Tuesday, May 24, 2016

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Coca-Cola 600 Picks for the Season's Longest Race



Track Classification: Intermediate
Similar Tracks: Atlanta 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: 1.5 Miles

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
Kevin Harvick - 5
Denny Hamlin - 4
All with 3 - Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch 

By Track
All with 7 - Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin  
All with 5  - Kasey Kahne, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch
All with 4 - Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Martin Truex Jr. and Matt Kenseth

Recent Pole Winners:  
2015 Matt Kenseth
2014 Jimmie Johnson

2015 Race Winner: Carl Edwards

Likely Suspects: As the season's longest race, the Coca-Cola 600 allows the cream rise to the top. This race favors drivers who are in the best physical shape and the pit crews who are fast and flawless. Look for these drivers to run well this week: Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenneth, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. Heads up though, we're at a 1.5-mile track this week, so don't overlook Joey Logano, last week'sAll-Star Race winner.

My 2 Cents: This week's no-brainer pick is a three-way tie among Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenneth and the ultra-physically-fit Carl Edwards. My next picks are Martin Truex Jr., Austin Dillon and Ryan Newman. I will complete my team with Regan Smith and Chase Elliott.

My Final Four: Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne and Chase Elliott.

Points to Ponder:
  • 87 of the 114 (76.3%) Sprint Cup races at Charlotte have been won from a top-10 starting position.
  • 48 different drivers have won at Charlotte Motor Speedway, led by Jimmie Johnson with seven wins. 
  • Eight different manufacturers have won in the Cup Series at Charlotte, led by Chevrolet with 43 victories, followed by Ford (30), Dodge (15), Pontiac (8), Mercury (7), Buick (4), Plymouth (4) and Toyota (3).
  • Hendrick Motorsports leads the series in wins at Charlotte in the Cup Series with 18: Jimmie Johnson (seven), Jeff Gordon (five), Darrell Waltrip (two), Ken Schrader (one), Terry Labonte (one), Casey Mears (one) and Kasey Kahne (one). 
  • Ryan Newman leads all active drivers in poles at Charlotte Motor Speedway with nine, followed by Jimmie Johnson with four.
  • Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the Cup Series in average starting position at Charlotte with a 7.793.
Enjoy the race! Post your comments here or follow me on Twitter @purplecatpr.

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