Woof. That’s about what can describe last Sunday’s Goodyear 400 from the Darlington Raceway. CJ and Eric each had 2 drivers each finish in the top 10. Greg only had 3. However, while Eric had the winner in Joey Logano, his only other driver in the top 10 was Daniel Suarez in 10th. CJ had 5th (Chase Elliott) and 9th (Austin Dillon). Greg did put all 3 of his drivers in the top 6 (2nd, 4th, 6th) to give none of us much momentum heading into Sunday’s race at the Kansas Speedway.
By virtue of Eric scoring his 4th win of the season but also having 3 drivers outside of the top 20 and Greg having 3 drivers also 20th or worse, neither could make up much ground on CJ who will hold the points lead going into this weekend.
For this weeks race, we could very well see an 11th different winner in the 1st 13 races run to the year. CJ has Martin Truex Jr., Austin Dillon and Erik Jones who’ve yet to win in 2022. Greg has Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, Christopher Bell, Kevin Harvick and Tyler Reddick still needing a win while Eric has Aric Almirola, Daniel Suarez and Kurt Busch winless.
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Between RCR (Dillon, Reddick), they’ve had a top 3 finisher in 4 of the last 5 weeks including 3 of the 4 being runner-ups. Reddick, was seventh in last year’s spring race but 13th, 25th and 22nd in the other 3 Cup races at Kansas. Dillon, was 10th in both races a year ago.
For Truex, since 2017, he’s had a top 10 in all but one Kansas start including sweeping both race wins in 2017. In fact, he has eight top seven results in his last 10 tries. He’s only had 1 top 10 finish on the season in the last 5 races too though.
Blaney, may not be his week. 5 of his last 6 Kansas races have seen him finish 20th or worse including being 21st and 37th last year. Since 2018, his Kansas finishes are 37th, 7th, 32nd, 21st, 20th, 7th, 21st and 37th respectively. On the season, he’s finished 11th, 26th and 17th respectively.
Harvick (runner-up in 2 of his last 3 Kansas starts), Keselowski (5 top 6 finishes in last 7 Kansas starts) and Kurt Busch (4 top 10’s in last 6 Kansas tries) could figure into the win on Sunday too. Harvick has 3 straight top 10 finishes on the season but Keselowski (1 top 10 all season) and Busch (6 of last 7 finishes on season 16th or worse) need momentum.
Bell is a strong sleeper. He scored his first Xfinity race win at this very track a few years ago as well as being 10th and eighth in the last 2 Kansas playoff races. It’s just that he was 23rd and 28th in the 2 spring starts too though.
1 TEAM CJ – 2,335 points (5 wins)
C Elliott… 465 (1 win)
A Cindric… 420 (1 win)
Kyle B… 415(1 win)
W Byron… 365(2 wins)
A Dillon… 295
M Truex Jr… 285
E Jones… 35
Waived Drivers… (55)
4/25 (After Race 10) Acquired E Jones for H Burton (55 points).
2 TEAM GDP – 2,245 points (3 wins)
A Bowman… 385 (1 win)
R Blaney… 355
C Briscoe… 210 (1 win)
C Bell… 190
Waived/Traded Drivers… (770; 1 win)
5/9 (After Race 12) Acquired J Haley for B Keselowski (210 points).
3 TEAM ERIC – 1,900 points (4 wins)
R Chastain… 355 (2 wins)
J Logano… 350 (1 win)
A Almirola… 305
D Suarez… 230
D Hamlin… 180 (1 win)
Waived/Traded Drivers… (275)
5/9 (After Race 12/Darlington)
Team GDP waives B Keselowski (210 points) for J Haley.
4/25 (After Race 10/Talladega)
Team CJ waives H Burton (55 points) for E Jones.
3/15 (After Race 4/Phoenix)
Team GDP waives D Wallace (200 points) for C Bell.
3/14(After Race 4/Phoenix)
Team ERIC waives C Bell (35 points) for R Chastain.
3/2(After Race 2/Fontana)
Team GDP waives C Buescher (30 points) for C Briscoe.
3/29 (After Race 6/Texas Road) Team GDP Acquired K Harvick (120 points) and T Reddick (120 points) from Team ERIC forK Larson (170 points, 1 win) and Kurt B (160 points).
Weekly Race Points Standings
Week 12 Darlington
1 ERIC 165
2 GDP 155
3 CJ 110
Driver Standings (Top 10)
1 C Elliott… 465 (CJ)
2 A Cindric… 420 (CJ)
3 Kyle B… 415 (CJ)
4 A Bowman… 385 (GDP)
5 W Byron… 365 (CJ)
6 R Blaney… 355 (GDP)
6 R Chastain… 355 (ERIC)
8 J Logano… 350 (ERIC)
9 K Larson… 330 (ERIC)
10 A Almirola… 305 (ERIC)