Qualifying for the Kobalt Tools 500 in Atlanta (Matchup Pick Included!)
(Coverage begins at 6:45 EST on Speed)
by Yomonte of Predictem.com
When I saw this match up at 5Dimes, it is the only one I took a good look at: Dave Blaney -110 vs David Ragan -120.
Last year, David Ragan in his rookie year, using Mark Martins owner points from the 6 car, did well to stay in the top 35 in points which kept him in the races using a provisional.
One fourth of the season, Ragan had to use a provisional.
We all know that Toyota sucked last year and so did Blaney, but only when it came to the race with 42 other cars on the track.
By himself in qualifying, not only did he capture a pole in New Hampshire, but had 3 top 5’s, 3 top 10’s and 5 top 15’s, and this was in last years lousy Toyota.
Ragan, in Martins vacated #6 Ford of Roush Racing, had only one top 5, 3 top 10’s and one top 15. Blaney had many top 20’s whereas Ragan had 2. What I’m getting at here is that qualifying is a different animal than the Race.
Blaney had 3 DNQ last year because he could not get it done with 42 other drivers.
Ragan had no problem coming from behind in the race with a bad starting spot in his Roush Ford as drivers before him like Jeff Burton and Matt Kenseth, also qualified terrible, but came from behind to finish well, and is why he made so many races staying in the top 35 in points.
Although Micheal Waltrip and Dale Jarrett were lucky to make the race in their Toyota’s last season, Blaney was there week in and week out. I often wondered why Blaney could make all but 3 races and Mikey could only make 3 races. Now that Toyota is a strong contender this season, I expect Blaney to do well again.
Now why is Blaney a dog in this matchup? Beats me.
Last week is the only race this season that you had to qualify well to get in.
Daytona, you had to race to get in and Blaney barely made it and started 34th.
And why did he barely make it in? That’s right, BOB, tell them what they won LOL, cause he had to race to get in.
In the second race, qualifying was rained out. Blaney starts 34th again but only because he finished 34th in the points last year while Ragan started 24th.
Now we move on to last weeks race where Blaney qualifies 26th and Ragan is back to using his provisionals and starts 38th but finishes 7th. Typical of two Roush drivers, Jeff Burton and Matt Kenseth. Start bad, finish well. Blaney does not have this luxury. He qualifies well and finishes bad.
Last year in Atlanta, Ragan had to use a provisional both races and finished 33rd in both races. Qualifying is definitely a different animal than racing. I took Blaney -110.