Thursday, July 12, 2018

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart at Kentucky

Similar Tracks: Atlanta Motor Speedway • Charlotte Motor Speedway • Chicagoland Speedway  Darlington Raceway • Homestead-Miami Speedway • Kansas Speedway 
Las Vegas Motor Speedway • New Hampshire Motor • Texas Motor Speedway
Distance: 1.5 Miles

By Carol D'Agostino


Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race & Track
Kevin Harvick - 5
All with 4 - Kyle Busch, Matt Kenneth, and Joey Logano

Driver Rating 
Since 2015 - Factors in Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps and Lead-Lap Finish. A driver can score a maximum driver rating of 150 points per race. Updated Prior to the 2018 race.
SOURCE: MRN.com

DriverHigh RatingDriver Rating
Kyle Busch148.4128.1
Martin Truex Jr.149.0120.3
Kevin Harvick131.3116.0
Matt Kenseth113.5105.3
Erik Jones102.7102.7
Brad Keselowski126.0100.8
Denny Hamlin117.197.3
Chase Elliott104.494.6
Jamie McMurray103.893.0
Kyle Larson107.687.6
Recent Pole Winners:
2017 Kyle Busch
2016 & 2015 Rained Out
2014 Brad Keselowski

Last Year's Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr.

The Likely Suspects: Kentucky racing is all about track position. These drivers have mastered Kentucky to an extreme: Kyle Busch,  Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenneth, Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski and Chase Elliott. 

My 2 Cents: Okay, I think we've all seen this scenario so many times this season, but my no-brainer pick this week is a tie between Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick. Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Larson are also pretty stout here. My next picks are last week's race winner Erik Jones, Matt Kenseth, Chase Elliott and Jamie McMurray. I will complete my team with Bubba Wallace Jr. and Chris Buescher.

My Final Four: Kyle Busch, Jamie McMurray, Erik Jones and Bubba Wallace Jr.

Second-Look Driver: This week's second-look driver is Aric Almirola. Aric has proven performance on 1.5 mile tracks this season. He stands in sixth place in laps led this year at 1.5-mile tracks with 70. Last week's second-look driver Paul Menard was one of the many drivers caught up in wrecks at Daytona last week. Paul started the race in 30th place on the grid and made it through the field to eighth place. In Lap 49 he was hit behind by Jimmie Johnson. Although his crew was able to get him back on track and up to speed, laps later the air cleaner which was damaged in the earlier crash began to come apart sending the No. 21 car to the garage for repairs. He returned to the track 16 laps down and finished the race in 28th place.

Points to Ponder:
  • Team Penske (2012, 2014 and 2016) and Joe Gibbs Racing (2011, 2013 and 2015) lead the series in wins at Kentucky with three each.
  • Brad Keselowski leads the series in wins at Kentucky with three; Kyle Busch is only other driver with multiple wins at Kentucky with two.  
  • Four different Monster Energy Series drivers have won at Kentucky Speedway: Brad Keselowski (6/30/2012, 6/28/2014 and 7/09/2016), Kyle Busch (7/09/2011 and 7/11/2015), Matt Kenseth (6/30/2013) and Martin Truex Jr. (7/08/2017). 
  • Six of the seven (85.7%) Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Kentucky have been won from a top-10 starting position.
  • A total of 19 different Monster Energy Series drivers have posted top-five finishes at Kentucky; led by Kyle Busch with five top-fives, followed by Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski with three each.    
  • A total of 25 different Monster Energy Series drivers have posted top-10 finishes at Kentucky; led by Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch with six each, followed by Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson five each. 
  • Kyle Busch leads the series in average finishing position at Kentucky with a 5.143.
Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your picks by 8 a.m. EDT on Friday, July 13th, and your final picks by 7:30 p.m. EDT on race day Saturday, July 14th.

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

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