Who is hot and cold going into the Bank of America 500

0 Comments

Remember when Jimmie Johnson could do no wrong at Charlotte Motor Speedway?

For a good chunk of the 2000s, when CMS was called Lowes Motor Speedway, the track belonged to Johnson.

From 2003 – 2005 Johnson won five of six races, including four in a row.

But since, the six-time Cup champion has only visited victory lane in Charlotte twice (2009, 2014). Johnson’s third-place finish in May was his first finish in the top 15 in four Charlotte starts.

Victory lane at Charlotte has become a more inclusive club.

In the last 10 races, there have been nine different winners: Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick, Johnson, Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne and Matt Kenseth.

Harvick is the only repeat winner, taking wins in the 2014 Bank of America 500 and the 2013 Coca-Cola 600.

Here’s a look at who is Hot and Cold in the Sprint Cup Series before this weekend’s Bank of America 500.

Who’s Hot

Martin Truex Jr.: Three wins in last five races for four total in 2016. First season with more than one win. Won the Coca-Cola 600 after leading 392 of 400 laps.

Brad Keselowski: Only driver with top-five finishes in each of the first three Chase races this season. Top-five finishes in the last four races, tying a career-best streak. Top-five finishes in seven of the last nine races.

Denny Hamlin: Top 10s in 10 of the last 11 races. Best Charlotte finish in 22 starts is second, twice. Finished top 10 in 11 of the last 12 races at Charlotte including fourth in the last two.

Kyle Busch: Top 10s in all three Chase races so far. Finished outside top 10 in last three Charlotte races. Charlotte is one of two tracks Busch has not won at in the Cup Series (Pocono is the other).

Chase Elliott: Finished in top three in two of three Chase races. Top 10s in four of last six races. Finished eighth in May’s Coke 600.

Who’s Cold

Kurt BuschOnly two top-10 finishes in the last eight races. One Charlotte win in 2010 Coca Cola 600. Worst finish in the last four races at Charlotte is 11th. He finished sixth in May.

Jimmie Johnson: Only six top-10 finishes in the last 20 races. Finished third in May at Charlotte, only finish better than 17th in the last four races there. Twenty-five wins at 1.5-mile tracks, a NASCAR record.

Carl Edwards: One top 10 in last five races. Last top five was a runner-up finish at Kentucky in July. Finished top 10 in five of the last six races at Charlotte. Exception is 18th-place finish in May (two speeding penalties).

More note of interest ahead of the Bank of America 500

  • Last five Charlotte races were won from a start position of seventh or better including two from the
    pole.
  • Seven different organizations have won the last eight races at Charlotte. Team Penske is the only
    organization with multiple wins in the last eight Charlotte races.
  • The winner of the Charlotte Chase race went on to win the Championship twice: Jimmie Johnson in 2009 and Kevin Harvick in 2014.
  • Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr. won the last six races on 1.5-mile tracks (two wins
    each).