A top-five is all but certain for Kevin Harvick this week. He enters the Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington as the defending winner from 2014, finished fifth there in 2013, and has five top-fives in the last six races of this season.
In addition, Harvick has finished on the lead lap in his last six Darlington starts, which suggests he will finish strong even if he stumbles. There is no such thing as firm certainly in NASCAR and Harvick has four crash-induced results in 18 starts, but he should be a safe pick.
Jimmie Johnson enters the Bojangles' Southern 500 with three consecutive top-fives at Darlington. He was third last year and fourth in 2013, but his crowning moment was in 2012 when he scored his third victory with the Lady in Black.
Nine of Johnson’s 16 Darlington attempts ended in top-fives, which equals 56 percent of his starts. If he practices well this weekend, he should be a staple on most rosters despite his recent down-tick in 2015 results.
Greg Biffle should be a solid mid-cap pick this week at Darlington Raceway. He enters the weekend with four consecutive top-15s on this track, all of which ended on the lead lap.
Biffle finished fifth in this race last year and he had back-to-back victories at the Track Too Tough to Tame in 2005/2006. Fantasy owners should not expect results in that range, but a little strategy should provide a top-10 and that will make him a good value at his cap level.
All of the Chase contending drivers lacking wins need to be careful this week at Darlington Raceway. One bad finish, coupled with a victory by a unique winner, could knock them out of contention and Paul Menard was scored 41st in last year’s Bojangles' Southern 500 after suffering crash damage.
That was only the second time in eight starts on this track that Menard was involved in a notable accident. He was also bent up in 2010, but has managed to reach the checkers in every race he started.
JJ Yeley probably will not make too many rosters this week, but he could be a provisionally good value. In his last two starts on this track, he started last both times before finishing 37th in 2012 and 35th last year.
In games that offer place differential points, that means that he scored seven points on average. That is not enough to win one’s league, but it could help differentiate a roster if the competition takes a low-cap driver who qualifies well and finishes badly.
Ryan Truex will make his return to the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) for three races this season with Richard Petty Motorsports and will pilot the No. 98 Ford Mustang for Biagi DenBeste Racing.
He will hit the track at Richmond for his first NXS start of the 2015 season. He will also compete at Kentucky Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway. Truex has a combined 65 starts in NASCAR's top national touring series. He has 35 NXS starts with one pole, two Top-Five and nine Top-10 finishes with a best effort of second at Dover in 2012. Truex has made four NXS starts at Richmond, resulting in one Top-Five and two Top-10 finishes.-Breaking Limits
Frank Kimmel, driver of the No. 25 Ansell-Menards Toyota and all-time series leader with 80 victories, is set to hit another major milestone with his historic 500th ARCA career start Labor Day afternoon at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds’ "Magic Mile" in the Southern Illinois 100.
During his 26-year ARCA career he’s accumulated impressive stats across the board. Since 1990, he has amassed 80 wins, 43 poles, 272 Top-5’s and 372 Top-10 finishes – he’s led over 11,000 laps in 216 races. Kimmel’s unprecedented 10-ARCA championships came in 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 & 2013. He also finished second in driver points in ‘94, '97, ‘99 & ’12. Kimmel’s 80 wins and 43 poles are most in series history. He is also a 6-time Superspeedway Challenge Champion and a 7-time Bill France Four Crown Champ.-Venturini Motorsports
Dakoda Armstrong has just one start at Darlington Raceway in the XFINITY Series race in 2014 where he scored a Top-20 finish.
As an organization, Richard Petty Motorsports made three XFINITY Series starts at the egg-shaped oval, with a Top-20 finish in each of its starts. Currently, Armstrong sits 13th in the XFINITY Series Championship Point Standings.-Breaking Limits