Thursday, October 5, 2017

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: 2nd Round Opener at Charlotte

By Carol D'Agostino

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
All with 4 - Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Kasey Kahne
All with 3 - Brad Keslelowski, Ryan Newman, Jimmie Johnson and Joey Logano 

By Track
Kevin Harvick - 8
Both with 7 - Ryan Newman and Denny Hamlin
All with 6- Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski
Both with 5 - Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch

Recent Pole Winners:  
2016 Kevin Harvick
2015 Matt Kenseth

Last Year's Race Winner: Jimmie Johnson

Likely Suspects: Charlotte elite for the most part are also Playoff contenders. Look for these drivers to run well this week: Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Ryan Newman, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch and Martin Truex Jr.

My 2 Cents: At this point it's all about the bonus points. They will either make or break you. Most races will be dominated by playoff contenders who tend to be in Group A. My strategy is to pick drivers who are likely to earn me points in qualifying, have at least two of my drivers lead laps and have all of my drivers finish in the top 15. Not easy, but it's a goal to shoot for.

My no-brainer pick this week is Kyle Busch. My next pick is Jimmie Johnson, but if he can't find his golden horseshoe at Charlotte, then I think Martin Truex Jr. must have taken possession. My next picks are: Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch and Jamie McMurray, who is the only non- playoff driver who has won a Playoff race at Charlotte. I will complete my team with Landon Cassill and Daniel Suarez.

My Final Four: Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman and Daniel Suarez.

Points to Ponder:
  • Five active drivers have won the pole for Charlotte’s Playoff races – Ryan Newman (two), Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, and Matt Kenseth (each have one). 
  • Ryan Newman leads all active drivers in poles at CMS with nine, followed by Jimmie Johnson with four.
  • Kevin Harvick is the most recent driver to accomplish consecutive poles at Charlotte (2016 playoff race and 2017 summer race).
  • The second-place starting position is the most proficient starting spot in the field, producing more winners (17) than any other starting position at Charlotte Motor Speedway.   
  • 88 of the 117 (75.2%) Monster Energy NASCAR Cup races at Charlotte have been won from a top-10 starting position.
  • Hendrick Motorsports leads the series in wins at Charlotte with 19.
  • 50 different drivers have won at Charlotte Motor Speedway, led by Jimmie Johnson with eight wins – 2003 summer, 2004 sweep, 2005 sweep, 2009 playoffs, 2014 summer, 2016 Playoffs. 
  • 10 different drivers have won the Charlotte playoff races, but Jimmie Johnson is the only driver with multiple wins (four: 2004, 2005, 2009 and 2016).  
  • Only one non-playoff driver has won the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Charlotte Motor Speedway – Jamie McMurray (2010). He was ranked 14th in the points at the time of his win.
  • Jimmie Johnson leads the series in Charlotte Playoff race top-five finishes with eight, followed by Kyle Busch (seven) and Kasey Kahne (six).
  • Richard Petty leads the series in top-10 finishes at Charlotte with 31. Matt Kenseth leads all active drivers with 20, followed by Jimmie Johnson with 19.  
  • Kyle Busch leads the series in Charlotte Playoff race top-10 finishes with 10, followed by Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne with nine each. 
  • Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth lead all active drivers in runner-up finishes at Charlotte with four each.
  • Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in most top-five finishes at Charlotte with 15, followed by Matt Kenseth with 12. 
  • Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the series in laps led at CMS with 1,895 laps led in 31 starts.
  • Joey Logano (17 starts) leads all active drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in average finishing position at Charlotte with a 11.765.
Remember, if you're playing Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing, your pick deadline is Friday, October 6, at 5 a.m. EDT.

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