Plenty of road racers have made an impact on NASCAR
NASCAR.com's Kenny Bruce and Chris Rice fill you in on who they think will leave their mark this weekend at the Last Great Colosseum.
A stats-based look ahead to the race where $1 million is on the line DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. –Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C. going into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 16 (7 p.m. on FOX Sports 1). SPRINT ALL-STAR-SPECIFIC STATISTICS Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet) · One win, five top fives, seven top 10s · Average finish of 10.4 · Average Running Position of 8.8, fifth-best · Driver Rating of 83.5, fifth-best · 48 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most · 320 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 179.918 mph, ninth-fastest · 746 Laps in the Top 15 (80.2%), sixth-most · 273 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), seventh-most Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M's Red Nose Day Toyota) · Three top fives, four top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 12.3 · Average Running Position of 7.3, second-best · Series-best Driver Rating of 108.1 · 84 Fastest Laps Run, second-most · Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 181.329 mph · 664 Laps in the Top 15 (79.0%), ninth-most Dale Earnhardt Jr . (No. 88 Mountain Dew Baja Blast Chevrolet) · One win, five top fives, 12 top 10s · Average finish of 8.0 · Driver Rating of 78.5, 11th-best · 23 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most · Series-high 372 Green Flag Passes · 757 Laps in the Top 15 (81.4%), fifth-most · Series-high 298 Quality Passes Carl Edwards (No. 19 ARRIS Toyota) · One win, four top fives, six top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 10.4 · Average Running Position of 9.9, seventh-best · Driver Rating of 84.6, fourth-best · 62 Fastest Laps Run, third-most · 233 Green Flag Passes, 12th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 179.874 mph, 10th-fastest · 676 Laps in the Top 15 (79.5%), seventh-most · 203 Quality Passes, 11th-most Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet) · Three wins, six top fives, nine top 10s · Average finish of 10.0 · Average Running Position of 8.5, third-best · Driver Rating of 82.1, eighth-best · 62 Fastest Laps Run, third-most · 310 Green Flag Passes, seventh-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 180.490 mph, third-fastest · Series-high 836 Laps in the Top 15 (89.9%) · 286 Quality Passes, third-most Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet) · One win, three top fives, eight top 10s · Average finish of 9.9 · Average Running Position of 10.5, 12th-best · Driver Rating of 82.4, sixth-best · 31 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most · 331 Green Flag Passes, third-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 179.927 mph, eighth-fastest · 659 Laps in the Top 15 (70.9%), 10th-most · 263 Quality Passes, eighth-most Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Patriotic Chevrolet) · Four wins, eight top fives, nine top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 6.2 · Series-best Average Running Position of 6.9 · Driver Rating of 104.2, second-best · Series-high 147 Fastest Laps Run · 307 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 180.878 mph, second-fastest · 825 Laps in the Top 15 (88.7%), second-most · 278 Quality Passes, fifth-most Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet) · One win, two top fives, four top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 11.7 · Average Running Position of 10.5, 10th-best · Driver Rating of 81.3, ninth-best · 53 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most · 315 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 180.143 mph, sixth-fastest · 676 Laps in the Top 15 (72.7%), seventh-most · 274 Quality Passes, sixth-most Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota) · One win, six top fives, 11 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 6.2 · Average Running Position of 8.7, fourth-best · Driver Rating of 88.3, third-best · 47 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most · 325 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 180.049 mph, seventh-fastest · 779 Laps in the Top 15 (83.8%), fourth-most · 282 Quality Passes, fourth-most Joey Logano (No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford) · Two top fives, three top 10s · Average finish of 8.8 · Average Running Position of 10.5, 11th-best · Driver Rating of 78.2, 12th-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 180.366 mph, fifth-fastest The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2015 Top 16 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Rank Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating 1 Kevin Harvick 14 0 1 3 8 3 9.9 82.4 2 Martin Truex Jr . 5 0 0 1 2 2 13.6 59.2 3 Jimmie Johnson 13 1 4 8 9 1 6.2 104.2 4 Joey Logano 4 0 0 2 3 1 8.8 78.2 5 Dale Earnhardt Jr . 15 0 1 5 12 1 8.0 78.5 6 Brad Keselowski 6 0 0 1 3 1 12.7 55.2 7 Matt Kenseth 14 2 1 6 11 1 6.2 88.3 8 Jamie McMurray 8 0 1 1 3 3 14.0 71.6 9 Jeff Gordon 21 0 3 6 9 5 10.0 82.1 10 Kasey Kahne 11 1 1 2 4 4 11.7 81.3 11 Aric Almirola 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 - 12 Paul Menard 1 0 0 0 0 0 16.0 58.1 13 Ryan Newman 13 1 1 3 7 4 10.1 75.6 14 Kurt Busch 13 0 1 5 7 3 10.4 83.5 15 Denny Hamlin 8 0 0 2 5 2 11.3 69.2 16 Clint Bowyer 6 0 0 0 1 0 14.2 54.8 * – Based on last 11 NASCAR Sprint All-Star races. Statistical Advance Charlotte Motor Speedway Data Track Size : 1.5 miles Banking Turns : 24 degrees Banking/Frontstretch : 5 degrees Banking/Backstretch : 5 degrees Frontstretch : 1,980 feet Backstretch : 1,500 feet Top 10 All-Star Driver Ratings Kyle Busch ............................... 108.1 Jimmie Johnson ........................ 104.2 Matt Kenseth .............................. 88.3 Carl Edwards .............................. 84.6 Kurt Busch .................................. 83.5 Kevin Harvick .............................. 82.4 Jeff Gordon ................................ 82.1 Kasey Kahne .............................. 81.3 Dale Earnhardt Jr . ....................... 78.5 Joey Logano .............................. 78.2 Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 NASCAR Sprint All-Star races (10 total). 2014 Race Winner: Jamie McMurray , Chevrolet 100.517 mph, (01:20:35), 05-16-14 2014 Showdown Winner: Clint Bowyer , Toyota 117.711 mph, (00:30:35), 05-16-14 2014 Showdown Runner-Up: AJ Allmendinger 2014 Sprint Fan Vote Winner: Josh Wise NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race: Notebook · There have been 30 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Races. · The first NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race was in 1985. · 29 have been held at Charlotte Motor Speedway . In 1986, the event was held at Atlanta Motor Speedway , and won by Bill Elliott . That season was also the first year for what is now known as the Sprint Showdown. · 92 drivers have run in at least one NASCAR Sprint All-Star race, with 76 competing in more than one. · Mar k Martin has participated in 24 races, more than any other driver. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in Sprint All-Star starts with 21, followed by Tony Stewart with 16. · There have been 20 different winners of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race. · Jimmie Johnson (2003, 2006, 2012 and 2013) leads the series with the most NASCAR Sprint All-Star race wins with four. · Dale Earnhardt (1987, 1990 and 1993) and Jeff Gordon (1995, 1997 and 2001) are the only three-time winners of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race. · NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip won the inaugural NASCAR Sprint All-Star race in 1985 at an average speed of 161.184 mph. · The race has featured a field that ranged from 10 drivers in 1986 to 27 in 2002. Last season’s field had 22 participants. · Davey Allison (1991 and 1992), Terry Labonte (1988 and 1999) and Mark Martin (1998 and 2005) are the only other drivers to post multiple victories in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race. · Davey Allison (1991, 1992) and Jimmie Johnson (2012, 2013) are the only drivers to ever win consecutive NASCAR Sprint All-Star races. · Dale Earnhardt Jr . (2000) and Ryan Newman (2002) are the only drivers to win the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race in their rookie season. · Jeff Gordon is the youngest winner of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at 23 years, 9 months and 18 days (1995). · Mark Martin is the oldest NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race winner at 46 years, 4 months and 12 days (2005). · Jimmie Johnson leads the series among active drivers in average finish in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race with a 6.154; followed by Matt Kenseth with a 6.214. · Seven active drivers have an average finish in the top 10 for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race: Jimmie Johnson (6.1), Matt Kenseth (6.2), Dale Earnhardt Jr . (8.0), Tony Stewart (8.4), Joey Logano (8.7) Kevin Harvick (9.9) and Jeff Gordon (10.0). · Terry Labonte won the inaugural Coors Light pole for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race in 1985. · 16 drivers have won Coors Light poles for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race, led by Bill Elliott with four. Kyle Busch leads all active drivers with three. Carl Edwards has won the last two consecutive poles for the Sprint All-Star Race (2013, 2014). · Four drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race: Davey Allison (1991, 1992) Bill Elliott (1997, 1998), Kyle Busch (2011, 2012) and Carl Edwards (2013, 2014). · The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race has been won from the pole position four times; the first three came in consecutive years: Dale Earnhardt (1990) and Davey Allison (1991 and 1992). Kurt Busch posted the fourth win from the pole in 2010. · The front row starting positions and fourth-place are the three most proficient starting positions in the field, producing more winners (four each) than any other starting positions in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. · Eight of the 30 (26.7%) NASCAR Sprint All-Star races have been won from the front row: four from the pole and four from second-place. · 17 of the 30 (56.7%) NASCAR Sprint All-Star races have been won from a top-five starting position. · 21 of the 30 (70%) NASCAR Sprint All-Star races have been won from a top-10 starting position. · Two of the 30 (6.7%) NASCAR Sprint All-Star races have been won from a starting position outside the top 20. · The deepest in the field a NASCAR Sprint All-Star race winner has started was 27th, by Ryan Newman in 2002. · Hendrick Motorsports drivers have won eight NASCAR Sprint All-Star races (most all-time): Jimmie Johnson (four: 2003, 2006, 2012, 2013), Jeff Gordon (three: 1995, 1997, 2001) and Terry Labonte (one: 1999). · Several other active teams have won the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race: Richard Childress Racing and Roush Fenway Racing have four (4) NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race titles each, and Team Penske has two (2). Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, the Wood Brothers, Richard Petty Motorsports and Stewart Haas Racing each have one Sprint All-star win. · All four Hendrick Motorsports drivers – Jimmie Johnson , Jeff Gordon , Dale Earnhardt Jr . and Kasey Kahne – have won the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, making HMS the only multi-car team to have a complete roster of former NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race champions – note: Earnhardt Jr. and Kahne won while driving for other teams. · NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt leads the series in top-five finishes in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race with nine; followed by Tony Stewart (eight) and Jimmie Johnson (eight). · Bill Elliott leads the series in top-10 finishes in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race with 13; followed by Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr . with 12 each. Matt Kenseth has 11 top-10s. · Five drivers have won the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in the same year: Darrell Waltrip (1985), Dale Earnhardt (1987, 1990, 1993), Rusty Wallace (1989), Jeff Gordon (1995, 1997, 2001) and Jimmie Johnson (2006, 2013). · In 2008, Kasey Kahne became the first driver to get into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race by the Sprint Fan Vote and go on to win the event. · There have been 10 different Sprint Fan Vote winners in the last 10 years of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. · Dale Earnhardt Jr . is the only driver in event history to win the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (2000), Sprint Showdown (2012) and Sprint Fan Vote (2011). · Seven times from seven different drivers has the winner of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race gone on to win the Coke Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway the following weekend: Darrell Waltrip (1985), Davey Allison (1991), Dale Earnhardt (1993), Jeff Gordon (1997), Jimmie Johnson (2003), Kasey Kahne (2008) and Kurt Busch (2010). · The record for lead changes in a NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race is 10 in 2004. Last season’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race had nine lead changes. · The record for different leaders in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race is nine in 2002. Last season’s race had six different leaders. · The series best Driver Rating performance by a NASCAR Sprint All-Star race winner was Carl Edwards posting a 141.7 in 2011. · Top 3 leaders in Driver Rating for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race: Kyle Busch (108.9), Jimmie Johnson (103.9) and Matt Kenseth (88.9). · 11 of the 17 drivers qualified to compete in the 2015 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race have captured the event title. Those 11 drivers have a combined 16 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race victories. · Roush Fenway Racing has fielded at least one entry in every NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race from 1990-2014, however no RFR drivers are currently eligible for this season’s event and will need to transfer in via the Sprint Showdown or winning the Sprint Fan Vote. · Kyle Busch has made nine NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race starts without a victory, the most of any eligible driver. His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin has made eight (8) starts, the second-highest total among drivers looking for win No. 1. · Greg Biffle has qualified for 11 consecutive NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race events (2004-2014), however he isn’t currently qualified for the race. It is the longest active streak among drivers not currently in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race field. · The six drivers qualified for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race looking for their first win in the event are Kyle Busch , Denny Hamlin , Brad Keselowski , Joey Logano , AJ Allmendinger and Aric Almirola . · Chevrolet (17) and Ford (10) have combined to win 27 or the 30
Examining returns from significant injuries across other sports Editor's Note: Kraft's Korner will offer a take on a current hot topic in sports. RELATED: Busch to return for Sprint All-Star Race " Busch gets Chase waiver SHOP: Busch gear The heavily anticipated news of Kyle Busch 's return from injury came down earlier this week. Busch's return to the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing had been the subject of much speculation in recent weeks with young sensation Erik Jones filling in for him at Kansas. But now that we know when the 29-time Sprint Cup Series winner is returning, what can we expect? Busch will have been out for roughly three months when he gets back in the saddle for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM) and he has missed 11 points-paying races. He does, however, have a waiver for the Chase, meaning he needs to a win and finish the regular season in the top 30 in points to make the playoffs. With a new rules package in place, not to mention getting his body used to driving a car for races ranging from 220.5 miles (Watkins Glen) to 600 miles (Charlotte), there will be some sort of adjustment period for Busch. Busch is arguably in the prime of his career as he just turned 30. And that leads one to wonder how he will bounce back after suffering a compound fracture in his right leg and a broken left foot in the NASCAR XFINITY Series opener in February at Daytona. How have stars in other sports bounced back from a lengthy time away from their sport? We look at five case studies: NFL: Tom Brady, Quarterback, New England Patriots: In the opening game of the 2008 season, Brady tore both his anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament and missed the season. At 32, Brady returned to win the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year Award in 2009, throwing for 4,398 yards and 28 touchdowns. He was the NFL's Most Valuable Player in 2010. NBA: Derrick Rose, Point Guard, Chicago Bulls: A season after winning the NBA's MVP Award, Rose, 23, tore the ACL in his left knee in the 2012 playoff opener. He sat out all of the following season. In the past two seasons, he has suffered a torn right knee meniscus and a right medial meniscus tear. Now 26, the former No. 1 pick has shown flashes of the player he was before the initial injury but has played in just 61 of a possible 164 regular-season games the past two seasons. MLB: Buster Posey, Catcher, San Francisco Giants: Posey missed most of the 2011 season after suffering a fractured fibula and torn ligaments in his ankle in a collision at home plate. The following season Posey responded with his best year to date with 24 home runs, 103 RBIs and a .336 batting average en route to winning the 2012 National League MVP at age 25. Golf: Tiger Woods. Woods was on pace to break Jack Nicklaus' mark of 18 major championships before numerous knee ailments (and off-course drama) derailed his shot at being the gold standard on the links. His last major win (and 14th of his career) came in the 2008 U.S. Open, but he has gone winless in the past 27 majors. And while he still is formidable, he isn't the threat to win every week like he was before the physical ailments. NASCAR: Tony Stewart , Stewart-Haas Racing . A sprint car accident at Southern Iowa Speedway left the three-time champion sidelined for the remainder of the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season with broken tibia and fibula bones in his right leg (in total he has had four surgeries). The three-time champion was 42 when the injury happened. In 44 races since, he has just three top fives, eight top 10s and 139 laps led. The examples above are a bit of a mixed bag. While Busch and Stewart are in the same sport, they were both at different points in their careers when they suffered their injuries. Stewart and Woods have struggled to find their footing in recent years. Busch and Brady are the closest in age at the time of injury and the Patriots quarterback has performed at a high level in recent years (no matter what your position is on "Deflategate"). Posey bounced right back from his injury and is the prime of his career, while Rose is still working to get back to the elite level. It will likely take some time to get back up to speed, but it's hard not to see him finding Victory Lane in one of the 25 points races remaining on the schedule. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has had a knack for getting a win in every full-time season he has run. Perhaps it will also benefit him in the short term to just be focused on Cup duty before adding in other series to his slate. Comeback stories are fun to watch play out as fans and followers. And Kyle Busch 's is only just getting started with his return to the track this weekend. MORE: Holly Cain on whether Busch will make the Chase FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Opening practice leader Kasey Kahne posted top-five speed in final session RELATED: Final practice results " First practice results After posting the a speed just shy of a top-five in Friday's opening practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway , Erik Jones topped the leaderboard in the night's final session. The No. 4 driver wheeled his Kyle Busch Motorsports ride at 180.693 mph around the 1.5-mile oval. Behind Jones was NTS Motorsports' Scott Lagasse Jr. , who is in the No. 31 ride this weekend. Lagasse Jr. posted a high speed of 180.668 mph late in practice to move to the second-fastest position on the leaderboard. Jones' KBM teammate Matt Tifft was third-fastest, recording a high speed of 180.608 mph in his No. 51 Toyota. Kasey Kahne , the top performer in the opening practice session, continued to post fast lap times, using a high speed of 180.493 mph to nab the fourth spot on the leaderboard. BK Racing 's Tyler Reddick completed the top five with a high speed of 180.228 mph. After posting the 13th-fastest speed in the opening practice, reigning series champion Matt Crafton climbed the leaderboard in the second session, posting the sixth-fastest speed in the field. The trucks are back on track Friday at 5:45 p.m. ET for Keystone Light Pole Qualifying at Charlotte Motor Speedway (coverage on FOX Sports 1). MORE: Complete weekend schedule for Charlotte and Iowa Practice 1 Related: Full Practice 1 results Propelling his No. 00 truck around the track at 180.258 mph, Kasey Kahne soared to the top of the leaderboard during Thursday's opening three-hour practice for the NC Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway . The Sprint Cup Series veteran will be making his fifth career start in the Camping World Truck Series on Friday -- his first since 2012 -- in the newly minted No. 00 JR Motorsports Chevrolet. NEMCO Motorsports' Joe Nemechek made a late run to grab the second-fastest spot on the leaderboard, wheeling his No. 8 truck at 179.856 mph around the 1.5-mile oval. Rounding out the top five were NTS Motorsports' Daniel Hemric (179.581 mph), GMS Racing's Spencer Gallagher (179.485 mph) and Kyle Busch Motorsports' Justin Boston (179.313 mph). Boston's teammate Erik Jones just missed the mark , his 179.152 mph-lap qualifying him for the sixth spot on the leaderboard. Sprint Cup veteran Brad Keselowski posted the 10th-fastest speed of 178.501 mph. The Team Penske driver will be making his second Truck Series start of the season on Friday night at Charlotte. Reigning Truck Series champion Matt Crafton wheeled his No. 88 ride around the 1.5-mile track at a high speed of 177.626 mph, qualifying him for the 13th spot on the leaderboard. Thursday's opening practice saw a pair of cautions in the first hour for debris, but no wrecks. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
XFINITY Series rookie visits Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Joliet Photo credit: Don McClelland As a Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, Daniel Suarez says he's been doing his homework as best he can, oftentimes having to learn new and unfamiliar race tracks on the fly. Monday morning, on the heels of a strong race but disappointing finish the previous day at Iowa Speedway , Suarez did his own schooling one state over, visiting Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Joliet, Illinois, to talk about the importance of technology and mathematics. The assembly also came with a surprise perk -- 1,000 race tickets, enough to send the whole school's enrollment plus family members to the series' race June 20 at nearby Chicagoland Speedway (9:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). "It was pretty fun and makes me think a lot because the last group of kids we had, it was from 10 to 11 years old and it made me think that when I was that age, I was about to start in racing," said Suarez, who ranks 10th in the XFINITY standings. "It was really cool. All those kids were super-excited about all of us. Now they have tickets to go, without a question. I'm excited about that and looking forward to seeing all these kids again next month." Suarez's own role as a student has meant plenty of adjustment in his first full XFINITY season driving the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota, visiting new circuits and adapting to the pace of longer races than the NASCAR K&N Pro Series that sparked his development. Yet when he returns to the Land of Lincoln, it will mark the 23-year-old driver's second race on the 1.5-mile track, a facility he lauded for its multiple grooves and high-speed layout. Suarez finished 15th last fall in a one-off event for RAB Racing at Chicagoland in just his second career XFINITY start, but it's an experience he hopes to build upon when the series returns for Father's Day weekend. "For sure, it's different because at least you know what to expect," said Suarez, who is also running a part-time schedule for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this season. "In those races where I've never been before in the past, you're learning about everything -- about the racing line, everything. I know that when I do my homework to watch video and get information about the race, everything is still difficult. "It's still a process. But for all these races where I've been in the past, I feel like my confidence and my knowledge about the race track is a little better." His learning process thus far has been on an accelerated upturn, especially on the series' short tracks, where he's logged his best finishes of the season -- second at Bristol and sixth at Richmond. That streak ended Sunday at Iowa Speedway , where he led a career-high 48 laps early on before sliding back somewhat in the late going. His chances for a top-five finish, though, slipped away when his car sputtered out of fuel with just two laps left in regulation. "It was just a difficult day in many ways," Suarez said. "Looks like we had a pretty strong car in the beginning of the race, but the race track changed a lot and the line changed a lot as well. We improved the car some, never quite like at the beginning, and then we ran out of luck and ran out fuel. That pretty much ended our day, but at the end of the day, I felt like we had a top-five car. I feel like we ran most of the day in the top 10, top five, and that's a good thing, but definitely we have to keep working, keep learning about our mistakes and be better for next week." Next week comes quick for Suarez and the rest of the XFINITY regulars with Saturday's Hisense 300 (2:30 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM) at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the backyard of NASCAR's business hub. His studies for this weekend haven't started just yet, but it's by no means due to procrastination. "Not yet, actually. We are here today in Chicago and just finished yesterday in Iowa, so my homework is going to start tomorrow," Suarez said. "But I feel good about Charlotte. I've never been on the race track in a race, but I had a test in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at the beginning of the year, so I know a little bit about the track. It's straightforward, it's fast, it's very narrow, but I feel like we're going to have a pretty good car one more time and we're going to try to be competitive." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Mark Martin compiled 96 victories across NASCAR's three national series and is one of the best drivers to have never won a championship.
Team Penske's history, rosters for Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano's teams
From wrecks to fights to fantastic finishes, Watkins Glen has seen it all
A stats-based look ahead to the 11th race of the Sprint Cup season MORE: See the Chase Grid entering Kansas DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 4, 2015) – Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas going into the SpongeBob SquarePants 400 on May 9 (7:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1). KANSAS-SPECIFIC STATISTICS Greg Biffle (No. 16 Cheez-It/SpongeBob SquarePants Ford) · Two wins, seven top fives, nine top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 10.9 · Average Running Position of 10.0, fourth-best · Driver Rating of 102.8, fourth-best · 207 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most · 900 Green Flag Passes, ninth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.679 mph, sixth-fastest · 2,868 Laps in the Top 15 (77.8%), third-most · 526 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), fourth-most Dale Earnhardt Jr . (No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet) · Two top fives, eight top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 16.6 · Driver Rating of 91.3, 10th-best · 133 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most · 887 Green Flag Passes, 10th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.349 mph, 11th-fastest · 2,103 Laps in the Top 15 (61.5%), 10th-most · 442 Quality Passes, eighth-most Carl Edwards (No. 19 STANLEY Toyota) · Six top fives, 11 top 10s · Average finish of 10.1 · Average Running Position of 12.2, eighth-best · Driver Rating of 96.8, seventh-best · 132 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most · 956 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.562 mph, seventh-fastest · 2,552 Laps in the Top 15 (69.2%), sixth-most · 538 Quality Passes, third-most Jeff Gordon (No. 24 American Red Cross Chevrolet) · Three wins, 10 top fives, 12 top 10s · Average finish of 10.3 · Average Running Position of 9.9, third-best · Driver Rating of 100.5, fifth-best · 157 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most · 866 Green Flag Passes, 12th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.910 mph, third-fastest · Series-high 3,064 Laps in the Top 15 (83.1%) · 571 Quality Passes, second-most Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet) · One win, three top fives, eight top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 11.5 · Average Running Position of 11.3, sixth-best · Driver Rating of 100.4, sixth-best · 226 Fastest Laps Run, third-most · Series-high 1,000 Green Flag Passes · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.769 mph, fourth-fastest · 2,667 Laps in the Top 15 (72.4%), fifth-most · 487 Quality Passes, fifth-most Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet) · Two wins, six top fives, 14 top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 9.5 · Average Running Position of 9.4, second-best · Series-best Driver Rating of 112.1 · Series-high 478 Fastest Laps Run · 969 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.998 mph, second-fastest · 3,045 Laps in the Top 15 (82.6%), second-most · Series-high 619 Quality Passes Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet) · Four top fives, seven top 10s; three poles · Average finish of 13.8 · Average Running Position of 13.2, ninth-best · Driver Rating of 92.7, ninth-best · 155 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most · 989 Green Flag Passes, third-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.483 mph, eighth-fastest · 2,434 Laps in the Top 15 (66.0%), seventh-most · 473 Quality Passes, sixth-most Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota) · Two wins, six top fives, 10 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 14.2 · Average Running Position of 10.7, fifth-best · Driver Rating of 105.6, second-best · 240 Fastest Laps Run, second-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.723 mph, fifth-fastest · 2,775 Laps in the Top 15 (75.3%), fourth-most · 453 Quality Passes, seventh-most Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Avaya Ford) · One win, two top fives, four top 10s · Average finish of 13.1 · Average Running Position of 14.3, 12th-best · Driver Rating of 88.1, 12th-best Kyle Larson (No. 42 Target Chevrolet) · One top five, one top 10 · Average finish of 7.0 · Series-best Average Running Position of 9.3 · Driver Rating of 103.9, third-best · Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 168.679 mph Tony Stewart (No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet) · Two wins, six top fives, nine top 10s · Average finish of 13.1 · Average Running Position of 11.6, seventh-best · Driver Rating of 95.3, eighth-best · 142 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.416 mph, 10th-fastest · 2,213 Laps in the Top 15 (64.7%), eighth-most · 439 Quality Passes, 11th-most Martin Truex Jr . (No. 78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet) · Four top fives, four top 10s · Average finish of 18.2 · Average Running Position of 14.1, 10th-best · Driver Rating of 90.4, 11th-best · 134 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 167.442 mph, ninth-fastest · 2,060 Laps in the Top 15 (60.3%), 11th-most The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2015 Top 16 at Kansas Speedway Rank Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating 1 Kevin Harvick 18 3 1 3 8 1 11.5 100.4 2 Martin Truex Jr . 13 0 0 4 4 1 18.2 90.4 3 Jimmie Johnson 17 3 2 6 14 1 9.5 112.1 4 Joey Logano 11 0 1 3 3 1 19.8 79.7 5 Dale Earnhardt Jr . 17 1 0 2 8 2 16.6 91.3 6 Brad Keselowski 10 0 1 2 4 0 13.1 88.1 7 Jamie McMurray 16 0 0 0 3 2 20.3 73.4 8 Matt Kenseth 18 2 2 6 10 2 14.2 105.6 9 Kasey Kahne 15 3 0 4 7 1 13.8 92.7 10 Denny Hamlin 13 0 1 3 4 0 14.5 87.9 11 Paul Menard 12 0 0 1 5 0 15.6 80.3 12 Aric Almirola 6 0 0 0 3 1 18.2 84.4 13 Jeff Gordon 18 0 3 10 12 2 10.3 100.5 14 Ryan Newman 18 0 1 3 5 3 18.0 71.9 15 Kurt Busch 18 1 0 1 4 2 19.0 83.7 16 Danica Patrick 5 0 0 0 1 2 24.6 59.0 * – Based on last 14 races at Kansas Speedway . Kansas Speedway Data Season Race #: 11 of 36 (05-10-15) Track Size : 1.5-miles Banking/Turn 1 & 2 : 17 to 20 degrees Banking/Turn 3 & 4 : 17 to 20 degrees Banking/Frontstretch : 10 degrees Banking/Backstretch : 5 degrees Frontstretch Length : 2,685 feet Backstretch Length : 2,207 feet Race Length : 267 laps / 400 miles Top 10 Driver Ratings at Kansas Jimmie Johnson ........................ 112.1 Matt Kenseth ............................. 105.6 Kyle Larson ............................... 103.9 Greg Biffle ................................ 102.8 Jeff Gordon .............................. 100.5 Kevin Harvick ............................ 100.4 Carl Edwards .............................. 96.8 Tony Stewart ............................... 95.3 Kasey Kahne .............................. 92.7 Dale Earnhardt Jr . ....................... 91.3 Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (14 total) among active drivers at Kansas Speedway . Qualifying/Race Data 2014 pole winner : Kevin Harvick , Chevrolet 194.252 mph, 27.799 secs. 05-08-14 2014 race winner : Jeff Gordon , Chevrolet 128.149 mph, (03:07:31), 05-10-14 Track qualifying record: Kevin Harvick , Chevrolet 197.773 mph, 27.304 secs. 10-3-14 Track race record: Denny Hamlin , Toyota 144.122 mph, (02:59:51), 04-22-12 Kansas Speedway : History · Groundbreaking was held on May 25, 1999. · The official opening of Kansas Speedway was in 2001, with the first events being an ARCA race and a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race on the same day – June 2. · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was on Sept. 30, 2001 – won by Jeff Gordon . · During the 2012 season, between the April and October events the 1.5-mile track underwent a repave adding variable banking in the corners. Notebook · There have been 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway , one NSCS event from 2001 - 2010 and two races per year since 2011. · 117 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas; 89 in more than one. · Five drivers have started all 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway – Jeff Gordon , Kevin Harvick , Kurt Busch , Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman . · Jason Leffler won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Kansas Speedway in 2001 with a speed of 176.499 mph. · 11 drivers have Coors Light poles at Kansas, led by Kevin Harvick , Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne with three each. · Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick are the only two drivers to win consecutive Coors Light poles at Kansas Speedway (Johnson – 2007, 2008 and Harvick – fall 2013, spring 2014 and fall 2014). · Youngest Kansas pole winner: Jason Leffler (09/30/2001 – 26 years, 0 months, 14 days). · Oldest Kansas pole winner: Mark Martin (10/04/2009 – 50 years, 8 months, 25 days). · 12 different drivers have won at Kansas Speedway , led by Jeff Gordon with three. · Hendrick Motorsports leads the series in wins at Kansas with five: Jeff Gordon (three) and Jimmie Johnson (two). · Four manufacturers have won at Kansas Speedway in the NSCS; led by Chevrolet with nine victories, Ford with four, Toyota and Dodge each have two. · Four of the 18 (22.2%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway have been won from the Coors Light pole; Joe Nemechek (2004), Jimmie Johnson (2008), Matt Kenseth (spring 2013) and Kevin Harvick (fall 2013). · Five of the 18 (27.7%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway have been won from the front row: four from the pole and one from second-place. · 11 of the 18 (61.1%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Kansas Speedway have been won from a top-10 starting position. · Two of the 18 (11.1%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway have been won from a starting position outside the top 20. · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Kansas Speedway was 25th, by Brad Keselowski in the spring of 2011. · Youngest Kansas winner: Joey Logano (10/05/2014 – 24 years, 4 months, 11 days). · Oldest Kansas winner: Mark Martin (10/09/2005 – 46 years, 9 months, 0 days). · Martin Truex Jr ., Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman are tied for the series most runner-up finishes at Kansas Speedway with two each. · Jeff Gordon leads the series in top-five finishes at Kansas Speedway with 10; followed by Greg Biffle with seven. · Jimmie Johnson leads the series in top-10 finishes at Kansas Speedway with 14; followed by Jeff Gordon (12) and Carl Edwards (11). · Joey Logano leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Kansas Speedway with an 10.818. · Kyle Larson (7.000) leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Kansas Speedway – Jimmie Johnson (9.529) is the only other driver with an average finish inside the top 10. · There has been one NSCS race resulting with a green-white-checkered finish at Kansas Speedway : fall of 2011 (267/272). · Only one of the 18 races at Kansas Speedway has been shortened due to weather conditions: fall of 2007. · Qualifying has never been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Kansas Speedway . · Denny Hamlin has participated in the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kansas Speedway without posting a DNF (13). · 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion and 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Austin Dillon (10/09/2011), Ryan Blaney (5/10/2014) and Denny Hamlin (10/09/2005) made their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career starts at Kansas Speedway . · Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth are the only two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers that have posted consecutive wins at Kansas Speedway : Gordon (2001 and 2002 – the first two NSCS events at Kansas) and Kenseth (fall of 2012, spring of 2013). · Nine of the 10 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners at Kansas Speedway participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Jeff Gordon won at Kansas in his first appearance. · Kevin Harvick competed at Kansas Speedway 15 times before winning last fall; the longest span of any the 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners at Kansas. · Kevin Harvick (15) and Matt Kenseth (13) have made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Kansas Speedway . · Kurt Busch leads the series with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Kansas Speedway without visiting Victory Lane at 18. · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Kansas Speedway was the (10/10/2004) race won by Joe Nemechek with a MOV of 0.081 second. · Jimmie Johnson leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Kansas Speedway with 586 laps led in 17 starts. · Danica Patrick is the only female driver that has competed at Kansas Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Driver Starting Position Finishing Position Date Danica Patrick 29 16 10/5/2014 Danica Patrick 9 7 5/10/2014 Danica Patrick 29 43 10/6/2013 Danica Patrick 25 25 4/21/2013 Danica Patrick 40 32 10/21/2012 NASCAR in Kansas · There have been 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Kansas. Track Name City NSCS Kansas Speedway Kansas City 18 · 17 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Kansas. · Two drivers from Kansas have won at least one race in NASCAR’s three national series; both have won in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Driver NSCS NNS NCWTS Clint Bowyer 8 8 3 Jim Roper 1 0 0 MILESTONES - KANSAS DRIVER HAS NEEDS MILESTONE Kyle Larson 49 1 50th NSCS Start - Larson is tied with Boris Said and Justin Allgaier for 272nd on the all-time NSCS starts list with 49 starts. Justin Allgaier 49 1 50th NSCS Start - Allgaier is tied with Boris Said and Kyle Larson for 272nd on the all-time NSCS starts list with 49 starts. Tony Stewart 48 2 50th NSCS Win - Stewart is 12th on the all-time NSCS wins list. Matt Kenseth 32 1 33rd NSCS Win - Kenseth is tied with Dale Jarrett for 22nd on the all-time NSCS wins li