Each week I will provide an analysis of my top rated drivers on how well they will do in the race based on the following criteria:
• Practice sessions leading up to the weekend’s Sprint Cup race
• Chassis information on what was brought to each track by each team, good or bad
• Driver tendencies at certain tracks
• Recent and overall histories for each driver at each track
• Decipher poor past results with what really happened, good car -- or bad luck?
These final ratings should help assist in final betting strategies with the Las Vegas books or match-up and prop plays, as well as help in NASCAR fantasy leagues.
Micah Roberts Top 10 Driver Ratings
Budweiser Shootout (75-lap non-points race)
Daytona International Speedway
Saturday, February 12, 2011 - 5:10 pm (PDT)
Pre-Season Test Bud Shootout
Rating Driver Odds Best 2nd Best Practice 1 Practice 2
1. Clint Bowyer 12/1 1st 7th 4th DNP
Won at Talladega, the last restrictor plate race run at; using the same chassis Saturday.
2. Kyle Busch 7/1 3rd 9th 5th 2nd
Consistent times throughout all testing and practices; his style suits the short format well.
3. Kevin Harvick 6/1 13th 15th 16th 7th
Won the last two Shootouts on top of winning two plates races during 2010 season.
4. Joey Logano 20/1 1st 3rd 10th 1st
He may have the best car of the bunch, but lacks plate race seat time to rank him No. 1.
5. Jeff Gordon 10/1 2nd 6th 20th 8th
Two-time Shootout winner with 10 top-5 finishes in 17 starts; plate program much improved.
6. Jamie McMurray 10/1 4th 7th 13th DNP
Plate race specialist; finished within top-3 in the last two Shootouts; won Daytona 500 in 2010.
7. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 10/1 7th 11th 1st 16th
Two-time Shootout winner with a new crew chief and garage (Johnson’s)? Dangerous!
8. Denny Hamlin 10/1 1st 3rd 8th 6th
Won Shootout as a rookie in 2006; had a great pre-season test and practiced well Friday.
9. Kurt Busch 12/1 2nd 14th 14th 14th
The best driver to never win a plate race, including the Shootout. He’ll need friends to help.
10. Jimmie Johnson 12/1 8th 26th 3rd 15th
Won the Shootout in 2005; he was hooked up with Earnhardt Jr. throughout the first practice.
* The Sprint Cup teams tested out Daytona’s new surface, changes to the car and tires in January. The listed speeds are their two best performances in any of the five sessions they participated in.
Odds courtesy of the Las Vegas Hilton Super Book.