TOP 5 DRIVERS TO WATCH

FORD EcoBoost 400 from HOMESTEAD-MIAMI

 

The number #5 driver to watch is in the championship hunt in a major way, #48 Jimmie Johnson. Jimmie has never won here, but he has never had to win. When Jimmie won his five championships he always had a lead coming in here. Jimmie has four Top 5’s in his nine starts. He is 20 points back, so he’ll need bad luck from Brad Keselowski to win a sixth championship and if Brad does have bad luck, Jimmie needs to be upfront to take advantage of it.

 

My #4 driver to watch has terrible stats here, #15 Clint Bowyer. Clint might still be steaming after last week and will be fired up. Clint has just six starts here and one Top 5. But since arriving at Michael Waltrip Racing this year, his results have been much better. The key for Clint here will be to avoid the #24 car of Jeff Gordon.

 

My #3 pick also has horrible stats here, #4 Kasey Kahne. Kasey is also with a new team this year and has been getting much better results.  He is very good on these downforce tracks and is #5 hottest over the last six weeks. He has eight starts here and just one Top 5. Look for that to change after Sunday.

 

My #2 driver to watch has the highest average finish here, #99 Carl Edwards. Carl has eight starts here with two wins and five Top 5 finishes. Carl won here two years ago and finished second last year. And it doesn’t hurt that this track is a “Roush House” as Roush/Fenway drivers have won six of the last eight races here.

 

My #1 driver to watch is coming off a win last week in Phoenix, #29 Kevin Harvick. Kevin has nine starts at this track and five Top 5 finishes. In fact in the last four years he has all Top 10 finishes and three of those were Top 5’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TOP 30 DRIVERS

FORD 400 HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY

 

1. KEVIN HARVICK #29

2. CARL EDWARDS #99

3. KASEY KAHNE #5

4. CLINT BOWYER #15

5. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48

6. DENNY HAMLIN #11

7. MATT KENSETH #17

8. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2

9. TONY STEWART #14

10. MARTIN TRUEX #56

11. JEFF GORDON #24

12. GREG BIFFLE #16

13. RYAN NEWMAN #39

14. KYLE BUSCH #18

15. JAMIE MCMURRAY #1

16. MARK MARTIN #55

17. JEFF BURTON #31

18. PAUL MENARD #27

19. ARIC ALMIROLA #43

20. DALE EARNHARDT JR #88

21. SAM HORNISH #22

22. JOEY LOGANO #20

23. KURT BUSCH #78

24. TRAVIS KVAPIL #93

25. REGAN SMITH #51

26. JUAN PABLO MONTOYA #42

27. BOBBY LABONTE #47

28. DAVID RAGAN #34

29. MARCOS AMBROSE #9

30. TREVOR BAYNE #21

 

 

*STILL MUST QUALIFY

 

Friday we break down the Top 5 drivers to watch in the Ford 400.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOP 10 TEAMS

TOP 10 TEAMS POST PHOENIX

1. HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS

2. ROUSH/FENWAY RACING

3. JOE GIBBS RACING

4. PENSKE RACING

5. STEWART HAAS RACING

6. MICHAEL WALTRIP RACING

7. RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING

8. RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS

9. FURNITURE ROW RACING

10. EARNHARDT GANASSI RACING

 

Hendrick Motorsports stay at #1 for the 19th week in a row. Roush/Fenway Racing remain at #2. Joe Gibbs Racing move up to #3.  Penske Racing goes to #4. Stewart Haas Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, Furniture Row Racing and Earnhardt/Ganassi Racing remain in place this week.

 

Thursday look for our Top30 drivers at Miami-Homestead Speedway.

Top 10 Drivers by Track Type

TOP 10: DOWNFORCE TRACKS

1. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48

2. TONY STEWART #14

3. CARL EDWARDS #99

4. MATT KENSETH #17

5. KEVIN HARVICK #29

6. KASEY KAHNE #5

 

7. CLINT BOWYER #15

8. DENNY HAMLIN #11

9. DEAR EARNHARDT JR.  #88

10. GREG BIFFLE #16

Top 10 on Downforce tracks, Wednesday look for out Top 10 Teams and Thursday look for our Top 30 for Sunday’s FORD EcoBoost 400 from Homestead-Miami Speedway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Race Preview

MIAMI HOMESTEAD FORD ECOBOOST 400

HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY

November 18th, 3PM EST

ESPN TV

1 Mile 20 Degrees of Banking

It doesn’t seem that long ago that 49 drivers showed up at Daytona in February to get in the Daytona 500. Six drivers were eliminated in the duel races. Forty-three started the race hoping not only to win the race but kick off the 2012 season in the best way possible. Matt Kenseth won and left 42 drivers thinking we’ll try again next race. Fifteen different drivers found Victory Lane from eight different teams this season. Nine races ago twelve drivers made it into the Chase for the Cup – twelve drivers in 10 races to decide the 2012 Sprint Cup Champion. Ten Chase drivers have been mathematically eliminated, two drivers remain. Now after thirty-five races, it all comes down to this:  Jimmie Johnson sits 20 points back from the points’ leader Brad Keselowski.  Bottom line is: to guarantee a championship Brad Keselowski needs to just finish 15th or better, if he leads a lap 16th will do it, or if he leads the most laps 17th or better. Even if Jimmie wins! Look for both to do whatever they have to, to lead at least one lap to get the one bonus point for leading a lap. Jimmie is going to need to win and for Brad to encounter trouble. This track was reconfigured just before the 2003 season. Since that time only three owners have found Victory Lane.  Joe Gibbs Racing won here twice and Roush/Fenway Racing had six wins. Tony Stewart won last year getting Stewart Haas Racing their first win here. Can Penske Racing or Hendrick Motorsports get their first wins at what has become a “Roush House?” We’ll know on Sunday.

Tuesday look for our Top 10 drivers on Downforce tracks going into Homestead-Miami.

TOP 5 DRIVERS

AdvoCare 500 from PHOENIX

 

The number #5 driver to watch is a great flat-track driver, #39 Ryan Newman. Ryan is a former-winner here, he won in early 2010. Ryan, a Top 3 flat-track driver has that win in 20 starts along with his seven Top 5 finishes.

 

My #4 driver has only really had one good result here, #2 Brad Keselowski. Brad has 6 starts and just one Top 5, but that Top 5 came here in March of this year. Brad is #2 hottest over the last six weeks AND has been the over-performer of the year at every stop so far this season.

 

My #3 driver to watch is a two-time former-winner here, #24 Jeff Gordon. Jeff was the last winner here on the old configuration in March of 2011. Jeff has an incredible 26 starts, two wins and ten Top 5 finishes. Jeff is my #2 rated flat track driver and #5 hot over the last six weeks.

 

My #2 pick is a driver is another former winner, #11 Denny Hamlin. Denny has 14 starts here and has six Top 5’s. Denny is out of the Championship hunt but for his own off-season sanity he needs to finish this season well.

 

My #1 pick this week is the driver who has the best average finish, #48 Jimmie Johnson. Jimmie has 18 starts here, four wins and 12 Top 5’s – over half of his races here! Eleven of his last 12 starts here were all Top 5’s. He is my #1 rated flat track driver, #1 in points, #1 hottest over the last six weeks and is ready to lock into his 6th Championship in the Valley of the Sun.

 

Monday look for our preview of the Ford 400 from Miami-Homestead.

 

 

 

 

TOP 30 DRIVERS

ADVOCARE 500:PHOENIX

 

1. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48

2. DENNY HAMLIN #11

3. JEFF GORDON #24

4. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2

5. RYAN NEWMAN #39

6. GREG BIFFLE #16

7. MARK MARTIN #55

8. MARTIN TRUEX #56

9. KYLE BUSCH #18

10. CARL EDWARDS #99

11. TONY STEWART #14

12. KEVIN HARVICK #29

13. MATT KENSETH #17

14. CLINT BOWYER #15

15. JOEY LOGANO #20

16. KURT BUSCH #78

17. KASEY KAHNE #5

18. JUAN PABLO MONTOYA #42

19. MARCOS AMBROSE #47

20. JEFF BURTON #31

21. DALE EARNHARDT JR #88

22. SAM HORNISH #22

23. ARIC ALMIROLA #43

24. JAMIE MCMURRAY #1

25. PAUL MENARD #27

26. BOBBY LABONTE #47

27. DAVID RAGAN #34

28. CASEY MEARS #13

29. REGAN SMITH #51

30. DAVID GILLILAND #38

 

*STILL MUST QUALIFY

 

Top 30 drivers, Friday we break down the Top 5 drivers to watch.