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Statistically Speaking

Update: Auto Club

by Dan Beaver
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Austin Dillon was uniformly fast throughout the weekend. Not only did he win the pole, but he posted the third-quickest speed in Saturday morning’s session and was second-quick in final practice. Often a driver gives up single-lap speed when that happens, but the No. 3 car posted the fifth-fastest time in the morning and was sixth-best in the afternoon. Intangibles like pit stop errors or lost track position late in the race could mar his performance, but he should be a uniformly strong driver this week.

Harvick rolls off the grid on the outside pole, but he did not have very fast laps on Saturday. Instead, this team worked on reliable 10-lap averages, and he was solid in that regard.

Martin Truex Jr. is another driver to watch closely this week. He posted second-quickest, 10-lap average in Saturday’s first session and was quickest in final practice. He qualified only 17th, but that could be a blessing in disguise in games that offer place-differential points.

Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, and Harvick round out the top five in regard to average ranking of 10 consecutive laps and no one will be surprised to see them at the head of the field.

One pleasant surprise a little further down the grid is Regan Smith. The lightly-funded team of Tommy Baldwin Racing posted the 12th-quickest, 10-lap average. For a modest price of $10 in the NASCAR Fantasy Live game, he could extend the salary cap at the top of the order.

NASCAR is a zero-sum sport. For one driver to finish well, others must finish near the bottom of the order and the teams with the worst averages are not necessarily all lightly-funded. Brian Vickers was only 23rd-quick of 24 drivers who made 10-lap runs on Saturday morning. He was 21st of 29 in Happy Hour, but more should be expected of a Stewart-Haas Racer especially when he enters with a current three-race, top-15 streak on this track. Of course, he missed the fall 2010 race, as well the spring events 2012, 2013, and last year.

Kurt Busch crashed in the Saturday morning session and will roll out a backup car. He had been complaining about it throughout that session, however, and was not overly disappointed to roll out the second machine.

With an average ranking of 21.1 in Saturday’s sessions, it does not appear Clint Bowyer is going to turn his season around at Auto Club.

Greg Biffle is another driver who can be expected to struggle. He did not find long run speed and damaged his car in final practice after colliding with Kyle Larson.
 

Start

Driver

Qual
Speed

Practice
1

Rank

Practice
2

Rank

Final
Practice

Rank

Avg.
Rank

         

 

 

 

   

1

Austin Dillon

188.482

188.511

1

186.587

184.952

6

2.0

2

Kevin Harvick

188.329

188.304

3

184.710

17

183.183

27

12.3

3

Denny Hamlin

187.637

187.139

16

184.351

23

183.463

21

15.8

4

Ryan Newman

187.276

187.003

20

186.640

3

184.473

10

9.3

5

Carl Edwards

187.222

186.384

25

187.906

1

185.347

2

8.3

6

Kyle Busch

187.212

187.212

15

186.635

4

183.781

16

10.3

7

Trevor Bayne

186.916

186.172

27

184.195

25

183.411

23

20.5

8

Chase Elliott

186.795

187.047

18

185.252

12

183.425

22

15.0

9

Joey Logano

186.557

187.047

19

184.035

28

185.099

4

15.0

10

Jamie McMurray

186.345

186.225

26

184.455

21

184.649

8

16.3

11

AJ Allmendinger

185.687

187.451

10

185.328

11

182.964

29

15.3

12

Kasey Kahne

187.642

187.700

6

183.993

30

184.644

9

14.3

13

Paul Menard

187.495

186.63

23

186.162

6

183.669

18

15.0

14

Ryan Blaney

187.480

187.495

9

184.497

20

185.161

3

11.5

15

Brad Keselowski

187.232

187.251

14

184.327

24

184.289

12

16.3

16

Chris Buescher

187.154

187.823

5

182.834

33

182.820

30

21.0

17

Martin Truex Jr.

187.028

188.432

2

187.632

2

184.743

7

7.0

18

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

186.528

188.289

4

185.912

8

184.473

10

10.0

19

Jimmie Johnson

186.297

187.573

7

185.199

13

184.002

14

13.3

20

Matt Kenseth

186.268

186.466

24

184.653

18

185.419

1

15.8

21

Brian Scott

186.176

186.858

22

186.061

7

182.593

31

20.3

22

Greg Biffle

186.075

187.378

11

183.936

31

183.997

15

19.8

23

Casey Mears

185.773

187.505

8

185.452

9

183.482

20

15.0

24

Brian Vickers

185.581

186.950

21

184.943

16

183.725

17

19.5

25

Aric Almirola

186.398

187.125

17

184.530

19

185.071

5

16.5

26

Kurt Busch

186.095

186.167

28

185.052

15

183.299

24

23.3

27

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

186.080

187.281

12

185.424

10

184.233

13

15.5

28

Regan Smith

185.696

185.304

31

185.099

14

183.496

19

23.0

29

Clint Bowyer

185.639

186.148

29

184.450

22

183.038

28

27.0

30

Michael McDowell

185.486

184.436

33

181.970

34

181.566

33

32.5

31

Danica Patrick

185.099

185.854

30

184.139

27

183.253

25

28.3

32

Kyle Larson

184.990

187.266

13

184.011

29

183.239

26

25.0

33

Matt DiBenedetto

184.611

183.917

34

184.148

26

182.168

32

31.3

34

Landon Cassill

184.186

183.243

35

183.183

32

181.374

34

33.8

35

David Ragan

183.052

185.076

32

181.210

35

179.363

35

34.3

36

Cole Whitt

182.348

182.205

37

180.950

36

178.962

36

36.3

37

Josh Wise

181.951

179.073

39

176.337

39

177.923

37

38.0

38

Michael Annett

186.610

182.242

36

180.909

37

177.039

39

37.5

39

Jeffrey Earnhardt

180.415

180.153

38

178.711

38

177.309

38

38.3

 

10-Lap Averages

 

10-Lap Averages

Avg.

Practice 2

 

Final Practice

Rank

               

2

Martin Truex Jr.

      182.487

 

1

Martin Truex Jr.

  180.723

1.50

3

Austin Dillon

      182.225

 

2

Austin Dillon

  180.710

2.50

 

Carl Edwards

 

 

3

Carl Edwards

180.427

3.00

1

Kyle Busch

      182.568

 

6

Kyle Busch

  179.994

3.50

4

Kevin Harvick

      182.204

 

4

Kevin Harvick

  180.257

4.00

6

Paul Menard

      181.851

 

8

Paul Menard

  179.855

7.00

 

Ryan Newman

 

 

7

Ryan Newman

  179.872

7.00

7

Matt Kenseth

      181.759

 

9

Matt Kenseth

  179.578

8.00

16

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

      180.924

 

5

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

  180.102

10.50

12

Regan Smith

      181.342

 

 

Regan Smith

 

12.00

 

AJ Allmendinger

 

 

13

AJ Allmendinger

  179.336

13.00

 

Joey Logano

 

 

14

Joey Logano

  179.189

14.00

5

Jimmie Johnson

      181.981

 

24

Jimmie Johnson

  178.485

14.50

11

Kurt Busch

      181.395

 

18

Kurt Busch

  178.950

14.50

 

Chase Elliott

 

 

15

Chase Elliott

  179.152

15.00

19

Chris Buescher

      180.461

 

11

Chris Buescher

  179.505

15.00

18

Kyle Larson

      180.591

 

12

Kyle Larson

179.496

15.00

13

Ryan Blaney

      181.321

 

17

Ryan Blaney

  179.032

15.00

8

Denny Hamlin

      181.621

 

23

Denny Hamlin

  178.558

15.50

22

Brad Keselowski

      179.058

 

10

Brad Keselowski

  179.520

16.00

10

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

      181.508

 

22

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

  178.640

16.00

13

Kasey Kahne

      181.321

 

19

Kasey Kahne

  178.916

16.00

 

Trevor Bayne

 

 

16

Trevor Bayne

  179.149

16.00

9

Jamie McMurray

      181.538

 

28

Jamie McMurray

  177.465

18.50

 

Casey Mears

 

 

20

Casey Mears

  178.898

20.00

20

Greg Biffle

      180.309

 

 

Greg Biffle

 

20.00

21

Brian Scott

      179.766

 

 

Brian Scott

 

21.00

15

Clint Bowyer

      181.148

 

27

Clint Bowyer

177.785

21.00

17

Matt DiBenedetto

      180.914

 

25

Matt DiBenedetto

178.385

21.00

23

Brian Vickers

      178.526

 

21

Brian Vickers

  178.701

22.00

 

Danica Patrick

 

 

26

Danica Patrick

178.354

26.00

24

Michael McDowell

      178.504

 

29

Michael McDowell

176.629

26.50

 

 

Dan Beaver

Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 20 years with a little help from his >650,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.