Friday, February 27, 2015

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: The Squirrelly-Car Debut at Atlanta


Track Classification: Intermediate
Similar Tracks:  Charlotte Motor Speedway • Chicagoland Speedway • Darlington Raceway   Homestead-Miami Speedway • Kansas Speedway • Kentucky Speedway 
Las Vegas Motor Speedway • New Hampshire Motor Speedway • Texas Motor Speedway
Distance: 1.54 miles

2015 Fantasy NASCAR Year: AKA the Year of the Squirrelly Car-Abled Drivers
Hmm. I need to work on a shorter term for this. Here's the gist. The rules package for this year's Sprint Cup car -- particularly the reduction in horsepower from 900 to 725, shortening the rear spoiler from 8 to 6 inches and making the car slightly lighter in weight, bringing the specs a lot closer to the XFinity Series cars than ever before.

Furthermore, this new rules package is going to change the drivability of the car. It is going to be a bit squirrelly, favoring drivers who never adjusted well to last year's car, and who are known to love driving squirrelly cars such as Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenneth, Tony Stewart and Martin Truex Jr.  For this reason NASCAR Fantasy Fusion will factor in 2013 track statistics this year.

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
All with 3 - Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman and Denny Hamlin
All with 2 -  Martin Truex Jr., Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart and Brad Keselowski

By Track 
All with 3 - Jeff Gordon,  Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin
All with 2 -  Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Ryan Newman, Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski 

Recent Pole Winners:
2014 Kevin Harvick
2013 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

2013 Top-15 Finishers at Atlanta (September 1, 2013)
1       Kyle Busch                       
2       Joey Logano                       
3       Martin Truex Jr.           
4       Kurt Busch                       
5       Ryan Newman           
6       Jeff Gordon                       
7       Juan Pablo Montoya                       
8       Dale Earnhardt Jr.                       
9       Kevin Harvick           
10     Brian Vickers           
11     Jamie McMurray           
12     Matt Kenseth           
13     Marcos Ambrose                       
14     A.J. Allmendinger                       
15    Greg Biffle

The Likely Suspects: This weekend will be the first true test of the 2015 rules package. Jimmie Johnson may gain some of his old luster, but I don't think he will rule Atlanta like he once did. Look for these drivers to perform well this week: Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano.

My 2 Cents: The quintessential no-brainer at Atlanta is Jeff Gordon, followed by Kevin Harvick. I will round out my team with Martin Truex Jr., Carl Edwards, Kyle Larson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., David Ragan and Regan Smith.

My final four: Jeff Gordon, Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr. and Regan Smith. Enjoy the race!

Post your comments here or email me at ssfantasyracing@skirtsandscuffs.com

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