1) Martin Truex Jr. (Starting – 7th)
Charlotte Bottom Line – Martin Truex Jr. will be the favorite to win on Saturday night. He dominated at Charlotte this spring, has been the best driver at 1.5 mile tracks this year and he has tons of momentum. On Saturday night look for him to finish in the top five, and compete for the win. This weekend Truex Jr. is using the chassis that won here in the spring and won at Chicagoland a few weeks ago.
Charlotte Track History – Martin Truex Jr. has been very strong at Charlotte and currently has three straight top fives. Over these three events he has the best average finish (3.0), best average running (4.0), best driver rating and has led the most laps (523). If you play at DraftKings, it should be noted that over these events he’s scored the 1st, 1st and 2nd most points (Scoring Trends). This spring at Charlotte Truex Jr. was historically dominant. He finished first, led all but 8 laps and earned a perfect driver rating. Nobody had anything for him in the race and he was never passed under green flag conditions. Last fall he had a strong showing. He finished 3rd and earned the 5th best driver rating. In spring 2015 he had a great car and if the race didn’t come down to fuel mileage he might’ve won. When the race reached its conclusion he finished 5th, earned the best driver rating, had the best average running position (3.0) and led the most laps (131).
Momentum – Over the last five races Martin Truex Jr. has 3 wins and a 2.6 average finish. In 3 of the last 4 races he’s led at least 141 laps per race.
2016 Similar Track Success – Nobody has been better than Martin Truex Jr. at 1.5 mile tracks in 2016. In the last 4 races on this track type he’s arguably had the best car. For the season at tracks of this length he’s scored the most points, has the best driver rating, best average running position, led the most laps, and has ran the highest number of fastest laps.
Yahoo B Driver / DraftKings $10,900
2) Kevin Harvick (Starting – 1st)
Charlotte Bottom Line – Kevin Harvick will be tough to beat at Charlotte. On Saturday he’s starting on the pole. Historically when he starts up front he leads a ton of laps and finishes well. In the last three races he started on the pole he’s had the car to beat despite what his results show. Charlotte is a great track for Kevin Harvick. He’s performed at a super-elite level for an extended period of time. On Saturday night look for him to finish in the top five and be in strong contention for the win.
Charlotte Track History – Kevin Harvick is a fantasy ace at Charlotte. He’s won here three times and in 11 of the last 12 races he’s finished in the top ten. Currently he has seven straight top tens. In 4 of the last 5 races he’s finished in the top two. This spring he had a great car but had nothing for Truex Jr. When the race reached its conclusion he finished 2nd and earned the 4th best driver rating. Last fall he also finished runner-up. Additionally he earned the 2nd best driver rating and had a 5th place average running position. In spring 2015 he was about 4th place good but late in the race he had to come in for a splash of fuel. That evening he finished 9th, earned the 3rd best driver rating, had a 5th place average running position and led 26 laps. In fall 2014 he had a dominant performance racing his way to victory lane and leading 162 laps. In the three Charlotte races prior to that he had results of 1st, 2nd and 6th.
Momentum – Since Bristol minus Chicagoland (burned by a caution) and Dover (Rodney Childers bringing an old chassis that breaks) Kevin Harvick has finished in the top five every race.
2016 Similar Track Success – This year at 1.5 mile tracks minus Chicagoland where he was burned by an untimely caution that held him down all afternoon Harvick has a 6.0 average finish, a 5.3 average running position and has finished in the top ten every race.
Yahoo A Driver / DraftKings $10,700
Further Recommended Reading – Charlotte Best Of The Rest, Charlotte – The Low Tier, Charlotte Starting Lineup, Speed Cheat Sheet, Charlotte Practice #1 Notes, Charlotte Practice #1 Speeds, PROS Rankings, Asterisk Mark Report, Scouting Report, DraftKings Start Page, Yahoo Start Page
3) Kyle Busch (Starting – 4th)
Charlotte Bottom Line – Kyle Busch will be one of the drivers to beat at Charlotte, and I even think he has a little out of sync fantasy value. He’s finished poorly the last two races here and I think Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. will be heavily favored. This year at 1.5 mile tracks Kyle Busch has been one of the strongest performers. When you combine that with his elite Charlotte prowess it’s a safe assumption he’ll run very well on Saturday night. In practice Kyle Busch had a strong car. His ten lap average ranked as the second best.
Charlotte Track History – Kyle Busch has never won at Charlotte but he’s been a fantasy race. In his career at Charlotte he’s finished in the top five 40% percent of the time, and the top eleven 60% percent of the time. In the last three Charlotte races he’s run well but has come home with asterisk mark results. This spring he was 10th place good but with 7 laps to go he had a flat tire and got into the wall hard. After that he went to the garage area and went on to finish 33rd. In fall 2015 he was easily top five good but finished a misleading 20th. In that race he was involved in a pit road accident with Kyle Larson while running in 2nd. That damaged his car and he was never the same after that. When the race reached its conclusion he finished 20th. In spring 2015 he was top six good but had to pit for fuel late under green which cost him positions. In that race he had a 7th place average running position and finished 11th. In 6 of the 7 Charlotte races prior to that he finished in the top ten.
Momentum – Kyle Busch has four straight top tens. In the last two weeks he’s finished 2nd and 3rd.
2016 Similar Track Success – This year at 1.5 mile tracks minus Charlotte where he was top ten good until he wrecked with 7 laps to go Kyle Busch has a 4.2 average finish, 6.4 average running position and has finished in the top 12 every race.
Yahoo A Driver / DraftKings $10,200