Auto racing at its finest: 3 races in analysis today

Big day of auto racing coming up on Sunday. Not only is the Greatest Spectacle in Racing (Indy 500) in play, so too are the  Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (awesome mini-Daytona-like 1.5 mile track), and the Monaco Grand Prix for Formula 1 drivers.

I still believe in drivers winning at different classes, so you know I’m pulling for AJ Allmendinger at Indy.

FIrstly is my projected top 5 for Indy, now that the starting grid is set:
1 Ed Carpenter
2 JR Hildebrand
3 Oriol Servia
4 Marco Andretti
5 Ryan Hunter-Reay

The streets of Monaco are in focus today for the drivers of Formula 1, probably the best known track when people think of F1 racing.
An interesting commentary was made on this site re the very legitimacy of the sport
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/22654575

So here are the stats as the race is just minutes away:
Just 6 active drivers have won here, and two of them multiple times: Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber. Felipe Massa is winless in 10 starts here.

Top 5: Alonso and Webber have 6 placings in the top 5 here out of 11 races, Massa 5 of 10, Sebastian Vettel 4 of 5. Massa’s achieved well here without a win.

Laps turned without a win: Massa 713, Nico Rosberg 499, Adrian Sutil 353.

Laps led without win: Massa 23. No other active driver has led here without a victory. Maybe there’s credence to the above article after all.

Average finishing position, 3 race minimum: Lewis Hamilton, 5.2; Alonso 5.8, Vettel 6.

Running at finish: Alonso 9 of 11, Massa 8 of 10. Kimi Raikkonen 7 of 10.

Lead lap finish: Alonso 8 of 11, Webber 6 of 11, Hamilton 5 of 6.

Top 5 prediction:
1 Lewis Hamilton
2 Sergio Perez
3 Vettel
4 Alonso
5 Adrian Sutil

***
Later in the day is the Coca-Cola 600 at another favorite racetrack, the 1.5 mile Charlotte Motor Speedway. I think of it as a mini-Daytona.

Wins: Jimmie Johnson leads with 6 in 23 races, Jeff Gordon 5 of 40, Kasey Kahne 4 in just 18 starts. Michael Waltrip is winless in 49 starts here, Joe Nemecheck 0 for 33 and Dale Earnhardt Jr 0 for 26.

Top 10: Mark Martin is 24 of 56, Jeff Gordon 21 of 40, Jimmie Johnson 15 of 23.David Gilliland has never cracked the top 10 in 13 races, nor has Travis Kvapil or Paul Menard in 12.

Laps turned without victory: Waltrip again, 15925; Nemecheck 9622, Dale Jr 8865.

Laps led without win: Kyle Busch with 793; Greg Biffle 437, Brian Vickers 332.

Best average finish position: Joey Logano, 10.1 (that’s it?); Jimmie Johnson 11.4; Carl Edwards 12.

Running at finish: Terry Labonte is 45 of 57, Mark Martin 41 of 56, Waltrip 37 of 49. Jeff Burton is 36 of 40, Tony Stewart missing once in 28 races. Martin Truex Jr is perfect in 15 races here. Tough track, folks.

Lead lap finish: Martin is 30 of 50, Labonte 23 of 40, Jeff Gordon 22 of 40. Jimmie is 17 of 23, Carl Edwards 12 of 16.

Top 10 prediction:
1 Kurt Busch
2 Matt Kenseth
3 Denny Hamlin (pole)
4 Jamie McMurray
5 Clint Bowyer
6 Greg Biffle
7 Carl Edwards
8 Kasey Kahne
9 Kyle Busch
10 Mark Martin

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