RACE PREVIEW

HMS 13

MIAMI HOMESTEAD FORD ECOBOOST 400

HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY

November 19th, 3PM EST NBC TV

1 Mile 20 Degrees of Banking

It doesn’t seem that long ago that 42 drivers showed up at Daytona in February to get into the Daytona 500. Two drivers were eliminated in the duel races. Forty drivers started the race hoping not only to win the race but kick off the 2017 season in the best way possible. Kurt Busch won and left 39 drivers thinking we’ll try again next race. Fourteen different drivers found Victory Lane from nine different teams this season. Nine races ago sixteen drivers made it into the NASCAR Playoffs and a chance to win the Cup –  twelve drivers have been slowly eliminated leaving four to decide the 2017 Monster Energy Cup Champion. Now after thirty-five races, it all comes down to one race, all points have been thrown out. It is all about just this one race.  Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, and Brad Keselowski.will all battle for the Championship. This track was reconfigured just before the 2003 season. Since that time four teams have found Victory Lane.  Roush Fenway Racing has the most victories since then six. But none since 2010. Joe Gibbs Racing has four wins with two coming from Denny Hamlin in 2009 and 2013 and one coming from Kyle Busch in 2015. Stewart Haas Racing has two wins with one coming from Kevin Harvick in 2014. Hendrick Motorsports has two. Neither Martin Truex Jr. nor Brad Keselowski have won here. The highest finisher will win the Championship and a win will put you in. Who will snag the Championship?  We’ll know on Sunday.

Tuesday look for our Top 10 drivers on Downforce tracks going into Homestead-Miami.

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TOP FIVE DRIVERS

CAN AM 500 from PHOENIX

My #5 driver is very consistent here, #24 Chase Elliott. Chase has only raced here three times. In his three starts his best finish was 8th but his worst was 12th. He comes in #4 hottest over the last six weeks. Only a win would lock him in to the Championship and he may come up short but not too short.

The #4 driver to watch is an outstanding flat track driver, #2 Brad Keselowski. Brad is my #2 flat track driver and comes in here #3 hottest over the last six weeks. Since they redid the track he has five Top 5’s in the twelve races. He finished 5th here earlier in the year trying to beat Ryan Newman.  Brad is in the championship hunt and really just needs to win or a have a big points day, unless one of the other four drivers in the Top 8 wins.

My #3 pick this week is a former winner here, #11 Denny Hamlin.  Denny has five Top 5’s since the track was redone. Five outta 12, not bad. Plus he had a win in the spring of 2012. He is my #4 flat track driver and sits #5 hottest over the last six races. 

My #2 pick is a former winner but on the old track, #18 Kyle Busch. Kyle last won here in this race in 2005. Like Martin Truex Jr. and KevinHarvick he doesn’t have to win to stay in the Cup hunt but he does want a big finish. He comes in with 11 starts and five Top 5’s on the repave track. His last four finishes were 4th place or better finishes. He is ranked #5 on flat tracks.   

My #1 pick is the closer, #4 Kevin Harvick. Kevin is the winning-est current driver here. He has finished in first or second in eight of the twelve races run since the track reconfiguration. He has twelve starts, six wins and nine Top 5’s-75%, since the new paving. He is my #1 rated flat track racer. And he is 2nd hottest over the last six races. He is locked into a playoff spot but I think he win not because he has to but because he can.    

 

Monday look for our preview of the Ford 400 from Miami-Homestead.

 

 

 

 

 

TOP 30 DRIVERS

 

CAN AM 500:PHOENIX

 

  1. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  2. KYLE BUSCH #18
  3. DENNY HAMLIN #11
  4. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  5. CHASE ELLIOTT #24
  6. KURT BUSCH #41
  7. RYAN BLANEY #21
  8. KYLE LARSON #42
  9. DANIEL SUAREZ #19
  10. JOEY LOGANO #22
  11. MARTIN TRUEX #78
  12. MATT KENSETH #20
  13. JAMIE MCMURRAY #1
  14. RYAN NEWMAN #31
  15. DALE EARNHARDT JR #88
  16. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48
  17. KASEY KAHNE #5
  18. ERIK JONES #77
  19. ARIC ALMIROLA #43
  20. AUSTIN DILLON #3
  21. PAUL MENARD #27
  22. RICKY STENHOUSE #17
  23. TY DILLON #13
  24. A. J. ALLMEDINGER #47
  25. DANICA PATRICK #10
  26. CLINT BOWYER #14
  27. TREVOR BAYNE #6
  28. DAVID RAGAN #38
  29. CHRIS BUESCHER #37
  30. LANDON CASSILL #34

 

Top 30 drivers, Friday we break down the Top 5 drivers to watch.

TOP TEN TEAMS

TOP 10 TEAMS POST TEXAS

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

 

Joe Gibbs Racing is #1 for the fourth week. Staying at #2 we see Team Penske. Hendrick Motorsports move up a place to #3. Wood Brothers Racing move up a place to #4. Furniture Row Racing drop two places to #5. Stewart Haas Racing move up a position to #6. Chip Ganassi Racing drop a place to #7. Roush Fenway Racing remain in place this along with  Richard Childress Racing. Richard Petty Motorsports hangs in the Top 10 again this week at #10.

 

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

TOP TEN DRIVERS by TRACK TYPE

TOP 10: FLAT TRACKS

  1. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  2. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  3. MATT KENSETH #20
  4. DENNY HAMLIN #11
  5. KYLE BUSCH #18
  6. KYLE LARSON #42
  7. JOEY LOGANO #22
  8. DANIEL SUAREZ #19
  9. KURT BUSCH #41
  10. RYAN NEWMAN #31

 

Top 10 drivers on Flat tracks, Wednesday look for our Top 10 teams and Thursday look for our Top 30 rankings for Sunday’s Can-Am 500 from Phoenix Raceway.

RACE PREVIEW

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CAN AM 500

PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
November 12th, 2:30PM Charlotte Time
NBC TV
1 Mile Turn 1&2 12 Degrees of Banking, Turn 3&4 10 Degrees of Banking

Playoff Race #9

What a place to help decide the Monster Energy Cup Championship, a 1 mile flat track:  a track where every turn is slightly different. There is no such thing as “get your car right and cruise around.” Most drivers have a good set-up for turns 1 & 2 or for turns 3 & 4. Some try to get a compromise somewhere in between, and some drivers are simply trying to find any set-up that gets them fast and keeps them off the wall. No matter what your strategy is, this track can be very, very tough. Rookies typically struggle here. And to add to the challenge, this race will help eliminate four of the eight finalists for the Championship. #18 Kyle Busch and #4 Kevin Harvick are locked in with wins, #78 Martin Truex is also locked in by points so the other five drivers will battle for the last Championship spot. #2 Brad Keselowski has the final transfer position at the moment. #11 Denny Hamlin, #21 Ryan Blaney, #24 Chase Elliott and #48 Jimmie Johnson  have the bottom four spots and really need to win or finish in the Top 5.  Kevin Harvick who has won six of the last ten races appears to have the inside track on that win. In the last ten years Hendrick Motorsports has won 35% of the races here and cars with engines built by the Hendrick Motor shop have won 60% of the races. But #22 Joey Logano and Team Penske won here last year and in March we saw #31 Ryan Newman bring his Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet to victory lane. Advantage Kevin Harvick. Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex will compete next week for the Championship, who will compete against them? We’ll find out of Sunday.

Tuesday look for our Top 10 flat track drivers in advance of the Can Am 500 from Phoenix Int’l Raceway.

TOP FIVE DRIVERS

Texas AAA 500 from TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

 

My #5 driver has kind of struggled here, #78 Martin Truex Jr. He has 23 starts, no wins and 3 Top 5’s (13%). But Martin has done well everywhere this year. But he is #1 hottest over the last six weeks, #1 in points and almost most importantly is ranked #1 on tracks like this. He finished 8th here in April.

 

The #4 driver has had his up and downs here but is a very good mile and a half-er, #2 Brad Keselowski. Brad has 18 starts, no wins, and four Top 5’s. Brad is #3 ranked on tracks like this and is #2 hottest over the last six weeks.

 

My #3 pick needs a big race to stay in the Playoffs, #4 Kevin Harvick. Kevin has 29 starts, no wins and seven Top 5’s. Kevin sits #4 in points and doesn’t want to get moved to the bottom four spots. Kevin is #2 rated on tracks like this and #8 hottest over the last six weeks. Kevin has four Top 5’s in the last six races here.

 

My #2 driver is the most recent winner on the circuit, #18 Kyle Busch. Kyle comes into Texas with 23 starts, two wins and 11 Top 5’s. 48% Top 5! He is #3 hottest over the last six weeks and happy to be here where five of his last six races were all Top 5’s including a win in April of last year.

 

My #1 pick is the winning-est current driver and most recent winner here, #48 Jimmie Johnson. Jimmie has 28 starts here, seven wins, and 15 Top 5’s (54%). He has won six of the last ten races here in the lone star state. He is rated #5 on tracks like this, and has the #1 Average Finish at Texas. He is #7 hottest over the last six weeks. He needs to lock into the Chase with a win and I think he will.

 

Monday look for our preview of the CAN-AM 500 from Phoenix.