RACE PREVIEW:TALLADEGA

AARON’S 499

TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY

MAY 6th, 1 PM CHARLOTTE TIME FOX TV

2.66 MILES, 33 Degrees of Banking

This is race #10 and the 2nd restrictor plate race of the year. A restrictor plate regulates how much air gets into an engine and therefore restricts or limits how fast it can go. They are only used at two tracks: here at Talladega and at Daytona. Drivers fear these races as they force them to run very close together because the speeds are limited. This is the biggest oval track on the circuit and that often times leads to the biggest wrecks at any track. Drivers (and fans) are all waiting for “the big one” – a wreck that can sometimes take anywhere from one car to half of the field out. When the cars get bunched up like they do here it only takes one car getting loose to start a huge chain reaction pile up. We are only 9 races into the season and no one wants to get caught up in someone else’s mistake or misfortune. Many times drivers who know each other will move thru traffic on the track together nose to tail – “drafting” – and with the season just beginning, it will be interesting to see if old alliances stay intact or if new ones are formed due to team loyalties or drivers wanting to hook up with others they think can take them farther. Chevrolet has won 16 of the last 20 races here. Hendrick Motorsports has seven of those wins and Richard Childress Racing has three of them, and those three came in the last four races. Who will win this year? We’ll know on Sunday.

Tuesday look for our Top 10 Owner/Teams in advance of the Aaron’s 499 from Talladega.

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Top 5 Drivers:Richmond

 

CAPITOL CITY 400 from RICHMOND

The #5 driver to watch is the most recent winner here, #29 Kevin Harvick. In fact Kevin is a two-time past winner with 22 starts, two wins and six Top 5’s. Kevin is very good at Phoenix which has some similarities to Richmond. Kevin is #3 best average finish and 12 of his last 14 starts here were top 10’s.

 

My #4 pick is just getting better here, #99 Carl Edwards. Carl has 15 starts, no wins and Three top 5’s. Two of those three Top 5’s were from last year, in fact Carl got all three in his last four starts and all of his last four were Top 10’s.

 

My #3 driver is another former-winner here, #39 Ryan Newman. Ryan won here in the second race of 2003. He is a Top 3 ranked short track driver for me. He and his teammate/owner Tony Stewart bring a lot of experience to this track and will be looking for it to pay off Saturday night.

 

The #2 driver reminds us that you can’t come into the Commonwealth of Virginia and not think of #11, Denny Hamlin. Denny is the hometown hero here where he has won twice in 12 starts. He also has six Top 5 finishes. Denny was second in this race last year and is coming off a big win last week in Kansas.

 

My #1 driver to watch got his first win in the Commonwealth in the spring race of 2009. He came back in 2010 and won it again, and did it again last year, #18 Kyle Busch. Kyle has 14 starts and 11 of those were Top 5 finishes! Five of his last six races were Top 5’s and ALL were Top10’s. His team, Joe Gibbs’ Racing, has won five of the last six races here.

Monday we’ll preview the Aaron’s 499 from Talladega.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 30 Drivers:Richmond

CAPITAL CITY 400 presented by Virginia is for Lovers from RICHMOND

 

1. KYLE BUSCH #18

2. DENNY HAMLIN #11

3. RYAN NEWMAN #39

4. CARL EDWARDS #99

5. KEVIN HARVICK #29

6. TONY STEWART #14

7. CLINT BOWYER #15

8. JEFF GORDON #24

9. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48

10. MATT KENSETH #17

11. MARK MARTIN #55

12. GREG BIFFLE #16

13. JEFF BURTON #31

14. JUAN PABLO MONTOYA #42

15. KURT BUSCH #51

16. JAMIE McMURRAY #1

17. JOEY LOGANO #20

18. A. J. ALLMENDINGER #22

19. MARCOS AMBROSE #9

20. DALE EARNHARDT JR #88

21. MARTIN TRUEX #56

22. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2

23. DAVID RAGAN #34

24. KASEY KAHNE #5

25. CASEY MEARS #13

26. PAUL MENARD #27

27. DAVID REUTIMANN #10

28. REGAN SMITH #78

29. ARIC ALMIROLA #43

30. BOBBY LABONTE #47

 

*STILL MUST QUALIFY

 

Friday we break down the Top 5 drivers to watch.

 

 

 

Top Ten Drivers:Short Track

TOP 10: SHORT TRACK

1. KYLE BUSCH #18

2. DENNY HAMLIN #11

3. RYAN NEWMAN #39

4. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48

5. JEFF GORDON #24

6. CARL EDWARDS #99

7. MATT KENSETH #17

8. KEVIN HARVICK #29

9. KURT BUSCH #51

10. JAMIE McMURRAY #1

Top 10 on Short tracks, Thursday look for our Top 30 rankings for Saturday’s Capital City 400 presented by Virginia is for Lovers from Richmond International Raceway.

TOP TEN TEAMS

TOP 10 TEAMS POST KANSAS

1. ROUSH/FENWAY RACING

2. STEWART HAAS RACING

3. HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS

4. MICHAEL WALTRIP RACING

5. JOE GIBBS RACING

 

6. RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING

7. EARNHARDT GANASSI RACING

8. PENSKE RACING

9. RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS

10. FURNITURE ROW RACING

 

Roush/Fenway Racing stay at #1 for the eighth week. Stewart Haas Racing move up two spots to the #2 place. Hendrick Motorsports remain at #3. An uneven week leaves  Michael Waltrip Racing dropping two places to #4. Joe Gibbs Racing gets the win but stays at #5. Richard Childress Racing hold steady at #6. Earnhardt/Ganassi Racing stay at #7. Penske Racing drop a spot to #8. RPM move up to #9. Furniture Row Racing hang in the Top 10 again this week at #10.

 

 

 

These are the Top 10 Owner/Teams, Wednesday look for our Top10 drivers on short tracks.

RACE PREVIEW:RICHMOND

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES 400

RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY

APRIL 28, 7:30PM CHARLOTTE TIME FOX TV

¾ MILE 14 DEGREES of BANKING

The last race of the spring short track season promises the one constant of all short tracks:  short tempers. Success here will depend on how well you qualify and whether or not you can stay up front and hopefully out of the sheet metal bumping and bending that you usually find in the back and middle of the pack. Kyle Busch has won this spring race for the last three years in a row. Kyle and his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin have won five of the last six races here. That gives Joe Gibbs Racing the most wins in the last ten years of any owner; six. The next are Hendrick Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing who each have three wins in the last ten years. Will the Joe Gibbs Racing domination continue? We’ll know Saturday night under the lights.

Tuesday look for our Top 10 owner/teams.

Top 5 Drivers:Kansas

STP 400 from KANSAS

My #5 driver is a two time former winner here, #14 Tony Stewart. Tony’s last win here was in 2009 and think he is the best on tracks like this. Tony has 12 starts, two wins and six top 5’s.  

 

The #4 driver to watch has done well at tracks like this one, #29 Kevin Harvick. Kevin is a top five driver at tracks like this. He has had his struggles in Kansas but five of his last six races have been top 10’s. Kevin has 12 starts here and only one Top 5.

 

My #3 driver is winless here too, #99 Carl Edwards. Carl is ranked Top 3 on tracks like this and is #3 best average finish. Carl has nine starts here and four Top 5’s. Three of his last five races were Top 5’s.

 

My #2 driver to watch is our points leader, #16 Greg Biffle. Greg was the winner here in 2007 and 2010. Greg has 11 starts, two wins and six Top 5 finishes. Greg has the #2 best average finish here.

 

My #1 driver is happy to be here after a shaky start to his season, #48 Jimmie Johnson. Jimmie is #1 in best average finish at this track, #1 hottest over the last six weeks AND the last winner here. Jimmie has 11 starts, two wins and four top 5 finishes. Four of his last six races were Top 5’s and all were Top 10’s.

 

Monday look for our preview of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 400 from Richmond.