Bank of America 500 Preview and Pick to Win

Race: Bank of America 500
Date: Saturday October 16th, 2010
Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway
Time: 7:30 pm ET
Channel: ABC
by Virginia Vroom of

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Welcome to the house of Jimmie Johnson. This Saturday night’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is sure to prove why Johnson will make a notorious run for his 5th championship, continuing with Charlotte this weekend. Although Tony Stewart is making a good effort, coming off a win last weekend, Johnson’s 3rd place finish is nothing to sneeze at. In fact, although Stewart won, Johnson’s consistency is what truly keeps him atop the points standings.

This weekend will surely prove no differently. With an unprecedented 6 wins at this track, Johnson is surely the one to beat. Although this track is home to many drivers simply because of the locale being in Charlotte, Jimmie seems to have an amazing success rate here. Kasey Kahne is also strong along with Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart.

The main contenders this weekend will be Johnson, Gordon, and Stewart. Tony is proving that he’s still a player and still has what it takes to get those wins. Gordon has managed to maintain some consistency and works well with Jimmie at Charlotte. Jimmie is surely my pick though. I think that not picking him is simply a silly choice. He certainly has the best odds.

Charlotte is a 1.5 mile quad oval with 24 degree banking in the turns and 5 degree banking in the straights. The frontstretch is 1980 feet and the backstretch stands at 1500 feet. This track is very similar to Atlanta and Texas, all of which have shown tremendous success to Jimmie, Gordon, and Stewart.

One thing at Charlotte that’s rather amusing is the tire use here. When it was repaved in 2005, the tires brought by Goodyear just couldn’t handle the track. It was repaved again after that simply because of the mess that it caused with the race that year. Needless to say, Goodyear has an agreeable tire at this point, but they are still a significant player in how this race usually turns out. Managing the sets that a driver is given to last the whole race is sometimes tricky, but staying out of trouble and staying clean is the key here.

Here are your current top 12 after Kansas:

1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Denny Hamlin
3. Kevin Harvick
4. Jeff Gordon
5. Tony Stewart
6. Kurt Busch
7. Carl Edwards
8. Jeff Burton
9. Kyle Busch
10. Greg Biffle
11. Matt Kenseth
12. Clint Bowyer

Charlotte can sometimes throw a kink in the standings, but I think that we will see a relatively calm race. We will see the typical guys run strong here. The only key players in the championship at this point are Johnson, Hamlin, Harvick, Gordon, and Stewart. After Stewart, it’s more a hail-mary for those drivers. Stay tuned, though! This night race is always a crowd pleaser.