Martin Truex Jr. – This year at road courses, Martin Truex Jr. has been a phenomenal performer and on paper nobody has been better than him. At Sonoma he led 62 laps and raced his way to victory lane. At Watkins Glen he finished runner-up. Additionally between the combined events he has the best driver rating and a 3rd place average running position. At Sonoma, he’s performed at very high-level and over the last three races there he’s been a top five performer. At Watkins Glen, as you just read he finished 2nd this year, last year he led 24 laps and raced his way to victory lane. On Sunday I would look for Truex Jr. to compete for a top five and be a serious threat to win.
Brad Keselowski – Brad Keselowski should be on your short list of favorites at Charlotte. He’s smart driver and that variable shouldn’t be overlooked. I think strategy will be huge on Sunday and I think #2 crew are arguably the smartest team in the series when it comes to that aspect of racing. At road courses, Keselowski is a strong performer. Some of his recent results leave a lot to be desired, but I think he’ll be competitive especially with his recent uptick in performance. This year at road courses so far both of his results are in the teens. At Sonoma in June he finished 13th, in 2017 he finished 3rd. At Watkins Glen he’s an elite performer but his last two results are 17th and 15th. Historically at Watkins Glen he’s been one of the best default picks you can make. On Sunday I would look for Keselowski to finish in the top ten and compete for a top five.
Kyle Busch – Kyle Busch will be a contender at Charlotte. I view him as a quick learner and that intangible will be huge. On Sunday I would look for Busch to finish in the top five and compete for the win. Because of playoff implications a lot of drivers will likely be in points protection mode, not him. His only goal will be to race hard and accumulate more points for future Playoff rounds. When it comes to road course racing, Kyle Busch is one of the best in the business. This year on this track type he has a 4.0 average finish, a 7.0 average running position and is one of three drivers who have finished in the top five both races. Busch has consistently performed well at road courses and currently has 8 straight top tens. Between the two road courses he’s historically been better at Watkins Glen. In August at that venue he finished 3rd, led 31 laps and there’s a great chance he would’ve been the driver to beat if he didn’t have problems on pit road. Over the last four races there his average finish is 4.5. At Sonoma, he finished 5th in June and over the last four races there his average finish is also 4.5.