The rule I have implemented for myself are:
- I will not pick a driver more than 10 times this season
- 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: GEICO 500
Date: April 28th
Venue: Talladega Superspeedway
2018 Winner: Joey Logano (3:16:46)
Talladega Superspeedway. There is a great USA article out last year which basically states: “Talladega, a guaranteed thrill machine”. When you hear the words Talladega, everyone immediately thinks of the history and excitement of this track. Opened in 1969 this tri-oval 2.5 mile asphalt track is the longest on the circuit. It has turns ranging from 32 – 33 degrees with the straights being around 3 degrees. Trust in the quicker cars.
Denny Hamlin (2nd selection this year) – Two time winner here over the last five years, he had one bad year (2016) but has seen success each time outside that. Add to this he has not finished outside the top 12 in any race this season.
Kevin Harvick (3rd selection this year) – He has an average finish of 11th here over the last five years and I imagine it would be much better without one lone 23rd place finish in 2017. Kevin has top 10 finishes in seven of the last eight races. His win at the pole last race was a good sign to his rise back to elite status.
High Risk / High Reward
Aric Almirola (3rd selection this year) – Two strong things going his way, top seven finishes each of the last two years at Talladega’s regular season race meshed with top 10 finishes in six of his last eight races. His last two races were the two outliers but I think he can rebound at Talladega where he has strong familiarity.
Kurt Busch (2nd selection this year) — He has top ten finishes each of the last three times at the Geico 500. He has top 12 finishes each of the last eight races. I’ll be curious if his recent rant against NASCAR proves to be a spark or deterrent against him.
The Dark Horse
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2nd selection this year) – His last two years here yielded a win and a fifth place finish. His current season has been a bit more tumultuous with a mix of finishes in the teens and 20’s and 30’s over the last six races.
Favorite: Avg Finish 10th (27th Percent)
High Risk/High Reward: Avg Finish 14th (35th Percent)
Dark Horse: Avg Finish 20th (52nd Percent)