What: Bojangles Southern 500
When: August 27th
Where: Darlington Raceway
2016 Winner: Martin Truex Jr.
Track: Darlington Raceway. "The Lady in Black" is a 1.4 mile egg shaped asphalt track that opened in 1950 by Harold Brasington. The turns are between 23 and 25 degrees and the straights are between 2-3 degrees.
Martin Truex Jr. He's first in Fedex points and this is only the second time I've picked him, that's wrong on so many levels. He won at Darlington last year and despite a rough outing at Bristol last week I think he's a lock for a top 5 finish this Sunday. He finished 3rd, 1st and 2nd in the three races prior to Bristol.
Kasey Kahne. He's probably out of the playoff race but that does not mean he can't lock in a top 10 finish at Darlington where he finished 7th last year. It's a bit of a reach for the driver who has not had a successful season but I think this is one of the 3 top 5 finishes that he's littered in amongst an otherwise pedestrian season.
Ryan Newman. His last two races netted top 6 finishes. He finished 8th here last year and is making a great late season push. He's 15th and the top 16 make the playoffs so you know he's locked in and focused these last two races at Darlinton and Richmond.
David Ragan. 21st at Darlington last year, 17th last week at Bristol, if he can sneak in a top 20 finish here that would be a fantastic bridge for one more week until the playoffs arrive.
Erik Jones. If I had available starts aplenty among Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones AND Ty Dillon, I'm going with Erik Jones. 3rd at Michigan, 2nd at Bristol there is a chance he gets a win before year end at this pace.
Year to date stats:
A Drivers: Avg Finish 14th (38th percentile)
B Drivers: Avg Finish 15th (41st percentile)
C Drivers: Avg Finish 17th (46th percentile)
Dark Horse Drivers: Avg Finish 21st (57th percentile)