Starts: Tops among active, Fernando Alonso makes his 13th start on the famed course, Kimi Raikonnen and Felipe Massa both with their 12th attemps here also. No one else in double-digits.
Top 5: Alonso again leads here again, 6-12 for a .500 average. Also notable are Massa 5-11, Lewis Hamilton 5-7, Vettel 5-6. Hulkenberg and Maldonado have 3 top 5s without a victory.
Top 10: Alonso is 10-12 in this category, Raikkonen 8-11, Hamilton 6-7, Vettel 5-6. Maldonado is 0-3.
Most laps led without a victory. Suffice it to say that if you’re leading at all at Monaco, your chances of winning are rather good. Massa has led 23 laps without tasting the champagne here. He’s the only driver in this category! Just 6 active drivers have led laps here at all: Alonso, Raikkonen, Massa, Rosberg, Hamilton, Vettel
Running at finish: One driver has managed to keep his car intact along actives: Hamilton, perfect in 7 races. Vettel is 5-6. Alonso 10-12.
Lead lap finishes: Both Hamilton (6-7) and Vettel (5-6) dominate here too. Alonso has the most actual finishes, going 9-12.
Here’s my top 5:
5 Daniel Ricciardo
I love a 1.5 mile track. There’s enough speed and cornering to keep things interesting, without losing the drama of a super-speedway or a short track. I think the best racing really happens on these sort of courses. And the biggest test of all, arguably, occurs today with this 400-lap event, run from daylight to sunset. I’m further intrigued that one Kurt Busch will run here today and also at Indianapolis for the 500. I’ll certainly be rooting for him, as I respect drivers that win across different series. He’ll be at the 43rd and last position because he won’t be able to attend the required pre-race driver’s meeting.
Starts: Jeff Gordon will make his leading 43rd start among actives, Joe Nemechek makes his 36th from a provisional position. No one else over 30 starts here.
Wins: A dozen active drivers have won at Charlotte. Tops is polesitter Jimmie Johnson, 6-25, a sharp 24% score, then Jeff Gordon 5-42, with Kasey Kahne 4-20. All others have 1 or 2 wins. Nemecheck is 0-35. Others awaiting their first win: Ryan Newman 0-26, Dale Earnhardt Jr 0-28, Greg Biffle 0-22
Top 5: Gordon is 16-42, but Jimmie has the edge going an astounding 12-25 here. Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne are 9-20. Martin Truex Jr hasn’t cracked the top 5 in 17 races, nor has David Gilliland in 15 races, nor Paul Menard in 14.
Top 10: Gordon again, 22-42 is his score here. Other notables over 50%: Jimmie 16-25, Matt Kenseth 15-29, Kyle Busch and Kahne 12-20, Carl Edwards 11-18, Denny Hamlin 10-17. Gilliland has no top 10 result here in 15 races, far and away the worst driver here.
Most laps without win: Nemecheck, 9984, followed by Earnhardt at 9454, Newman 8114, Biffle 7057.
Most laps led without win: Kyle Busch is the bridesmaid here, 862 laps, equivalent to 2 full races, to go along with 9 top-5 and 12 top-10 finishes, without making it to victory lane. Also: Biffle 437, Earnhardt 343, Brian Vickers 332.
Best average gain in position per race: Joey Logano in 10 races has an average finish of 10.4, best of the field, combined with a 5.5 gain in starting position. Also: Edwards 6.0, Kenseth 3.5, Keselowski 4.8, Jamie McMurray 4.9. The big surprise: Danica Patrick averages 6.7 based on just 3 races prior, and she starts this race 4th.
Lead lap finishes: Gordon 23-42 total. Denny Hamlin has the edge percentage-wise, 14-17, ahead of Jimmie, 18-25.
Starts: Helio Castroneves is making his 14th start in IndyCar here, followed by Tony Kanaan’s 13 and Scott Dixon’s 12. Buddy Lazier makes start #15.
Wins: There are 7 winners from IndyCar on this track running today. Drivers still without include Marco Andretti and Ryan Briscoe, both 0-8, and these drivers who are winless in 6: Graham Rahal, Justin Wilson, Will Power, Ryan Hunter-Reay,
Top 10s: Castroneves is a sterling 11-13 here. Dixon 8-11. Sato is 0-4.
Laps turned without victory: Briscoe 1440, Andretti 1405, Wilson 1091, Power 1078.
Laps led without victory: Andretti 121, Briscoe and Sato 31 each.
I am not predicting a winner as there aren’t enough drivers with long histories on this track. Also, the collected data is rather scattered and I am not able to condense it all. It’s hard to say what Carpenter or Villenueve will do, having just few starts between them. And we all know the unpredictability of conditions at the track. I will say this, with champions at both Formula 1 and NASCAR in the field, plus other greats returning here, there are many storylines to pursue and I am intending a storybook finish, no matter the result.