TOP TEN DRIVERS by TRACK TYPE

TOP 10: FLAT TRACKS

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

Top 10 on Flat tracks, Wednesday look for our Top 10 teams and Thursday our Top 30 rankings for Sunday’s Axalta 400 from Pocano Raceway.

RACE PREVIEW

poc 16.1

AXALTA “We Paint Winners” 400

POCANO RACEWAY
June 5th, 1PM Charlotte time on FS 1 TV
2.5 Miles, Turn #1 14 Degrees, #2 8 Degrees, #3 6 Degrees of Banking

We are done with two weeks of racing in Charlotte, and it is time we visit the tricky triangle. Is this a road course, flat track, or a tri-oval? How about all of the above? Only 3 turns, yet each one is different. 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. 400 miles and the longest straightaway on the circuit means it is a battle of horsepower and endurance: endurance of the driver in the heat and of the motor for over 400 miles. Two teams account for 65% of the wins in the last ten years. The Hendrick Motorsports crew has dominated here; they have seven victories in the last 10 years including five of the last seven races. Right behind them we find Joe Gibbs Racing with six wins in the last ten years including four by #11 Denny Hamlin. Can these two teams maintain their dominance? We’ll find out on Sunday.

Tuesday look for our Top 10 drivers on flat tracks. Thursday we’ll have our Top 30 drivers in advance of the race at Pocono.

TOP FIVE DRIVERS

COCA-COLA 600:Charlotte Top 5 Drivers to Watch

My #5 pick has never won here, #18 Kyle Busch. But even with no wins, Kyle still has managed a #4 average finish here. He has 23 starts with ten Top 5’s. Kyle looked good on Saturday until he went too fast on pit road. He sits #2 in points and should score another Top 5 finish.

The #4 pick has horrible stats here, #2 Brad Keselowski. He has 13 starts with a win in the fall of 2013 and just two Top 5 finishes in the Queen City. But, Brad is #4 hottest over the last six weeks and looked great Saturday night with his second place finish.

My #3 driver has the #2 average finish here, #22 Joey Logano. Joey has 14 starts here, a win last October, and five total Top 5’s. He is #3 ranked on tracks like this. Joey went to Victory Lane on Saturday, and should notch up another Top 5.

My #2 driver is the defending champion of this race, #19 Carl Edwards. Carl has 22 starts, that win, and seven Top 5’s. He has a #3 average finish here, eight of his last nine races were Top 10’s.

My #1 pick is a three-time former-winner here, #4 Kevin Harvick. Yeah, he has three wins, but in 30 career starts he only has five Top 5’s…five. He is ranked #1 for me on tracks like this and most importantly two of his wins came in the 600 mile May race and he has six straight Top 10 finishes here. Kevin is locked into The Chase so look for some pit strategy gambles. Kevin is #3 hottest over the last six races.

 

 

 

Monday look for our preview of the Axalta 400 from Pocano.

TOP 30 DRIVERS

COCA-COLA 600:CHARLOTTE

 

  1. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  2. CARL EDWARDS #19
  3. JOEY LOGANO #22
  4. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  5. KYLE BUSCH #18
  6. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48
  7. DENNY HAMLIN #11
  8. MARTIN TRUEX #78
  9. KURT BUSCH #41
  10. RYAN NEWMAN #31
  11. MATT KENSETH #20
  12. JAMIE MCMURRAY #1
  13. KASEY KAHNE #5
  14. CHASE ELLIOTT #24
  15. AUSTIN DILLION #3
  16. DALE EARNHARDT JR #88
  17. TONY STEWART #14
  18. TREVOR BAYNE #6
  19. A. J. ALLMENDINGER #47
  20. CLINT BOWYER #15
  21. GREG BIFFLE #16
  22. RYAN BLANEY #21
  23. RICKY STENHOUSE #17
  24. KYLE LARSON #42
  25. ARIC ALMIROLA #43
  26. PAUL MENARD #27
  27. DANICA PATRICK #10
  28. CASEY MEARS #13
  29. BRIAN SCOTT #44
  30. REGAN SMITH #7

 

 

These are our Top 30 drivers for Sunday’s Coca-Cola (World) 600. Friday we’ll break down the Top 5.

TOP 30 DRIVERS

COCA-COLA 600:CHARLOTTE

 

  1. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  2. CARL EDWARDS #19
  3. JOEY LOGANO #22
  4. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  5. KYLE BUSCH #18
  6. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48
  7. DENNY HAMLIN #11
  8. MARTIN TRUEX #78
  9. KURT BUSCH #41
  10. RYAN NEWMAN #31
  11. MATT KENSETH #20
  12. JAMIE MCMURRAY #1
  13. KASEY KAHNE #5
  14. CHASE ELLIOTT #24
  15. AUSTIN DILLION #3
  16. DALE EARNHARDT JR #88
  17. TONY STEWART #14
  18. TREVOR BAYNE #6
  19. A. J. ALLMENDINGER #47
  20. CLINT BOWYER #15
  21. GREG BIFFLE #16
  22. RYAN BLANEY #21
  23. RICKY STENHOUSE #17
  24. KYLE LARSON #42
  25. ARIC ALMIROLA #43
  26. PAUL MENARD #27
  27. DANICA PATRICK #10
  28. CASEY MEARS #13
  29. BRIAN SCOTT #44
  30. REGAN SMITH #7

 

 

These are our Top 30 drivers for Sunday’s Coca-Cola (World) 600. Friday we’ll break down the Top 5.

TOP TEN TEAMS

. TOP 10 TEAMS POST POST ALL STAR RACE

  1. JOE GIBBS RACING (LW #1)
  2. TEAM PENSKE (LW #2)
  3. FURNITURE ROW (LW #4)
  4. HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS (LW #3)
  5. STEWART HAAS RACING (LW #5)

 

  1. WOOD BROTHERS RACING (LW #9)
  2. RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING (LW #7)
  3. CHIP GANASSI RACING (LW #8)
  4. JTG RACING (LW #6)
  5. ROUSH FENWAY RACING (LW #10)

 

Joe Gibbs Racing get the win at Dover and that helps them stay at #1 for the second straight week. Team Penske remain in the #2 spot.  Furniture Row Racing move up a place to #3, their highest place yet of the year. Hendrick Motorsports slide back to #4. Stewart Haas Racing even with a tough week stay put at #5. After a couple of good weeks Wood Brothers Racing move up from #9 to #6. Richard Childress Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing remain in place this week. JTG Racing slide back to #9. Roush Fenway Racing stay in the Top 10 at #10.

 

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

TOP TEN DRIVERS by TRACK TYPE

TOP 10 DRIVERS: INTERMEDIATE TRACKS

  1. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  2. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48
  3. JOEY LOGANO #22
  4. MATT KENSETH #20
  5. CARL EDWARDS #19
  6. DEAR EARNHARDT JR. #88
  7. MARTIN TRUEX #78
  8. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  9. DENNY HAMLIN #11
  10.  KYLE BUSCH #18

Top 10 drivers on Intermediate tracks, Wednesday look for our Top 10 team rankings for Sunday’s Coca Cola 600 from Charlotte Motor Speedway.

RACE PREVIEWS

KO600_logo

COCA COLA (WORLD) 600

CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY

MAY 24th, 6PM ET on FOX  TV

1.5 Miles, 24 Degrees of Banking

At 400 laps and 600 miles NASCAR drivers, crew chiefs and pit crews alike will have their endurance tested this coming Sunday. This race is always unpredictable, not only because of its long 600 mile length – the longest of all the races – but also because it starts in the late afternoon and ends in the cooler nighttime. This is a definite challenge for crew chiefs because the track conditions are constantly changing. Drivers and crew chiefs had a chance to experience how this track feels during the All Star Race. We know one thing, Hendrick Motorsport and their shop have won more races here in the last ten years than any other team with five wins in the last 20 races. Richard Childress Racing and Team Penske come in second with three wins each in the last ten years. Last year Joe Gibbs Racing got their first win when Carl Edwards took the checkered flag. With their dominance this year they can’t be discounted. We can definitely say advantage Hendrick Motorsports AND their motor shop, which has had six wins in the last ten years. Who else uses those motors? Look at Stewart Haas Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing and H Scott Motorsport. Will a Hendrick car and/or engine win yet again or will we see a return to last year when Penske and JGR took the points wins? We’ll find out on Sunday.

Tuesday look for our Top 10 drivers on tracks similar to Charlotte Motor Speedway.

RACE PREVIEW:ALL STAR RACE

SPRINT ALL-STAR RACE

In the Sprint All-Star race I’m looking at three drivers. First it is important to note that Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins of any team in this race. HMS has nine wins in the 31 All Star races. Including three wins in the last ten years, the most of any team. But last year we saw the first Joe Gibbs racing win. They did it with #11 Denny Hamlin.

That leads me to my first driver to watch, Joe Gibbs driver, #18 Kyle Bush. Kyle has come close but never sealed the deal, and as reigning Sprint Cup Champion has become the best driver to never have won this race. He has never won a points here but he is good on the high banked ovals. No team is more dominant at this moment than Joe Gibbs Racing. They’ve won seven of this season’s twelve cup races.

The next driver is won from another team but one with the same motor package, #78 Martin Truex Jr. Martin drives for Furniture Row Racing and for the first time this year they are getting their power from Toyota Racing Development and Joe Gibbs Racing. That has made a big difference for Martin who has come very close to some wins this year only to see them slip away. His first All-Star win could happen here in the Queen City Saturday where Martin comes in 5th hottest over the last six weeks.

My third and last driver to watch drives for a team that has not had an All Star  win since Kurt Busch drove to Victory Lane for Team Penske in 2010. I think the six year drought could be over for Team Penske with a win from #2 Brad Keselowski. Brad the 2012 Sprint Cup Champion has incredibly has never won an All-Star race. Brad won a points race here previously in 2013 and with two wins so far in 2016, a non-points win could be in his future.

Will it be one of these three or one of the other seventeen starters? We’ll find out under the lights Saturday night.

 

Monday look for our preview of the Coca Cola (World) 600 from Charlotte Motor Speedway.

TOP FIVE DRIVERS

SPRINT SHOWDOWN

It is always tough to predict this night of racing, but I will try with my best guestimate of who has the best shot to advance from the Sprint Showdown and into the Sprint All-Star Race.

  1. First up a rookie, #24 Chase Elliott. Chase is off to a great start in the Cup series. 12 races into the year we find Chase sitting 7th in points. This former Xfinity series champion does very well at these high banked intermediate tracks like Charlotte. And if he doesn’t race his way in, this son of one of the most popular drivers ever, Bill Elliott, should get voted in.

 

  1. Next we have another former Xfinity Champion, #3 Austin Dillion. Austin has won here in the Xfinity series and finished 7th here in his last Cup start. Always popular, just like Chase, if Austin doesn’t race in he could easily get voted in.

 

  1. My next driver is another one of the rookies, #21 Ryan Blaney. Driving for the Wood Brothers, Ryan sits 15th in points and stands a great chance of making the Chase this year. This third generation driver also stands a very good shot for a vote-in as well.

 

  1. Not to be left off, we have a driver who is coming off a second place finish at Dover, #42 Kyle Larson. Kyle will bring his Hendrick powered car into Charlotte where these motors have won 30% of the races in the last ten years.

 

  1. Lastly, last year’s Sprint fan vote winner, #10 Danica Patrick. Danica could race in, but if not she could and should be one of the fan vote winners.

Friday look for our three drivers to watch in the All Star race.