Friday, July 3, 2015

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Coke Zero 400 at Daytona

Track Classification: Superspeedway
Similar Tracks: Auto Club Speedway (Fontana)
Indianapolis Motor Speedway  • Michigan International Speedway 
Pocono Raceway • Talladega Superspeedway
Distance: 2.5 Miles

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
All with 3 - Kurt Busch, Kasey Kahne and Kevin Harvick 
All with 2 - Michael Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart, Casey Mears, Ryan Newman, Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer and Carl Edwards

By Track
Dale Earnhardt Jr.- 5
All with 4 - Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Greg Biffle, Casey Mears, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson

Recent Pole Winners:  
2014 David Gilliland
2013 Kyle Busch

2013 Flashback
Restrictor-plate racing is the great equalizer with this new "under-powered" Sprint Cup car. I don't expect dramatic differences that will make me totally avoid looking at the 2014 statistics, but it is still worth looking at the race results from 2013.

Top 15 Finishers at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2013:

  1. Jimmie Johnson
  2. Tony Stewart
  3. Kevin Harvick
  4. Clint Bowyer
  5. Michael Waltrip
  6. Kurt Busch
  7. Jamie McMurray
  8. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  9. Casey Mears
  10. Ryan Newman
  11. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  12. Kyle Busch
  13. J.J. Yeley
  14. Danica Patrick
  15. David Gilliland

Likely Suspects: In many ways picking fantasy drivers for restrictor-plate racing is just like picking for road races. Choose a core of elite drivers who are masters at that style of racing, then cross your fingers and hope for the best. In this case you are hoping that your drivers don't get caught in the "Big One." I have my eye on these drivers to perform well:  Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Casey Mears, Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenneth, Clint Bowyer, Greg Biffle and Kyle Busch.

My 2 Cents: My no-brainer pick this week is a tie between Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Joey Logano. My next picks are Kurt Busch, Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart and Casey Mears. I will complete my team Danica Patrick and David Gilliland.

My final four: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch and Danica Patrick.

Points to ponder:
  • There are 35 different drivers who have won the July race at Daytona International Speedway, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson with five wins. Tony Stewart leads all active drivers with four, followed by Jeff Gordon with three.  
  • The Coors Light pole is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (eight) than any other starting spot in the July race at Daytona International Speedway.   
  • Of the 56 July NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Daytona, 41 (73.2%) have been won from a top-10 starting position.
  • Tony Stewart leads the series among active drivers in laps led in the July race at Daytona with 369, followed by Jeff Gordon with 318 and Dale Earnhardt Jr. with 243.
  • The Wood Brothers have the most wins at Daytona in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 15, followed by Hendrick Motorsports with 13.
Enjoy the race! Post your comments here or follow me on Twitter @purplecatpr.