TOP FIVE DRIVERS

Top 5 Drivers to watch: POCANO

The #5 driver to watch is a two-time former-winner here, #41 Kurt Busch. Kurt last won here in this August race in 2007. Before that he had a win in August of 2005. He got those two wins in 28 starts and he has 12 Top 5’s. More recently, in his last four starts, three were Top 5’s and he is #1 hottest over the last six weeks.

My #4 pick came very close to winning here in June of last year, #2 Brad Keselowski. Brad only has three Top 5’s in his 11 starts. But Brad did win this race in 2011 and came a wrapper away from a win last June. Brad is #7 in points and #8 hottest over the last six weeks, not bad, but not where he wants to be. He is ranked #2 on flat tracks and is looking for a big bounce here in Mountains.

My #3 pick won this race three years ago, #24 Jeff Gordon. In fact Jeff is a six-time Pocano winner. Jeff has 45 starts and 19 Top 5’s in addition to his six wins. Jeff is coming off a horrible day at Indy and is looking at this race as probably his best shot for a win in the six remaining races before the “Chase”.

The #2 driver swept this track in 2014, #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Dale is not only a two-time winner, but has 30 Top 5’s in his 31 starts. Jr. has Top 5’s in four of his last five appearances and is #3 ranked on flat tracks.

My #1 driver to watch has the worst stats here, #4 Kevin Harvick. Kevin has 29 starts, no wins and just 7 Top 5’s. But no one has more Top 5’s so far this year than Kevin. His last two stops here he finished 2nd. It is time for that trend to end. Kevin is definitely shopping for his first win here and since he has two wins so far this year he is not afraid to gamble to get win #3 in this 2015 season. 

 

 

Monday look for our preview of the Cheez-It 355
at the Glen from Watkins Glen.

 

TOP 30 DRIVERS

WINDOWS 10 400:POCANO

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

Friday we break down the Top 5 drivers to watch for the WINDOWS 10 400.

TOP TEN TEAMS

TOP 10 TEAMS POST INDIANAPOLIS

  1. TEAM PENSKE (LW #2)
  2. HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS (LW #1)
  3. JOE GIBBS RACING (LW #3)
  4. STEWART HAAS RACING (LW #4)
  5. FURNITURE ROW RACING (LW #5)
  6. RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING (LW #6)
  7. CHIP GANASSI RACING (LW #7)
  8. MICHAEL WALTRIP RACING (LW #8)
  9. GERMAIN RACING (LW #9)
  10. RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS (LW OFF)

Hendrick Motorsports move out of the #1 spot after a less than great race at Indy. Team Penske move up to take the #1spot. After that there is no change till you get to the last spot. Richard Petty Motorsports returns to the Top 10 at #10. Roush Fenway Racing drop out of the Top 10.

These are the Top 10 Teams, Thursday look for our Top30 drivers at Pocano Raceway.

TOP TEN DRIVERS byTRACK TYPE

TOP 10: FLAT TRACKS

  1. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  2. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  3. DALE EARNHARDT #88
  4. JEFF GORDON #24
  5. KYLE LARSON #42
  6. RYAN NEWMAN #31
  7. KYLE BUSCH #18
  8. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48
  9. JOEY LOGANO #22
  10. MATT KENSETH #20

Top 10 Drivers on Flat tracks, Wednesday look for our Top 10 team rankings for Sunday’s WINDOWS 10 400 from Pocano Raceway.

RACE PREVIEW

poc 15.2

POCANO RACEWAY

WINDOWS 10 400

2.5 MILES

BANKING Turn 1 14 degrees, Turn 2, 8 degrees, Turn 3, 6 Degrees

Aug 2nd, 1:30PM ET on NBC-SN TV

Is this a road course, a flat track, or a tri-oval? How about all of the above? Only 3 turns, yet each one is banked slightly differently. When you attend this race in this spectacular part of the country, it is like watching a road course because you can’t really see every turn on the track. We have seen 12 different drivers win here in the last ten years. Those 12 drivers come from seven different teams. Three teams though have 75% of those wins. Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins in the last ten years, with seven – three from Jeff Gordon, two from Jimmie Johnson and one each from Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr. They also have five of the last six wins. Joe Gibbs Racing has five wins in the last ten years – one from Joey Logano and four from Denny Hamlin. Roush Fenway Racing has three wins in the last ten years. Will Hendrick Motorsports domination continue? We’ll know on Sunday.

 Tuesday look for our top 10 drivers on flat tracks. Thursday we rank the top 30 drivers for Sunday’s race.

TOP FIVE DRIVERS

BRICKYARD 400 at the INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

 

My #5 pick is a former winner here, #4 Kevin Harvick. Kevin has scored more points than anyone else this year and has been a factor at the end of a race more than any other driver. He is my #2 rated flat track driver and #4 hottest over the last six weeks.

 

My #4 pick has won three of the last four races this year, #18 Kyle Busch. Kyle comes in pretty confident after finishing here in 2nd place last year – one of his three Top 5’s in ten starts. Kyle is looking for one thing, the most points possible in order to secure a “Chase” spot.

 

My #3 pick is #3 hottest over the last six weeks, #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. has 15 starts, no win’s and only one Top 5 finish. Dale likes the tracks without much banking and he is very happy to be here where Chevys have done well. He is #3 rated for me on this type of track.

 

My #2 pick is the 2nd winning-est driver here, #48 Jimmie Johnson.  Jimmie has 13 starts, four wins and five Top 5’s. His last win was in 2012. We know he is locked into the “Chase” so Jimmie can do some wild gambling on pit road toward the end of the race in search of another win or at least another Top 5 finish.

 

The #1 driver to watch is the winning-est driver here, #24 Jeff Gordon. Jeff has 21 starts, five wins and 12 Top 5’s. Jeff drives a Chevy which has won here the last 12 years in a row and GM has won 17 of the 21 races run here. Jeff is the defending champion of this race and over half on his starts resulted in a Top 5 finish. Jeff comes in loaded with confidence.

 

Monday look for our preview of the WINDOWS 10 400 from Pocano Raceway.

TOP 30 DRIVERS

CROWN ROYAL 400 AT THE INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

  1. JEFF GORDON #24
  2. DALE EARNHARDT JR #88
  3. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48
  4. KYLE BUSCH #18
  5. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  6. RYAN NEWMAN #31
  7. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  8. KASEY KAHNE #5
  9. MATT KENSETH #20
  10. DENNY HAMLIN #11
  11. JOEY LOGANO #22
  12. JAMIE MCMURRAY #1
  13. KYLE LARSON #42
  14. GREG BIFFLE #16
  15. TONY STEWART #14
  16. MARTIN TRUEX #78
  17. CLINT BOWYER #15
  18. PAUL MENARD #27
  19. KURT BUSCH #41
  20. CARL EDWARDS #19
  21. AUSTIN DILLION #3
  22. ARIC ALMIROLA #43
  23. A. J. ALLMENDINGER #47
  24. RICKY STENHOUSE #17
  25. SAM HORNISH #9
  26. CASEY MEARS #13
  27. JUSTIN ALLGAIER #51
  28. DAVID RAGAN #55
  29. LANDON CASSILL #40
  30. TREVOR BAYNE #6

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

TOP TEN TEAMS

TOP 10 TEAMS POST NEW HAMPSHIRE

  1. HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS (LW #1)
  2. TEAM PENSKE (LW #2)
  3. JOE GIBBS RACING (LW #6)
  4. STEWART HAAS RACING (LW #3)
  5. FURNITURE ROW RACING (LW #4)
  1. RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING (LW #7)
  2. CHIP GANASSI RACING (LW #5)
  3. MICHAEL WALTRIP RACING (LW #8)
  4. GERMAIN RACING (LW #9)
  5. ROUSH FENWAY RACING (LW OFF)

Hendrick Motorsports stays at #1 this week. Team Penske also hold their spot this week. Joe Gibbs Racing move up three places to #3 with their win and many weeks of great results by all four drivers. Stewart Haas Racing dropped a spot even with yet another great result from Kevin Harvick. Furniture Row Racing drop a place but remain in the Top 5. Richard Childress Racing move up a spot to #6. Chip Ganassi Racing’s struggles continue and they drop to #7. Michael Waltrip Racing and Germain Racing hold their spots this week. Roush Fenway Racing return to the Top 10 as Richard Petty Motorsports drop out of the Top 10.

These are the Top 10 Owner/Teams, Tuesday look for our Top30 drivers for the Crown Royal 400 from Indianapolis.

TOP TEN DRIVERS by TRACK TYPE

TOP 10 DRIVERS: FLAT TRACKS

  1. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  2. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  3. DALE EARNHARDT JR #88
  4. JEFF GORDON #24
  5. KYLE LARSON #5
  6. RYAN NEWMAN #31
  7. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48
  8. KYLE BUSCH #18
  9. KASEY KAHNE #9
  10. GREG BIFFLE #16

Wednesday look for our Top 10 team rankings for Sunday’s Crown Royal Brickyard 400 from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.


RACE PREVIEW

ind 15

INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

JULY 26th, 1PM ET on NBC-SN TV

2.5 MILES 9 Degrees of Banking

Races have taken place here since 1911 -everything from automobiles to hot air balloons- but it was a momentous occasion in 1993 when NASCAR tested here. It was an even bigger moment in 1994 when they dropped the green flag at the Brickyard 400. It was very interesting, to say the least, to see stock cars on the track, where every Memorial Day since I can remember, I watched the best open wheel drivers in the world compete. They may not go as fast as the open wheel cars but they are every bit as impressive. 2.5 miles in stock car racing is a LONG way and when you have two very long straightaways followed by turns, you HAVE to get whoa’ed up because you have very little banking in the turns. This is a big track that makes tempers very short. Plus you have the added factor that there are only seven races to go until the “Chase for the Cup” begins. Seven chances left to lock in a playoff spot with a win. In 21 races Chevrolet or GM cars have won 17 (or 81%) of the races. Jeff Gordon has five wins and his teammate Jimmie Johnson has four. Ford hasn’t found Victory Lane since 1999 and Toyota has never won here. Can Chevy make it 13 straight? Will someone new lock into “The Chase?” We’ll find out on Sunday.

Tuesday look for our top 10 teams in advance of the Crown Royal 400 from Indianapolis.