Well, week two of the NASCAR playoffs is in the books. The field is bunched! Places 10 -15 are separated by just 13 points! What does this mean for handicappers? More than meets the eye! Race teams will have varying strategies for this weekend’s race at Bristol. The only guy who is riding easy is Christopher Bell who is already locked into the round of 12. The other 35 drivers will be on those varying strategies at any given point in the race. Well other than Kevin Harvick that is in a must-win situation after the third DNF in a row for the 46-year-old driver out of Bakersfield CA.
Kyle Busch to RCR in 2023
It seems times are changing for sure! Back in late 2012 when the deal was announced that Kevin Harvick would be going to SHR in 2014 that announcement came out of nowhere. Yes, you heard rumblings that things were not great between Kevin and the RCR organization but didn’t see this change coming. Fast forward ten years and unless you live under a rock you knew two weeks ago or better that Kyle wouldn’t be back in the 18. News leaked out of the younger Busch being held out-of-competition meetings over at JGR before the playoffs began, which truly signified the end of their relationship as well as an end to the Busch / Toyota drive that lasted 15 years. Keep in mind that is why NASCAR news is important to follow when handicapping. Kyle will not be given the same information and data that the other JGR cars will be receiving in the next eight weeks. Makes a difference!
Bristol Dirt vs Concrete
NASCAR handicapping throws another wrench in this weekend. This week the cup drivers are racing back on the concrete surface at BMS. That means you have to be careful not to confuse those two dirt races in the spring of 2021 and 2022 with your handicapping data.
Brad Keselowski -125 vs Ricky Stenhouse Jr -105
This play jumped out at me and then I did a little research and I played it! Let’s look at these two non-playoff drivers. First up you have bad Brad. To be honest that is what he has been doing lately bad. In his last six races, he has an average finish of 19.3 with just one top 10. On the flip, RSJ is really bad. In his last six, he is averaging 26.2. Let’s look at recent finishes at BMS. Brad has been relatively good in that Penske 2. Average finish of 12.4 in 5 races with a win and three top tens. Looking at Stenhouse it’s a bit different. He has an average finish of 32 in his last 5 here. Brad is 5-0 in those head-to-head matchups as well. I am going with Keselowski to make it six in a row Saturday night over RSJ!