Thursday, September 6, 2018

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Season Closer at Indy

By Carol D'Agostino

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last Five Years):
By Race
Both with 5 - Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano
Both with 4 - Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch  
Both with 3 - Denny Hamlin and Kasey Kahne 

Driver Rating - Top 10 (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
RankDriverHigh RatingAvg. Rating
1Kyle Busch150.0106.9
2Jimmie Johnson150.0103.6
3Matt Kenseth119.199.5
4Kevin Harvick135.598.0
5Kyle Larson107.396.8
6Kasey Kahne132.794.9
7Denny Hamlin119.591.5
8Joey Logano117.991.2
9Brad Keselowski102.889.3
10Erik Jones88.588.5

Recent Pole Winners:
2017 Kyle Busch
2016 Kyle Busch

Last Year's Race Winner: Kasey Kahne

The Likely Suspects: So here we are back at a super traditional track where predictable fantasy picks usually work well. These Indy masters should run well this weekend: Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, and Jimmie Johnson.

My 2 Cents: When making your final picks this week, think top 10. My no-brainer pick this week is Kyle Busch. My next picks are Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Daniel Suarez, Jamie McMurray, and Ryan Blaney. I will complete my team with Matt DiBenedetto and Chris Buescher.

My Final Four: Kyle Busch, Jamie McMurray, Daniel Suarez, and Chris Buescher.

Second-Look Driver: This week's second-look driver Joey Logano. Team Penske is coming off of a 1- 2 finish at Darlington, plus Joey edges out his teammate with the best Indianapolis record with six top-10 finishes in nine starts in the No. 22 Ford, including three top-five finishes in the last four years. Last week's second-look driver Erik Jones finished the Darlington race in eighth place after starting in seventh.

Points to Ponder:
  • Seven of the 14 Indianapolis winners are still active, led by Jimmie Johnson with four victories (2006, 2008, 2009, 2012). Kyle Busch is the only other active driver with multiple wins (2015, 2016). 
  • Jimmie Johnson (2008-09) and Kyle Busch (2015-16) are the only two drivers that have posted consecutive MENCS wins at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.   
  • Hendrick Motorsports leads the series in wins at Indianapolis in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with 10, followed by Joe Gibbs Racing (five) and Richard Childress Racing (three).
  • The pole position is the most prolific starting position in the field, producing four winners - more than any other starting positions at Indianapolis.    
  • Six of the 24 (26.1%) Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Indianapolis have been won from the front row: four from the pole and two from second-place.
  • Daniel Suarez leads the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in average finishing position at Indianapolis with a 7.0 in one start.
Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your picks by 8 a.m. EDT on Saturday, September 8th, and your final picks by 2 p.m. EDT on race day Sunday, September 7th.

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

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