Saturday, March 25, 2017

Final Fontana Driver Ratings: 2017 Auto Club 400

Six-time California winner Jimmie Johnson is using back-up chassis, but it looked great in Saturday's practice. 
Micah Roberts' Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Driver Ratings
Auto Club 400
Auto Club (California) Speedway
Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 3:50 pm ET

 1. Kyle Larson (7/1)           1st       1st      22nd       5th
2014 runner-up in rookie year; runner-up in past three races (Atlanta, Las Vegas, Phoenix)
 2. Martin Truex Jr (10/1)   11th       4th        7th       2nd
No top-5s in 16 starts; best 10-consecutive lap avg in practice 3. Won at Las Vegas.
 3. Chase Elliott (7/1)         12th     13th       2nd       1st
Sixth-place in first start last year; 2nd best 10-consecutive lap avg in practice 3.
 4. Kevin Harvick (6/1)         3rd       7th        6th       8th
2011 winner, runner-up past two years. Chassis; second at Charlotte, Darlington, won at Kansas.
 5. Jimmie Johnson (10/1)  24th      37th       4th      16th
Six-time winner, including last season; 2nd best 10 consecutive lap avg in practice 2.
 6. Joey Logano (7/1)          5th      35th      12th       6th
Career-best third in 2013, fourth last season; sixth at Atlanta and fourth at Las Vegas.
 7. Erik Jones (30/1)           18th     14th       1st        4th
Third-place in 2015 Xfinity Series race; best 10-consecutive lap avg in practice 2.
 8. Denny Hamlin (20/1)      2nd       2nd      18th      19th 
Career-best third twice, including last season; looks to be the best among Gibbs cars.
 9. Brad Keselowski (7/1)   10th       3rd        5th      13th 
2015 winner after finishing 18th or worse in first six starts; ninth last season.
10. Matt Kenseth (15/1)       8th       6th       13th       7th
Three-time winner, the last coming in 2009 with Roush Racing; 19th or worse past two years.
11. Jamie McMurray (50/1)   4th      8th       14th      20th   
Three top-5s in 24 starts, the last coming in 2005; he practiced as well as teammate Larson.
12. Ryan Blaney (25/1)        7th      19th        8th       3rd
35th in first Cup start last season, but practiced extremely well; finished seventh in Las Vegas.

Note: Good handicapping references to apply are results from Atlanta and Las Vegas this year, as well as last fall's Michigan race which used new low downforce package that is used now.

Opening odds courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

Micah Roberts, a former Las Vegas sports book director, has been setting auto racing odds in Las Vegas since 1994.

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