World Wide Technology Raceway is a unique race track. The egg-shaped track is the only NASCAR track that is 1.25 miles long, and it is very flat with 11 degrees of banking in turns one and two and nine degrees in turns three and four. The question becomes, is WWT Raceway more of an intermediate track like a Nashville or a Darlington, or is it more like a intermediately short track like a Phoenix or a New Hampshire?
While there is no direct comparison to WWT Raceway, the banking and type of racing is more consistent with tracks such as Phoenix or New Hampshire. With this in mind, which drivers tend to dominate on 1.0 mile race tracks?
5. Denny Hamlin
By the Numbers: 6 wins, 34 top 5s, 54 top 10s, 2,291 laps led, 12.4 avg. finish, 99 races
Breakdown: Denny Hamlin will run his 100th race on tracks around 1.0 miles in length this weekend, and he has been great from the beginning of his career. Hamlin got his third career win at New Hampshire in 2007, and finished a solid fifth at another 1.0 mile track at Dover in early May. Without Ross Chastain last season at WWT Raceway, who knows where Denny Hamlin finishes?
4. Chase Elliot
By the Numbers: 3 wins, 16 top 5s, 20 top 10s, 1,039 laps led, 12.1 avg. finish, 37 races
Breakdown: Time will tell whether or not Chase Elliot will race this weekend, but if he does, he is a guy to watch this weekend. He got the biggest win of his career on a track like this in Phoenix Raceway on 2020, and a second place finish at New Hampshire last year means Elliot is a guy to watch this weekend.
3. Kyle Larson
By the Numbers: 2 Wins, 18 Top 5s, 28 Top 10s, 1,297 laps led, 10.9 avg finish, 46 races
Breakdown: Any track that requires finesse, searching for grip, and sliding around fits Kyle Larson perfectly. Larson led 201 laps earlier this season at Phoenix Raceway, and he has two career wins at tracks around 1.0 miles in length. One of them being the biggest win of his career in the championship race in 2021.
2. Kyle Busch
By the Numbers: 9 Wins, 37 top 5s, 64 top 10s, 3,731 laps led, 12.8 avg. finish, 103 races
Breakdown: It’s hard to find a track that Kyle Busch struggles at, and these types of tracks tend to suit him as was evidenced by his great run in St Louis last summer. His last win at a track like this came at Phoenix in March of 2019, and he led the most laps at WWT Raceway last summer. Busch should be a driver to watch this weekend.
1. Kevin Harvick
By the Numbers: 16 Wins, 44 top 5s, 76 top 10s, 4,161 laps led, 11.5 avg. finish, 124 races
Breakdown: The closest comparison to WWT Raceway may be Phoenix Raceway, and Harvick is the undisputed king of Phoenix Raceway with 9 career wins at the track. He is not half-bad at New Hampshire either with four career wins at the track. These 1.0 mile tracks are arguably Harvick’s strongest tracks.
WWT Raceway is a bit of a unicorn, but those who race well at tracks like New Hampshire and Phoenix tend to do well at WWT Raceway. It will be interesting to see as time goes on which drivers get a handle on the track.