4th race of the 2017 Monster Energy Cup Series playoffs; 1st race of the round of 12.
Playoff format – top 16 will be eligible to win the Monster Energy Cup “Chase for the Championship”. All of the points are made even amongst drivers 11-16. The winner (Martin Truex Jr) gets 15 additional points, 2nd place gets an additional 10, 3rd gets 9, 4th gets 8 etc.. going down to 1 point for the 10thplace driver (Chase Elliott). This is the last race before the field drops down to 12, after the next 3 it goes down to 8, after the next three it goes down to 4 with the final race being the Ford EcoBoost 400.
What: Bank of America 500
When: October 8th
Where: Charlotte Motor Speedway
2016 Winner: Jimmie Johnson
Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway. Opened in 1960 by Bruton Smith and Curtis Turner, this 1.5 mile quad oval asphalt track is home to two races each year. The turns are at 24 degrees and the straights bank at 5 degrees. This track was the first modern superspeedway to host night racing.
Jimmie Johnson. After a 3rd place finish last week at Dover he comes to Charlotte Motor Speedway where he’s won the Bank of America 500 four of the last 12 times. It’s amazing to see him turn it up during the playoffs EVERY. YEAR.
Austin Dillon. He won here earlier this year, he just missed the cutoff and now sits on the outside looking in. When he won earlier this year he was off a handful of finishes worst than 10th place and now he finds himself in a similar situation. He’s not the type of racer who has back to back top 10’s but rather he will have a sprinkling of finishes in the teens and then a top 5 finish. It can be tough to predict when that will happen.
Ryan Newman. He had a 13th place finish last week and now he visits Charlotte Motor Speedway where he was 4th last year and 9th earlier this year. I feel like a handful of respectable teen finishes are stopped by a top ten finish this week in at the Bank of America 500.
Erik Jones. He took the edge over Daniel Suarez earlier this year finishing 7th here to Suarez’s 11th place finish. This will be my last eligible Erik Jones start so I’m making it count. Erik now has top 12 finishes in 8 of his last 9 races!!
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Ok I retract my comment from last week (that last week would be his last top 10 finish of his career – he finished 7th by the way), doubling down on Dale who finished 10th here at the Coca-Cola 600. THIS will be his last top 10 finish of his career.
Year to date stats:
A Drivers: Avg Finish 12th (33rd percentile)
B Drivers: Avg Finish 14th (38th percentile)
C Drivers: Avg Finish 17th (47th percentile)
Dark Horse Drivers: Avg Finish 19th (51st percentile)