Race Weekend Central

2015 Frontstretch Cup: Staff Predictions for the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte

Welcome to our eighth year of staff predictions! Each week, our experts attempt to tell you who the winner of each Cup race will be. Take a look to see who your favorite writers think will win it all (or at least score some points) this week!

Think you can out-prognosticate our staff?  Leave your picks in the comments and see how they stack up!

 Prediction Scoring
+5 – Win
+3 – Top 5
+1 – Top 10
0 – 11th-20th
-1 – 21st-30th
-2 – 31st-40th
-3 – 41st-43rd

This week’s predictions: Bank of America 500

Amy Henderson, Senior Editor: With nothing to race for but wins, Jimmie Johnson gets No. 5 on the year.
Mark Howell, Senior Writer: Since autumn makes me sentimental, my pick for Charlotte is Jeff Gordon.
Toni Montgomery, Senior Editor: Kasey Kahne.
Matt McLaughlin, Senior Writer:
Well since the editors have sharpened their scalpels this week I’ll go with Matt Kenseth.
Joseph Wolkin, Assistant Editor:
That Kenseth guy. 
Jeff Wolfe, Senior Writer:
Since I didn’t pick him last week… Kevin Harvick.
Zach Catanzareti, Contributing Writer:
Denny Hamlin.
Aaron Bearden, Assistant Editor: Matty Ice (Kenseth).
Huston Ladner, Senior Editor: Kenseth.
Danny Peters, Senior Writer:
Harvick. Yawn.
Jerry Jordan, Contributing Writer: Kurt Busch.
Mike Neff, Short Track Coordinator: I’ll take Kyle Busch for his first career Cup win at Charlotte.
Greg Davis, Senior Writer:
Harvick (in back-to-back wins).
Phil Allaway, Senior Editor: I’m going with Carl Edwards.

Results: AAA 400

Writer Pick Finishing Position Points
Matt Stallknecht Kevin Harvick 1st 5
Vito Pugliese Kevin Harvick 1st 5
Aaron Bearden Kyle Busch 2nd 3
Matt McLaughlin Dale Eanrhardt Jr. 3rd 3
Sean Fesko Matt Kenseth 7th 1
Toni Montgomery Matt Kenseth 7th 3
Huston Ladner Joey Logano 10th 1
Amy Henderson Martin Truex Jr. 11th 0
Tony Lumbis Carl Edwards 15th 0
Zach Catanzareti Brad Keselowski 16th 0
Jerry Jordan Tony Stewart 26th -1
Mark Howell Jimmie Johnson 41st -3
Jeff Wolfe Jimmie Johnson 41st -3
Joseph Wolkin Jimmie Johnson 41st -3
Danny Peters Jimmie Johnson 41st -3
Mike Neff Jimmie Johnson 41st -3
Clayton Caldwell Jimmie Johnson 41st -3


 Writer Points Behind Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10
Matt Stallknecht 65 29 9 16 22
Aaron Bearden 46 -19 28 3 14 21
Mike Neff 43 -22 26 6 12 16
Jeff Wolfe 41 -23 27 5 14 19
Huston Ladner 41 -24 26 2 11 19
Matt McLaughlin 34 -31­ 28 3 10 15
Amy Henderson 26 -39 29 4 8 15
Vito Pugliese 23 -42 24 2 10 14
Mark Howell 21 -44 29 1 8 13
Toni Montgomery 21 -44 29 3 9 14
Zach Catanzareti 20 -45 25 0 7 14
Brett Winningham 19 -46 14 2 5 7
Danny Peters 19 -47 25 2 8 13
Sean Fesko 18 -48 25 1 2 14
Tom Bowles 15 -50 19 3 5 10
Tony Lumbis 15 -50 29 1 6 13
Joseph Wolkin 13 -52 28 2 7 11
Phil Allaway 7 -58 12 1 2 4
Jeff Meyer 5 -60 17 2 2 6
S.D. Grady 4 -61 6 0 2 4
David Ifeguni 3 -62 1 0 1 1
Jerry Jordan 2 -63 13 0 2 5
Clayton Caldwell 0 -65 13 2 3 4
Greg Davis -1 -66 25 1 3 10
Dan Greene -1 -66 1 0 0 0


About the author

The Frontstretch Staff is made up of a group of talented men and women spread out all over the United States and Canada. Residing in 15 states throughout the country, plus Ontario, and widely ranging in age, the staff showcases a wide variety of diverse opinions that will keep you coming back for more week in and week out.

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11 Chasers qualified in the top 15. The nerve of the Futile Four. Brian will see that there are repercussions, except for the 48.

Good thinking, Amy.

J. Smith

I don’t quite understand this fantasy points system and it’s boring. How can Greg Davis have one negative point? He’s got a win and I thought he was guaranteed a playoff position. Stallknecht is way ahead in another zip code and I’ve heard his daily driver is a Toyota. Coincidence??? I think not. Surely there is a way to make this fantasy points race more competitive and interesting. Just spit balling while outside my box, I would suggest it’s time for a debris on the Frontstretch caution flag, an elimination, a playoff or something. There is something wrong when a Fantasy sport has more integrity than the show it’s based on.

Bill B

Not one right pick and it’s not like Logano was a longshot. I know… hindsight is 20/20.


Yeo, no joy here in Mudville this week. Thought I was sitting pretty for the first 72 laps but Gibbs decision to have the 3 Stooges pit Kenseth did me in.

As to J. Smith’s comment, there’s one flaw to the game I have tried to point out, but I was loudly booed down at the staff meeting here in the palatial FS world headquarters, had rotten fruit tossed at me, and lost my reserved parking spot. The maximum points swing per round is 8. (5 points to pick winner versus -3 to for picking a driver who finishes 41st, 42nd, or 43rd.) In a race like Talladega if you’re points racing (as in trying to protect your position not take over the spot above you) your best option is not to play that round at all. By not playing you get 0 points, the same as someone who picks a driver who finishes 11th through 20th. Thus if Matt S sits out the next four races and Aaron picks the winner for each race (a statistical anomaly) Matt would resume the contest down by one point My suggestion was if you miss a round you get -10 points. Look at the standings above to see how that would have things shaken up right now. (Yes, I’m being self serving. I’d be in third.)

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