NASCAR Race Weekend Central

2016 Frontstretch Cup: Staff Predictions for the Auto Club 400

Welcome to our ninth year of staff predictions! Each week, our experts attempt to predict who the winner of each Cup race will be. Take a look to see who your favorite writers think will win it all (or at least score some points) this week!

Think you can out-prognosticate our staff?  Leave your picks in the comments and see how they stack up!
How we roll:

Each driver can be picked only twice each week.  We can’t pick the same driver two weeks in a row.  And if anyone is daring enough to pick from a pool of higher-risk drivers…well, he or she reaps some serious bonus points!

Prediction Scoring
+5 – Win
+3 – 2nd-5th
+1 – 6th-10th
0 – 11th-20th
-1 – 21st-30th
-2 – 31st-36th
-3 – 37th-40th

High-Risk Drivers—Fontana:
Michael McDowell
Matt DiBenedetto
Brian Scott
Landon Cassill
Aric Almirola
Regan Smith
Trevor Bayne

This week’s predictions: Auto Club 400

Amy Henderson, Senior Editor: I’m going with Jimmie Johnson–Superman will hand Batman his ass on a platter.
Jeff Wolfe, Senior Writer: Jimmie Johnson.
Matt Stallknecht, Senior Editor: Kurt Busch.
Mark Howell, Senior Writer: My pick is Kyle Larson for his first career Cup win.
Jeff Meyer, Semi-retired Contributor:
Kurt Busch.
Aaron Bearden, Assistant Editor: Matt DiBene-didgeridoo. 
Tony Lumbis, Financial Manager:
Matt Kenseth.
Dan Greene, Webmaster: Kevin Harvick.
Zach Catanzareti, Contributor: LarSON!
Joseph Wolkin, Assistant Editor:
Aric Almirola. 
Jason Schultz, Contributor:
Denny Hamlin.
Danny Peters, Senior Writer: Kyle Busch.
Huston Ladner, Senior Editor:
Dale Jr.
Phil Allaway, Newsletter Editor:
For this week, I’m going with Austin Dillon. He’s got the best average finish of the drivers still available and he’s got Big Mo on his side.
Greg Davis, Senior Writer:
Kevin Harvick at his “home” track.
Dustin Albino, Contributor: Carl Edwards.
Clayton Caldwell, Contributor:
Brian Vickers. Runs great here.
Bryan Gable, Contributor:
Carl Edwards.
Sean Fesko, Contributor: Kyle Busch.
Michael Finley, Contributor: My pick, Ryan Newman has been quietly consistent at Auto Club. He isn’t a “sexy” pick like a Johnson or a Busch, but his five top 10s in the past six races there is best among all drivers.
Vito Pugliese, Senior Writer: Matt Kenseth.

Good Sam 400

Writer Pick Finishing Position Points
Amy Henderson Kevin Harvick 1st 5
Michael Finley Kevin Harvick 1st 5
Jeff Meyer Carl Edwards 2nd 3
Jason Schultz Kyle Busch 4th 3
Danny Peters Kyle Busch 4th 3
Sean Fesko Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 5th 3
Bryan Gable Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 5th 3
Matt Stallknecht Kurt Busch 6th 1
Vito Pugliese Kurt Busch 6th 1
Zach Catanzareti Austin Dillon 9th 1
Huston Ladner Jimmie Johnson 11th 0
Aaron Bearden Jimmie Johnson 11th 0
Dustin Albino Martin Truex, Jr. 14th 0
Jeff Wolfe Joey Logano 18th 0
Tony Lumbis Matt DiBenedetto 20th 0
Greg Davis Trevor Bayne 23rd -1
Clayton Caldwell Brad Keselowski 29th -1
Dan Greene Cole Whitt 36th -2
Mark Howell Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. 37th -3
Joseph Wolkin Paul Menard 38th -3

 

Standings

 Writer Points Behind Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10
Sean Fesko 14 3 1 4 4
Dustin Albino 10 -4 3 2 2 2
Jeff Meyer 9 -5 4 0 3 3
Danny Peters 9 -5 4 1 2 3
Bryan Gable 7 -7 4 0 2 3
Amy Henderson 5 -9 4 2 2 2
Huston Ladner 4 -10 4 0 1 2
Jerry Jordan 4 -10 2 0 1 2
Jeff Wolfe 4 -10 4 0 1 2
Mike Neff 4 -10 3 0 2 2
Tom Bowles 3 -11 2 0 1 1
Aaron Bearden 3 -11 4 0 1 1
Matt Stallknecht 3 -11 3 0 0 3
Jason Schultz 3 -11 3 0 2 2
Dan Greene 1 -13 4 0 0 3
Vito Pugliese 1 -13 4 0 0 3
Tony Lumbis 1 -13 4 0 0 1
Summer Bedgood 1 -13 1 0 0 1
Mark Howell 1 -13 4 0 1 2
Zach Catanzareti 1 -13 4 0 0 1
Clayton Caldwell 0 -14 4 0 0 1
Kevin Rutherford -2 -16 3 0 0 0
Phil Allaway -2 -16 3 0 0 0
Joseph Wolkin -4 -18 4 0 0 1

 

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JohnDoe

Cousin Carl Edwards

Broken Arrow

People pick the driver they WANT to win, not the one most likely to win. That’s why Vegas cleans up on NASCAR fans.

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