Four drivers have left the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs and now only twelve remain in contention for the title. Charlotte Motor Speedway opens the second round of the playoffs for the Bank of America 500. This will be the last time the fall race at Charlotte will run on the oval track as starting next season, the fall Charlotte race will run on the new “Roval” course.
NOTE: There was only one practice for this event. The other two sessions were rained out.
TOP PRICED PICKS
Martin Truex Jr. ($10,900) has been one of the best at Charlotte since 2015. In his last five starts at CMS, Truex has finished outside of the Top 5 once. In 24 starts at the site, Truex has one win, eight Top 10 finishes, and 765 Laps Led, which is fourth of active drivers. Since 2005 at CMS, Truex has the fifth-most Fastest Laps at 356, the seventh-most Laps in the Top 15 at 5,473, the ninth-best Average Running Position of 14.1, and the 10th best Driver Rating of 86.9. Truex starts 17th and was seventh in practice. The favorable history, practice speed, and starting position make Truex one of the best fantasy choices.
Charlotte is now the only active track in the Cup Series where Kyle Busch ($10,600) does not have a win. He was the runner-up in the Charlotte race earlier this season. In 27 starts at CMS, Kyle Busch has 11 Top 10 finishes and 971 Laps Led, which is the third-most of active drivers. Since 2005 at the site, Kyle Busch has the second-best ARP of 9.7, the third-most Fastest Laps at 600, and the second-best DR of 105.6. Kyle Busch starts fourth and was 17th in practice. Despite looking slow compared to his starting position in practice, Kyle Busch’s history is very good and his performance in the last nine races includes only one finish outside of the Top 10, making him worth consideration.
Kyle Larson ($10,400) is historically not a strong performer at Charlotte. In eight starts at the site, Larson has two Top 10 finishes. He has been a strong performer this season which includes four Top 5 finishes in the last four races. Larson starts 10th and was first in practice. Watch for Larson to continue his streak of Top 5 finishes because of his recent momentum.
Kevin Harvick ($10,200) is known for his consistency at Charlotte. He has only two finishes outside of the Top 10 at the site since 2010. In 33 starts at CMS, Harvick has three wins and 15 Top 10 finishes. Since 2005 at Charlotte, Harvick has the 10th best Average Finishing Position of 14.1, the sixth-most Fastest Laps at 340, and the eighth-best DR of 89.1. Harvick was third in practice and starts third. Expect Harvick to finish around his starting position based on his practice speed.
Charlotte is one of Jimmie Johnson’s ($10,000) best tracks statistically. In 32 starts, Johnson has eight wins, which is the most of all-time, 19 Top 10 finishes, and 1,930 Laps Led, which leads active drivers. He leads all drivers in ARP at 8.0, Laps in the Top 15 at 7,843, and DR at 110.4. Johnson starts 25th and was 15th in practice. His practice speed looks a lot better than his starting position, making him a very strong play to gain plenty of points from Place Differential.
Joey Logano ($9,600) is one of the better picks for this week’s race. In 17 starts, Logano has one win and nine Top 10 finishes. Logano has the fifth-best ARP of 13.2, the third-best AFP of 11.8, and the seventh-best DR of 91.9. Logano was 24th in practice and starts 28th. He will score a solid number of PD points because of his starting position.
Chase Elliott ($9,400) has failed to finish in his last two Charlotte starts due to accidents. In four starts at CMS, Elliott has one Top 10. In the last five races this season, he has finished 11th or better with two second place finishes. He starts seventh and was fifth in practice. Elliott will finish around his starting position based on his practice speed and from the positive momentum he has from the last five races.
Ryan Blaney’s ($9,000) best finish at Charlotte in five starts is 14th. Blaney will surpass that this week and score a few points from PD as well. He was sixth in practice and starts 15th. He has scored finishes of 11th or better in two of the last three races this season.
MID-RANGE PRICED PICKS
Jamie McMurray ($8,800) scored his fourth Top 10 finish in seven races last week at Dover. In 30 starts at Charlotte, McMurray has two wins and 11 Top 10 finishes. He has three finishes of 12th or better in his last four Charlotte starts. He was ninth in practice and starts 18th. McMurray will compete for a Top 10 position based on his practice speed and recent performances.
In the last six races this season, Matt Kenseth ($8,600) has finished 11th or better in all but one of them. In 36 starts at Charlotte, Kenseth has two wins and 20 Top 10 finishes. Since 2005 at CMS, Kenseth has the sixth-best ARP of 13.4, the fourth-most Fastest Laps at 473, and the third-best DR of 96.1. Kenseth starts second and was 16th in practice. He has finished in the Top 10 in four of his last five Charlotte starts. Kenseth did not look fast in practice compared to his starting position, but his recent history dictates a Top 10 finish.
Erik Jones ($7,900) made his only start at Charlotte earlier this season. He started fifth and finished seventh. Jones has seven Top 10 finishes in the last nine races this season. He was 18th in practice, and will start 38th after failing to set a qualifying time. He holds little risk due to his starting position and will pick up a lot of points from PD. He is a must start since the PD potential is too great to ignore.
Since 2013, Ryan Newman ($7,100) has finished 15th or better in all his starts at Charlotte. In 33 starts at CMS, Newman has 15 Top 10 finishes. He starts 11th and was second in practice. Newman has been consistent at Charlotte, and will obtain another Top 10 finish based on his practice speed.
A.J. Allmendinger ($6,900) has four Top 20 finishes in his last six Charlotte starts. In 19 starts at the site, Allmendinger has nine Top 20 finishes. He starts 19th and was 11th in practice. Based on his practice speed, Allmendinger will finish in the Top 15.
Chris Buescher ($6,300) has made only three starts at Charlotte. He has two Top 20 finishes and a best finish of 16th at the site. He starts 21st and was 22nd in practice. As indicated by his practice speed, Buescher will finish around his starting position.
Michael McDowell ($5,900) is the best option for those looking to save on salary this week. In 16 starts at Charlotte, McDowell has two Top 20 finishes, which were in his last two starts. McDowell starts 16th and was eighth in practice. He displayed good speed in practice, meaning that it will be no surprise to see him finishing around his starting position.