of 2010, spring and fall of 2013.
· Only one MENCS race held at Talladega Superspeedway was not run on its scheduled date. The April 27, 1997 race was postponed due to inclement weather to May 10, 1997 - Mark Martin won the event.
· Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega Superspeedway is the April 17, 2011 race won by Jimmie Johnson over second-place Clint Bowyer with a MOV of 0.002 second - the MOV is tied with the 2003 Darlington race as the closest finishes in the MENCS using electronic scoring.
· A total of 191 different drivers in series history have led at least one lap at Talladega Superspeedway. Dale Earnhardt leads the series in laps led at Talladega with 1,377.
· Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads all active drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in laps led at Talladega with 960 laps led; followed by Matt Kenseth with 517.

Female Competitor Stats

· Three female drivers have competed at Talladega in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series: Janet Guthrie, Patty Moise and Danica Patrick.

NASCAR in Alabama

· There have been 152 NASCAR national series races held in the state of Alabama among seven different tracks.
· The very first NASCAR national series race held in the state of Alabama was a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event held at Lakeview Speedway (Mobile) in 1951 - the race was won by Tim Flock (Oldsmobile).
· The first race held at Talladega Superspeedway was in 1969 - the event was won by Richard Brickhouse (Dodge).

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