Another week, another race. We’ll break down all the most important DraftKings NASCAR information in order to drive your success! The information below is provided by DraftKings. The information is not developed or provided by NASCAR, Inc., or its affiliates.
TOP 5 FAVORITES TO WIN
1. A.J. Allmendinger – The 2015 road course results do not look good, but finishing position can be misleading. At Sonoma and Watkins Glen, Allmendinger was the car to beat. He topped the speed charts all weekend and won the pole for each race, so what happened? Mechanical failures ruined both of his days. Why is Allmendinger the guy at road course racing? Before NASCAR, Allmendinger ran road courses nearly every week for Champ Car (5 wins in his final season in 2006). His road course numbers won’t knock your socks off, but when it comes to road course skill, A.J. is the best.
2. Kurt Busch – Over the last several seasons, Kurt Busch has developed into one of the best road course racers. These tracks used to be throw away races for Cup regulars. They would let the road course ringers take the win or even step out of the car for the weekend. Those days are gone. Kurt has finished inside the top 5 in each of the last three road course races. Over the last 6 road course races, his worst finish is 12th (average finish of 6th). At Sonoma last year, Kurt had the highest fantasy score.
3. Jimmie Johnson – As is always the case, Jimmie’s current form numbers look good and his track history matches his current form. Over the last 10 road course races, Johnson has 9 top 10s. If you look at Jimmie’s 2016 stats, some races stand out as disappointments, but those were bad luck wrecks. Bristol, Dover, and Pocono shouldn’t weigh heavily in analyzing Jimmie. His car is fast and he’s the most consistent road course racer in NASCAR. Jimmie is a California guy, so this a home race.
4. Carl Edwards – Just like Jimmie Johnson, Edwards is having a terrific season and he has solid numbers at road course races. Edwards top 10% at road courses ranks 3rd (59%). He won at Sonoma in 2014 and he has finished inside the top 10 in 5 of the last 6 road course races. So far this season, Edwards has two wins and 10 top 10s. It’s hard to fade JGR in fantasy NASCAR. They have the best cars and the best pit crews. Edwards gets the nod over Kyle Busch because of Rowdy’s recent struggles.
5. Tony Stewart – Does smoke still got it? No. The fire burnt out long ago. This is just smoldering ash. At a road course, a spark could reignite the fire. No one should trust Tony Stewart on an oval, but it’s a different story at a road course. Why is Stewart in play at road courses? It’s not because of his Indy days, he raced ovals back then. It’s because Tony is a wheelman, a driver. Sure, it’s been awhile since Tony won at a road course, 6 years to be exact. Recent history hasn’t been kind to Tony, but it’s hard to ignore 7 wins and 12 top 5s (both lead NASCAR). Tony’s average running position at Sonoma was 12th last year. He was close. This could be the week tha Tony clinches a Chase spot.
LONG SHOTS TO SCORE BIG
1. Kasey Kahne – The last two years have been rough on Kahne, but that hasn’t been the case at Sonoma. Kahne has finished inside the top 10 in each of the last 3 Sonoma races. He won here in 2009 for Richard Petty Motorsports.
2. Clint Bowyer – If he was driving for a big team, he would be a top 5 favorite to win. Bowyer has 10 races at Sonoma and 8 top 10s (average finish of 8.6). He’s not racing for a big team this year, so Bowyer is a longshot. Don’t count him out- he’s put together several good races this season for HScott Motorsports.
3. Patrick Carpentier – It’s not like the old days when road course ringers would show up for one week and take home a trophy. Carpentier may not win, but he has the skill to grab a top 20, and he’ll be a bargain. In five Sprint Cup road races, Carpentier finished around 20-25th. He’ll be racing for BK Racing, the owners of the old MWR cars. The MWR cars were always solid at road courses.
Kurt Busch – The top 10 streak has stretched to 9 races (all the way back to Texas). His 13 top 10s leads NASCAR. Death, Taxes, and Kurt Busch in the top 10.
Chase Elliott – Here’s your rookie of the year. He almost won at Pocono. He almost won at Michigan. His 6 top 5s ties him for the 3rd most in NASCAR.
Brad Keselowski – All eyes are on Logano after the Michigan win, but the hottest driver at Penske is Brad Keselowski with 3 straight top 5s and 6 straight top 10s.
Kyle Busch (2015)
Carl Edwards (2014)
Martin Truex, Jr. (2013)
Clint Bowyer (2012)
PICK TO WIN
A.J. Allmendinger – His car blew up twice last year. It can happen again, but if it doesn’t – The Dinger wins.