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Driver Recommendations for 2009 Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway

Posted by chadmusselman on October 5, 2009

With the chasers doing so well it’s making it tough to pick drivers and get big points. It should be easier this week since there are a few non-chasers that have done well in California. The Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California is a sister track of the Michigan International Speedway with the same D shape configuration, but less banking. The track will allow the drivers to drive and the top drivers should get to the front.

Recommendations for the Week:

Chaser: Jimmie Johnson
There’s no one better at this track than Jimmie Johnson. He has 3 wins, tied for the most, 8 top fives, 9 top tens and an average finish of 6.2 in 13 career races. His worst finish was 16th place! If he’s going to make a move, and take the points lead, to get his 4th consecutive Sprint Cup Series championship this is the race he’ll do it. He is absolute money here and should either win, or be in the top 5.

Alternate Chaser: Carl Edwards
We haven’t heard as much from Carl in the chase as I thought we would. He’s back in 10th place, but with a good run this weekend he may get back into the mix. In 10 career races Carl has 9 top tens and his 6.7 place average finish is 2nd best to Jimmie. If for some reason you don’t put Jimmie on your team, then you definitely need Carl on it. One of these two will win.

Matt Kenseth
Jimmie and Carl are 1st and 2nd in average finish at the Auto Club speedway, so why not pick the guy who has the 3rd best average finish? That is Matt Kenseth with a 9th place average finish. He, like Jimmie Johnson, has 3 wins here as well as 7 top fives and 11 top tens in 15 career races. Matt didn’t perform well last week and looks to rebound at a familiar track this weekend.

Kyle Busch
So, guess who has the 4th best average finish? Yup, Kyle. He averages a 9.2 finish along with his 1 career win and 8 top tens in 10 career races. He showed some life last week and seems like he isn’t mailing it in for the final races of the season. Look for Kyle to keep showing signs of life and try to finish the season strong to build for 2010. He should be on your team.

Dark horse: Kevin Harvick
Kevin doesn’t have the best record at the Auto Club Speedway, but he did have two top ten finishes here in 2008. In his last 4 races this season he has a 9th, 32nd, 12th, and 24th place finishes. If that trend continues, then Kevin will be due for a top 12 finish. There aren’t many other drivers to choose from for a dark horse, so Kevin should do just fine on your team. I doubt many others will have him, so it could be a chance for you to pick up gain points on the people in front of you.

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