Posted 06/27/2012 at 03:35 PM
The Michael Waltrip Racing drivers come off their first win of the season on the road course at Sonoma and could make in two in a row this week because they have shown to have perhaps the most consistent power among all the Toyota’s, despite getting the same information as the Joe Gibbs drivers.
The added incentive this week is that car owner Michael Waltrip is from Kentucky and would love to get a win in his home state. Waltrip will even be taking the wheel of the No. 55 car and try to get the win himself.
Clint Bowyer won last week, but look for Truex Jr. to be the star Saturday night. I like the angle of him doing well at Kansas this year as well as the No. 00 MWR car finishing runner-up at Kentucky last season.----
Because there hasn’t been enough data accumulated at Kentucky to give us a good read on past history, we have to incorporate a few similar tracks like Kansas and Chicagoland, both of which have similar banking at the same distance.
In the April Kansas race, Denny Hamlin held on for the final 30 laps to get the victory, but it was Martin Truex Jr. who dominated the afternoon leading 173 of the 267 laps. Truex Jr. settled for runner-up and was followed by Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle.
Truex Jr. thoroughly dominated the race until a late seven or eight lap sequence where Hamlin caught and passed him. I still don't know what happened that caused Truex Jr. to slow, because after that sequence he was running the same lap times as Hamlin, if not a little better until the end of the race.
Truex Jr. should have very attractive odds (25/1) this week that make the play worth while despite not winning a race since 2007.
Some other drivers that have performed well that should have good runs include Joey Logano and Tony Stewart.
Logano seems to be on the upswing with rumors swirling about his status for next season. No driver in NASCAR has the kind of resume Logano has at Kentucky that saw him win from the pole in three straight Nationwide races from 2008-10. With a Pocono win in his back pocket and assurance from Joe Gibbs that he'll be back, he could be a nice long shot to target this week at 30/1.
Stewart has to be considered just because of the chassis he's using this week, a car that has two wins to its credit. Stewart took this car to a win at Chicagoland last year to start the Chase, and he also drove it to victory at Las Vegas this season.