The Frontstretch: Fantasy Insight: California by Dennis Michelsen -- Wednesday February 22, 2006

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Fantasy Insight: California

Dennis Michelsen · Wednesday February 22, 2006


After two weeks of Speedweeks, now we move west for some “real” racing in the Nextel Cup Series at California Speedway. Gas mileage plays a big factor at this track, although the ability to find the right mix of horsepower and gas mileage proves challenging. So many questions are yet to be answered, since with the new testing rules teams only had one downforce track to test on so far. The new Ford Fusion and the new Monte Carlo SS seemed to be super quick on the flat Las Vegas track, but this place is much bigger and faster, so don’t expect the same teams to automatically lead the way. Dodge teams will bring a variety of old (Intrepid) and new (Charger) to figure out just how to get their downforce balance worked out. The plates are off, so passing won’t wait for a dance partner this week!

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By the Numbers – Statistical Look at This Week’s Race
(Detailed stats at

Horses for Courses

Driver Rating at California
Carl Edwards 93.6
Jamie McMurray 92.8
Mark Martin 90.2
Jimmie Johnson 90
Kurt Busch 90
Kasey Kahne 88.4
Bobby Labonte 88
Ryan Newman 87
Matt Kenseth 86.4
Elliott Sadler 85.8

Consistency Factor

Driver Rating – Last 5 Races
Mark Martin 93.4
Tony Stewart 92.2
Carl Edwards 91.6
Casey Mears 89.8
Jeff Gordon 89.2
Matt Kenseth 88.8
Elliott Sadler 88.6
Jimmie Johnson 88.2
Greg Biffle 88
Clint Bowyer 88

Track Type Factor

Driver Rating at This Type of Track
Carl Edwards 94.4
Tony Stewart 93.4
Mark Martin 92
Greg Biffle 90.6
Matt Kenseth 90.4
Kurt Busch 90
Brian Vickers 88.2
Jeremy Mayfield 88.2
Jeff Gordon 86.8
Kevin Harvick 86.2

Overall Power Rating

Driver Power Rating
Carl Edwards 280
Mark Martin 276
Tony Stewart 268
Matt Kenseth 266
Kurt Busch 264
Greg Biffle 262
Jamie McMurray 261
Jimmie Johnson 259
Ryan Newman 259
Jeff Gordon 257
Kevin Harvick 252
Elliott Sadler 251
Brian Vickers 251
Casey Mears 251
Kasey Kahne 250
Clint Bowyer 249
Dale Jarrett 248
Kyle Busch 246
Bobby Labonte 243
Jeremy Mayfield 241

Handicapping the Race
Hendrick and Roush cars have won eight out of the eleven races held at California Speedway. That dominance is likely to continue this week. This will be the first test to see how the Dodge teams are getting their front-end issues worked out.

Jamie McMurray

Gets the edge if he can bring his car home in one piece.

Brian Vickers

This is my first "Hunch Bet" of the week.

Carl Edwards

Top Power Rating pick is hard to pick against at a track like this one.

Top Rookie
Clint Bowyer

Showed a lot of poise last week, and on this type of track, he excels. Two Top 5 finishes here in the Busch Series last year.

Last Place
Dave Blaney

Taking a reach here, and picking a guy whose car might break down.

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Championship Caliber? What Does That Even Mean?
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©2000 - 2008 Dennis Michelsen and Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!

02/23/2006 06:54 PM

yes i just happened to stumble upon this site today and i am playing fantasy racing at yahoo i was just wondering will this handicapping system work at yahoo where you can only pick a driver 9 times the whole year just like to know.


Dennis no longer contributes to the Frontstretch, but you can Dennis's commentary at his website bio and archive page.