Last chance for all drivers not qualified for the playoffs to do it this coming weekend. A win will get almost any driver in and give them a shot at a championship. Will the coronavirus knockout any of the drivers who make the playoffs?
COKE ZERO SUGAR 400
This week the series heads back to the Daytona International Speedway for the running of the Coke Zero Sugar 400. A restrictor plate race for a chance to make the playoffs or for those already qualified to pick up some more valuable playoff points. The end of this one could be exciting to watch.
Denny Hamlin: I’ll go with Denny to come away with another Daytona victory as he heads into the playoffs. He has won two of the last five races he has run at Daytona and it always seems like he is in contention in these races. As we all know, anything can happen here and just because I think he might win doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll use him in my lineup this week. Remember, you don’t want to use up your best drivers this week because of the potential for a big wreck that can take out a third of the field or more.
Kurt Busch: This kind of surprised me, but Kurt has only won one restrictor plate race in his career. However he has finished in the top ten in just over half of his seventy-seven career starts in this type of racing. Not necessarily a winner, but a great shot at a top ten and that is about all one can ask for when it comes to restrictor plate racing.
Aric Almirola: Aric has finished in the top ten in fifteen of his last twenty restrictor plate starts including a win at Talladega back in the 2018 season. Those are super stats and he should have another great car this weekend. I think he will have a good chance at coming away with another top ten finish heading into the playoffs.
Ryan Newman: Ryan has finished in the top ten in twelve of his last fifteen restrictor plate races. Albeit some of these races are non-points races at Daytona this is still a pretty telling stat. After being involved in a horrific crash late in the Daytona 500 while leading, Ryan came back and finished a disappointing twenty-fourth at Talladega this year. Will he be able to put that crash out of his mind and be able to compete like he did before that happened?
Austin Dillon: Austin has a win at Daytona and seven top ten finishes in only fourteen career points races he has run at this track. He was also involved in a terrible crash at Talladega a few years ago, but seems to have put that behind him I’m sure I’ll have him in my lineup this weekend.
Jimmie Johnson: With three career points race wins at this track, Jimmie is tied for the most wins among active drivers for this track with Denny Hamlin. However he has also been involved in an accident in five of his last eight starts here. Which driver will be in the car this week? Will it be lucky Jimmie or unlucky Jimmie?
Clint Bowyer: Clint has one of the best finish averages at Daytona of active drivers yet most of his best finishes came early in his career. In fact, since joining Stewart-Haas Racing, Clint has only finished in the top ten twice and top twenty three times in seven starts. One of those finishes was a second, but can he contend late in this race?
Matt Kenseth: Another interesting set of statistics that I didn’t realize. Matt only finished in the top ten once in ten starts at Daytona for Joe Gibbs Racing. In his last three races with Roush/Fenway Racing before going over to Gibbs, Matt finished first, second, and third. I think he is going to have a decent car and if he can get together with Kurt Busch, these teammates might be able to help each other out in the draft.
Brad Keselowski: Brad has six career restrictor plate wins in his career. However, he has only won one points race at Daytona and only finished in the top ten in four races out of twenty-two starts. I would have thought that someone who could win at Talladega quite a few times would have better stats here even if he didn’t win races.
DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
Driver Group Game Group A
- Denny Hamlin
- Kyle Busch
Driver Group Game Group B
- Austin Dillon
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
- Ryan Newman
- Matt DiBenedetto
Driver Group Game Group C
- Bubba Wallace
- John Hunter Nemechek
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
- Denny Hamlin
- Kurt Busch
- Jimmie Johnson
- Aric Almirola
- Kyle Busch
Dark Horse: Matt Kenseth
Stay Away From: Martin Truex Jr.
Big 18: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.