Last Sunday’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway (March 20) provided fantasy owners with something they hadn’t seen in the first three races: predictability. All the numbers pointed to Kyle Busch and Rowdy came through with his first win of the season.
While Busch’s win was predictable, the parody in the sport remains. There have been four different winners in the first four races and names like Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch are yet to reach victory lane. There is no reason to think we couldn’t see five different winners in the first five races, mainly because of that Johnson guy.
Bristol and Fontana don’t share many like characteristics, but for fantasy owners they are alike. All the statistics pointed to Kyle Busch last week, and this week they all point to Johnson.
The Calfornia native has shined at his home track. He was first and third in the two races last season and has five wins in 16 starts at Fontana. He has also finished in the top five in over two thirds of the races he has run at the track (11 of 16). Johnson is also in the midst of a 12-race losing streak. Compared to any other driver that doesn’t sound like much, but for the No. 48 team, 12 races is an eternity. This team is hungry to return to victory lane.
Carl Edwards has only gone to victory lane once at Fontana, but the Roush driver does have momentum on his side, coming off of first and second-place finishes. His average finish of just over nine is also second among active drivers at the track, to Johnson of course. Edwards has 10 top 10s in 13 races at the track.
Clint Bowyer has struggled early this season and Fontana might be just what he needs to break out of the slump. As a mid-level driver, Bowyer should be a solid pick. He has three top-10 finishes in the last four races at Fontana, including a second-place finish in the fall. His average finish of 11th is fifth among active drivers.
Team Red Bull can also be a solid mid-level choice. Fontana has been one of Brian Vickers’s strongest tracks since he joined the team. He had a top five there in 2009. Kasey Kahne may be an even better pick. Kahne has run well early in the season with his new team. He also has a solid history at 2-mile banked tracks. He was fourth at Fontana in the fall of 2010 and second at Michigan last year.
Kyle Busch was the best pick available one week ago, but chances are his momentum won’t carry over to California. He has just one top 10 in his last four races at Fontana and an average finish of 19th over that span.
Another driver that has a little bit of momentum on his side is Dale Earnhardt Jr. He is coming off two top 10s and an 11th-place finish at Bristol. However, Earnhardt Jr. has been terrible at Fontana. His average finish of 29th in his last four races at Fontana isn’t much worse than his average in 18 starts (22.28). Don’t expect momentum to carry over for either one of these guys.
Until next week, good luck my friends!
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