Thursday, February 25, 2016

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Debuting the 2016 Rules Package 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

By Carol D'Agostino

Debut of the 2016 Rules Update
Although we got a sneak peek last year at Darlington Raceway and Kentucky Speedway, this weekend officially unveils the 2016 Sprint Cup rules update, aka the lower downforce rules package. The new specs are designed to enable more off-throttle time for drivers and decreased corner speeds. Theoretically, this will create more passing zones over the entire track. Tune in to see if it lives up to its promise.

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
Both with 4 - Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth
All with 3 - Dale Earnhardt Jr., Martin Truex Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski
All with 2 - Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards and A.J. Allmendinger

By Track 
All with 3 - Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr.,  Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Newman
All with 2 -  Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski

2015 Race Winner: Jimmie Johnson

Driver Averages at Intermediate Tracks (Since February 2014)
  1. Joey Logano         111.1
  2. Kyle Busch           105.0
  3. Kevin Harvick      119.5
  4. Brad Keselowski   110.1
  5. Ryan Newman        91.0
  6. Jeff Gordon            103.6
  7. Carl Edwards          90.8
  8. Matt Kenseth           96.6
  9. Jimmie Johnson      101.4
  10. Martin Truex Jr.       93.3
  11. Dale Earnhardt Jr.    94.2
  12. Denny Hamlin          94.0
  13. Jamie McMurray      85.0
  14. Kurt Busch                91.3
  15. Kyle Larson              88.9
Recent Pole Winners:
2015 Joey Logano
2014 Kevin Harvick

The Likely Suspects: This weekend think top 10, and Chevy and Ford when making your picks. These drivers will perform well this weekend: Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards and AJ Allmendinger.

My 2 Cents: My no-brainer pick this week is a tie between Matt Kenneth and Joey Logano. I will round out my team with Martin Truex Jr., Carl Edwards, Ryan Newman, AJ Allmendinger, Ty Dillon and Regan Smith.

My Final Four: Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Martin Truex Jr. and Regan Smith.

Points to Ponder:
  • The fifth starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (15) than any other starting spot at Atlanta Motor Speedway; the most recent was Jeff Gordon in 2011.
  • Of the 108 Sprint Cup races at Atlanta, 85 (78.7%) have been won from a top-10 starting position.
  • Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins at Atlanta in the Sprint Cup Series with 13, followed by the Wood Brothers with 12 and Joe Gibbs Racing with 11.
  • Ryan Newman leads all active drivers in the Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Atlanta with a 7.391.
Enjoy the race! Post your comments here or follow me on Twitter at @purplecatpr.