TOP 30 DRIVERS

AAA 500 from TEXAS

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

Friday we break down the Top 5 drives to watch.

TOP TEN TEAMS

TOP 10 TEAMS POST MARTINSVILLE

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

Joe Gibbs Racing has been #1 for the last 17 weeks straight and most of the year so it should be no surprise at all that they’ll stay there with the win from their own #19 Martin Truex. JGR stays at #1 and Team Penske hold at #2. Chip Ganassi Racing move up two places to #3. Hendrick Motorsports stay at #4. Stewart Haas Racing drops two spots to #5. The bottom half of the Top 10 also gets shuffled this week. Roush Fenway Racing stay at #6. Leavine Family Racing move up a spot to #7.  Wood Brothers Racing slip back a place to #8. Germain Racing stay at #9. JTG Daugherty Racing return to the Top 10 and Richard Childress drop out of the Top 10.

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

TOP TEN DRIVERS BY TRACK TYPE

TOP 10: INTERMEDIATE TRACKS

  1. MARTIN TRUEX #19
  2. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  3. KYLE BUSCH #18
  4. KURT BUSCH #1
  5. CHASE ELLIOTT #9
  6. ERIK JONES #20
  7. KYLE LARSON #42
  8. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  9. JOEY LOGANO #22
  10. DENNY HAMLIN #11

Top 10 on Intermediate tracks, Wednesday look for our Top 10 teams and Thursday look for our Top 30 driver rankings for Sunday’s AAA 500 from Texas.

RACE PREVIEW

AAA 500

TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

NOVEMBER 3rd, 3PM EST NBC-SN TV

1.5 Miles, 24 Degrees of Banking

Stages end after laps 85/170/344

Playoff Race #8

Seven races into the Playoffs and there are a lot of simmering tensions in the garage. Each race seems to bring more to the surface. There are just three races left for these drivers to settle this. Martin Truex Jr. is locked into the final Championship race with his win at Martinsville and Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin won’t soon forget that bump pass toward the end of the race and “discussion” after the race. This track is another that used to hang a sign that says “House of Roush”. In the 37 Cup races that have been run here, nine of them have been won by the Roush Fenway team of drivers; the first in the inaugural race in 1997 (Jeff Burton) and the last in April of 2012 (Greg Biffle).  But Hendrick Motorsports and is tied with Roush in total wins, they also have nine wins since 1997. But in the last ten years Roush has two wins and Hendrick has six. Advantage HMS. Also in the last ten years we have seen Joe Gibbs Racing get wins, seven as a matter of fact. Including the Denny Hamlin win here earlier in the year and the Kyle Busch win last year. Those are the three dominate teams. Who will dominate this year?  We’ll see on Sunday.

Tuesday look for our Top 10 drivers on Intermediate tracks in advance of the AAA 500 from Texas Motor Speedway.

TOP FIVE DRIVERS

First Data 500 from MARTINSVILLE

My #5 pick is the series’ most recent winner, #11 Denny Hamlin. Here at Martinsville Denny has five wins in 27 starts, he also has 14 Top 5’s—52%.  He finished 2nd here last year and 5th earlier in the year, a major reason he is #2 rated short track driver. Denny is #3 hottest over the last six weeks.           

My #4 driver is the most recent winner here, #2 Brad Keselowski. Brad won here back in March. He has 19 starts, two wins, and eight Top 5’s—42%. Brad has really, just gotten better here. All of his Top 5’s have come in his last 12 starts. His last seven stops here were all Top 10’s. Six of those seven were Top 5’s.

My #3 driver to watch is the defending champion of this race, #22 Joey Logano. Joey has 21 starts, one win and six Top 5’s. Joey our defending series champion just made it into this round of the Playoffs, to make it to Miami he will need to be in the mix at the end of the next three races. Joey is #3 rated short track driver.

My #2 driver has horrible stats here, #19 Martin Truex Jr. Martin has 27 starts, no wins and five Top 5’s—19%. Those are not even close to good stats but he finished 3rd in this race last year and 2nd here the year before. He is #1 hottest over the last six weeks.

My #1 pick is on an amazing hot streak here, #18 Kyle Busch. Kyle has finished all of his last eight races in the Top 5 including a win in this race in 2017. Kyle has 28 starts, two win’s, one in early 2016 and another in this race in 2017, and 16 Top 5’s (52%). Kyle is #11 hottest over the last six weeks. More importantly he is #1 in points AND #1 rated short driver. To stay in the Top 4 he is going to need to do well where he has been strong and it starts here.

Monday look for our preview of the AAA 500 from Texas.

TOP 30 DRIVERS

FIRST DATA 500:MARTINSVILLE

  1. KYLE BUSCH #18
  2. MARTIN TRUEX #19
  3. JOEY LOGANO #22
  4. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  5. DENNY HAMLIN #11
  6. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  7. CHASE ELLIOTT #9
  8. CLINT BOWYER #14
  9. ALEX BOWMAN #88
  10. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48
  11. RYAN BLANEY #12
  12. RYAN NEWMAN #6
  13. ARIC ALMIROLA #10
  14. KYLE LARSON #42
  15. DANIEL SUAREZ #41
  16. KURT BUSCH #1
  17. AUSTIN DILLON #3
  18. PAUL MENARD #21
  19. WILLIAM BYRON #24
  20. MATT DIBENNEDETTO #95
  21. RYAN PREECE #47
  22. ERIK JONES #20
  23. TY DILLON #13
  24. CHRIS BUESCHER #37
  25. RICKY STENHOUSE #17
  26. MICHAEL MCDOWELL #34
  27. DANIEL HEMRIC #8
  28. DAVID RAGAN #38
  29. BUBBA WALLACE #43
  30. MATT TIFFT #36

Friday we’ll break down the Top 5 drivers.

RACE PREVIEW

FIRST DATA 500

Martinsville Speedway

October 27th, 3:00 PM ET, NBCSN TV

.526 Mile, 12 Degrees of Banking

Playoff Race #7

Stages end after laps: 130/260/500

We are six races through the ten race Playoff for the Monster Energy Cup. Drivers #22 Joey Logano, #14 Clint Bowyer,    #24 William Byron   and #88 Alex Bowman have been eliminated from the Playoffs. #18 Kyle Busch, #11 Denny Hamlin, #19 Martin Truex, #2 Brad Keselowski, #12 Ryan Blaney, #4 Kevin Harvick, #9 Chase Elliott,  and #42 Kyle Larson  will all move on. These eight drivers are from five different teams. The only teams with a chance at a championship are Stewart Hass Racing, Team Penske, Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing. All eight drivers are looking for a win that will lock them in to the championship race in Homestead. This is the last of the season’s six short track races. We know that short tracks bring on short tempers and with just four races to go in the season, the drivers are doing what they must to gather enough points to claim a successful season. We probably won’t see a lot of patience on the track – bump and run could be the phrase of the day, or worse yet, dump and run. Chevy has won 50% of the races here in the last 10 years. In those 20 races over the last ten years Hendrick Motorsports accounts for 30% of those wins and their engine shop 45%. Jimmie Johnson is the winning-est current driver here with nine trips to Victory Lane. #2 Brad Keselowski is the defending Champion of this race and his team mate #22 Joey Logano won here earlier in the year in a Team Penske Ford. Joe Gibbs Racing and their Toyota’s are tied with Hendrick Motorsports in number of wins (6) in the last ten years. Will Hendrick Motorsports and Chevy return to Victory Lane? Or will we see Ford or Toyota chip away at team Hendrick’s and Chevy’s dominance. We’ll find out on Sunday.

Tuesday look for our Top 10 short track drivers.