Nationwide Series/NASCAR Sprint Cup at Darlington

Top 10 prediction for this event will be edited into this post once I get info on how everyone qualifies.
Here’s how the Nationwide Series measures up on this track:
6 active drivers have won here, with Matt Kenseth scoring 3 of them.  Kenny Wallace has 26 starts here without one, as does Mike Wallace with 22, and Brad Teague with 20
Top 10s: Kenseth is 12 of 16 here; Jeff Green 9 of 19; Kevin Harvick 6 of 11.  Mike Harmon and Stanton Barrett are both 0 for 10 reaching top 10s here.
Laps turned here without victory: The Wallaces again: Kenny with 3663, Mike with 2861. Kevin LePage 2625.
Laps led without victory: For all his top 10s, Harvick has 114 laps led without seeing Victory Lane. Morgan Shepherd 79, Joe Nemechek 64.

Top average finishing positions, 3 races minimum: Dale Earnhardt Jr 8.8, Kenseth 9.3, Justin Allgaier 9.8, Harvick 12.2, Kasey Kahne 12.8

Running at finish: Kenny Wallace 24 of 26, LePage 18 of 21, Green 17 of 19. Harvick is perfect through 11 here.
Lead lap finish: Kenny Wallace 14 of 26; Kenseth 13 of 16, Kahne 9 of 10.  Allgaier and Reed Sorensen are 4 of 4.

NASCAR Sprint Cup at Darlington:
10 active drivers with wins on this historic track. Jeff Gordon has 7 wins here, Jimmie Johnson with 3.  Ken Schrader has 44 races here without a win, and Michael Waltrip is 0 for 43.
Top 10s: Mark Martin is 26 of 46 in the top 10; Jeff Gordon 21 of 32, Jeff Burton 16 of 30.  Still waiting to crack the top 10 here is Casey Mears, who is 0 for 11.

Laps turned without win: Schrader, 13366; Michael Waltrip 12536; Nemechek 7197.
Laps  led without win: Kahne, 328; Ryan Newman 325; Michael Waltrip 214.

Average finish position 3 race minimum: Denny Hamlin 5.9 (hopefully in condition to do a full race); Jimmie 9.1; Brad Keselowski 9.2, Martin Truex Jr. 11.3, Tony Stewart 11.8

Running at finish: Terry Labonte 44 of 54;  Mark Martin 43 of 46; Ken Schrader 37 of 44. Elliott Sadler is a perfect 18 for 18.
Lead lap finishes: Martin, 29 of 46; Jeff Gordon 22 of 32; Jeff Burton 19 of 30. Tony Stewart 16 of 20.  Denny Hamlin perfect in 7.


Idealistic Sport podcast #6 (5/10/13) now available


To hear this program you can access the Feedplayer linked at That player gives you options to stream,
download and share the content.
For this show I did recap of last week’s sport events that I tracked from the previous show. Also…these:

Golf: Predictions re this weekend’s PLAYERS Championship.
Auto racing: Analysis of this weekend’s racing at Darlington Speedway (Nationwide & NASCAR Sprint Cup)
Boxing: Friday Night Fights analysis for 2 bouts tonight.

Final word on all predictions and analysis at the blog:

Music used on this show:

Annie Wenz “Play Ball” – Ride The Sky
Voice Of Addiction “System Control” – Reduce Reuse Resist CD
Lowball Jack “Doubled Down” – Bug CD
Fellaheen “Always On The Way” – Death & Frolic
Running time: 53 minutes.

NASCAR/Nationwide Series drivers at Talladega; analysis

Typing this before qualifying begins, I’ll give you my top 10 once qualifying is done and edit this post.  Meanwhile, here are the pertinent stats for both racing series

Nationwide Series:

Just 5 active drivers have won here: Joe Nemechek (2), Dale Earnhardt Jr, Brad Keselowski, Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch (1).  Mike Wallace is 0-for-16, Kenny Wallace 0-15, Jeff Green 0-11.
Top 10: Nemechek 8 for 18. Dale Jr 7 of 9, Kyle Busch 5 of 9.   Mike Harmon & Morgan Shepherd have yet to finish top 10 in 8 career starts at Talladega.

Laps turned without victory:  Kenny Wallace 1480, Mike Wallace 1291, Jeff Green 920, Kevin Harvick 784, Morgan Shepherd 716.

Laps led without victory: Harvick 95, Matt Kenseth 44.

Average finish position, 3 race minimum: Dale Jr 10.4, Keselowski 11.4, Brian Vickers 14 (I understand he’ll race for Denny Hamlin after the first caution, tho I don’t recall if that’s for Sprint Cup or Nationwide), Justin Allgaier 15.5, Nemechek 15.9

Running at finish: Nemechek 12 of 18, Kenny Wallace 9 of 15, Mike Wallace 8 of 16, Dale Jr 7 of 9, Kenseth & Eric McClure 5 of 6, Keselowski 5 of 5.
Lead lap finish: Nemechek 12 of 18, Dale Jr 7 of 9, Kenseth 4 of 6


Sprint Cup:

17 active drivers have a win here, Jeff Gordon with 6 wins, Dale Jr. 5.  Jeff Burton has 38 races here without a win, Nemecheck 36 races without win (!). Kurt Busch 0-for 24, Elliott Sadler 0-for-23.

Top 10: Mark Martin 24 of 48, Terry Labonte 23 of 57, Jeff Gordon 19 of 40, Keselowski 6 of 8.   Never in the top 10: AJ Allmendinger 0-for-8, Aric Almirola, Sam Hornish Jr. and JJ Yeley are 0-for-6.

Laps turned without win: Jeff Burton 6467, Nemechek 5131, Kurt 4302, Sadler 4118.
Laps led without win: Hamlin 204, Burton 153, Kurt 143, Sadler 124.

Average finish position: Keselowski 12.2, Dale Jr. 15, Harvick 15.4, Tony Stewart 15.8, Martin 15.9

Running at finish:  Martin 41 of 48, Michael Waltrip 40 of 53, Jeff Burton 32 of 38, Harvick 23 of 24.
Lead lap finish: Terry Labonte 30 of 57, Martin 29 of 48, Dale Jr 19 of 26, Harvick 16 of 24.

Stats from

Sunday 1210pm ET update: Top 5 for the Sprint Cup drivers:
1 Joey Logano
2 Kasey Kahne
3 Brad Keselowski
4 Martin Truex Jr.
5 Marcos Ambrose


Idealistic Sport podcast #5 now available (5/2/13)

To hear this program you can access the Feedplayer linked at That player gives you options to stream,
download and share the content.
On this edition I gave predictions and analysis of these upcoming sporting events:
Golf: PGA Tour; Wells Fargo Championship
Boxing: 2 scheduled fights for a Thursday edition of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights
Auto racing: NASCAR & Nationwide Series at Talladega Speedway
Horse racing: Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby

Music used on this show were:
Annie Wenz “Play Ball” – Ride The Sky
The StereoFidelics “Full Of Sugar” – Dynamite Fist
The Pinz “Teenage Stereotype” – Anti-Complacency League

Song Dogs “Wild Country” – Wild Country
Fellaheen “Always On The Way” – Death & Frolic
Running time: 75 minutes.

Nationwide Series race analysis for 4/12/13 race

Posting in the early moments of the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300. Had to record this week’s podcast before getting to the prediction phase.  Here’s the full analysis of how I see this race (thanks for stats go to

Only 3 drivers with multiple wins: Harvick, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth.
Kenseth has 13 top 10s in 15 races, Kyle 12 Top 10s in 14 races, and Harvick 11 top 10s in 14 races.  
Mike Bliss has run 2791 laps here without a win.  Mike Wallace is 0-for-2713, and Eric McClure has turned 2253 without that checkered flag. 
Tony Stewart has led 167 laps without a win, Jeff Green 88 laps, Brian Vickers 87. 
Top 5 average finishes: 
Kyle  6.9
Harvick 8.6
Kenseth 7.3
Stewart 13
Nemechek 19

Top 5 prediction
Sam Hornish
Kyle Busch
Brad Keselowski
Matt Kenseth
Regan Smith

Nationwide Series stats at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Nationwide Series meets at Las Vegas Motor Speedway today for the Sam’s Town 300 (in a matter of moments)

Mike Wallace, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth are 0/9 in win opportunities here. Kevin Harvick the only 2-time winner here among Nationwide drivers.
Justin Allgaier has not won but was in the top 10 each of 4 starts here. Joe Nemecheck is 7/14 and Kevin Harvick is 7/11, with Jeff Green 5/8.

Mike Wallace has raced 1710 laps here without winning. Kyle second wih 1384 laps, and Eric McClure third with 1383. McClure’s number is the highest of those who have never led a lap.
Top 5 drivers in average race finish here with at least 3 races: Earnhardt Jr. (4.3); Trevor Bayne (5.0); Allgaier (6.2); Harvick (9.3); Kasey Kahne (12.0

Harvick has completed all 11 races here running at finish.
Allgaier has finished on the lead lap all 4 of his races here.

Adjusting for both today’s starting grid and average start/finish in prior races run here, here’s how I see the top 5:

1 Trevor Bayne
2 Sam Hornish Jr
3 Justin Allgaier
4 Brian Vickers
5 Joe Nemechek

I’ll have a NASCAR profile for you tomorrow.

(stats from )
Keep watch in the blog for an update to my long and winding baseball essay.

Nationwide Series race prediction; measuring drivers across different series

My only real issue with NASCAR outside of any obvious safety matters, is that there are so many drivers that get in, and very few opportunities not to qualify for both series. In fact, it appears the majority of drivers do drive in both. Nationwide Series appears to be a 2nd chance league instead of a true minor league. Usually, 43 cars race out of about 45 who qualify. Why not have the 65-70 drivers who race either series qualify together and just have the two-tiers race so that no one gets left out of either? Or just make the fields a bit smaller?

I don’t have a favorite driver. Maybe it’s easiest to root for a driver that stays free of the drama and the gossip. Or it’s trendy to cheer for Danica or Johanna Long, just because. Or a certain driver of the week because he’s either defending champ at that track or has a good record there.

As I’m a big fan of all types of racing, where I look to for driver choice is their history, both in this series and others, pure and simple. Give me a driver who has raced and won on multiple racing series, be it Formula 1, endurance (Le Mans, 24 Hours), NASCAR/Nationwide, Champ Car, Indy Lights, etc. and you earn my respect.
So the burning question: How many current Sprint Cup drivers have won in different types of racing disciplines? Here’s the full list:
Jimmie Johnson (1 stock car): IROC
Mark Martin (1 Trucking stock, 1 stock): Camping, IROC
(3) Ryan Newman(2 stock car, 1 trucking stock,1 open-wheel stock): Camping World Truck Series, Whelen Modified ARCA Series, IROC
Greg Biffle(1 trucking stock): Camping WTS

Danica(1 open-wheel): IZOD Indy Car

(2) Michael McDowell(1 stock car, 1 sports car): ARCA Racing; NASCAR Grand-AM Rolex Sports Car Series
Clint Bowyer(1 truck stock): Camping WTS
Stenhouse Jr(1 stock car): ARCA
Almirola (truck stock, stock): Camping WTS, K&N Pro Series
Denny Hamlin(1 stock): ARCA
Bobby Labonte(1 stock, 1 truck) : Camping WTS; IROC;
David Reutimann(! truck): Camping WTS 2005
Joey Logano (3 stock): K&N West; K&N East; ARCA; Rev-Oil Pro Cup;
Jeff Gordon (stock): IROC
Paul Menard:(1 stock,1 sports car) ARCA; NASCAR Grand-Am Rolex
Michael Waltrip: (1 truck, 1 stock) Camping WTS; K&N
Scott Speed (1 truck, 1 stock): Camping WTS; ARCA
Martin Truex, Jr.(2 stock) K&N IROC
Travis Kvapil (1 truck, 1 stock): Camping WTS; ARCA
Terry Labonte (1 truck, 1 stock): Camping WTS; IROC
Kurt Busch (1 truck, 1 stock): Camping WTS; IROC
(3) Casey Mears: (1 stock, 1 open wheel, 1 sports car) ARCA; Firestone Indy Lights; NASCAR Grand-Am Rolex;
Jeff Burton (stock): IROC

Jamie McMurray(truck): Camping WTS

Carl Edwards: (truck) Camping WTS
Kyle Busch (2 stock, 1 truck): Camping WTS; K&N; ARCA
David Ragan:(stock) ARCA
Matt Kenseth: (2 stock) CASCAR; IROC
Kasey Kahne (truck): Camping WTS:
David Gilliland:(1 stock) K&N
(3) Juan Pablo Montoya: (2 open wheel, 1 sports car, 1 Formula) CART/CCWS; IZOD Indy Car; Formula 1; NASCAR Grand-Am Rolex
Tony Stewart (1 truck, 2 stock): Camping WTS; ARCA; IROC
Kevin Harvick (1 truck, 2 stock): Camping WTS K&N; IROC
Trevor Bayne (2 stock) K&N; Rev-Oil
Austin Dillon (truck): Camping WTS
There you have it. Drivers with wins in the most different racing discplines outside of NASCAR’s top 2 are JPM, Casey Mears and Ryan Newman. Let’s see if any of them will race at LeMans!
Now for the others who run on the Nationwide Series:

Sam Hornish Jr: IZOD Indy Car,

Alex Bowman: ARCA

(2)Parker Kligerman (stock, truck): Camping, ARCA

Brian Scott: Camping

Justin Allgaier: ARCA

(2) Nelson Piquet Jr (2 stock, 1 open wheel): Camping, K&N, A1 Grand Prix

(2) Kyle Larson (1 late model) Whelen All-American, K&N

Elliott Sadler: Camping

Brian Vickers (2 stock): K&N, Rev-Oil

Johanna Long (late model) Snowball Derby

Trevor Bayne (2 stock): K&N, Rev-Oil

Reed Sorensen: ARCA
Jeremy Clements: ARCA
Mike Wallace (2 stock, 1 truck): ARCA, K&N, Camping

Scott Lagasse Jr.: ARCA

So we can possibly add Piquet and Larson to the mix.

I will do future posts looking from the perspective of other racing discplines to see how other current drivers fare outside of their home series.

On to the Nationwide Series proper and a look at Phoenix International:

Mike Wallace is 0 for 18 in terms of wins here, Mike Bliss is 0 for 15, Joe Nemechek 0 for 13. Kyle Busch dominates here with 4 wins in 14 races. Kenseth, Hornish Jr., and Sadler have 1 each. Kenseth has 9 top 10 finishes out of 11 races, while Kyle has 10 out of 14.
Eric McClure has raced 11 times here, turning 2056 laps without leading even 1.

Top 3 average finishing positions of those with 3+ races: Kyle (8.6), Kenseth (7.7), Brian Vickers (10.8)

Largest gain from average start to average finish, 3+ races: Robert Richardson Jr (7.7); Vickers (7); Mike Wallace (7.1)

Adjusting for starting grid, here’s my top 5:
1 Brian Vickerts
2 Matt Kenseth
3 Justin Allgaier
4 Kyle Busch
5 Austin Dillon