Ryan Newman – Newman is a driver whose borderline “front-runner” and borderline “mid packer”. I’m leaning towards he’s more of a mid packer. Last season he finished 7th but in his four prior Homestead races he’s finished 23rd, 21st, 18th and 23rd. His 2011 intermediate track performances have been good but consistency overall is lacking.
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Jeff Burton – RCR has traditionally had a pretty good package at Homestead and Burton just had his best race of the season at Phoenix. There’s no question that he’s improved in recent races but I wouldn’t recommend picking him unless you need to pull off the “Hail Mary”. In 2009 he finished second.
Mark Martin – This will be Martin’s final race of his career as a full-time driver so hopefully he’ll go out on a strong note. Martin missed this race in 2008 but in his two Hendrick races he’s finished 12th & 16th with an average running position of 13th. What I don’t like about Martin is his momentum. I think Martin might be a quality darkhorse driver in the Ford 400 based upon some of his recent intermediate track success (Kansas 10th, Chicagoland 9th, Atlanta 17th, Michigan 4th).
Juan Pablo Montoya – It’s been a long season for Montoya and not much has gone right for him. Last year he finished 35th but I can’t hold that against him. Joey Logano took him out Kyle Busch style last year under caution. In 2009 Tony Stewart cut down his tire quite purposefully. Montoya got the last laugh though. In 2006 Ryan Newman took him out. In the races where drivers haven’t gone out of their way to crash him he’s finished 17th and 15th.
David Reutimann – Reutimann is auditioning for a ride so he needs a good result. He’s a motivated driver and there’s no question he’ll try his best this Sunday. A motivated driver often is a better driver. In his four Homestead races his best finish is 15th. Reutimann’s Ford 400 average finish is 24.5.