The NASCAR Cup Series gets back to action this weekend at Watkins Glen International, a 2.45-mile road course track that is one of the “originals” that most old-time Fantasy NASCAR players are used to. The other “original” road course is Sonoma, and then we can add Road America in as a “traditional” track in this data set, but that one has much higher tire fall off than the other two. And then of course, we should also look at all of the other road course tracks (rovals) when analyzing the data this weekend. It’s always pretty clear who the best drivers are on this track type, and there’s no reason to expect many major surprises here on Sunday.

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How the algorithm works: There are quite a few statistics that go into the Power Index formula, including recent performance both overall and at this week’s track 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

William Byron during practice at Circuit of the Americas 2021 rain
Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

William Byron – I’m not sure who has a voodoo doll of William Byron for road courses this year and why they are enjoying his struggles so much, but it’s getting a little ridiculous. Willy B has zero top 10s in the four road course races this season and in three of the four he’s finished 33rd or worse. He’s also ended up 19th or worse in 7 of his 12 career Cup starts at this track type. However, he also has four finishes between 6th and 8th on them. What I’m getting at here is that Byron is predicted to finish 13th by the algorithm this weekend but has higher upside than that if he can stay out of trouble.

Ross Chastain – Ross Chastain is under-valued by the algorithm this weekend and a major reason why is because our data set for road courses is relatively limited–up until 2019, it was only one race each at Watkins Glen and Sonoma–and for over half of the races we have data for Ross Chastain he was in awful equipment. Now that he’s in that #42 Chevrolet, though, Chastain has wasted no time showing how strong he can be, as he’s finished 7th or better in the last three road course races of the year. Chastain has top 10 potential on Sunday no matter what the algorithm says.


Go Bowling at The Glen Algorithm Predicted Finishing Order

1.Elliott, Chase41.64
2.Larson, Kyle40.10
3.Truex, Jr., Martin35.12
4.Hamlin, Denny34.56
5.Busch, Kyle34.12
6.Busch, Kurt31.05
7.Logano, Joey30.90
8.Bowman, Alex30.61
9.Bell, Christopher28.80
10.Harvick, Kevin25.18
11.Blaney, Ryan24.77
12.Keselowski, Brad23.72
13.Byron, William23.02
14.Reddick, Tyler20.95
15.Almirola, Aric12.04
16.Buescher, Chris10.24
17.DiBenedetto, Matt08.28
18.Briscoe, Chase05.85
19.Jones, Erik00.26
20.McDowell, Michael-01.34
21.Chastain, Ross-01.77
22.Custer, Cole-09.89
23.Suarez, Daniel-13.10
24.Stenhouse, Jr., Ricky-14.60
25.Dillon, Austin-15.70
26.Preece, Ryan-22.89
27.Newman, Ryan-25.54
28.Wallace, Bubba-29.68
29.Alfredo, Anthony-30.59
30.LaJoie, Corey-31.16
31.Haley, Justin-33.42
32.Davison, James-36.58
33.Tilley, Kyle-37.35
34.Smithley, Garrett-39.53
35.Houff, Quin-40.62
36.Enerson, RC-41.10
37.Bilicki, Josh-45.77
As someone who has always been obsessed with numbers, Fantasy NASCAR has been the perfect fit with me. I pride myself on the quality of my analysis for each race, and am glad that I have been able to help others along the way. I've been a serious Fantasy NASCAR player for over 10 years now, and I'm just getting started.