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Bass Pro Shops Betting News and Notes

Bass Pro Shops Betting News and Notes 7 months 6 days ago #449033

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Bristol Motor Speedway Data

Season Race #: 24 of 36 (08-19-17)
Track Size: 0.533-miles
Banking/Turns 1 & 2: 24-28 degrees
Banking/Turns 3 & 4: 24-28 degrees
Banking/Frontstretch: 4-8 degrees
Banking/Backstretch: 4-8 degrees
Frontstretch Length: 650 feet
Backstretch Length: 650 feet
Race Length: 500 laps / 266.5 miles
Stages 1 & 2 Length: 125 laps (each)
Final Stage Length: 250 laps

Top 10 Active Driver Ratings at Bristol

Matt Kenseth 100.2
Kyle Busch 99.3
Chase Elliott 97.4
Kevin Harvick 96.3
Erik Jones 93.4
Jimmie Johnson 93.0
Kyle Larson 92.8
Kurt Busch 91.4
Denny Hamlin 90.5
Brad Keselowski 89.6

Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2017 races (25 total) among active drivers at Bristol Motor Speedway

Qualifying/Race Data

2016 pole winner:
Carl Edwards, Toyota
131.407 mph, 14.602 secs. 08-19-16

2016 race winner:
Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet
77.968 mph, (3:25:05), 08-20-16

Track qualifying record:
Denny Hamlin, Toyota
131.668 mph, 14.573 secs. 08-19-16
Round 1 of 3

Track race record:
Charlie Glotzbach, Chevrolet
101.074 mph, (2:38:12), 07-11-71
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Bass Pro Shops Betting News and Notes 7 months 6 days ago #449034

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Bristol - Driver Tale of the Tape

Kyle Busch 4/1 (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry)

· Five wins, eight top fives, 13 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 15.125, sixth-best
· Average Running Position of 13.872, sixth-best
· Driver Rating of 99.3, second-best
· 773 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-best
· Average Green Flag Speed of 116.399, sixth-fastest
· 7620 Laps in the Top 15 (63.4), seventh-most
· 604 Quality Passes, seventh-most

Kurt Busch 40/1 (No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Fusion)

· Five wins, nine top fives, 16 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 16.600, eighth-best
· Average Running Position of 13.949, seventh-best
· Driver Rating of 91.4, eighth-best
· 438 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-best
· Average Green Flag Speed of 116.261, eighth-fastest
· 8082 Laps in the Top 15 (64.5), sixth-most
· 800 Quality Passes, third-most

Dale Earnhardt Jr 60/1 (No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet SS)

· One win, eight top fives, 16 top 10s
· Average finish of 12.625, second-best
· Average Running Position of 15.715, 11th-best
· Driver Rating of 85.6, 13th-best
· 272 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-best
· Average Green Flag Speed of 116.216, 10th-fastest
· 6615 Laps in the Top 15 (55.0), 12th-most
· 588 Quality Passes, eighth-most

Chase Elliott 15/1 (No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet SS)

· One top five, two top 10s
· Average finish of 8.667, series-best
· Average Running Position of 11.188, second-best
· Driver Rating of 97.4, third-best
· 53 Fastest Laps Run, 13th-best
· Average Green Flag Speed of 116.514, second-fastest
· 1182 Laps in the Top 15 (78.8 ), second-most
· 171 Quality Passes, 12th-most

Denny Hamlin 12/1 (No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry)

· One win, six top fives, 11 top 10s; three poles
· Average finish of 15.913, seventh-best
· Average Running Position of 14.803, 10th-best
· Driver Rating of 90.5, ninth-best
· 488 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-best
· Average Green Flag Speed of 116.245, ninth-fastest
· 6988 Laps in the Top 15 (60.6), 10th-most
· 616 Quality Passes, sixth-most

Kevin Harvick 10/1 (No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Fusion)

· Two wins, 12 top fives, 16 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 14.920, fifth-best
· Average Running Position of 11.950, fourth-best
· Driver Rating of 96.3, fourth-best
· 668 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-best
· Average Green Flag Speed of 116.508, third-fastest
· 8634 Laps in the Top 15 (68.9), fourth-most
· 729 Quality Passes, fourth-most

Jimmie Johnson 15/1 (No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet SS)

· Two wins, 11 top fives, 18 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 14.120, third-best
· Average Running Position of 13.161, fifth-best
· Driver Rating of 93.0, sixth-best
· 637 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-best
· Average Green Flag Speed of 116.201, 12th-fastest
· 8489 Laps in the Top 15 (67.8 ), fifth-most
· 664 Quality Passes, fifth-most

Erik Jones 30/1 (No. 77 Furniture Row Racing Toyota Camry)

· One top 20
· Average finish of 17.000, 10th-best
· Average Running Position of 8.378, series-best
· Driver Rating of 93.4, fifth-best
· 24 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-best
· Average Green Flag Speed of 116.454, fifth-fastest
· 413 Laps in the Top 15 (82.6), series-most
· 53 Quality Passes, 13th-most

Kasey Kahne 80/1 (No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet SS)

· One win, five top fives, ten top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 17.320, 12th-best
· Average Running Position of 16.252, 12th-best
· Driver Rating of 86.6, 12th-best
· 506 Fastest Laps Run, second-best
· 7005 Laps in the Top 15 (55.9), 11th-most
· 801 Quality Passes, second-most

Matt Kenseth 10/1 (No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry)

· Four wins, 14 top fives, 21 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 14.280, fourth-best
· Average Running Position of 11.560, third-best
· Driver Rating of 100.2, series-best
· 636 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-best
· 9553 Laps in the Top 15 (76.3), third-most
· 810 Quality Passes, series-most

Brad Keselowski 10/1 (No. 2 Team Penske Ford Fusion)

· Two wins, four top fives, five top 10s
· Average finish of 17.133, 11th-best
· Average Running Position of 14.579, ninth-best
· Driver Rating of 89.6, 10th-best
· 252 Fastest Laps Run, third-best
· 4580 Laps in the Top 15 (61.0), ninth-most
· 566 Quality Passes, ninth-most

Kyle Larson 4/1 (No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet SS)

· Three top 10s
· Average finish of 19.286, 13th-best
· Average Running Position of 14.478, eighth-best
· Driver Rating of 92.8, seventh-best
· 189 Fastest Laps Run, series-best
· Average Green Flag Speed of 116.599, series-fastest
· 2212 Laps in the Top 15 (62.9), eighth-most
· 295 Quality Passes, 11th-most

Joey Logano 20/1 (No. 22 Team Penske Ford Fusion)

· Two wins, four top fives, seven top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 16.824, ninth-best
· Average Running Position of 16.986, 13th-best
· Driver Rating of 87.7, 11th-best
· 287 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-best
· 4566 Laps in the Top 15 (53.6), 13th-most
· 529 Quality Passes, 10th-most
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Bass Pro Shops Betting News and Notes 7 months 6 days ago #449035

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Bass Pro Shops Preview
By Micah Roberts

Despite one of the three co-favorites winning Sunday at Michigan, I think I really enjoyed what I was watching. Different pit sequences and different tire strategies allowed more cars to become equal at the final stages. There was a lot of drama and it took a killer nose dive on the final restart by the third-place driver, Kyle Larson, and fresher tires to get the win.

But I almost got to see Erik Jones (third-place) win for the first time. Ryan Newman finished fourth and his second win of the season would have also been a thrill -- we have to relish moments of old guard drivers still mattering in this series. Trevor Bayne (fifth) and Chris Buescher (sixth) were right there as well and almost raced themselves into the Playoffs. There was a lot going on in those final stages and the allure of the Playoffs for drivers not yet eligible added to the drama. It was fun and this week's Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway should also provide the same type of thrills.

Just three more races remain until NASCAR's version of the Playoffs begin Sept. 17 at Chicagoland and the current playoff bracket is crowded with 13 drivers qualified due to winning a race and another three trying to make it on points. Chase Elliott is currently sitting safe in 14th position, followed by Jamie McMurray and Matt Kenseth. Sitting 31-points out -- outside looking in to the playoffs -- is Clint Bowyer in 17th-place.

So what we're going to see Saturday night at Bristol's high-banked, half-mile layout is a bunch of guys with differing strategies. For Kenseth, he'd love to win for the fifth time in his career there, but making the playoffs is the most important thing for him right now. A win does get him in, but so do points, and he hasn't won all season so it appears easier to manage his points situation than hope for a win despite his car running better lately.

Bowyer might be trying the same thing because he's been consistent lately as well, but it's apparent that his car truly isn't fast enough to win races despite a few runner-ups. He can point race right now because he's not too far behind.

The desperate drivers are in an entirely different category. They have to win or they won't be eligible for the playoffs. Joey Logano is in desperation mode and has to win. Erik Jones ran well enough to win last week at Michigan, and he also needs a win to get in. So does Daniel Suarez, Trevor Bayne and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The thing I like to look at with the second Bristol race is not only review what happened in the first Bristol race back in April, but also review what happened in the June 4 race at Dover International Speedway which is a half-mile longer, but is concrete and high banked. It's a bigger Bristol, faster, but balancing the car is set up similar for both layouts.

The most dominant car between both of those races this year was last week's winner Kyle Larson. He led a race-high 202 laps at Bristol and finished sixth. At Dover, he led a race-high 241 laps and finished second. It appears that the only tracks Larson can win on over his career are 2-mile tracks. He's taken three straight at Michigan and won at Fontana earlier this season. Four straight on just 2-mile tracks? The oddest part is that with all horsepower that he hasn't won at any of the plentiful 1.5-mile tracks yet.

Anyway, back to the correlation between Bristol and Dover. Jimmie Johnson won both of those races. He's the best all-time at Dover with 11 wins, but his Bristol win was just the second of his career there. However, he's been the best there in the past six races with a 6.8 average finish. Saturday's race will be the third straight race at Bristol that they'll be putting on a TrackBite substance on the surface that gives more grip to the lower groove. The drivers all like it, and I think I do as a viewer too. It's not quite 2004 racing at Bristol, but fun in it's own new way.

The Busch brothers are the active Bristol leaders with five wins each. The elder Busch, Kurt, got his five wins in bunches early in his career. Then Kyle Busch got four of his wins within five races between 2009 and 2011. But neither have done much of anything in their past 12 starts there, which is kind of an oddity. Kyle Busch is fast every week on every type of track. He'll be great here in Friday's practices and qualifying and on race day.

A long shot to watch for this week is Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Even with crummy cars, he's still managed a 10.4 average finish in nine starts, which include two runner-ups. Now, the Roush Fenway program is coming along nicely. He's got two wins in plate races this season.

This should be a track that both Logano and Junior fare well at. Junior's only win came in 2004 and Logano won in 2014 and 2015. Logano's Penske teammate Brad Keselowski also has two wins on his resume.

Earnhardt Jr. is in desperation mode and I don't know why the team wouldn't clone Johnson's winning set-up for the No. 88. Step in Rick Hendrick, please. Three races left for Junior to win and make the playoffs. All hands should be on deck -- from all four Hendrick teams -- for a teammate that's about to retire. I don't even care if Chad Knaus gets creative with a set-up that risks not passing inspection. Make it happen, guys. Do what it takes. Come on!.

I'm expecting Larson and Martin Truex Jr. to lead the most laps again -- Truex led the second most laps between Dover and Bristol -- and then for something wild to happen in the last few laps. Let's call it an overtime race as well.

Top-5 Finish Prediction:

1) #42 Kyle Larson (5/1)
2) #20 Matt Kenseth (12/1)
3) #78 Martin Truex Jr. (5/1)
4) #18 Kyle Busch (6/1)
5) #48 Jimmie Johnson (12/1)
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Bass Pro Shops Betting News and Notes 7 months 4 days ago #449149

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Bass Pro Shops Betting Predictions
By Adam Burke

Thunder Valley. The Last Great Colosseum. The World’s Fastest Half-Mile. Whatever you call Bristol Motor Speedway, it will be packed with spectators on Saturday night for the toughest ticket to get on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series calendar. That race is the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race. Last year’s race was postponed by rain until the following day, which took some panache out of the crowd, so hopefully we’ll get better weather for this year’s event.

This is the 24th race of 26 scheduled for the NASCAR regular season. The drivers will be idle next week and those on the outside looking in at the Cup Championship Playoffs will have chances at Darlington and Richmond to qualify for the postseason. The first race of the playoffs is September 17 at Chicagoland Speedway. The Bojangles’ Southern 500, which really makes me want a Cajun chicken filet sandwich, is September 3 and the Federated Auto Parts 400 is September 29. It’s hard to believe that the regular season is winding down, but with fall and football come the final 10 races of the year.

All that really matters at this point in time with regards to the standings is who is in and who is out. Fourteen different drivers have won a feature-length race to secure spots in the playoffs. They are Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Larson, last week’s winner at Michigan, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kasey Kahne, and Austin Dillon.

The drivers without a win that have the most points are Chase Elliott with 685 and Jamie McMurray with 675. It looks like those will be the two that get spots, unless somebody without a win gets one over the remaining three races. Matt Kenseth has 654 points, so he is definitely within striking distance. Clint Bowyer has 623 points, so he has some serious ground to make up.

The Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race favorite at 5Dimes Sportsbook is Kyle Busch at +400. Busch is a three-time winner of the Food City 500 and has two wins in this race. He hasn’t won this race since 2010 and hasn’t won at Bristol since 2011. Busch scored his lone win of the season at Pocono to remove all doubt in terms of his playoff chances, but he’s third in points, so he would have gotten in anyway. Over the last five races, Busch has one win and five stage wins, so he’s been running at or near the front of the pack with regularity. He finished 35th at Bristol in the spring race. Last year, he led the most laps in this race, but finished 39th. He also led the most laps in this race in 2015, but finished eighth. Perhaps he’ll seal the deal this year, but there’s not a ton of value on this play. A lot of things can go wrong on the 0.533-mile track.

Martin Truex Jr. is +550 this week. Hairs can be split over whether or not Truex or Kyle Larson has been the most consistent driver of the season, but Truex does have four wins to Larson’s three. He also has nine top-five finishes to Larson’s 10. In any event, Truex has been really running well. He was the winner at Kentucky with basically a wire-to-wire job. He finished 33rd in a Brickyard race that claimed a lot of drivers. Since then, he’s been third, first, and second, with a stage win last week. Truex leads the way with 933 points, 129 more than Larson. He’s a good bet pretty much every week, including this one. Truex is winless at Bristol and hasn’t had a top-five here since 2011, but it’s hard to find a driver running better than he is.

Kyle Larson is at +600 this week as he looks for back-to-back trips to victory lane. Larson has finished second seven times this season, so grabbing that win at Michigan had to feel good. He hasn’t had much success at Bristol either. His best finish came earlier this year when he finished sixth and led the most laps. Prior to that, he was seventh in 2015 in the spring race. This race has not been kind to him, but this has also been a breakout season for the #42 Chevy. For the most part this season, Larson has run better on longer tracks, with two wins at Michigan and another on the two-mile track at Auto Club Speedway. He’s a guy to avoid and possibly even fade in matchups this week.

Interestingly, Matt Kenseth, who really needs to be aggressive over the final three races, is the fourth name on the board at +700. Kenseth is a four-time Cup Series winner at Bristol, including three triumphs in the night race. He last found the winner’s circle here in 2015 in the spring race and in 2013 in the fall race. Kenseth has three top-five finishes in his last five races, so he’s been getting closer. Considering his price in other races, this one looks a little light, but he’s run very well at Thunder Valley, so it’s impossible to count him out. Kenseth was a big factor on the 0.75-mile track at Richmond earlier this year as well. Tight racing suits him.

Speaking of guys that run well on the short track, Joey Logano is a very intriguing driver at +1350. It has been a quiet season for Logano overall and he only has two top-five finishes since his win at Richmond, but that win at Richmond did come on a small track. He was also in the top five on the small track at Martinsville. Logano is a two-time winner of the night race, with checkered flags in 2014 and 2015. He’s a solid play in matchups and also as a longer shot to win.

As we move down the board a bit, doesn’t it feel like we’re overdue for a Jimmie Johnson win? Johnson is going off at +1650 this week. He won the spring race at Bristol for the second time, but he has never won the night race. Johnson’s team hasn’t really been able to match equipment with the others for the most part this season, but he won at Bristol on the half-mile and Dover on the one-mile. It wouldn’t be a shocker to see him remind everybody that he could be a force in the playoffs, even though his only top-five finishes this season are wins.
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Bass Pro Shops Betting News and Notes 7 months 3 days ago #449234

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Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race - Drivers to Bet
By: StatFox.com

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway for the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race on Saturday. This is one of only three regular season races remaining, so all of these drivers are going to be doing everything they can to help themselves move up in the standings on Saturday. Last year, Kevin Harvick was the driver that came away with the win here. He was the first driver to win in a Chevrolet since Dale Earnhardt Jr. did so back in 2004. He also snapped a two-year winning streak for Joey Logano, who is one of three active drivers that has won this race more than once in their careers. Matt Kenseth has won it more than anybody in the race on Saturday, though. Kenseth is a three-time champion in this event, and he actually won it as recently as 2013. Junior Johnson & Associates is the team that has won this race the most, as they have won this thing nine times. They are, however, no longer around, as the team only ran until 1995. With that out of the way, let’s now take a look at who might win this race this weekend:

Kyle Busch (4-to-1) - Kyle Busch has been driving extremely well lately, as he has finished inside the top-10 in each of the past three races. Busch came in 10th in Michigan last week, but he won three weeks ago in the Overton’s 400. He now heads to Bristol, where he has won the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race twice in his career. Busch also has three other victories at Bristol in his career, which came in the Food City 500. He enjoys racing on this track and will be a serious contender to win on Saturday. For that reason, he is worth a play at 4-to-1.

Joey Logano (12-to-1) - Prior to Kevin Harvick winning the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race last year, Joey Logano had won two straight events here. And it’s not like he was awful here a year ago, as he came in 10th in this race in 2016. Look for Logano to get right back to the front of the pack here, as he clearly has an edge in this race. Logano can also badly use a victory here, as he has finished outside the top-20 in three straight races and four of the past five. This year is going downhill fast and he knows he needs as many wins as he can get the next couple of weeks.

Matt Kenseth (12-to-1) - As previously mentioned, Matt Kenseth has more wins in the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race than any other active driver. Kenseth won this race in both 2005 and 2006, and then he won again back in 2013. He might not be the driver he used to be, but he can easily win this thing again on Saturday. Kenseth came in third here three years ago, but he has not shown up the past two years. Look for that to change this weekend and don’t be afraid to back him at 12-to-1.

Kasey Kahne (75-to-1) - Kasey Kahne will be moving teams soon, but that shouldn’t change anything for this season. He is still a solid driver, and he is a lot better than the 75-to-1 odds he is getting in this race. Taking a chance on him to win here could end up paying off big, and a lot crazier things have happened than Kahne coming away with a win in Bristol. He won a race in Bristol back in 2013, but that was in the Food City 500 and not this race.
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Bass Pro Shops Betting News and Notes 7 months 3 days ago #449235

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Bristol Fantasy Racing Preview
By: Pete Pistone

MRN's Pete Pistone gets you ready for Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night race at Bristol Motor Speedway with a look at some of the drivers in the field for the 24th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race of the season.

Who’s HOT at Bristol

Kyle Busch: A Camping World Truck Series win on Wednesday night kicked off Busch’s Bristol weekend and another quest for a three-peat adding wins Friday night in the Xfinity Series and in Saturday’s main event. He’ll have to overcome recent disappointments in Bristol with finishes of 38th, 39th and 35th in his last three starts.

Jimmie Johnson: Has the best average finish over the last five Bristol races, 7.4, which includes a win in April. Johnson has been in a summer funk, but Bristol usually is the cure for what ails him.

Martin Truex Jr.: There’s not a track on the schedule where you can count Truex out, not the way the Furniture Row Racing driver has performed in 2017. But his eighth-place finish in April is Truex's only top 10 in his last five Bristol outings.

Matt Kenseth: He's in tenuous territory in terms of making the playoffs. Kenseth has a stellar track record at Bristol with four career wins and ran fourth in the season’s first visit to "Thunder Valley."

Joey Logano: Wash, rinse and repeat for Logano, who's in the exact shoes as Kenseth in the playoff picture. He needs a trip to Victory Lane, something he did at Bristol as recently as two years ago.

Who's NOT

Ryan Blaney: Somewhat surprisingly, Blaney has not fared well during his Bristol Cup career. The Wood Brothers Racing phenom has an average finish of 25.3 in three starts.

Michael McDowell: Has struggled in recent years with his last five Bristol starts adding up to a 25.4 average finish.

Brad Keselowski: The bloom is definitely off the Bristol rose for Keselowski in his most recent Cup races. The Team Penske driver was 34th in April and has only one top-10 performance in his last five Bristol races.

AJ Allmendinger: The good news for Allmendinger is that he had a top 10 last year at Bristol. The bad news is a 23.6 average finish in the most recent five Bristol races.

Danica Patrick: There was a time when Patrick wasn’t too bad at Bristol. But things have trended in the wrong direction since her ninth-place finish in 2014 and she hasn’t finished better than 22nd.

Who to Keep an Eye On at Bristol

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: His last Bristol start as a Cup Series regular takes on great importance as Earnhardt scrambles to make the playoffs with a win. He was a dismal 38th in April.

Chase Elliott: He’s on the playoff grid now with three races left in the regular season, but Elliott is still seeking his first Cup win. He has the second-best average finish among drivers at 8.7 going into the weekend.

Jamie McMurray: His Chip Ganassi Racing teammate, Kyle Larson, gets all the accolades, but McMurray is in the middle of a stellar season, as well. While winless, McMurray is in the playoff hunt and has an 11.6 average finish in the last five Bristol races.

Kevin Harvick: Four straight top-10 performances for Harvick at Bristol include a win and a third in his last two races in "Thunder Valley."

Kyle Larson: He’s won an Xfinity Series race at Bristol, but NASCAR’s hottest driver after last week’s thrilling Michigan win hasn’t fared as well on the Cup side. He only has a 22.6 average finish dating back to 2014.

MRN.com Staff Picks

Pete Pistone: Kyle Busch
Jeff Wackerlin: Matt Kenseth
Robbie Mays: Joey Logano
Tyler Burnett: Denny Hamlin
John Singler: Kevin Harvick
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