TOP FIVE DRIVERS

Daytona COKE ZERO 400

My #5 pick is a former winner here, #18 Kyle Busch. Kyle has 24 starts, one win, and eight Top 5’s. Kyle finished second in this race last year but when he returned here to start the year he finished 38th. Look for a Top 5 or bottom five from Kyle.

My #4 driver to watch has never won here and only one Top 5, #3 Austin Dillon. A.D. only has one Top 5 in his seven starts but he leads the field in overall average finish. He is rated my #4 plate track driver. Currently he sits 20th in points, he needs a Top 5 finish.

My #3 driver needs a big finish here, #22 Joey Logano. Joey has 17 starts, one win, and four Top 5’s here. He is my #3 rated plate driver, why does he need a big finish? He is 10th in points and 19th hottest over the last six weeks.

The #2 driver won here in February, #41 Kurt Busch. Kurt has 32 starts, that win, and 13 Top 5’s. He is my #1 rated plate track driver but he is also #9 hottest over the last six weeks.

My #1 pick is my #2 rated plate track driver, #11 Denny Hamlin. Denny has 23 starts, one win, and just six Top 5’s. Not great stats, but he has finished 6th or better in his last six stops here. He is also #6 hottest over the last six weeks.

 

Monday look for our preview of the Quaker State 400 from Kentucky Speedway.

 

 

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TOP 30 DRIVERS

COKE ZERO 400 from DAYTONA

 

  1. DENNY HAMLIN #11
  2. KURT BUSCH #41
  3. JOEY LOGANO #22
  4. AUSTIN DILLON #3
  5. KYLE BUSCH #18
  6. MARTIN TRUEX #78
  7. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  8. CLINT BOWYER #14
  9. RYAN BLANEY #21
  10. KYLE LARSON #42
  11. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48
  12. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  13. RYAN NEWMAN #31
  14. DALE EARNHARDT JR #88
  15. MICHAEL McDOWELL #95
  16. PAUL MENARD #27
  17. TREVOR BAYNE #6
  18. CHASE ELLIOTT #24
  19. JAMIE McMURRAY #1
  20. KASEY KAHNE #5
  21. A. J. ALLMENDINGER #47
  22. DANIEL SUAREZ #19
  23. MATT KENSETH #20
  24. RICKY STENHOUSE #17
  25. ERIK JONES #77
  26. DAVID RAGAN #38
  27. COLE WHITT #72
  28. TY DILLION #13
  29. DANICA PATRICK #10
  30. LANDON CASSILL #34

 

 

 

 

Friday we break down the Top 5 drivers to watch.

TOP TEN TEAMS

TOP 10 TEAMS POST SONOMA

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

 

  1. WOOD BROTHERS (#7)
  2. HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS (LW #6)
  3. ROUSH FENWAY RACING (LW #8)
  4. RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING (LW #10)
  5. GERMAIN RACING (LW #9)

 

Usually a road course race shakes things up quite a bit. But this week we see very little change. Chip Ganassi Racing stay at #1 for the sixth straight week. Furniture Row Racing and  Joe Gibbs Racing trade positions. Team Penske and Stewart Haas Racing stay in place. Wood Brothers Racing and  Hendrick Motorsports trade positions. Roush Fenway Racing all keep their spot this week. Richard Childress Racing and affiliated team Germain Racing also trade spots this week. We should see some changes coming out of Daytona next week.

 

These are the Top 10 Teams, Thursday look for our Top 30 drivers at Daytona.

TOP TEN DRIVERS by TRACK TYPE

TOP 10: RESTRICTOR PLATE TRACKS

  1. KURT BUSCH #41
  2. DENNY HAMLIN #11
  3. JOEY LOGANO #22
  4. AUSTIN DILLION #3
  5. CLINT BOWYER #15
  6. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  7. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  8. DALE EARNHARDT Jr. #88
  9. PAUL MENARD #27
  10. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48

 

Top drivers 10 on Restrictor Plate tracks, Thursday look for our Top 30 rankings for Saturday’s COKE ZERO 400 from Daytona Int Speedway.

RACE PREVIEW:DAYTONA

dy 17.2

COKE ZERO (Firecracker) 400

DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY

JULY 1st, 7:30PM on NBC-TV

2.5 MILES, 31 Degrees of Banking

If it is 4th of July it must be time for the Firecracker 400 – oops make that the Coke Zero 400. Whatever you call it, nothing says summer like this race. I remember many a 4th listening to this race on the radio wherever I was. I remember even more vividly sweating profusely in the stands at Daytona on a couple of very hot July race weekends. As much as I revere tradition, I fully supported the idea to change this to a night race. Not only does it add to any holiday weekend to have a night race, it makes it a much more comfortable race to attend. This year we are back to Saturday night and under the lights, this race shines. This is our third restrictor plate race of the year and we have eleven different winners in sixteen races run this season. There is a very good chance that we’ll have a first-time winner at this race – after all it was six years ago that Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500 in a partial-season ride and David Ragan had his first win later that year at the 400. Trevor’s win was the start of a three-race streak for Ford and Roush Yates Motors. In the last ten years Ford has had nine wins. The most from Roush Fenway Racing-four wins.  Very impressive, close behind are the eight Chevrolet wins. Hendrick Motorsports has four of those wins. Toyota has only had two wins in the last 20 races. In the last six races run here Ford has four wins including a big win from Kurt Busch in his Stewart Haas Ford debut. Will Ford dominance continue? And will we see a 12th different winner for the season or a return victor to Victory Lane? We’ll know Saturday night.

Tuesday look for our Top 10 drivers on restrictor plate tracks in advance of the Coke Zero 400, Thursday we’ll rank the Top 30 drivers for that race.

TOP FIVE DRIVERS

TOP FIVE DRIVERS SONOMA TOYOTA/SAVE MART 350

The #5 driver is my #1 road course driver, #22 Joey Logano. Joey has eight starts here and only two Top 5’s, but he really is getting better. His two Top 5’s came in his last two stops here. He is ranked #1 on road courses but he is also #25 hottest over the last six weeks.

The #4 driver is the only driver in the field to win at both road courses, #18 Kyle Busch. Kyle is the only active driver to score wins here and at Watkins Glen. He won here two years ago and in his 12 starts has that one win as well one in 2008. He is ranked #2 for me on road courses and #2 hottest over the last six weeks.

My #3 pick won here four years ago, #78 Martin Truex Jr. Martin has 11 starts here and one win 2012. He is #3 ranked on road courses. More importantly he has lead more laps so far this year than any other driver, one of the reasons he is #1 hottest over the last six weeks.

My #2 driver is a road course winner, just not here, #4 Kevin Harvick. Kevin won at the other road course, Watkins Glen in 2006, but has yet to win here in a cup race. Kevin from nearby Bakersfield did win here in the old Southwest tour in 1998 but you know he would love to get a cup win. He finished 6th here last year. Lastly Kevin is ranked #4 on road courses and is #4 hottest over the last six weeks. In his 15 visits here he has four Top 5’s.

My #1 driver to watch started his season in the best way possible, a win at Daytona, #41 Kurt Busch. He has already won this year but he sits #14 in points. Yes Kurt looks like he’ll make the “Chase for the Cup” but he needs to get back on track. He has 16 starts in Sonoma, a 2011 win and seven Top 5 finishes. He is my #2 rated Road course driver.

 

Monday look for our preview of the Coke Zero 400 from Daytona Int. Speedway.

TOP 30 DRIVERS

TOYOTA/SAVE MART 350:SONOMA RACEWAY

 

  1. KURT BUSCH #41
  2. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  3. MARTIN TRUEX #78
  4. JOEY LOGANO #22
  5. KYLE BUSCH #18
  6. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48
  7. JAMIE MCMURRAY # 1
  8. KYLE LARSON #42
  9. CLINT BOWYER #15
  10. KASEY KAHNE #5
  11. DALE EARNHARDT JR #88
  12. RYAN NEWMAN #31
  13. DENNY HAMLIN #11
  14. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  15. PAUL MENARD #27
  16. CHASE ELLIOTT #24
  17. ERIK JONES #77
  18. MATT KENSETH #20
  19. DANIEL SUAREZ #19
  20. RYAN BLANEY #21
  21. AUSTIN DILLION #3
  22. TREVOR BAYNE #6
  23. RICKY STENHOUSE #17
  24. DANICA PATRICK #10
  25. TY DILLION #13
  26. CHRIS BUESCHER #37
  27. A. J. ALLMENDINGER #47
  28. COLE WHITT #72
  29. MICHAEL McDOWELL #95
  30. MATT DiBENEDETTO #32

 

Friday we break down the Top 5 drivers to watch in Sunday’s Save Mart/Toyota 350 from Sonoma.