Late in 2008 I did some analysis showing which drivers over their careers helped the stock market most. Who do you root for if you want the stock market to go up? And which winners hit your wallet the hardest?

I have resurrected the data for the 2009 season. I considered the first trading day after a race, and compared the performance of the S&P 500 to the winning driver and manufacturer of the most recent race. Here is what I found:

Kyle Busch’s four wins produced a total stock market gain of 5.7 percent.

Matt Kenseth’s two wins to start the season caused an 8 percent loss in the stock market. Despite not doing any other damage on the track the rest of the year, his two wins in February did enough damage to everybody’s wallets for the whole year. If you look at my list from 2008, the -8 percent Kenseth displayed this past year is enough to put him in the bottom echelon of all-time performers.

Maybe people don’t like Jimmie Johnson that much, but his seven wins turned into a positive 4 percent gain in the stock market, good for all of us.

And despite Mark Martin’s -6.7 percent contribution in 2009, his career totals still put him in the top 10 of all-time positive contributors.

Now let’s just consider the per-race average stock market performance for wins. So Matt Kenseth’s negative 8 percent over 2 wins is a negative 4 percent average on this table.

Here we see a lot of single-race winners near the top: David Reutimann, Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray all had a single win, but were able to parlay those wins into positive market performances.

On the flip side, Brad Keselowski and Brian Vickers had individual wins that really hurt the market the next day.

Notice Tony Stewart, in a new role as owner-driver, had a very quiet 0.1% contribution per win. Not rocking the boat at all.

Finally, the most intriguing result of all: Toyota was the only manufacturer that produced a positive stock market effect all year. Maybe foreign automakers aren’t that bad after all?

(All Left Turns contributor Dale Watermill is the creator of the Watermill Score and the FLOPPER Award and edits the racing statistics blog 36 Races. E-mail him at

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