May 18, 2009

N'Wide: Lowe's entry list

The entry list for the Carquest Auto Parts 300 has been posted and it features a large field of 52 cars for 43 spots.

Our View: In addition to making it more difficult for the start and park operations, fantasy owners will hopefully get a chance to see Patrick Carpentier, Marc Davis and Peyton Sellers race.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will run his own No. 5 and get the chance to extend his top-five streak at this track to three. For a complete list of drivers' finishes, check back on Tuesday.

Lowe's Cup entry list

The entry list for the Coca-Cola 600 has been posted and it features 46 cars for 43 slots.

Our View: In addition to the regulars, Bill Elliott will drive the No. 21, J.J. Yeley will drive the No. 41 Shana Mayfield entry, Mike Bliss will drive the No. 09 and David Starr will be in Trevor Boys' No. 06.

IRL: Tag team

"Tag," you're it. Alex Tagliani will replace Bruno Junquiera in the No. 36 Conquest Racing car, according to Tagliani was the final driver bumped from the field on Sunday by Ryan-Hunter Reay and he did not have an opportunity to attempt to re-qualify.

Our View: "It’s a shame that Alex got bumped out of the field at the end,” Junquiera said. “I knew coming into this that Alex is Conquest’s primary driver and that if something happened to the first car that I would likely give him my place and I completely understand it.”

That's a lot of understanding.

IRL: First female over the wall

Milka Duno won't be the only woman on her side of the wall when she comes in to pit. Jackman (make that jackwoman) Anna Chatten will be lifting the No. 23 Dreyer Reinbold entry for service, according to

Our View: It is believed she will be the first female, "over-the-wall" crew member. More power to her.

Stewart's better piece for the 600

Will Tony Stewart bring back his All-Star winning car for this week's Coke 600? According to crew chief Darian Grubb, there's a better car back at the shop.

Our View: "I think we have a better piece back at the shop," Grubb said after the conclusion of the All-Star race. "It's in the paint booth right now. They're finishing up the decals. We might bring this as a back up. But I think what we've got back at the shop is even better.

Lowe's results, last five races

Success predicts success. That's true in business and it's even more accurate in auto racing, so this week's top choices for your fantasy roster need to come from those drivers and teams who finish with the leaders on a consistent basis.

The biggest issue with that is, however, that the new body style has elevated parity to an extreme level and has made it difficult for drivers to string together long runs of top-10s together. It's true that last year, five drivers swept the top 10 in both Lowe's races—including the spring winner Kasey Kahne and fall's Jeff Burton—but no one has managed to run four or more solid results.

Four drivers have managed to earn three consecutive solid finishes, however, and they should become your starting spot for the Coca-Cola 600.

Kyle Busch leads the league with three straight top-fives. Add in a pair of victories and a second-place finish in the Nationwide Series during that same span, and he is certainly the hottest driver at Lowe's for the moment.

Kasey Kahne backed up last year's Coke 600 victory with a second last fall and he preceded it with an eighth in fall 2007. That gives him nearly as much momentum as Busch. In fact, when one factors in his victory in fall 2006, he has the best average finish during the last five Lowe's races.

Jeff Burton (with a worst finish of sixth in the last three races) and Jeff Gordon (with a worst of eighth) round out this list and gives you a variety of marquee and mid-cap drivers from which to choose.

Last Five Races

DriverAvg Finish2008.22008.12007.22007.12006.2
Kasey Kahne 7.00218231
Jeff Burton 7.60164243
Kyle Busch9.20433306
Tony Stewart 11.0011187613
Bobby Labonte 11.60171112135
David Stremme13.67

Carl Edwards 14.003395158
Jimmie Johnson 14.2063914102
Dale Earnhardt Jr14.403651984
Jeff Gordon 15.608414124
Mark Martin 16.20915161130
Clint Bowyer18.20122522923
Casey Mears 18.40292921112
Dave Blaney 18.80271761826
Todd Bodine 19.00

Denny Hamlin19.40162420928
Kevin Harvick 19.801314332118
Jamie McMurray 21.00523241934
Regan Smith21.002319

Reed Sorenson21.40152230436
Matt Kenseth 21.60417341214
Kurt Busch 21.80316263232
Martin Truex Jr22.401434171631
Greg Biffle 23.2072274337
Scott Riggs24.001928362017
Brian Vickers 24.20184246510
David Ragan24.7510124037
Sterling Marlin 25.00
Ryan Newman 27.202121283927
A J Allmendinger27.2543201531
Sam Hornish Jr27.33221347

Elliott Sadler 28.00208413635
Tony Raines 28.00404831147
Michael Waltrip 28.802427104538
David Reutimann30.0032102949
David Gilliland31.602540253533
Robby Gordon 31.603043382225
Jeremy Mayfield 32.00

Juan Montoya32.2534303728
Joe Nemechek 32.80374745269
Paul Menard33.2526412244

Last Five Years
Avg. Fin

DriverAvg. FinAvg. StartAttempts
Jimmie Johnson 7.706.5010
Jeff Burton 11.1021.5010
Bobby Labonte 12.5016.3010
Kasey Kahne 12.8010.9010
Carl Edwards 13.6718.789
Denny Hamlin16.2916.297
Tony Stewart 16.5017.8010
Mark Martin 16.7012.1010
Dale Earnhardt Jr16.7017.0010
Jamie McMurray 17.7021.6010
Casey Mears 18.2015.2010
Clint Bowyer18.3322.176
Greg Biffle 18.6019.3010
Jeremy Mayfield 18.8623.577
Matt Kenseth 19.0014.4010
Reed Sorenson19.5023.176
Martin Truex Jr20.0026.867
Kurt Busch 20.9019.4010
Regan Smith21.0033.002
Kyle Busch21.4017.2010
Jeff Gordon 21.4015.4010
David Stremme21.6021.805
Dave Blaney 22.2023.7810
Elliott Sadler 22.2010.0010
Joe Nemechek 22.3024.3810
Ryan Newman 23.209.5010
Kevin Harvick 23.4019.1010
David Ragan24.7515.504
Scott Riggs24.8015.2010
Brian Vickers 25.6016.5610
Robby Gordon 27.1027.9010
A J Allmendinger27.2530.754
Sam Hornish Jr27.3328.003
David Reutimann28.4025.005
Sterling Marlin 29.1327.888
Paul Menard29.4026.255
Michael Waltrip 29.7324.2211
David Gilliland31.6027.005
Todd Bodine 32.0014.002
Juan Montoya32.2530.504
Tony Raines 34.1338.338