TOP FIVE DRIVERS TO WATCH

FOOD CITY 500 from BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY

 

The #5 driver to watch is a two time former winner here, #4 Kevin Harvick. Kevin has 36 starts, those two wins, and 12 Top 5’s. Kevin last won here in August of 2016, in the night race.  He is my #1 ranked short track driver and is also #3 hottest over the last six weeks.

 

My #4 driver is getting his swag back this season, #48 Jimmie Johnson. Jimmie has 34 starts with two wins and 12 Top 5 finishes. He has gotten off to a rough start this year. Jimmie showed some much needed speed in Texas and got his first Top 5 of the year. He is 15th hottest over the last six races. Hopefully this #5 ranked short track driver will stay hot in Thunder Valley. Jimmie finished 3rd here last year.

 

My #3 driver is a former winner here and just had a big win in Texas, #11 Denny Hamlin. Denny has 26 starts a win in August of 2012 and seven Top 5’s.  He had a great finish at Martinsville a couple of weeks ago and sat in Victory lane at Texas, two big reasons Denny is #2 hottest. He is also #2 rated on the short tracks.

 

The #2 pick won two of the summer night races here but never in the spring, #22 Joey Logano.  Joey has 20 starts, those two wins, and five Top 5’s. He is my #3 ranked short track driver and is #6 hottest over the last six weeks.

 

The number #1 driver to watch is the winning-est current driver here, #18 Kyle Busch. Kyle has seven wins in just 27 starts! One of those wins was in this race last year. He has ten Top 5’s. Kyle is solid coming out of Texas and is #1 hottest over the last six races.  He is my #4 ranked short track driver.

 

 

Monday look for our preview of the Toyota Owners 400 from the Richmond Int. Raceway.

 

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TOP 30 DRIVERS

FOOD CITY 500-BRISTOL

 

  1. KYLE BUSCH #18
  2. JOEY LOGANO #22
  3. DENNY HAMLIN #11
  4. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48
  5. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  6. CHASE ELLIOTT #9
  7. CLINT BOWYER #14
  8. ALEX BOWMAN #88
  9. RICKY STENHOUSE #17
  10. KYLE LARSON #42
  11. KURT BUSCH #1
  12. ERIK JONES #20
  13. DANIEL SUAREZ #41
  14. RYAN NEWMAN #6
  15. MARTIN TRUEX #19
  16. AUSTIN DILLON #3
  17. RYAN BLANEY #12
  18. ARIC ALMIROLA #10
  19. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  20. WILLIAM BYRON #24
  21. PAUL MENARD #21
  22. MATT DIBENNEDETTO #95
  23. DAVID RAGAN #38
  24. CHRIS BUESCHER #37
  25. TY DILLION #13
  26. DARRELL WALLACE JR #43
  27. RYAN PREECE #47
  28. MICHAEL MCDOWELL #34
  29. DANIEL HEMRIC #8
  30. LANDON CASSILL #00

 

 

 

Friday we break down the Top 5 drivers to watch.

TOP TEN TEAMS

TOP 10 TEAMS POST BRISTOL
1. JOE GIBBS RACING (LW #1)
2. TEAM PENSKE (LW #2)
3. STEWART HAAS RACING (LW #3)
4. CHIP GANASSI RACING (LW #4)
5. HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS (LW #5)
6. ROUSH FENWAY RACING (LW #6)
7. WOOD BROTHERS RACING (LW #7)
8. GERMAIN RACING (LW #8)
9. RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING (LW #9)
10. JTG DAUGHERTY RACING (LW#10)

Kyle Busch got his third win of the year at Bristol and the fifth win of the year for his team Joe Gibbs Racing. It is no surprise then that they stay at #1 for the eighth straight week. That leaves Team Penske, the only other team with wins this year (three), in #2 place. For the second week in a row we see no changes in our top ten teams. Stewart Haas Racing were #1 at this time last year are still trying to find the speed they had last year. Chip Ganassi Racing and their motor partner Hendrick Motorsports fill out the top five. Roush Fenway Racing were #10 at this time last year are happy to be at #6. They are followed by fellow Ford team Wood Brothers Racing. At #8 & #9 we find allied teams Germain Racing and Richard Childress Racing. Lastly just hanging inside the top ten we have JTG Daugherty Racing.

These are the Top Ten Teams, Thursday look for our Top 30 drivers at Richmond.

TOP TEN DRIVERS by TRACK TYPE

TOP 10 DRIVERS:  SHORT TRACKS

  1. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  2. DENNY HAMLIN #11
  3. JOEY LOGANO #22
  4. KYLE BUSCH #18
  5. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48
  6. CHASE EILLIOTT #9
  7. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  8. MARTIN TRUEX #19
  9. ALEX BOWMAN #88
  10. CLINT BOWYER #14

Top 10 on short tracks, Wednesday look for our Top 10 team rankings for Sunday’s Food City 500 from Bristol Motor Speedway.

RACE PREVIEW

br 16.1

FOOD CITY 500

BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY

April 7th, 2 PM CHARLOTTE TIME FS 1 TV

.5 MILES 30 DEGREES OF BANKING

“Racin’ the Way it Ought to Be” might have been invented by Bristol’s marketing department, but it sure rings true as this IS racing the way it should be. As companies plan to build new tracks, I hope they keep the size and the banking of this track in mind. While there are other short tracks, this is THE short track: 1/2 mile in length and 30 degrees of banking make this the best door-to-door racing of the season. If your car isn’t beaten up at the end of the day, then you ain’t racing. In the last ten years Joe Gibbs Racing has the most wins with ten exactly half. Kyle Busch has six of those. His teammate Denny Hamlin has one. Recently departed team mates Carl Edwards had one and Matt Kenseth had two. The closest team is Team Penske with four wins in the last 20 races. Two from Brad Keselowski and two from Joey Logano. Will JGR domination continue here? We’ll see on Sunday.

Tuesday look for our Top 10 Drivers on Short Tracks.

TOP FIVE DRIVERS

O’REILLY 500 from TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

 

My #5 driver has only two Top 5’s here, #12 Ryan Blaney. Ryan has just eight starts, no wins and the two Top 5’s (25%). But those two Top 5’s came in the last two races. Ryan finished 5th in this race last year and returned in November of last year with a 2nd place finish. Also he has three straight Top’s 5’s so far this season starting in Phoenix. Ryan is on a roll here and he should just continue to get better.

 

My #4 pick has less experience here than Ryan Blaney, #9 Chase Elliott. Chase has just six starts here, no wins, and two Top 5’s (33%). Every one of his finishes has been 11th or better. He is rated #2 on tracks like this, he is very good on the higher banked tracks. The good news for Chase is he is the highest ranked driver in points at Hendrick Motorsports. The bad news is he is at #9 in points. HMS is struggling and Chase and the group are thinking this is the place to start turning things around.

 

My #3 driver is the defending champion of this race, #18 Kyle Busch. Kyle comes into Texas with 26 starts, three wins and 12 Top 5’s. 46% Top 5! He is #1 hottest over the last six weeks and #1 in points. happy to be here where six of his last nine races were Top 5’s including a win in April of 2016 and this race last year.

 

The #2 driver is on a hot streak here, #22 Joey Logano. Joey has 21 starts, one win, and nine Top 5’s. Joey has six straight Top 10’s, actually they were all 7th or better. He has been great here. He comes in loaded with confidence and since he has a win in the bank he can really push hard on Sunday.

 

My #1 pick is the most recent winner here, #4 Kevin Harvick. Kevin has 32 starts, two win’s and ten Top 5’s. Kevin is #3 rated on tracks like this and #3 hottest over the last six weeks. Kevin has nine straight Top 10’s, seven of those were Top 5’s and two were wins. Kevin and his team are winless thus far this season, they need that to change here and I think they will.

 

 

Monday look for our preview of the Food City 500 from Bristol.

 

TOP 30 DRIVERS

O’REILLY AUTO PARTS 500 from TEXAS

 

  1. KEVIN HARVICK #4
  2. JOEY LOGANO #22
  3. KYLE BUSCH #18
  4. CHASE ELLIOTT #9
  5. RYAN BLANEY #12
  6. MARTIN TRUEX #19
  7. KURT BUSCH #1
  8. ERIK JONES #20
  9. BRAD KESELOWSKI #2
  10. DENNY HAMLIN #11
  11. RICKY STENHOUSE #17
  12. KYLE LARSON #42
  13. JIMMIE JOHNSON #48
  14. ARIC ALMIROLA #10
  15. WILLIAM BYRON #24
  16. ALEX BOWMAN #88
  17. DANIEL SUAREZ #41
  18. RYAN NEWMAN #6
  19. CLINT BOWYER #14
  20. TY DILLON #13
  21. AUSTIN DILLON #3
  22. CHRIS BUESCHER #37
  23. DARRELL WALLACE JR. #43
  24. PAUL MENARD #21
  25. MICHAEL MCDOWELL #34
  26. RYAN PREECE #47
  27. DAVID RAGAN #38
  28. MATT DIBENEDETTO #95
  29. DANIEL HEMRIC #8
  30. LANDON CASSILL #00

 

Friday we break down the Top 5 drives to watch.