Danica Patrick – Danica Patrick has been a pleasant surprise at Martinsville and she’s had some good results here. This spring she had a great race and finished 7th. There’s no trickery in that result and it was a legitimate 7th place finish. In the first half of the race she didn’t run well but over the second half I would estimate she had a 10th place average running position. Also in the race it should be noted she earned the 12th best driver rating. Part of his reason for her success is her crew chief Daniel Knost. When Kurt Busch won here last year he said, “Daniel Knost knows Martinsville”. In 2014 she had a tough year at “The Paper Clip”. Last fall she had teens potential and was running in 16th but she was collected in a “Big One” when Keselowski’s axle broke. In spring 2014 she started in 10th but when the green flag waved she quickly fell through the running order. From lap 100 to the conclusion of the race she never ran better than 28th. When the checkered flag waved she earned the 28th best driver rating and finished 32nd. In her rookie season she had a good year here. In fall 2013 she started near the back in 41st but that didn’t same to faze her. She finished 17th, had a 23rd place average running position and earned the 23rd best driver ranking. In spring 2013 she started in the rear of the field because of an engine change and raced here way up to a 12th place finish. I will state that finish deserves an asterisk mark. In that event she had a 26th place average running position and only ran in the top fifteen in 4.2% percent of the laps completed. Also in that event she spun and went a lap down under green.
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David Ragan – David Ragan has back to back top tens at Martinsville. Thinking he might get a third in a row is wishful thinking. This spring it’s important to remember he drove the #18 car. In that event no organization was better than JGR. All four of them were fast over long runs and rotated well in the corners. When the checkered flag waved he finished 5th, earned the 11th best driver rating and had an 11th place average running position. In comparison to what he’s driving now MWR struggled in the spring and in practice Bowyer could barely make a lap. Bowyer did finish 13th but that was through him carrying the car. Last fall at Martinsville Ragan finished a misleading 10th. In that race he was about a 20th place driver at best but at the end he played the pit strategy game which got him up to 3rd with only a few laps remaining. To give you a better idea about his level of performance here’s his Yahoo Race Chart. In his other races since 2012 minus a fall 2013 engine failure he has a 27th place average finish.
Justin Allgaier – Justin Allgaier didn’t have a smooth day at Martinsville this spring. When the green flag waved he was forced to start in the rear of the field in a backup car after wrecking in practice. Performance wise that didn’t appear to be an issue and he ran well. He had a solid chance to compete for a teen finish but his race wasn’t incident free. In terms of seeing how well he performed here’s a link to his Yahoo Race Chart. On lap 228 he was involved in a multi-car wreck and after that he was essentially done for the day. When the checkered flag waved he finished 42nd. Last year he ran fairly well in both races. He finished on the lead lap twice and had results of 17th and 23rd. Also in the combined events he earned the 21st best driver rating and had a 22.5 average running position.