Thursday, August 31, 2017

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington

By Carol D'Agostino

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last five years):
By Race
All with 4 - Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth
All with 3 - Kyle Larson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Martin Truex Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman and Joey Logano

By Track
Kevin Harvick - 4
All with 3 -Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman

Recent Pole Winners:  
2016 Rained Out
2015 Brad Keselowski
2014 Kevin Harvick

Last Year's Race Winner:  Martin Truex Jr.

The Likely Suspects: Picking drivers at Darlington is tricky. You know at race's end most of the cars will be sporting some Darlington stripes, but you've got to avoid the wrecks to get to the end. There lies the issue. I'm going to be putting my faith into these elite Darlington drivers: Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Larson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

My 2 Cents: My no-brainer pick this week is a tie between Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson. My next picks are Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman and Austin Dillon. I'll round out my team with Daniel Suarez and Landon Cassill.

My Final Four: Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, Ryan Newman and Daniel Saurez.

Points to Ponder:
  • The first starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (20) than any other starting spot at Darlington. The outside front row (second-place) has produced the second-most wins (17).  
  • Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins by an organization at Darlington in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with 14 victories.
  • 11 different manufacturers have won in the MENCS at Darlington, led by Chevrolet with 41 victories, followed by Ford with 28 and Toyota with five.
  • Kasey Kahne leads all active drivers in Coors Light poles at Darlington with four (2004, ‘05, ’06 and ’11), and is the only active driver with consecutive poles (2005-2006).
  • Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers with three wins, and is the only active multiple race winner at Darlington. Only five other active drivers have won at Darlington – Martin Truex Jr. (2016), Kevin Harvick (2014), Matt Kenseth (2013), Denny Hamlin (2010) and Kyle Busch (2008).  
  • Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the series in top-five finishes at Darlington with nine, followed by Ryan Newman with seven. 
  • Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Newman lead all active drivers with 12 top 10s, followed by Matt Kenseth with 11.
  • Almost 86% (97 of the 112) Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Darlington have been won from a top-10 starting position.
  • Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers in second-place finishes at Darlington with three, followed by Kevin Harvick with two.
  • Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in average finishing position at Darlington with a 6.273.
  • Two active series drivers have an average finish inside the top 10 at Darlington: Denny Hamlin (6.2) and Kyle Larson (7.0).   
Remember, if you're playing Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing, your pick deadline is Saturday, September 2, at 5 a.m. EDT.

Enjoy the race! Post your comments here or follow me on Twitter at @purplecatpr.


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