Charlotte Roval Fantasy NASCAR Front Runner Rankings
Charlotte Roval Fantasy Spin – Christopher Bell is a strong road course racer and on Sunday, he’ll need to win to avoid a Playoff bounce. I will note, the #20 team looks to be in the process of racing their way out of the Playoffs, and that’s concerning in terms of him being a prospect, because drivers who do that typically complete the process. Last year at the Roval, Bell was strong, and he’s shown some speed at road courses this year, so I’m going to be optimistic. In 2022 at these venues over the five combined events, Bell has the 9th best Total Speed Ranking, with him only once ranking lower than 11th in terms of speed. In the last two races held on this track type, Bell finished 8th at Watkins Glen after starting in the back and at Indy he was a top five contender but finished a misleading 12th. On Sunday, I’m going to view Bell as a risky top ten contender.
Charlotte Roval Track History – Christopher Bell has been strong at the Charlotte Roval. Last year, Bell finished 8th. In 2020, Bell had one of the best cars, but of course you wouldn’t know it by looking at his 24th place finish. In the race, Bell started in 35th, finished 2nd in Stage #1, 3rd in Stage #2, led 6 laps and had the 5th best Total Speed Ranking. In terms of speed by segment, Bell had speed rankings of 2nd, 3rd, 3rd and then 21st. Bell’s downfall can be attributed to him staying out during a caution during the final Stage when nearly everyone else pitted. Then during a later caution, Bell pitted and then nearly everyone else stayed out.
Charlotte Roval Fantasy Spin – Picking Kyle Busch at “Rovals” has generally been a deadly mix, so beware! Then when you factor in his recent luck and how road courses have generally played out for him in 2022, buckle up because it could be a bumpy afternoon. I will note, Busch has back-to-back top 11 results at “Rovals”, but in his six Roval races prior to that his average finish was 31.8! This year at road courses, Busch has finished between 28th to 32nd in 4 of the 5 races and his Total Speed Ranking ranks 18th. Generally, the #18 team has looked lost at these venues. On Sunday, I’m going to view Busch as an extremely risky top ten contender.
Charlotte Roval Track History – The Charlotte Roval has not been kind to Kyle Busch and in 3 of his 4 races he’s finished 30th or worse. Last year, I don’t know how Busch did it, but he had a great race! In the event he finished 7th in Stage #1, won Stage #2, led 22 laps, finished 4th and had the 6th best Total Speed Ranking. In 2020, Busch ran well and looked like a top five contender, but his race was far from incident free and he finished an asterisk mark 30th. In the race, Busch was running in 5th on lap 47, but then on lap 49 which was the last lap of Stage #2 he had a flat tire. Busch battled back and was legitimately in 4th on lap 83, but the #18 was up for Playoff elimination so they used desperate pit strategy at the end. On lap 86 the caution came out and nearly everyone else pitted but him and his JGR teammates. That got Busch the lead temporarily, but then with 2 laps to go while he was in the top ten he ducked down pit road for fuel which led to his poor finish. In 2019, Busch finished an asterisk mark 37th. In the race he finished just outside the top ten in Stage #2, and then in the final Stage while he was running around 10th on lap 67, he had a flat tire which led to an unexpected pit stop which dropped him off the lead lap. Then right at the end during the red flag in scorching heat, he simply called it a race since he was locked into the next round. If his race would’ve been incident free, I think he clearly looked like a top ten contender. In 2018, Busch had a strong showing and was a top five contender but finished a misleading 32nd after getting caught up in the late “Big One” during a restart. On lap 100 which was right before the final restart he was running in 4th.
Martin Truex Jr.
Charlotte Roval Fantasy Spin – Martin Truex Jr. has been strong at the Charlotte Roval, and let’s not forget, Truex was just one turn away from winning the inaugural race back in 2018. Truex is one of the premiere road course racers in NASCAR, but 2022 has been a dramatic down year for him on this track type. This year at road courses, Truex finished 7th at COTA, 13th at Road America but then in the other three he’s finished in the 20’s. Over the combined events, Truex’s Track Type Total Speed Ranking ranks 17th, but I’ll note that underrates him. JGR has had all season to get better on this track type, and they might just show up with surprise speed now that the Playoffs have arrived. At the Roval, I’m going to be optimistic and view Truex as a risky top ten contender.
Charlotte Roval Track History – Martin Truex Jr. has been one of the best at the Charlotte Roval and over his first three races if you were to credit him with a 2nd in 2018, his average finish was 5.3. Last year, Truex finished a dud 29th. In the race, Truex went for Stage points and as a result he finished 4th in Stage #1, 8th in Stage #2 but that’s not optimal in terms of getting a good end result. That had Truex poorly positioned for the final Stage back in traffic where he never climbed any higher than the low-teens. With 14 to go Truex was up to 13th but then I’m pretty certain he spun or something, because with 8 to go he was back in 30th. Then with 4 to go, he had a run-in with Joey Hand and spun, but you can’t really say that hurt him too much since he was in 27th the lap before that. In 2020, Truex was strong. He finished 4th in Stage #1, 7th overall, had a 10.5 average running position and was tied for having the 5th best Total Speed Ranking. In terms of speed by segment he ranked 6th, 9th, 7th and 7th. In 2019, Truex started in the back, messed up in the chicane twice (stop and go penalty on the track) but he still managed to finish 7th when the checkered flag waved. In terms of speed late in a run, he ranked as the 4th best. In 2018, Truex Jr. had a great performance and would’ve won if Johnson didn’t take him out when he wheel hopped right at the end. That collision took away a certain victory and relegated him to a 14th place finish. From the race I’ll note he earned the 6th best driver rating and had an 8th place average running position.