IndyCar/NASCAR prediction for 3/30/14

IndyCar begins its season today in St. Petersburg FL, with the Firestone Grand Prix. Here I’ll examine how the active drivers for the race have done on this old street course in the past.
Starts/Wins: Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon have raced all 9 IndyCar events. Amazingly, neither have a victory, nor does Marco Andretti with 8. James Hinchcliffe managed a win in 2 starts, and Helio Castroneves 3 in 8 tries.

Top 5: Kanaan is 7-9m Helio 6-8, Hinchcliffe 2-2. Scott Dixon is 4-9.

Most laps without victory: Dixon 833, Kanaan 814, Marco 602. Fewest: Hinchcliffe, 210.

Most laps led without victory: Dixon 94, Justin Wilson 70. Everyone else has under 30.Notably, Graham Rahal led 19 laps total toward his lone victory here.

Best gain in position per race, 3 race minimum: Charlie Kimball averages 5.6.

Running at finish: Graham Rahal, Wilson and Dixon all are perfect through 6 races.
Lead lap finish: Justin Wilson is perfect through 6.

Predicting the top 5:
1 Kanaan
2 polesitter Takuma Sato
3 Ryan Hunter-Reay
4 Carlos Munoz
5 Will Power
Now to Martinsville for the NASCAR Sprint Cup:

Jeff Gordon, starting in row 3, leads active drivers with his 43rd start here today. Joe Nemech, starting last, makes start number 38. Nemechek is still waiting on win #1 here. Also: Jamie McMurray and Greg Biffle are 0-22, Dale Earnhardt Jr and Matt Kenseth 0-28, Kasey Kahne 0-20.
Gordon is 8-42 here, with Jimmie Johnson an impressive 8-24, and Denny Hamlin a more impressive 4-16, Tony Stewart is 3-29.
Top 5: These drivers score in this category over 50% of the time: Gordon 27-42, Jimmie 17-24, Hamlin 9-16. Nemechek is 0-37, Biffle 0-22, Casey Mears 0-21
Top 10: More over 50%: Gordon 34-42, Jimmie 21-24, Tony Stewart 15-29, Dale Jr 15-28, Hamlin 13-16, McMurray 12-22, Clint Bowyer 10-16, Kyle Busch 9-18, Brad Keselowski 5-8. David Gilliland 0-15; Travis Kvapil 0-16; David Reutimann 0-14, Reed Sorenson 0-12, Paul Menard 0-13.

Laps turned without victory: Nemechek 14224, followed by Kenseth 13901, Dale Jr 13877, Biffle 10804, McMurray 10378.

Most laps led without victory: Dale Jr, 868, Kyle Busch 465, Kenseth 371, Bowyer 307, McMurray 117, Nemechek 116.
Best average gain in position per race, 3 race minimum:
Keselowski leads here, with a 6.7 gain. Jimmie is 5.7 , Kenseth 5.3

Running at finish: Gordon is perfect through 42. Biffle is next with 22, Carl Edwards with 19.
Lead lap finishes: Jimmie is 23-24. Keselowski is 7-8. Hamlin and Bowyer 14-16,
Top 10 prediction:
1 Jimmie
2 Hamln
3 Kenseth
4 Kyle Busch
5 Gordon
6 Logano
7 Edwards
8 Keselowski
9 Stewart
10 Bowyer

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