TOP FIVE DRIVERS TO WATCH

BOJANGLES SOUTHERN 500 from DARLINGTON

My #5 driver to watch is the defending champion of this race, #2 Brad Keselowski. Brad got his first win here “South of the Border”  last year. He has 10 starts, that win and three Top 5’s. He is #8 ranked on tracks like this and also sits #8 hottest, a Top 5 finish can help improve those stats.      

My #4 pick is a driver that used to struggle here, #22 Joey Logano. Joey has 10 starts here with three Top 5’s. Interestingly, those three Top 5’s came in his last four starts including his second place finish last year. Joey is ranked #5 for me on tracks like and is 6th hottest.  

The number #3 driver to watch is a former winner here, #4 Kevin Harvick. Kevin has 22 starts here, one win and seven Top 5’s. He won here in 2014 in part of a streak of six consecutive Top 10 finishes, five of the six were Top 5’s. He is the #5 hottest over the last six weeks and is #2 rated on tracks like this.

The #2 driver only has three Top 5’s here, #18 Kyle Busch. But one of his Top 5’s was a win here in 2008. A win and two other Top 5’s in 14 starts isn’t the best, but Kyle has been hot and that hot streak should continue when he meets the “Lady in Black.”He sits #2 hottest and is #4 for me on tracks like this. It also doesn’t hurt that half of the wins here in the last ten years have been from Toyota, four of those from his team – Joe Gibbs Racing.

My #1 driver is the hottest driver over the last six weeks and most recent winner on the circuit, #11 Denny Hamlin. Denny is the hot shoe and he arrives here where he has two wins in just 13 starts, with seven Top 5’s-54%.  His last four races were all Top 10’s, three of them were Top 5’s. Denny also has the #1 average finish in the last seven years at “the Track Too Tough to Tame” and his worst career finish was 19th.

Monday look for our preview of the Big Machine Vodka 400 at The Brickyard.