Hot 20 – Earnhardt and Keselowski near perfect heading to Bristol

When you can tout an average finish of 1.67, as in the case of Dale Earnhardt Jr, or Brad Keselowski’s  2.33 you know you are doing something right.  Each has a win, with Junior having a pair of runner up finishes compared to the two third place runs put in by the 2012 champion.  While Kevin Harvick won at Phoenix, his 41st place result at Las Vegas drops him in our search for the most noteworthy driver of the year.

Bristol is a place Earnhardt has won only once in 28 starts, and that was back in 2004. While he has recorded a top ten only half the time there, his average finish of 11.5 is second best amongst active drivers, only behind the 9.9 of five time winner Kyle Busch.  While the chances are you will not see him crossing the line first on Sunday, odds are he will not be far behind. In his last ten starts there, Junior has come home between six and 16th.  Maybe still on top come next week, but so much for a near perfect pace.

Keselowski, on the other hand, once won a pair back-to-back at Bristol and was third in the spring race last season. However, he has also finished 30th two of his last five, so it is anybody’s guess if he will experience feast or famine. As for Kyle Busch, he won half of the ten raced at Bristol between 2007 and 2011 and while he has had the odd off day, his last three show results of sixth, second, and 11th. 


American Muscle

Kurt Busch has not added to his five wins there since 2006, but maybe this is where he can get back on track this season. Jeff Gordon also has won five Bristol events, though none since 2002. Matt Kenseth can be hot and cold in the bowl as well, but he could up his tally to four Bristol wins by matching his result from last fall.  Unless the doctor calls and he winds up heading back to North Carolina before race time to welcome the arrival of the latest addition to his family.

As we hunt down our season’s top driver, we give 22 additional points to the winner of each race and punt the Chase.  I would expect either Kyle or Matt to move up into third place after this weekend, with both our leaders still atop the ladder when the smoke clears Sunday at Bristol.

Fin

Driver

Points

Wins

1

  Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

155

1

2

  Brad Keselowski

154

1

3

  Jimmie Johnson

117

0

4

  Joey Logano

116

0

5

  Jeff Gordon

115

0

6

  Carl Edwards

105

0

7

  Kevin Harvick

105

1

8

  Kyle Busch

105

0

9

  Matt Kenseth

105

0

10

  Denny Hamlin

101

0

11

  Ryan Newman

97

0

12

  Jamie McMurray

93

0

13

  Greg Biffle

86

0

14

  Austin Dillon

84

0

15

  Kasey Kahne

83

0

16

  Casey Mears

80

0

17

  Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.

80

0

18

  Paul Menard

76

0

19

  Marcos Ambrose

69

0

20

  Brian Vickers

64

0


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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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