The NASCAR Cup Series hits the first week of “regular’ racing on Sunday as the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 will be held at the Daytona Road Course. This will be the first of seven road course races this season, and should give us a great look into who should be strong on them throughout the year. The drivers in the Busch Clash last week already got some recent track time here, but keep in mind that that race was ran during the night. Also, track modifications were done between then and now to try and eliminate some of the dirt issues NASCAR ran into during that event.
How the algorithm works: There are quite a few statistics that go into the Power Index formula, including recent performance both overall and at the Daytona Road course specifically, similar track performance, projected strength of the car, practice speeds (when applicable), starting position, and a few other variables.
Before We Get To The Algorithm Results…Thoughts On A Couple Drivers
Kyle Busch – I warned you about this in the algorithm post for the Busch Clash, but let me remind you again: Kyle Busch has had awful luck at the road courses over the last two years. That is one reason why the algorithm seems to be down on him. So you kind of have to take that with a grain of salt. Over the last two years there have only been five road course races. Last year there were only two. If you have bad luck in a majority of those races, the algorithm probably isn’t going to like you very much. Rowdy ended up in victory lane in the Busch Clash and I personally expect him to be significantly better than the 11th place that the algorithm has him ranked for Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 253.
Tyler Reddick – All of the sophomore drivers–so particularly Reddick, Cole Custer, and Christopher Bell–have significantly limited data in an already limited data set. They have two Cup Series races under their belt at road courses. So just keep that in mind this week. But as far as Tyler Reddick goes, he definitely should have caught your eye if you watched the Busch Clash last week. He had the 3rd-best driver rating in that race and ended up finishing 4th when it was all said and done. Last year on the road courses he finished 18th here at Daytona and then 12th at the Charlotte ROVAL. So while the algorithm has him projected to finish back in 17th, he could very well end up much closer to, or even inside, the top 10 on Sunday if that RCR Chevrolet has similar speed to what it had in the clash.
Daytona Road Course O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 Algorithm Predicted Finishing Order
|2.||Truex, Jr., Martin||40.56|
|21.||Stenhouse, Jr., Ricky||-12.46|