Well a big three did NOT win at Bristol but the person who did win was not any of my selections.
The rules I have implemented for myself are:
1.I will not pick a driver more than 10 times this season.
2.Due to #1 these are “Power Rankings” (in quotations) I’m looking for value here.
My general format for my power rankings:
•Top 2 picks will generally be the favorites, the ones who should be top 5 or top 10 finishes.
• #3 and #4 will be your riskier picks, could be top 5 or bottom 15.
• Pick #5 is the dark horse.
Race: Bojangles Southern 500
Date: September 2nd
Venue: Darlington Raceway
2017 Winner: Denny Hamline (3:46:34)
Broadcast: NBSCN (Dale Earnhardt Jr., Steve Letarte, Jeff Burton)
Most Wins: David Perason (10)
Darlington Raceway. “The Lady in Black” is a 1.4 mile egg shaped (due to the track running adjacent to a minnow pond that the owner refused to relocate) 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. It hosts the Bojangles Southern race.
1) Kyle Busch (4th selection this year). I’ve been saving starts from Busch and Harvick for the playoffs but Busch has been one of the best drivers at Darlington over the last 4 years averaging a 7th place finish over every race during that time. He was 2nd here last year. It’s been 4 races since he won, he’s due to be back in victory lane.
2) Denny Hamlin (6th selection this year). Alongside Kyle, Denny has probably been the other top driver here also with an average 7thplace finish over the last four years. He won here last year, finished 4th in 2016 and 3rd in 2015. He’s been just past 10th place in a few of the recent races, I think he rebounds back inside the top 10 this weekend.
High Risk/High Reward
3) Erik Jones (4th selection this year). He was 5th here last year as a rookie. He’s finished in the top 5 in three of his last four races.
Who doesn’t love Erik Jones? He is awesome & a Gibbs driver! What else can I say— Denise Rothwell (@Kitten040) August 31, 2018
4) Ryan Newman (6th selection this year). He has averaged a 10th place finish over the last four years at Darlington. Four of his last five races have been inside the top 15 racers.
5) Chris Buescher (2nd selection this year). He’s now had 3 consecutive races 20th or better. He finished inside the top 20 each of the last two years at Darlington.
Favorites: avg finish 10.7 (28th percentile)
High Risk/Reward: avg finish 17th place (45th percentile)
Dark Horse: avg finish 19th place (51st percentile)