Thursday, May 10, 2012

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Southern Style at Darlington




Track Classification: Intermediate
Similar Tracks: Atlanta Motor Speedway • Charlotte Motor Speedway • Chicagoland Speedway  Homestead-Miami Speedway • Kansas Speedway •  Kentucky Speedway 
Las Vegas Motor Speedway • New Hampshire Motor Speedway • Texas Motor Speedway
Distance: 1.366 Miles


Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
All with 4 - Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman
All with 3 - Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, and Jeff Burton  

By Track
All with 3 - Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman

Recent Pole Winners:  
2011 Kasey Kahne
2010 Jamie McMurray

The Likely Suspects: Darlington Raceway is one of NASCAR's oldest tracks, and one of its most challenging. However, a handful of drivers not only "earned their Darlington stripes," but also learned to proficiently "race the track first." These drivers include: Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards.

My 2 Cents: If you get stuck when picking drivers this week, think Hendrick Motorsports. Remarkably the Hendrick's organization has won 13 races at Darlington, more than any other team. Since Jeff Gordon has the most wins among all active drivers he is my scary, no-brainer first pick. Since Jeff has had the worst luck this year I need a strong relatively risk-free guy next. My pick is Denny Hamlin though I took a serious look at Jimmie Johnson. Denny's record was clearly much better though with his 6.5 average finish vs. Jimmie's 12.2.

My next picks are Martin Truex, Ryan Newman, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and Mark Martin. I considered Greg Biffle and Kurt Busch, but their records, though good they weren't very good. I prefer to go with drivers who are closer to running top 10 than top 15. I'm finishing up with Bobby Labonte and David Ragan.

When it comes time to do my final picks I will pay careful attention to track position as 19 races at Darlington have been won from the pole.

Post your comments here or email me at ssfantasyracing@skirtsandscuffs.com. Enjoy the race!

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