Early Week Driver Rankings for Watkins Glen


The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will compete on its second road course of the season. This is a good opportunity for a driver who is not locked into the playoffs to sneak into Victory Lane. Fuel mileage always plays a big role in this race so some teams will gamble to make this race interesting. The Go Bowling at the Glen can be seen Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.

NASCAR will be back to a condensed schedule. The MENCS will have two practices Saturday. The first practice is at 10:30 a.m. ET and final practice is at 1 p.m. ET (both on NBCSN). Qualifying is Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN).

The MENCS will be back to the crazy inspection process. The cars will qualify Saturday and they will be inspected Sunday morning. All cars who fail the inspection Sunday morning will start from the back. Their official starting position will be from the back and they will be scored from the back in Fantasy NASCAR.

The cars will be back to 750 HP engines and the aero ducts will be removed. The cars will still have the 2” splitter and 8” spoiler but the cars will be a lot more like the cars that competed at Watkins Glen in the past. I expect the cars that have had success at this track before, will be up front Sunday.

My early week pick for the pole is Kyle Larson. The No. 42 car has dominated qualifying on the road courses. Larson has a 2.4 average starting position in the last 7 races on the road courses. That includes 3 poles and 5 starts on the front row. Larson has only qualified outside the top 6 one time in his career. He is a lock to start up front Sunday.

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 Driver Rating at Watkins Glen, Average Finishing Position at Watkins Glen, Green Flag Passes at Watkins Glen (We want drivers who can pass on the road course), Road Course Driver Rating and Road Course Average Finishing Position.


Here are the early week driver rankings for Watkins Glen…


1. Martin Truex Jr.
2. Kyle Busch
3. Chase Elliott
4. Daniel Suarez
5. Kurt Busch
6. Denny Hamlin
7. Erik Jones
8. Ryan Blaney
9. Clint Bowyer
10. Kevin Harvick
11. William Byron
12. Brad Keselowski
13. Kyle Larson
14. Alex Bowman
15. Michael McDowell
16. Joey Logano
17. Chris Buescher
18. Jimmie Johnson
19. Aric Almirola
20. Paul Menard
21. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
22. Ryan Newman
23. Daniel Hemric
24. Ty Dillon
25. Austin Dillon
26. Matt Dibenedetto
27. Ryan Preece
28. David Ragan
29. Darrell Wallace Jr.
30. Ross Chastian
31. Corey Lajoie
32. Matt Tifft
33. Landon Cassill
34. Josh Bilicki
35. Cole Whitt
36. J.J. Yeley
37. Quinn Houff
38. B.J. Mcleod


* I will post my final driver rankings Saturday night.

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

*** Photos from NASCAR Media


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