TOP FIVE DRIVERS

Oral B 500 from ATLANTA

My #5 driver is a former-winner in Atlanta. He has 16 starts: one win, and five Top 5’s. Kyle is locked into the Chase but he has just finished what was probably his worst month ever. Kyle needs to correct and there is nowhere better than here where he is the defending champion of this race. Kyle is #28th hottest over the last six weeks.

 

The #4 driver is a three-time former-winner here, #41 Kurt Busch. Kurt has 23 starts, three wins, and five Top 5 finishes. Kurt is going to make the Chase, but after a season of ups and downs he is looking to stabilize and go into the Chase in a successful consistent manner.

 

My #3 driver is a former winner here in the A-T-L, #4 Kevin Harvick. Kevin has 22 starts, one win, and five Top 5’s. Kevin doesn’t have the best stats in Atlanta, but he finished 5th here last year and six of his last seven races here were Top 10’s.

 

My #2 pick is a driver that has never won here, #20 Matt Kenseth. Matt is 0 and 25 here. But Matt has three Top 5’s in his last five starts. Even with no wins, Matt is one of the most consistent drivers here, giving him the #2 highest-average finish.

 

The #1 driver is the winning-est current driver here, #24 Jeff Gordon. Jeff has five wins in 40 starts with 16 Top 5’s. Jeff’s first win came in spring of 1995 and his last was in 2011 – a span of 16 years. Jeff was, and still is, very good here and he doesn’t have to win to make The Chase but it will be nice to ride the momentum into the playoffs.

 

 

Monday look for our preview of the Federated Auto Parts 400 from Richmond International Speedway.

 

TOP 30 DRIVERS

TOP 30 POWER RANKINGS

Oral B USA 500 from ATLANTA

 

  1. JEFF GORDON #24
  2. MATT KENSETH #20
  3. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  4. KURT BUSCH #41
  5. KYLE BUSCH #18
  6. DALE EARNHARDT JR #88
  7. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48
  8. GREG BIFFLE #16
  9. BRIAN VICKERS #55
  10. JOEY LOGANO #22
  11. RYAN NEWMAN #31
  12. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  13. MARTIN TRUEX #78
  14. A. J. ALLMENDINGER #47
  15. KYLE LARSON #42
  16. CARL EDWARDS #99
  17. MARCOS AMBROSE #9
  18. JAMIE MCMURRAY #1
  19. AUSTIN DILLION #3
  20. PAUL MENARD #27
  21. RICKY STENHOUSE #17
  22. DENNY HAMLIN #11
  23. CLINT BOWYER #15
  24. KASEY KAHNE #5
  25. ARIC ALMIROLA #43
  26. JEFF BURTON/TONY STEWART #14
  27. CASEY MEARS #13
  28. DANICA PATRICK #10
  29. DAVID GILLILAND #38
  30. DAVID RAGAN #34

 

Friday we break down the Top 5 drives to watch.

TOP TEN TEAMS

TOP 10 TEAMS POST BRISTOL

  1. TEAM PENSKE
  2. HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS
  3. CHIP GANASSI RACING
  4. ROUSH FENWAY RACING
  5. MICHAEL WALTRIP RACING

 

  1. RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING
  2. JOE GIBBS RACING
  3. STEWART HAAS RACING
  4. JTG RACING
  5. RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS

 

After 11 consecutive weeks at #1 Hendrick Motorsports falls out of the top spot and goes to #2. Team Penske takes over the #1 place. Chip Ganassi Racing rebounds in a major way and goes up four places to #3. Roush Fenway Racing goes up two spots to #4. Michael Waltrip Racing stays at #5. Richard Childress Racing slips out of the Top 5 two places to #6. Joe Gibbs Racing drops four places to #7. Stewart Haas Racing moves up a spot to #8. JTG Racing return to the Top 10 at #9. Richard Petty Motorsports slip a place to #10.

 

These are the Top 10 Owner/Teams, Thursday look for our Top 30 drivers at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

TRACK TYPE RANKING

TOP 10: INTERMEDIATE TRACKS

  1. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48
  2. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  3. CARL EDWARDS #99
  4. MATT KENSETH #20
  5. DENNY HAMLIN #11
  6. GREG BIFFLE #16
  7. KYLE BUSCH #18
  8. CLINT BOWYER #15
  9. TONY STEWART #14
  10. KURT BUSCH #41

Top 10 drivers on Intermediate tracks, Wednesday look for our Top 10 Teams and Thursday look for our Top 30 driver rankings for Sunday’s Oral B USA 500 from Atlanta Motor Speedway.

RACE PREVIEW

ORAL B USA 500

ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY

August 31st, 7:30PM ET on ESPN TV

1.54 Miles 24 Degrees of Banking

 

We have just two races to go until the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Atlanta is the fastest and probably the #1 favorite track amongst the drivers to drive on. Great sweeping turns and a smooth surface are two of the main reasons. At 1.54 miles it is a tad bigger than the many other “cookie cutter tracks.” Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing are the two most dominate teams here in the last 10 years. In the 17 races run JGR has five wins and HMS has four. Note though that JGR has three of the last four wins. No question these two teams dominate here. Kyle Larson, Kasey Kahne and Austin Dillion are on the outside looking in the Top 16, and Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer and Greg Biffle are just barely hanging in with the Chase drivers. This race is the fourth night race here in what is turning into a Labor Day weekend tradition and P-A-R-T-Y. Sadly it may be the last,\

as it appears the track would like to move this race to the Spring. Who will lock into the Chase? It looks very likely we’ll find out on Sunday night.

 

Tuesday look for our Top 10 Teams for week 25. Thursday we rank the top 30 drivers for the ORAL B USA 500

TOP FIVE DRIVERS

Irwin Tools Night Race from BRISTOL

The number #5 driver to watch has terrible stats here, #55 Brian Vickers. Brian has 19 starts, no wins and just three Top 5 finishes. But throw that out and look at his last five starts here. All five were Top 10’s and three of them were Top 5’s! A very good streak.

 

The number #4 driver to watch is the third hottest on the circuit right now and has the worst stats here, #15 Clint Bowyer. Clint has 16 starts, no wins and five Top 5’s. Just five Top 5’s is not spectacular, but he is #4 ranked on short tracks and very quietly he is 3rd hottest over the last six weeks.

 

My #3 driver needs a win, #20 Matt Kenseth. Matt sits 5th in points, has no wins yet this season and right now if the season ended he would get seeded 13th. With three races to go in the regular season that could be a tough place to be. Matt will be looking to get to the front and stay there. If he has a couple of bad runs he could miss the Chase. He is very happy to be at a place where in 19 starts he has three wins and 11 Top 5’s, and he is the defending Champion of this race.

 

 

The #2 pick is my highest rated short track driver, #24 Jeff Gordon. Jeff has 43 starts, five wins and 16 Top 5’s. More importantly he is coming off his third win of the year at Michigan. There have been some changes to the track here and no one is better at dealing with changes than his team, Hendrick Motorsports.

 

The #1 driver to watch had back to back wins here in 2011 & 2012, #2 Brad Keselowski. Brad only has nine starts here, the two wins and three total Top 5’s. The three Top 5’s all came in the last six races, he is just getting better here in Thunder Valley. Brad is locked in at this point in The Chase for the Cup but he is still looking to use that Penske power under the hood to power him to victory lane.

 

Monday look for our preview of the AdvoCare 500 from Atlanta Motor Speedway.

 

 

 

TOP 30 DRIVERS

TOP 30 POWER RANKINGS

IRWIN TOOLS NIGHT RACE-BRISTOL

 

  1. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  2. JEFF GORDON #24
  3. MATT KENSETH #20
  4. CLINT BOWYER #15
  5. BRIAN VICKERS #55
  6. DALE EARNHARDT JR #88
  7. KASEY KAHNE #5
  8. JOEY LOGANO #22
  9. DENNY HAMLIN #11
  10. GREG BIFFLE #16
  11. RYAN NEWMAN #39
  12. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48
  13. MARCOS AMBROSE #9
  14. KYLE BUSCH #18
  15. PAUL MENARD #27
  16. AUSTIN DILLION #3
  17. KYLE LARSON #43
  18. JAMIE MCMURRAY #1
  19. RICKY STENHOUSE #17
  20. A. J. ALLMENDINGER #47
  21. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  22. CARL EDWARDS #99
  23. MARTIN TRUEX #78
  24. ARIC ALMIROLA #43
  25. KURT BUSCH #41
  26. JEFF BURTON #14
  27. CASEY MEARS #13
  28. DAVID RAGAN #34
  29. DANICA PATRICK #10
  30. DAVID GILLILAND #38

 

 

 

Above the Top 30 drivers for Irwin Tools Night Race from Bristol Motor Speedway, Friday we’ll break down the Top 5 drivers to watch.

TOP TEN TEAMS

TOP 10 TEAMS POST MICHIGAN

  1. HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS
  2. TEAM PENSKE
  3. JOE GIBBS RACING
  4. RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING
  5. MICHAEL WALTRIP RACING

 

  1. ROUSH FENWAY RACING
  2. CHIP GANASSI RACING
  3. STEWART HAAS RACING
  4. RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS
  5. GERMAIN RACING

 

Hendrick Motorsports stay at #1 this week for the eleventh straight week. The very strong Team Penske stays at #2. Joe Gibbs Racing trade places with Richard Childress Racing. Michael Waltrip Racing stays in the Top 5 at #5. Roush Fenway stay put at #6. Chip Ganassi Racing swap spots with Stewart Haas Racing. Richard Petty Motorsports remain at #9. Germain Racing quietly does a great job of staying in the Top 10.

 

These are the Top 10 Teams, Thursday look for our Top30 drivers in advance of the Irwin Tools Night race from Bristol Motor Speedway.

TOP TEN DRIVERS by TRACK TYPE

TOP 10: SHORT TRACK

  1. JEFF GORDON #24
  2. MATT KENSETH #20
  3. DALE EARNHARDT JR. #88
  4. CLINT BOWYER #15
  5. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  6. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48
  7. CARL EDWARDS #99
  8. KYLE BUSCH #18
  9. RYAN NEWMAN #39
  10. KEVIN HARVICK #4

Top 10 drivers on Short tracks, Thursday look for our Top 30 rankings for Saturday’s IRWIN TOOLS NIGHT RACE from Bristol Motor Speedway.  

RACE PREVIEW

Print

IRWIN TOOLS NIGHT RACE

BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY

AUGUST 23rd, 7:30 ET on ABC-TV

½ MILE, 36 Degrees of Banking

Nothing gives you more drama than 43 cars on a high banked (36 degrees) short half-mile track. Add to that the fact that drivers only have 3 chances left to lock into the Top 16 Chase for the Cup and you have all the action you need on a Saturday night. Bristol Motor Speedway is one of the best places on the circuit to watch a race and when you factor in the implications of this race, it IS one of the best race ticket to get, bar none. 150,000+ lucky fans will be gathered this Saturday in Thunder Valley to watch what the track describes as “racing the way it ought’a be.” And they are right! This is racing the way it should be, especially as the regular season winds down. If there are any simmering tensions out there amongst the drivers, and there are, they may well get settled Saturday night. Tensions that do not currently exist may get established here and have to be resolved later in the season. Short track = short tempers. High banks = short tempers + high anger. This is always a fun race and with championship eligibility on the line, it makes an event not to be missed. And to add to the drama, more work has been done to reduce the “progressive banking” that was added when the track was repaved making it more like the old Bristol. Ford has won five races at Bristol in the last ten years Toyota and Chevy have won six each. Matt Kenseth and his Toyota are the defending champs of this race. Since Matt has yet to win his first race this year,

the pressure in on him to get that win and lock himself in the Chase. Who will dominate and who’ll lock into the Chase? We’ll know Saturday night.

 

Tuesday look for our Top 10 drivers by track type for week 23 and on Thursday we’ll rank the top 30 drivers.