The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series marches on to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the 12th race of the 2013 season, the Coca Cola 600. NASCAR expert Brian Brown took a look at past performances, season trends, and spoke with NASCAR contacts to predict how the field should finish on Sunday.
When: Sunday, May 26; 6:16 p.m./et.
Weather: Partly cloudy with a high around 76; wind out of the SSE at 4 mph. There is a 20 percent chance of precipitation.
The Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway
CMS is a 1.5 mile quad-oval. It has 24 degree banking in the turns and five degree banking on the straight-aways.
Key to Race: THE TRACK THAT JOHNSON OWNS
Not only is Lowe's on the front of Jimmie Johnson's car, but it is also the former name of the track that he dominates. Johnson has finished in the top two in 13 of the last 25 races (including All-Star Challenges) at the track. He won last weekend’s All-Star Challenge and is tough to pick against J.J. this weekend.
44 cars will attempt to qualify for 43 spots.
Fantasy Cheat Sheet:
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson: Johnson has dominated Charlotte Motor Speedway in his career (including this year’s All Star Race). He is a MUST use this week.
No. 20 Matt Kenseth: Kenseth has brought one of the top cars to CMS the past seven full-length races. He is a great pick.
No. 29 Kevin Harvick: Harvick won the 600 at Charlotte two years ago. He will be tough-to-beat again on Sunday.
No. 2 Brad Keselowski: Keselowski has been great the past two years at Charlotte. We look for him to be fast on Sunday as well.
No. 18 Kyle Busch: Rowdy has great at CMS the past two years. He will be fast again this weekend.
6 to 10
No. 11 Denny Hamlin: Hamlin usually runs fast in Charlotte. He should crack the top 10 this weekend.
No. 5 Kasey Kahne: Kahne won the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte last year. He will be fast again.
No. 16 Greg Biffle: Biffle was great at CMS last year and should bring a similar car to the track this visit.
No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Junior has finished in the top 11 in eight of his last 16 starts at CMS. He should drive his car into the top 10 without much of an issue.
No. 99 Carl Edwards: Edwards has finished in the top 16 in all but two of his career starts at CMS. We like his chances on Sunday.
11 to 20
No. 24 Jeff Gordon: Gordon has five career wins at CMS. His past success at the track makes him a good option.
No. 22 Joey Logano: Logano has been awesome in all, but one race at CMS during his career. He will just miss cracking the top 10 on Sunday.
No. 15 Clint Bowyer: Bowyer won at CMS last fall. He is worth using in most leagues.
No. 14 Tony Stewart: CMS isn’t one of Stewart’s favorite tracks. He has averaged just a 17th place finish at the track during his career.
No. 39 Ryan Newman: Newman has nine poles in 23 career starts at CMS. He should qualify strong and a top 20 finish is expected.
No. 1 Jamie McMurray: McMurray was one of the fastest cars on the track at Charlotte in three of the past six races. He is worth using in deep leagues.
No. 55 Mark Martin: Martin has 18 top five finishes during his career at CMS. He finished sixth last year and is a great sleeper pick.
No. 31 Jeff Burton: Burton has won three races at CMS so he knows his way around the oval. He should finish inside the top 20.
No. 43 Aric Almirola: Almirola was great at CMS last May. He should be used in most leagues.
No. 17 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.: Ricky finished 15th at CMS last fall. He is a terrific sleeper pick. Go with him.
21 to 30
No. 56 Martin Truex Jr.: Truex has three top 10 finishes in 15 career starts at CMS. He is a fine choice.
No. 27 Paul Menard: Menard has had just two strong finishes at Charlotte during his career. He normally has some sleeper potential, but there are better choices this weekend.
No. 51 Regan Smith: Smith has averaged an 20th place finish at CMS. Phoenix Construction has rarely looked better.
No. 9 Marcos Ambrose: Ambrose is just a fair-to-middlin’ pick this weekend. He won’t come close to matching the fifth place finish he had at CMS during the 2011 fall race.
No. 10 Danica Patrick: Danica shouldn’t be on your roster this weekend.
No. 83 David Reutimann: Reutimann has been decent at CMS during his career, but we don’t like his chances in the No. 83 car.
No. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya: Montoya hasn’t had a ton of success at Charlotte during his career. He isn’t a great choice this weekend.
No. 47 Bobby Labonte: Labonte has been terrific at CMS during his career. If you are ever going to have the No. 47 car on your team this is the weekend.
No. 21 Trevor Bayne: Bayne has driven better at Charlotte than his results indicate. He is a decent sleeper.
No. 13 Casey Mears: Mears has averaged a 22nd place finish at CMS in his career, but he had significantly better cars than he is riding around in now.
No. 78 Kurt Busch
No. 93 Travis Kvapil
No. 34 David Ragan
No. 38 David Gilliland
No. 30 David Stremme
No. 33 Landon Cassill
No. 36 J.J. Yeley
No. 32 Timmy Hill
No. 87 Joe Nemechek
No. 98 Michael McDowell
No. 35 Josh Wise
No. 95 Scott Speed
No. 7 Dave Blaney
No. 19 Mike Bliss
My Yahoo! Fantasy NASCAR Team for this Week:
A. Jimmie Johnson
B. Carl Edwards
B. Aric Almirola
C. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.