The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series marches on to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the 31st race of the 2013 season, the Bank of America 400. 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 Saturday.
When: Saturday, October 12; 7:46 p.m./et.
Weather: Partly cloudy with a high around 78; wind out of the NNE at 6 mph. There is a 10 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 26 races (including All-Star Challenges) at the track. He won this year’s All-Star Challenge. It’s tough to pick against J.J. this weekend.
43 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. 29 Kevin Harvick: Harvick won at Charlotte earlier this year. He will be tough-to-beat again on Saturday.
No. 5 Kasey Kahne: Kahne won the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte last year and finished second this year. He will be fast again.
No. 20 Matt Kenseth: Kenseth has brought one of the top cars to CMS the past eight full-length races. He is a great pick.
No. 24 Jeff Gordon: Gordon has five career wins at CMS. His past success at the track makes him a good option.
6 to 10
No. 15 Clint Bowyer: Bowyer won at CMS last fall. He is worth using in most leagues.
No. 18 Kyle Busch: Rowdy has great at CMS the past two years. He will be fast again this weekend.
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 17 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 Saturday.
11 to 20
No. 78 Kurt Busch: Busch finished third at CMS earlier this year. He is worth using in most leagues.
No. 2 Brad Keselowski: Keselowski has been great the past two years at Charlotte. We look for him to be fast on Saturday as well.
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 Saturday.
No. 17 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.: Ricky finished 14th and 15th at CMS the past two races. He is a terrific sleeper pick. Go with him.
No. 11 Denny Hamlin: Hamlin usually runs fast in Charlotte. He should crack the top 15 this weekend.
No. 39 Ryan Newman: Newman has nine poles in 24 career starts at CMS. He should qualify strong and a top 20 finish is expected.
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. 1 Jamie McMurray: McMurray was one of the fastest cars on the track at Charlotte in three of the past seven races. He is worth using in deep leagues.
No. 14 Mark Martin: Martin has 18 top five finishes during his career at CMS. He finished sixth at the track last year and is a great sleeper pick.
No. 43 Aric Almirola: Almirola was great at CMS last May. He should be used in most leagues.
21 to 30
No. 56 Martin Truex Jr.: Truex has four top 10 finishes in 16 career starts at CMS. He is a fine choice.
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. 55 Brian Vickers: Vickers has three top 10 finishes at CMS during his career, but we don’t think he will have quite enough horses this trip. He should just miss the top 20.
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 Kyle Larson: Larson is behind the wheel of the No. 51 this weekend. He isn’t much of an option.
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. 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. 34 David Ragan
No. 38 David Gilliland
No. 93 Travis Kvapil
No. 40 Landon Cassill
No. 87 Joe Nemechek
No. 7 Dave Blaney
No. 36 J.J. Yeley
No. 30 Cole Whitt
No. 98 Michael McDowell
No. 95 Reed Sorenson
No. 32 Timmy Hill
No. 33 Brian Scott
No. 35 Josh Wise
My Yahoo! Fantasy NASCAR Team for this Week:
A. Jimmie Johnson
B. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
B. Greg Biffle
C. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.