Early Week Driver Rankings for Auto Club


The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will complete the west coast swing this week when they compete at Auto Club Speedway. It will be back to the full aero package this week with the reduced horsepower, 2” splitter, 8” spoiler and aero ducts to promote drafting. It is the same package used at Las Vegas. The drivers who ran well at Atlanta and Sin City should be up front this week. The Auto Club 400 is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET on Fox.

The MENCS will have a normal schedule this week. The first practice is scheduled for Friday at 1 p.m. ET (No TV). Qualifying is Friday evening at 5:30 p.m. ET (FS1). There will be two practices Saturday. The first is at 12 p.m. ET (FS1) and the final practice is at 3 p.m. ET (FS1). I will post my Garage Talk Notes after final practice.

My early week pick for the pole is Kevin Harvick. I expect qualifying to be “Must See TV.” It was crazy at Las Vegas and it could be even more exciting Friday. Harvick won the pole at Las Vegas using this aero package and the No. 4 is my pick to win the pole again this week. He has qualified 2nd in 2 of the last 4 races at Auto Club. He really knows how to manipulate the draft to his advantage.

Each week I use different stats in my model to create the best rankings possible to give you an edge on the completion. This week I used concentrated on the starts from Atlanta and Las Vegas. I looked at the average driver rating from the two races and the average running position. I also factored in the driver rating at Auto Club, average finishing position at Auto Club and the driver rating on 2-mile oval tracks.


Here are the early week driver rankings for Auto Club Speedway…


1. Joey Logano
2. Kyle Busch
3. Brad Keselowski
4. Martin Truex Jr.
5. Kyle Larson
6. Kevin Harvick
7. Denny Hamlin
8. Chase Elliott
9. Aric Almirola
10. Ryan Blaney
11. Erik Jones
12. Clint Bowyer
13. Kurt Busch
14. Ricky Stenhouse
15. William Byron
16. Jimmie Johnson
17. Daniel Suarez
18. Austin Dillon
19. Alex Bowman
20. Ryan Newman
21. Chris Buescher
22. Paul Menard
23. Daniel Hemric
24. Matt DiBenedetto
25. Bubba Wallace
26. David Ragan
27. Ryan Preece
28. Ty Dillon
29. Michael McDowell
30. Matt Tfft
31. Corey LaJoie
32. Ross Chastain
33. Landon Cassill
34. Cody Ware
35. Bayley Currey
36. Quin Houff


* I will post my final driver rankings Saturday evening.

**Stats from Driveraverages.com and NASCAR Media. Career stats from Racing-Reference.Info

*** Photos from NASCAR Media


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