Restrictor plate races in NASCAR typically are wildcard races. In fantasy racing Daytona usually proves to be a humbling experience for teams that predicted they would have an undefeated season and thought their drivers would finish 1, 2, and 3. Luckily there is only four Restrictor plate races to worry about.
Restrictor plate races are hard to predict. Even Derrike Cope had his day when he won the Daytona 500 in 1990. Some drivers thrive on these tracks and others shy away from them. Restrictor plate tracks are known for ” The big one”. Since attrition rates at these tracks are so high the way that I will predict my top 5 is based on historical data and what happened at the tracks last year.
1) Kyle Busch– Since 2007 there hasn’t been a single Daytona race where Kyle Busch wasn’t a factor. Last year he had arguably the best car in both Daytona races. In 2009 he led more laps than any other driver on this type of track. Over the course of his career he’s been notably better at Daytona between the two plate tracks.
2. Tony Stewart– Tony’s never won the Daytona 500 but that certainly doesn’t keep him off this list. He’s been close to winning that race several times. He rules the July Daytona race when the track is slick. Last year he led more laps at Daytona than any other driver. He wasn’t a major factor at Talladega last year but he did win there in 2008.
3. Kurt Busch– Kurt’s never won a thing at the restrictor plate tracks but yet he is among the best in the series on this track type. Talladega is by far the more difficult track to predict who will win there but Kurt Busch is as safe as a pick there as anyone in the series. In 2009 Kurt finished the season with 3 top tens and nearly had a 4th until late mayhem ensued in the fall Talladega race.
4. Matt Kenseth– Last years Daytona 500 win was no fluke. Matt has been good on the restrictor plate tracks for years now. He just never got the credit that he deserves until now. The only driver who scored more points than him on this track type last year was Elliott Sadler (didn’t crash last year).
5. Jeff Gordon– In the what have you done for me lately fantasy world the answer is not much. Historically he’s been good at both tracks. Just not lately. Make no doubt about it I think he’ll be Hendrick’s best restrictor plate driver this season.