Now there is only one race left in the second round of the playoffs and a few of the drivers are in must win situations. They can’t rely on someone ahead of them in the standings getting knocked out into last place and them being able to move on to the third round on points. Aric Almirola is one of those drivers. Kyle Busch could make it on points, but he’s going to have to let it all hang out and just try to win this week’s race.
BANK OF AMERICA ROVAL 400
This week the series heads to the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course, also known as the Roval. This is going to be interesting as some of the playoff drivers are good on this type of track and others hate them with a passion. Let’s get to our analysis.
Chase Elliott: I’m picking Chase to win this race and move into the third round of the playoffs. Chase won this race last year and he also won at the road course in Daytona earlier this year. He has been one of the best the past couple of seasons at all of the road course tracks he has run on and this weekend should be no different. He should have a good handling car that he can drive to the front once again.
Martin Truex Jr.: In his last eight road course starts across the entire series Martin has three wins and six top three finishes. I think he is going to give Chase the most competition this week. At the least he should be able to move into the third round as he has a bit of a comfortable lead in points, but early problems could change that.
Clint Bowyer: Clint has one career road course win and has finished in the top five in five of his last nine road course starts. This includes top five finishes in both of his Charlotte starts. He might just have to win this race to advance, but if things fall his way and he can score points in both stages and come away with another top five finish he might move on that way.
Kyle Busch: Kyle also sits in a position where he might very well have to win this race to advance. He has four road course wins in his career, so we know he can do it. In his last thirteen starts at the different road course tracks, Kyle has six top five and nine top ten finishes. Once again if he finishes in the top five and some other drivers have early problems he could move into the top eight and advance.
Alex Bowman: Alex doesn’t need to win this race. Right now he is in position to advance and just needs to have a good run this week to do it. He has been pretty good on this type of track lately finishing no worse than fourteenth in each of his last seven starts. That includes two top five finishes at this track where they have only run two races.
Denny Hamlin: Denny is already locked in to the next round with his win at Talladega last week. He has always run well on the road course tracks and has finished in the top five in seven of his last eleven starts. He doesn’t need to win, but I’m sure he is going to give it his all. He should be good at Martinsville and Phoenix so you might want to save your starts for him.
Kevin Harvick: Kevin has a comfortable cushion heading into this race too. He just needs to stay out of major trouble and have other extraordinary things happen to get knocked out. I don’t see any of that happening to him. He runs well on this type of track and it shows by his ten top ten finishes in his last fourteen road course starts.
Kurt Busch: Kurt has also moved on to the third round of the playoffs and should be very relaxed going into the weekend. He has finished in the top ten in ten of his last fourteen road course starts the same as Kevin. I see him coming away with at least a top fifteen finish once again this weekend as he prepares for the next round of the playoffs.
Ryan Blaney: Ryan has been very good on the road courses in his short career. In fact he has finished in the top ten in six of his last nine road course starts and won the first race run on this track. He isn’t in the playoffs anymore, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t going to do his best to win this week’s race.
Jimmie Johnson: As his career quickly comes to a close, Jimmie would like nothing more than to win one more race. He had a shot at winning here two years ago, but made a mistake and took himself and Martin Truex Jr. out late in that race and it also knocked him out of the playoffs that year. He would really like to redeem himself and go to victory lane this week.
DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR CHARLOTTE ROVAL
Driver Group Game Group A
- Chase Elliott
- Martin Truex Jr.
Driver Group Game Group B
- Clint Bowyer
- Alex Bowman
- Kurt Busch
- Jimmie Johnson
Driver Group Game Group C
- Michael McDowell
- Ty Dillon
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT CHARLOTTE ROVAL
- Chase Elliott
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Denny Hamlin
- Clint Bowyer
- Kyle Busch
Dark Horse: Erik Jones
Stay Away From: Austin Dillon
Big 18: Chase Elliott