TOP TEN DRIVERS byTRACK TYPE

TOP 10: DOWNFORCE TRACKS

  1. JOEY LOGANO #22
  2. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  3. MATT KENSETH #20
  4. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  5. RYAN NEWMAN #31
  6. CARL EDWARDS #19
  7. PAUL MENARD #27
  8. MARTIN TRUEX #78
  9. KURT BUSCH #41
  10. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48

Top 10 drivers on Downforce tracks, Thursday look for our Top 30 drivers for Sunday’s Auto Club 400 from Auto Club Speedway.

RACE PREVIEW

AutoClub_400

AUTO CLUB 400

AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY of SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

MARCH 20TH, 3:30PM CHARLOTTE TIME FOX TV

2 Miles, 14 Degrees of Banking

We are now four races into the year and the drivers have raced on a Plate track, Flat track, Downforce track and an Intermediate track. I classify this as a Downforce track so it will be the first time we repeat a “track type.” On the minds of drivers will be handling: the battle between making your car go fast combined with “grip” or “downforce” will be paramount. The team that finds the best mix of speed and downforce can win this race. And of course we have a new rules package. Always looming on the horizon at California is fuel mileage. Because this track is wide and cautions few, sometimes it comes down to the team with the best fuel strategy. Interestingly five of the last eight Auto Club Speedway races have been won by Chevrolet teams. Hendrick Motorsports and Roush Fenway have each won four wins here in the last ten years. But the Toyotas of Joe Gibbs Racing have won two of the last three here. Will Chevy domination continue? We’ll know on Sunday.

Tuesday look for our Top 10 Drivers on Downforce Tracks.

TOP FIVE DRIVERS

GOOD SAM 500  from PHOENIX

My #5 driver to watch is the most recent winner here, #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. also finished Top 5 four times in his last six races here. He is the #2 rated flat track driver. His team Hendrick Motorsports have won eight races in the last ten years, by far the most of any team.

 

My #4 driver is the #1 hottest driver over the last six races, #18 Kyle Busch. Kyle also sits #1 in points so far in the first three races of the year. He won on the old track but hasn’t on the new surface. He only has two Top 5’s in his eight starts, one of those though was in the November race last year with a 4th place finish.

 

My #3 pick has been much better here since they repaved and rebanked the track in the middle of 2011, #22 Joey Logano. Joey has nine starts and two Top 5’s on the new surface. In the last five races Joey has five straight Top 10 finishes and both of his Top 5’s came in that streak.

 

The #2 driver to watch is my #1 rated flat track driver, #2 Brad Keselowski. Brad too has found success here since the repave. He has had four Top 5’s in the nine races and all nine races run were 18th or better. Brad’s is also #4 hottest and is coming off a huge win in Las Vegas.

 

My #1 driver to watch this week is the driver who has the highest average finish in Phoenix, #4 Kevin Harvick. In total Kevin has 28 starts, seven wins and eleven Top 5’s. Since the repave nine starts he has five wins and seven Top 5’s. Kevin has four straight wins followed by the second place finish last November. He has #1 Average finish, #2 hottest and sits #3 in points.

 

Monday look for our preview of the Auto Club 400 from Auto Club Speedway Speedway.

TOP 30 DRIVERS

GOOD SAM 500:PHOENIX

 

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

 

 

Friday we break down the Top 5 drivers to watch in Sunday’s GOOD SAM 500.

TOP TEN TEAMS

TOP 10 TEAMS POST LAS VEGAS

  1. TEAM PENSKE (LW #2)
  2. JOE GIBBS RACING (LW #1)
  3. FURNITURE ROW RACING (LW #3)
  4. RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING (LW #4)
  5. HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS (LW #6)

 

  1. STEWART HAAS RACING (LW #7)
  2. CHIP GANASSI RACING (LW #5)
  3. WOOD BROTHERS RACING (LW OFF)
  4. ROUSH FENWAY RACING (LW #8)
  5. JTG RACING (LW #10)

 

With the win at Las Vegas Team Penske takes the top spot. Joe Gibbs Racing slip out of the top spot. Furniture Row Racing remain at the third spot. Richard Childress Racing also remain in place. Hendrick Motorsports move up a place for the second week in row. Stewart Haas Racing also move up a place. Chip Ganassi Racing drop back two places to #7. Wood Brothers Racing debut in the Top 10 at #8. Roush Fenway Racing drop back a space to #9. JTG Racing remain in the Top 10 at #10. Richard Petty Motorsports drop out of the Top 10.

 

Thursday look for our Top 30 drivers at Phoenix.

TOP TEN DRIVERS byTRACK TYPE

TOP 10: FLAT TRACKS

  1. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  2. DEAR EARNHARDT #88
  3. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  4. KYLE BUSCH #18
  5. MATT KENSETH #20
  6. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48
  7. KYLE LARSON #42
  8. JOEY LOGANO #22
  9. RYAN NEWMAN #31
  10. DENNY HAMLIN #11

 

Top 10 drivers on Flat tracks, Wednesday we rank the Top 10 teams and Thursday look for our Top 30 rankings for Sunday’s Good Sam 500 from Phoenix Int Speedway.

RACE PREVIEWS

phx 16.1

The Good Sam 500

PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY

March 13th, 3:30 PM CHARLOTTE TIME FOX TV

1 MILE, TURNS 1&2 12 DEGREES, TURNS 3&4 10 DEGREES of BANKING

What a place to be for the first flat-track race of the year: a one mile flat-track where every turn is slightly different. There is no such thing as “get your car right and cruise around.” Most drivers have a good set-up for turns 1 & 2 or for turns 3 & 4. Some try to get a compromise in between both, and some drivers are simply trying to find any set-up that gets them fast and keeps them off the wall. No matter what your strategy is, this track can be very, very tough. Rookies typically struggle here. This will be the tenth race run on this new configuration – it has been slightly re-banked and widened with the backstretch increased.  From 1988 to 2002 Ford won eleven of the fifteen races, since then Chevrolet has won 19 out of 22 races and nine of those wins were Hendrick Motorsports. Speaking of Hendrick Motorsports, they build the engines for Stewart Haas Racing. Their driver Kevin Harvick won four consecutive races starting in Nov 2013, that streak was broken last November with a 2nd place finish. Over his career he has won here seven times, five on the new configuration. Coming off a Top 10 finish last week at Las Vegas, Bakersfield’s Kevin Harvick will be the man to beat.

Tuesday look for our Top 10 Drivers on a flat track.