The Frontstretch: West Bound and Down- Fantasy Insight by Dennis Michelsen -- Wednesday February 23, 2005

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West Bound and Down- Fantasy Insight

Dennis Michelsen · Wednesday February 23, 2005


West Bound and Down- Fantasy Insight
California Speedway
Now we get a chance to see how the big rules changes will affect racing this season. The smaller spoilers and softer tires will lead to a lot of strategy decisions for Crew Chiefs and drivers will have to adjust to an ill-handling car. My hunch is that the new Dodge nose will have an advantage. It will take three or four races at downforce tracks before we really know. On wide tracks like California, the better gas mileage for the Fords and Chevys might equalize any aero advantage for the Dodge Chargers. Now we get down to some real racing!

Week one is in the books!

Check out for rules and to see how your team is doing! (Deadline each week is 5pm EST Saturday if the Cup race is on Sunday and 5pm EST Friday if the race is on a Saturday)

Auto Club 500 by the Numbers

California Ratings
Jimmie Johnson123
Ryan Newman117
Kasey Kahne116
Kurt Busch115
Rusty Wallace114
Mark Martin112
Matt Kenseth108
Jamie McMurray106
Sterling Marlin106
Jeff Green106

Consistency Ratings
DriverLast Five
J Johnson134
J Gordon126
M Martin125
T Stewart121
Ku Busch119
D Earnhardt Jr118
J Nemechek117
K Kahne117
C Edwards112
R Wallace111
R Newman111

Power Ratings
DriverCourseLast FivePower
Jimmie Johnson123134257
Mark Martin112125237
Kurt Busch115119234
Kasey Kahne116117232
Jeff Gordon103126229
Ryan Newman117111228
Rusty Wallace114111225
Joe Nemechek99117216
Tony Stewart94121215
Jamie McMurray106107214
Dale Earnhardt JR95118213
Sterling Marlin106101207
Ricky Rudd102105207
Bobby Labonte105101206
Scott Riggs10498203
Carl Edwards91112202
Dale Jarrett10498202
Brian Vickers94108202
Jeff Green10694200
Michael Waltrip10495199
Jeff Burton9799196
Greg Biffle85107191
Elliott Sadler10189190
Matt Kenseth10881189
Kevin Harvick8999187
Robby Gordon10384187

Handicapping the Race

Top Pick (5th Last Week; 1 for 1 for Season)
Ryan Newman
Should start the downforce track season off with a strong effort

Strong Picks (3rd, 7th, 20th Last Week; 2 for 3 for Season)
Kasey Kahne
Should break through for his first career win on a track like this

Mark Martin
Team looks to get Mr. Consistency off to a good start

Jimmie Johnson
Could lead the one-two punch for Hendricks this season

Hunch Bet (29th Last Week; 0 for 1 for Season)
Rusty Wallace
Rusty’s last call will include at least one win

Longshot Bet (34th Last Week; 0 for 1 for Season)
Robby Gordon
Could rally from missing a race last week to Victory Lane the next

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Today on the Frontstretch:
Racing to the Point: NASCAR Has Its Own Heartbreak Kid
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Couch Potato Tuesday: Picking The Best IndyCar On-Air Personalities


©2000 - 2008 Dennis Michelsen and Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!

02/24/2005 11:03 AM
I love Dennis’ insights and columns, but this is very hard to read with no formatting at all.
02/25/2005 01:45 PM
Hey re:-Bob “no formatting at all”
Fs needs a flashier look.
Dennis Michelsen
02/26/2005 08:22 AM
This was MY mistake and not the editors…starting next week I will be using a new method for posting the hard data used for my race handicapping. Sorry for the inconvenience!


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