RACE PREVIEW

wg 17

I LOVE NEW YORK 355 AT THE GLEN

WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL

AUGUST 6th, 3:00PM ET on NBC-SN TV

ROAD COURSE, 2.45 Miles 11 Turns

Twice a year NASCAR makes a detour from the standard oval and gets its swerve on, on a road course. No more just turn left and go. Instead of going counter-clockwise like you would on an oval, road courses go clockwise and twist and turn the whole way. Here at Watkins Glen International the drivers have 11 turns on an almost 2.5 mile course in a truly beautiful part of New York State. There are only five races left before the Chase for the Cup and it appears as if a win still gets you in. Drivers in the Top 30 of the points’ race might be thinkin’ this is their best shot if they find themselves near the front toward the end of the race. Restarts will be wild and we should see some gambling on tires and fuel. Chevrolet has won 14 of the last 20 races. But three of the last six have been won by Fords. Denny Hamlin won here last year in a Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. No team has won here more in the last ten years than Joe Gibbs Racing (four wins).Who has the advantage? We’ll know on Sunday.

Tuesday look for our top 10 road course drivers and Thursday look for our top 30 drivers ranked in advance of Sunday’s race.

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TOP FIVE DRIVERS TO WATCH

Top 5 Drivers to watch: POCANO

My #5 pick is a former winner here, #20 Matt Kenseth. Matt won here in this race in 2015.  He has 35 starts, that win and just six Top 5’s. He is #3 hottest over the last six weeks and ranked #3 on flat tracks. Matt is looking for a job, he just got a Top 5 in Indy look for another one here.

The #4 driver to watch is a four-time former-winner here, #11 Denny Hamlin. He got those four wins in 23 starts and he has nine Top 5’s. He is #1 hottest over the last six weeks, in fact he has had four Top 5’s in his last six races this season. Denny last won here won here in June of 2010.

My #3 pick is the hottest driver on the circuit, #2 Brad Keselowski. Brad has seven Top 5’s in his 15 starts. But Brad did win this race in 2011 and he had a second place finish last year. Actually all of his last four starts here were Top 5’s. Brad is #2 on flat tracks and #6 in points. On the other hand, he is #12 hottest over the last six weeks.

The #2 driver is my #1 driver in average finish, #42 Kyle Larson. Kyle has seven starts here and has never finished worse than 12th place. Kyle is #7 hottest over the last six weeks. Kyle finished 7th here in June but I think we’ll see a better finish from Kyle here in his eighth start.

My #1 driver to watch has the worst stats here, #4 Kevin Harvick. Kevin has 33 starts, no wins and just nine Top 5’s. But he is my #1 rated flat track driver and he is #3 in  points. He IS #4 hottest over the six weeks. He finished 2nd here in June and he finished Top 5 in four of his last six stops here making him my pick for a big win here in Mountains.

 

Monday look for our preview of the I LOVE NEW YORK 355 at the Glen from Watkins Glen.

TOP 30 DRIVERS

 

OVERTON’S 400:POCANO

 

  1. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  2. KYLE LARSON #42
  3. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  4. DENNY HAMLIN #11
  5. MATT KENSETH #20
  6. RYAN BLANEY #21
  7. KURT BUSCH #41
  8. CHASE ELLIOTT #24
  9. JOEY LOGANO #22
  10. JAMIE MCMURRAY #1
  11. DALE EARNHARDT JR #88
  12. MARTIN TRUEX #78
  13. KYLE BUSCH #18
  14. CLINT BOWYER #14
  15. RYAN NEWMAN #31
  16. ERIK JONES #77
  17. DANIEL SUAREZ #19
  18. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48
  19. AUSTIN DILLON #3
  20. KASEY KAHNE #5
  21. CHRIS BUESCHER #37
  22. TY DILLON #13
  23. A. J. ALLMENDINGER #47
  24. RICKY STENHOUSE #17
  25. TREVOR BAYNE #6
  26. MICHAEL MCDOWELL #95
  27. DANICA PATRICK #10
  28. PAUL MENARD #27
  29. DAVID RAGAN #38
  30. ARIC AMIROLA #43

 

 

Friday we break down the Top 5 drivers to watch for the OVERTON”S 400.

TOP TEN TEAMS

TOP 10 TEAMS POST INDIANAPOLIS

  1. JOE GIBBS RACING (LW #1)
  2. CHIP GANASSI RACING (LW #2)
  3. STEWART HAAS RACING (LW #4)
  4. FURNITURE ROW RACING (LW #3)
  5. TEAM PENSKE (LW #6)
  6. WOOD BROTHERS RACING (LW #5)
  7. HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS (LW #7)
  8. ROUSH FENWAY RACING (LW #8)
  9. RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING (LW #9)
  10. LEAVINE FAMILY RACING (LW #10)

 

Joe Gibbs Racing stays at #1 for the second straight week coming out of Indy. Chip Ganassi Racing would like to retake the top spot but will have to wait for that to happen. Stewart Haas Racing moves up a place to #3 and that sends Furniture Row Racing back a spot to #4. Team Penske return to the Top 5. Wood Brothers Racing drop a place to #6. Hendrick Motorsports get the big win but stay at #7. Roush Fenway Racing, Richard Childress Racing and Leavine Family Racing all stay put this week.

 

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

TOP TEN DRIVERS by TRACK TYPE

TOP 10: FLAT TRACKS

  1. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  2. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  3. MATT KENSETH #20
  4. JOEY LOGANO #22
  5. DENNY HAMLIN #11
  6. KYLE LARSON #42
  7. KURT BUSCH #41
  8. KYLE BUSCH #18
  9. JAMIE MCMURRAY #1
  10. MARTIN TRUEX #78

 

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

RACE PREVIEW

OVERTON’S 400

POCANO RACEWAY

2.5 MILES

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

July 30th, 3:00PM ET on NBC-SN TV

Is this a road course, a flat track, or a tri-oval? How about all of the above? Only three 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 14 different drivers win here in the last ten years. Those 14 drivers come from nine different teams. Two teams though have 50% of those wins. Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins in the last ten years, with six – two from Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. and one each from Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne. But their last win was in this race in 2014. Joe Gibbs Racing has four wins in the last ten years – one each from Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth and two from Denny Hamlin. Ford has gotten the last two wins from Chris Buescher and Ryan Blaney, both surprise winners. Will we see more new faces in Victory Lane?  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 my #1 ranked flat track driver and a former winner here, #4 Kevin Harvick. Kevin has 16 starts, a win in 2003 and five Top 5’s. He is my #1 rated flat track driver and #5 hottest over the last six weeks.

My #4 pick is coming off a big win in New Hampshire, #11 Denny Hamlin. Denny got his and Joe Gibbs Racings first win of the year. Here, Denny has 11 starts, no wins and four Top 5’s. His last three finishes here were all Top 5’s. He is #2 hottest over the last six weeks and is the #4 ranked flat track driver.

The #3 driver to watch has gotten very good here in his last four stops, #20 Matt Kenseth. Matt has 17 starts, no wins and eight Top’s 5’s. Matt’s last four races here were all 7th or better. Matt has always been a very good flat track driver and now, that time in the season is running out, he is driven to finish at the front. 

My #2 pick has the #2 average finish here, #42 Kyle Larson. Kyle only has three starts here, no wins and just one Top 5. But he is #3 rated for me on this flat type of track and sits #3 hottest. His best finish was a 5th place last year and his worst was a 9th place two years ago. Kyle currently sits #2 in points.

My #1 pick is the two time defending champion of this race, #18 Kyle Busch. Kyle comes in pretty confident getting the win last year and the year before, in fact four of his last five starts were second place or better. Kyle has a total of 12 starts, the two wins and five Top 5’s. Kyle is also #1 hottest over the last six weeks.

 

Monday look for our preview of the Overton’s 400 from Pocano Raceway.