RACE PREVIEW

tx 18.1

O’Reilly Auto Parts 500

TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

APRIL 8th, 2:00 PM CHARLOTTE TIME FOX SPORTS 1 TV

1.5 MILES, 24 DEGREES of BANKING

It’s time for an action-packed, high-banked mile & a halfer and Texas Motor Speedway is just the place. Texas is very similar to Atlanta and Charlotte Motor Speedway, but unlike those tracks, this one flattens out very quickly after turn two.  Or I should say used to because the banking has been reduced in turns 1 & 2 and the entire track has been repaved. The wide, flat back straightaway still makes for great passing. In the last ten years or twenty races Chevrolet has eight wins to Ford’s six and Toyota’s five.  Leading the charge for Chevy we have Hendrick Motorsports who have seven of those wins. Jimmie Johnson has six of those Hendrick Motorsports wins. Will Chevy and HMS dominance continue? We’ll find out on Sunday.

Tuesday April 3rd look for our Top 10 drivers on intermediate tracks.

TOP FIVE DRIVERS TO WATCH

STP 500 from MARTINSVILLE

 

Since Rusty Wallace won the spring race here in 2004 only ten drivers have won at this track. That’s 27 races & only ten different winners and 17 of those motors came from one place, Hendrick Motorsports.

My #5 driver to watch is having a rough start to his season, #48 Jimmie Johnson.  Jimmie currently sits 18th in points, not where the 7X champ thought he would be. Here, he has 32 starts, nine wins, and an incredible 19 Top 5’s. Every race but eight was a Top 10 finish. His last Martinsville win came in the Playoff race in 2016, helping to give him the #1 highest-average finish here.

The #4 pick only has one win here compared to Johnson’s nine, #4 Kevin Harvick. Kevin has four Top 5’s in 33 starts and that win in spring of 2011.  He is #2 rated on short tracks and sits #5 hottest over the last six races.

My #3 driver is trying to break into that group of winners, #78 Martin Truex. Martin is #1 hottest coming out of California and #1 in points. He has 24 starts, no wins and just three Top 5 finishes. Amazingly he finished 2nd here in the October race last year.

The #2 pick has struggled here at Martinsville, #2 Brad Keselowski. Brad has 16 starts and only six Top 5’s. Brad is only getting better here:His last  four straight races here were Top 5’s including a win in this race last year. Brad comes in here #6 hottest over the last six races.

My #1 pick is the most recent October race winner at Martinsville, #18 Kyle Busch. Kyle has 24 starts, two win’s, and 12 Top 5’s. His last five starts were all Top 5’s and his last ten were all Top 15’s. He is off to a winless start to the season, he sits #2 in points and #2 hottest, Kyle is looking for a big win on this little track.

 

 

 

 

 

Monday look for our preview of the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 from Texas.

TOP 30 POWER RANKINGS

O’REILLY AUTO PARTS 500:TEXAS

 

  1. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  2. MARTIN TRUEX #78
  3. KYLE BUSCH #18
  4. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  5. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48
  6. JOEY LOGANO #22
  7. CHASE ELLIOTT #9
  8. KURT BUSCH #41
  9. ERIK JONES #20
  10. DENNY HAMLIN #11
  11. JAMIE MCMURRAY #1
  12. RYAN NEWMAN #31
  13. ALEX BOWMAN #88
  14. WILLIAM BYRON #24
  15. DANIEL SUAREZ #19
  16. ARIC ALMIROLA #10
  17. KYLE LARSON #42
  18. RICKY STENHOUSE #17
  19. KASEY KAHNE #95
  20. RYAN BLANEY #12
  21. AUSTIN DILLON #3
  22. A. J. ALLMENDINGER#47
  23. CLINT BOWYER #14
  24. CHRIS BUESCHER #37
  25. PAUL MENARD #21
  26. TY DILLON #13
  27. DARRELL WALLACE JR. #43
  28. TREVOR BAYNE #6
  29. MICHAEL MCDOWELL #34
  30. DAVID RAGAN #38

 

Friday we’ll break down the Top 5 drivers.

TOP TEN TEAMS

TOP 10 TEAMS POST CALIFORNIA

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

 

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

 

Furniture Row Racing get a win with #78 Martin Truex and keep the #1 team spot. That leaves Team Penske at #2 very close behind. Joe Gibbs Racing move up a place to #3 and move Stewart Haas Racing to #4. Richard Childress Racing stay strong at #5. Chip Ganassi Racing,  Wood Brothers Racing,  Hendrick Motorsports,  Roush Fenway Racing and JTG Racing all remain in place this week.

 

Thursday look for out Top 30 drivers at Martinsville Speedway.

TOP TEN DRIVERS by TRACK TYPE

TOP 10: SHORT TRACK

  1. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48
  2. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  3. DENNY HAMLIN #11
  4. JOEY LOGANO #22
  5. JAMIE McMURRAY #1
  6. KYLE BUSCH #18
  7. RYAN NEWMAN #31
  8. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  9. MARTIN TRUEX JR. #78
  10. KASEY KAHNE #95

Top 10 drivers on Short tracks, Wednesday look for our Top 10 teams for Sunday’s STP 500 from Martinsville Speedway.

RACE PREVIEW

mr 16.1

STP 500

MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY

MARCH 25th, 2 PM CHARLOTTE TIME FOX SPORTS 1 TV

.5 MILES 12 DEGREES of BANKING

Spring short track race #1. Like Bristol Motor Speedway, this is a half-mile track, but that is where the similarities end. This track has less banking on the turns than Bristol has in the front stretch. Flat and shaped like a paper clip, we’ll see the less seasoned drivers start to lose their brakes about three fourths of the way through the race. We’ll also see patience in short supply, and with tempers boiling over from California, this race could be a powder keg. More short tempers, more chrome horns, and more wrecked sheet metal are about the only things you can bank on at the short track that lacks serious banking. Again this year we’ll see racing in three stages, the first 130 laps, the second 130 laps and the final stage of 340 laps. In the last ten years the Hendrick guys have won eight of 20 races, with nine-time winner Jimmie Johnson being their premiere driver. The Hendrick motor shop has 11 wins in the last 20 races and even better  they’ve won nine of the last 13 races! The Hendrick Motorsports dominance helps give Chevrolet 12 wins in the last 20 races! Will Hendrick Motorsports domination continue? We’ll find out Sunday.

Tuesday look for the Top 10 drivers on short tracks.

TOP FIVE DRIVERS TO WATCH

CALIFORNIA Auto Club 400

My #5 driver has never won here, #78 Martin Truex. Martin comes in with 17 career starts, and only one Top 5. That Top 5 came last year. Martin is our #1 rated downforce driver and #2 hottest driver over the last six weeks.

My #4 driver has also never won here, #22 Joey Logano. Joey has 11 starts here and four Top 5’s. Two of those Top 5’s came in the last two races. Joey is #4 ranked downforce track driver and is #4 hottest driver over the last six races. His Top 5 streak should continue again this year.

My #3 driver to watch is a former winner and is the hottest driver on the circuit right now, #4 Kevin Harvick. Kevin has 24 starts with one win and six Top 5’s. He won here in 2011. Kevin has a gone to victory lane the last three straight races this year. The trips to victory lane might not keep going every week but the Top 5’s should.      

The #2 driver is another former winner here, #2 Brad Keselowski. Brad won here three years ago. He has that one win in just nine starts. He my #3 ranked downforce track driver and is #7 hottest over the last six races.  He finished second here last year.

The #1 pick is a driver who not only has won here before but has done it three times, #18 Kyle Busch. Kyle has 19 starts here, three wins and eight Top 5’s! But his last win and last Top 5 was 2014. He comes in #2 in points and #3 hottest over the last six races. It is time for Kyle to turn up the heat!   

Monday we’ll preview the STP 500 from Martinsville Speedway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday we’ll preview the STP 500 from Martinsville Speedway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My #4 pick is coming off a Top 5 in Phoenix last week, #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Here Dale has 23 starts, no wins and five Top 5 finishes. Dale finished 6th here last year.  Jr. is happy to be in a Chevy here, where five of the last eight winners wore the bow tie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOP 30 POWER RANKINGS

AUTO CLUB 400

 

  1. KYLE BUSCH #18
  2. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  3. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  4. JOEY LOGANO #22
  5. MARTIN TRUEX #78
  6. DENNY HAMLIN #11
  7. CHASE ELLIOTT #9
  8. RYAN NEWMAN #31
  9. KYLE LARSON #42
  10. RYAN BLANEY #12
  11. KURT BUSCH #41
  12. ERIK JONES #20
  13. JAMIE MCMURRAY #1
  14. AUSTIN DILLON #3
  15. PAUL MENARD #21
  16. CLINT BOWYER #14
  17. DANIEL SUAREZ #19
  18. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48
  19. WILLIAM BYRON #24
  20. RICKY STENHOUSE #17
  21. ARIC ALMIROLA #10
  22. A.J. ALLMENDINGER #47
  23. TREVOR BAYNE #6
  24. ALEX BOWMAN #88
  25. CHRIS BUESCHER #37
  26. TY DILLON #13
  27. DARRELL WALLACE JR. #43
  28. KASEY KAHNE #95
  29. DAVID RAGAN #38
  30. MICHAEL MCDOWELL #34

 

 

Friday we break down the Top 5 drivers in Sunday’s Auto Club 400.

TOP TEN TEAMS

TOP 10 TEAMS POST PHOENIX

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

 

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

 

It was a big week at Phoenix for Stewart Haas Racing with another win from Kevin Harvick. But it brought no change to the Top 5. Furniture Row Racing remains at #1.  Stewart Haas Racing closed the distance with Team Penske but could not get passed them.  Joe Gibbs Racing stays strong at #4 and Richard Childress Racing is the story of the year at #5, this time last year they were #10. Chip Ganassi Racing move up a place to #6 and that sends Wood Brothers Racing to #7.  Hendrick Motorsports move up from the ten spot to #8. Roush Fenway Racing stay at #9 and lastly we find JTG Racing at #10.

 

These are the Top 10 Teams, Thursday look for our Top30 drivers at Auto Club Speedway.

TOP TEN DRIVERS by TRACK TYPE

TOP 10: DOWNFORCE TRACKS

  1. MARTIN TRUEX #78
  2. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  3. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  4. JOEY LOGANO #22
  5. KYLE BUSCH #18
  6. DENNY HAMLIN #11
  7. CHASE ELLIOTT #9
  8. JAMIE MCMURRAY #1
  9. KYLE LARSON #42
  10.  RYAN NEWMAN #31

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