Wednesday, May 23, 2018

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte

By Carol D'Agostino

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
Kevin Harvick - 5
All with 4 - Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch 

By Track
Kevin Harvick - 9
Denny Hamlin - 8
Ryan Newman - 7
All with 6 - Martin Truex Jr., Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch
Both with 5 - Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch

Recent Pole Winners:  
2017 Kevin Harvick
2016 Martin Truex Jr.

Last Year's Race Winner: Austin Dillon

Likely Suspects: The Coca-Cola 600 is one long race made for drivers with will and endurance. My go-tos this weekend will be Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch.

My 2 Cents: This week's no-brainer pick is Daniel Suarez. My next picks are Martin Truex Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman and Erik Jones. I will complete my team with J.J. Yeley and Chris Buescher.

My Final Four: Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Newman, Daniel Suarez and Chris Buescher.

Second-Look Driver: This week's second-look driver is Erik Jones. Although Erik has only raced twice on this track as a Cup driver, he has one top 10 and an average finishing position of 12. This could be his breakout weekend, coming off a seventh-place finish at Kansas. Our last second-look driver (at Kansas) Daniel Suarez finished in 28th after starting 14th.

Points to Ponder:
  • Hendrick Motorsports leads the series in wins at Charlotte in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with 19.
  • The second-place starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (17) than any other starting position at Charlotte Motor Speedway. 
  • 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 post consecutive poles (2016 Playoffs, 2017 May race).
  • 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.
  • Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth lead all active drivers in runner-up finishes with four each.
  • Daniel Suarez (two starts) leads all active drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in average finishing position at Charlotte with an 8.500.
  • Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the series in laps led at CMS with 1,930 laps led 33 starts.
    Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your picks by 8 a.m. EDT on Thursday, May 24, and pick your starters by 6 p.m. EDT on race day, Sunday, May 27.

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

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