NASCAR Nationwide Series: Chicagoland Speedway Picks and Points

by Adam Ansell, on July 8, 2010 @ 12:23:00 PDT


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1. Kyle Busch: In six starts at Chicagoland Speedway, Busch has one win (2008), three Top Fives and one pole, all during the past three years. He's led at least one lap in all but one event (2006) in which he ended up with a DNF. Since the inception of Loop Data in 2005, Busch ranks sixth in Driver Rating (103.8). He is 21st overall in Average Running Position, but has an incredible 2.9 ARP over his last three starts at the site. Since '05, he leads all drivers in Laps Led (238) and Fastest Laps Run (101). Two weeks ago at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Busch set the Nationwide Series mark for most laps led (currently 8,117). He's second all-time with 36 career Nationwide Series wins, trailing leader Mark Martin by 12. Though he won't pass Martin in 2010 and isn't the defending champion of this event, Busch remains the driver to beat each and every week.

2. Kevin Harvick: The wins leader at Chicagoland Speedway (two - 2005, 2007) boasts an Average Start of 6.4, never qualifying worse than 10th. In seven starts at the site, Harvick has four Top Fives. He ranks fifth in DR (108.9) and third in ARP (7.6). He is also fifth in Average Quality Passes (32.2), sixth in Laps Led (47) and eighth in Fastest Laps Run (39). Harvick leads all competitors in Laps in the Top 15 (844). He's finished outside the Top 10 just once (38th at Auto Club) and has an Average Finish of 6.9 in 2010. As always, he's an elite start in all formats.

3. Joey Logano: Logano has quietly reached elite status on the Nationwide Series circuit. In 12 starts this season, he has one win, seven Top Fives and 11 Top 10s, leading at least one lap in all but two starts. His Loop Data stats for 2010 are just as impressive, with a 121.0 DR and 4.7 ARP. Logano won his lone start at the site in 2009, leading 96 of 200 laps. He leads all drivers in DR (146.9), ARP (2.0) and Fastest Green Flag Speed (168.541 mph) at the site. He's usually mentioned among the favorites, but rarely is considered the driver to beat. If he wins this one, that underrated status will change in a hurry.

4. Carl Edwards: The halfway mark of the season, which is where we're at right now, is usually when Edwards hits his stride. In the final 20 races of the '08 and '09 seasons combined, Edwards had 11 wins, 26 Top Fives and 34 Top 10s. He finished second in the final standings both times. Edwards has two Top Fives, three Top 10s and two poles in five starts at the site. He ranks third in DR (110.6) and Fastest Green Flag Speed (167.858 mph). He's fifth in ARP (8.2). Edwards has led at least 17 laps in three of his five starts at the site. Currently second in the standings, if Edwards plans on finally being the bride and not a bridesmaid at the end of the season, his charge to the top has to start this week.

5. Brad Keselowski: In three starts at the site, he has one Top Five, leading four laps in that same event (2008). He ranks 13th in DR (91.2) and 18th in ARP (14.9), but we all know by now to ignore the Loop Data on Keselowski. In his third full season in the Series, and his first pulling double-duty, Keselowski has a comfortable 277-point cushion on the second-place Edwards. He earned that breathing room by finishing inside the Top 10 in 16 of 17 races and no worse than 13th in any event this season. He's riding a streak of six straight Top Fives and will make it seven at Joliet.

6. Clint Bowyer: He's been a bit of an anomaly this season. He has an Average Finish of 28th in non-restrictor plate races with zero laps led, and an Average Finish of sixth in restrictor plate races with 17 laps led. In five starts at the site, he has one Top Five and four Top 10s. Excluding a DNF in the 2004 event, he has an Average Finish of sixth. He's ninth in DR (99.7) and seventh in ARP (9.9). He ranks fourth in Laps in the Top 15 (665) and 10th in Average Quality Passes (29.5). Fantasy owners should expect Bowyer get his act together this week with a well-rounded performance.

7. Ryan Newman: In just three appearances on the Nationwide Series circuit, Newman has delivered an Average Start of seventh, an Average Finish of fifth and an ARP of 7.7. In four starts at the site, he has one Top Five with four poles. He's 20th in DR (86.4) and 29th in ARP (19.4). Don't let that deter you from deploying Newman this week. Since '05, he's second in Laps Led (123) and sixth in Fastest Laps Run (46). Despite the poor finishes, he's led at least five laps in three of those four events. His consistency this season combined with the high potential for bonus points via laps led and/or quality pole position makes him the top ranked Elimination format option of the week.

8. David Reutimann: Reutimann has only appeared in two events this season (Auto Club and Texas), recording an Average Finish of 17th and an impressive ARP of 10.1. In three starts at the site, he has one Top Five, two Top 10s and one pole. He ranks eighth in DR (100.7) and ARP (10.2) at Joliet. He's fifth in Laps Led (83) since '05, collecting all of them during his fifth place performance at the 2008 event. Reutimann is the next best Elimination format option, behind Newman.

9. Justin Allgaier: The Riverton, Illinois native trails Edwards by 193-points in the standings and looks to cut into that lead at his hometown track. In his lone start at the site in 2009, Allgaier started ninth and finished 10th, with a 96.2 DR (12th) and an 8.8 ARP (sixth). His Average Finish over his last five Series races, minus the 35th place finish at Road America, is eighth place. That and the hometown factor make Allgaier a lock for a Top 10 finish this week.

10. Jamie McMurray: McMurray has been consistently inconsistent this season in both the Nationwide and the Sprint Cup Series. The difference is that inconsistency has meant good things for his Nationwide Series owners. Despite less than impressive histories at the tracks he's competed in so far this season, he has an Average Finish of seventh and an ARP of 9.6. In six starts at the site he has just one Top 10. This will be his first start at Chicagoland Speedway since 2007. He ranks 31st in DR (67.6) and 32nd in ARP (23.8). Staying true to form, expect McMurray to buck the trends and finish in the Top 10.

11. Reed Sorenson: One Top 10 and 30 Laps Led in three starts at the site. 87.7 DR.

12. Jason Leffler: One Top Five and two Top 10s in six starts at the site. 78.1 DR.

13. Mike Bliss: One Top 10 and 33 Laps Led in four starts at the site. 91.0 DR.

14. Paul Menard: Two Top 10s in five starts at the site. 78.6 DR.

15. Danica Patrick: Going out on a limb and predicting she will improve on her average finish of 33rd at her hometown track. DR not applicable.

16. Trevor Bayne: 87.0 DR.

17. Tony Raines: 75.0 DR.

18. Brian Scott: DR not applicable.

19. Steve Wallace: 56.8 R.

20. Jason Keller: 62.1 DR.

21. Colin Braun

22. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

23. Kevin Hamlin

24. Eric McClure

25. Brian Keselowski

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About Adam Ansell,

This article is courtesy of: is a deluxe fantasy analysis and information site and content development network. Led by award-winning Fantasy veteran Scott Engel, formerly of ESPN and CBS SportsLine, the team provides distinctive and in-depth fantasy insights in all sports. is an official content provider for, Yahoo Sports, Sports Illustrated and USA Today. was nominated for a total of eight industry awards in 2009, and won the Fantasy Sports Writers Association Award for Best Humor Article. urges you to look for the X- The Mark of Fantasy Excellence.

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