Kurt Busch – Last year Kurt Busch had a dominant performance in the Toyota Save Mart 350. He led 76 laps and had the best driver rating (142.6). His margin of victory over Jeff Gordon was 2.7 seconds. His strength was that he was really fast over long runs. Road courses are “skill tracks” and he has the talent to propel the #51 team to a respectable finish Sunday. Kurt Busch is very good at road racing but he’s always been a high risk driver. At Infineon he has five top fives but he’s finished lower than 15th in all of his other races. Boris Said piloted the #51 car to finishes of 28th and 22nd at the road courses last season.
Ryan Newman – Ryan Newman has a 12.4 average finish at Infineon but I think that’s better than he’ll finish Sunday. Early in his career he was a better driver at road course racing for some reason. In his first five races at Infineon he had four top tens and a worst finish of 14th. However in the last five races he has one top ten and a 19th place average finish (not skewed, worst finish is 25th). His Watkins Glen success almost parallels what he’s done here over the course of his career (good finishes early, mediocre as of late). Newman might seem like an attractive pick to those who look at average finishes alone but I would steer clear of him in the Toyota Save Mart 350.
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