Race: Bank of America 500
Date: Sunday October 8, 2017
Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway
Time: 2 pm ET
by Virginia Vroom, NASCAR Handicapper, Predictem.com
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And Kyle Busch pulls it off again! Busch took home the win at Dover this past weekend, after a late last lap pass to beat Chase Elliott to the checkers. Unfortunately, this pushed Elliott out of his first potential win, as lap traffic held him back. I will say that I was pleasantly surprised by Buschs ability to talk about someone other than himself so openly and in a positive manner. On that note, good job, Kyle! Not surprisingly, Elliott was very unhappy, but he still managed to move his way into the round of 12 drivers for the next segment of the Chase. It was an impressive win for Busch and his second straight in the Chase. Elliott actually had a 4 second lead in the last 40 laps, but lap traffic, namely Ryan Newman, ran Elliott very hard for any position he could manage to take, leaving Elliott out to dry and Busch with a spot to take.
Overall, I am not surprised with the results of the next round of drivers and those that fell out of contention. Ryan Newman ran a hard race and potentially cost Elliott the win, but he still couldnt manage to hang on. Austin Dillon, Kasey Kahne, and Kurt Busch all failed to continue their berth at the championship this year. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. got in by the skin of his teeth by a good pit strategy that got him just where he needed to be. It was definitely a right place, right time scenario for him. Im still hanging onto to Chase Elliotts disappointment in himself, though. This kid has some serious passion to go with his talent. He had no one to blame but himself and knew that Busch just executed the race better than he did there at the end. I understand his feelings, but he can be proud of what hes done this season so far. And, Chase, it aint over yet! Hes got a lot more racing to do before this is all said and done. If nothing else, Im sure he learned a lot about lap traffic this weekend and what to do and not to do next time hes in that position. Hey, Kyle Busch and the entire NASCAR team is giving this kid major accolades for his race on Sunday. Take that to the bank and move on to bigger and better things. That win is out there for him, and he will see it sooner rather than later.
This weekend, we are headed to a great track for Elliott. We are going to Charlotte Motor Speedway. This is one of the most cookie-cutter intermediate tracks out there. It is located in Concord, NC, in the hub of NASCAR mania. It was built in 1959 and has an enormous amount of history to go with it. It is a 1.5-mile asphalt quad-oval, or as Darrell Waltrip prefers, the Roval. It has 24 degree banking in the turns and 5 degrees in the turns. Track position is key here at Charlotte. One thing that these drivers are really focused on this weekend will be getting every point possible and hopefully that win. Talladega is one of the races in this segment. With a restrictor plate race, its anybodys guess as to what is going to happen, so the drivers certainly dont want to leave their fate in the hands of that place. Charlotte tends to be much more predictable, with longer green flag runs and where staying out front is where the drivers need to be.
When it comes to the winners here at Charlotte, Im going to be that guyer girland go with none other than Mr. Jimmie Johnson. How do you go against the guy with 8 wins at this place, coming off a third place finish at Dover? It looks like the Hendricks garage is finding a little more speed recently, and that will certainly be helpful in translating to a win for Johnson this weekend. Other guys to watch for this weekend include Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, and Brad Keselowski. These three, in particular, should really put up a solid fight for the win. Lets take a look at your potential winners heading into Charlotte this weekend:
My Pick to Win: Jimmie Johnson
Middle of the Road Pick: Chase Elliott
Dark Horse Prediction: Erik Jones
We dont have much to go with in terms of dark horse picks these days. We all know that Danica will never be my dark horse unless were at Indy. This leaves us with Suarez and Jones really. Erik Jones has run tremendously better than Suarez recently, so hes my go-to this weekend. Chase Elliott, well, duh. Hes going to be another major contender this weekend, especially with a win slipping out of his hands last weekend. Its almost like a driver gets that much thirstier when they almost had it. Elliott is certainly disappointed in himself and clearly knows that he has what it takes to get the job done. They will all be chasing down Elliotts teammate, Jimmie Johnson, though. As the active driver with the most wins, hes really going to be tough to beat if they can get the setup right for this weekend. Johnson most certainly wants a win to secure his spot just as much as the next driver. Lets take a look at where these guys stand as we head into the first race of this segment. Get YOUR Bank of America 500 race predictions down at a sportsbook that takes credit cards for deposits and that will give you a 100% bonus up to $250 in free betting tickets: Bovada Sportsbook!
Here are your current top 12 after last week’s race:
1. Martin Truex Jr.
2. Kyle Busch
3. Kyle Larson
4. Brad Keselowski
5. Jimmie Johnson
6. Kevin Harvick
7. Denny Hamlin
8. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
9. Ryan Blaney
10. Chase Elliott
11. Matt Kenseth
12. Jamie McMurray
Im rooting for Chase Elliott this weekend, especially after seeing how much he was disappointed in himself at Dover. This kid can do it, and hes got a great shot at Charlotte. Beating his teammate will take some fortitude for sure. Johnson isnt going to give this one up easily. Elliott will also have to fight off the likes of Matt Kenseth, who desperately needs a win to not be in the knockout seat any longer. The coals are hot and these guys dont have long to make some moves. Stay tuned as we head to Charlotte Motor Speedway for some more exciting racing this Sunday afternoon!