Friday, August 19, 2016

Final Bristol Driver Ratings: 2016 Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race

Denny Hamlin looks fast at Bristol in every possible way.
A Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota has won half of the 22 races this season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and they're heavy favorites to add to the total in Saturday's Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday.

Between Friday's practices and qualifying, the five cars look more formidable as a unit than they have all season. They already came in with high expectations placed on them by Las Vegas sports books, but Friday's display widened the gap between them and the rest of the field even further.

Las Vegan Kyle Busch, the 7-to-2 favorite and five-time winner on the high-banked half-mile layout, laid down the fastest lap in each of Friday's practices. He qualified third and looked well equipped to win for a series leading fifth time this season.

Not to be outdone, Denny Hamlin posted the best 10-consecutive lap average in each session showing he'll be faster than most on longer runs. He also set the track record at 133.668 mph during the second round of qualifying. In the final round of qualifying, Hamlin was second-fastest.

Those two performances alone would establish the team as a major force to deal with, but there's even more data supporting JGR as the team to beat.

Read More Here....Las Vegas Review-Journal

Micah Roberts' Sprint Cup Driver Ratings
Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race
Bristol Motor Speedway
Sunday, August 20, 2016 - 10:50 am PT

RATING  DRIVER    ODDS            PRACTICE 1         PRACTICE 2       QUALIFIED        BRISTOL* 
 1. Kyle Busch 7/2                      1st              1st                3rd             38th    
Five-time winner, the last coming in 2011; second-best 10-consecutive lap average in practice 2.      
 2. Denny Hamlin 13/2                2nd              5th                2nd            20th 
2012 winner, third last fall; best 10-consecutive lap average during both practices.
 3. Matt Kenseth 13/2                14th              3rd                5th            36th
Four-time winner including last spring; 13.4 average finish in 33 starts with 1,572 laps led.
 4. Carl Edwards 13/2                 10th              9th                1st             1st 
Four-time winner, including the spring where he led race-high 276 of the 500 laps.
 5. Joey Logano 15/2                  18th              8th               10th            10th
Has won this night race the past two seasons; 12.2 average finish in 22 starts this season.
 6. Brad Keselowski 17/2             6th             10th               9th             18th 
Two-time winner, the last coming in 2012; currently leads series with 727 points.
 7. Martin Truex Jr. 9 /1                9th              2nd               7th             14th  
Just two top-fives in 21 starts, but practiced well and leads series with 1,006 laps led in 2016.
 8. Kyle Larson 15/1                    3rd               7th              23rd             35th
Career-best seventh in spring of 2015; fast in practice and fighting for Chase life.
 9. Kevin Harvick 10/1                 15th             19th               24th            7th
2005 winner with 10 top-fives in 29 starts (833 laps led); didn't practice well, but he'll be fine.
10. Kurt Busch 20/1                   13th             20th              14th             3rd
Five-time winner, the last coming in 2006; using same chassis from Bristol and Dover (fifth).

* Results from the April 17, 2016 race at Bristol.

Odds courtesy of William Hill sports books.

Micah Roberts, a former sports book director, has been been setting NASCAR lines in Las Vegas since 1994. Follow on Twitter @MicahRoberts7

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