Thursday, March 15, 2018

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: At Auto Club Speedway

By Carol D'Agostino

Drivers with Most Top 10s in the Last 5 Years:
Joey Logano - 4
All with 3 - Kyle Busch, Jamie McMurray, Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch 

Top 5 Driver Averages in the last 10 Cup Races
SOURCE: mrn.com
Driver
Best Fin.
Avg.
Daniel Suarez
7
7.0
Chase Elliott
6
8.0
Jimmie Johnson
1
8.4
Kevin Harvick
1
9.0
Erik Jones
12
12.0
Top 10 Driver Rating at Auto Club
Active Drivers 2005-2017 races (19 total)
SOURCE: NASCAR Media  
Jimmie Johnson........................ 116.9
Chase Elliott............................. 109.0
Kyle Busch............................... 108.6
Erik Jones................................ 100.6
Kevin Harvick............................. 97.4
Denny Hamlin............................. 92.3
Clint Bowyer............................... 89.8
Kurt Busch................................. 88.1
Kasey Kahne.............................. 88.1
Kyle Larson................................ 86.6

Recent Pole Winners: 
2017 Kyle Larson
2016 Austin Dillon

Last Year's Race Winner: Kyle Larson

The Likely Suspects: Auto Club Speedway is a driver's track where skillful drivers shine. I'm looking at these drivers to run well this weekend: Kyle Busch, Jamie McMurray, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch.

My 2 Cents: It's possible that someone besides Kevin Harvick may win this week. Rookies and wheelmen prevail at this track, so don't be afraid to go with a sleeper pick. My no-brainer pick this week is a tie between the Busch brothers. My next choices are Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray, Clint Bowyer and Daniel Suarez. I will complete my team with Matt DiBenedetto and William Byron.

Second-Look Driver: This week's second-look driver is Erik Jones. Although he only has one top 15 at Auto Club Speedway, he has the fourth-best average finish. He falls into that wheelman category, so keep an eye on him this weekend. Last year Jones finished 12th in this race. Last week's second-look driver, Alex Bowman, finished 13th at ISM Raceway after starting fourth. Although he didn't lead any laps, if you picked him, he did get you some qualifying bonus points.

My Final Four: Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray, Kurt Busch and William Byron

Points to Ponder:
  • 10 different organizations have won at Auto Club Speedway, led by Hendrick Motorsports with 10 victories, followed by Roush Fenway Racing with seven. Stewart-Haas Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, and Team Penske each have two. 
  • Among active drivers Jimmie Johnson leads the series in runner-up finishes (5), top-five finishes (13) as well as top-10 finishes (16) at Auto Club Speedway. Kevin Harvick trails Johnson in runner-up finishes with three. Kyle Busch trails Johnson in top-five finishes with eight as well as in top-10 finishes with 13. 
  • Denny Hamlin (2012, 2013), Jamie McMurray (2010 sweep) and Kurt Busch (2006 sweep) are the only three drivers to win consecutive poles at Auto Club Speedway.
  • 16 different Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won at Auto Club Speedway, led by Jimmie Johnson with six victories (2016, 2010 spring, 2009 fall, 2008 fall, 2007 fall and 2002). 
  • California natives Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon) and Kyle Larson (Elk Grove) are the only two series drivers (7.1%) to win from the pole at Auto Club Speedway – Johnson (2008) and Larson (2017). 
  • Jimmie Johnson (7.1) and Chase Elliott (8.0) are the only two active drivers with more than one start with an average finish inside the top 10 at Auto Club Speedway.
Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your picks by 2:59 a.m. ET on Friday, March 16, and pick your starters by 3:30 p.m. ET on race day, Sunday, March 18.

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

0 comments :

Post a Comment