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It’s crazy to think that we are under a month away from the first race of the 2020 NASCAR season. I for one believe this should be a great year, considering we have a year worth of data on this package and we should be able to gain a distinct advantage on the field by continuing to do our research the way we did last year, which result in almost a dozen four figure wins by our group.
I am going to take the next few weeks to break down some of the teams running in the series this year. We are going to start things off with some of the smaller teams and cars before moving up to the big boys on the teams contending for a championship.
Without further ado, let’s get this thing going!
Brennan Poole – 15 Premium Motorsports Chevrolet
Poole will best be remembered from the 2019 Truck Series where he was competitive, especially in a very fun finish in one of the races that Kyle Busch won, coming in a close second. This was the car that Ross Chastain captained for most of the year in 2019. Poole looks to be the full time driver here, but the car itself is a question mark. He can probably be looked at more favorably than the Rick Ware cars and some of the other back runners, but he is really probably a sub-28 driver on the tracks outside of Daytona and Talladega.
Garrett Smithley – 51 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet/Ford
Now we get to the Rick Ware teams. These are typically drivers, much like Poole, that are going to make up the rear-end of the field. Smithley had decent runs in the XFINITY series in points of 2019, but as we saw in his limited action in the NASCAR Cup Series, he will be a guy routinely finishing in 32nd or worse. On some occasions, these drivers can be useful. For example, at a track list Bristol that has a ton of dominator points (laps led + fastest laps), a guy like Smithley if starting last does have some upside if he helps you fit the right dominators into your lineup.
Joey Gase – 52 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet/Ford
I am guessing on which drivers will be in which cars to an extent, but I believe I saw Smithley, Gase and JJ Yeley as drivers who were likely to be the full-time drivers for Rick Ware in 2020. I also believe they bought a fourth charter that will run some of the races. Anyway, take everything I said for Smithley and apply it to Gase. That is really not going to be much of a difference there.
JJ Yeley – 53 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet/Ford
I like Yeley the most out of all of these Rick Ware cars. On a week to week basis, he has the most upside, though it still probably isn’t too much. Anytime I see him qualify last, I will probably at least give him consideration in tournaments. Like I’ve said a bunch of times, these guys all have their places.
Brendan Gaughan – 62 Beard Oil Racing Chevrolet
Brendan is one of the top plays on the restrictor plate tracks each year. That’s really all he will race. Usually, he qualifies worse than 20th, isn’t very expensive, and often finishes within the top 15. At Talladega in October, he was leading the race (and I was winning $50k) with like six laps to go before Kurt Busch took my entire lineup out. He is a fringe top 10 finisher who is just flat out good at this type of racing.
Timmy Hill – 66 MBM Motorsports Toyota
I like Timmy Hill. I like him in the XFINITY series. He pops off every now and again. But in this car, especially in the NASCAR Cup Series, he is going to be a back runner, and probably one of the worst of the bunch. Again, there can be a time and place for anyone, and there are going to be weeks where there are 10-12 cars end up in wrecks or heavily damaged and a guy like Hill staying clean can win a tournament.
??? – 96 Gaunt Brothers Racing Toyota
Of all of these smaller teams, this one might be the most impactful. As of now, it is up in the air. Parker Kligerman ran some races with them last year, and there is some speculation he could again this year. There is also some speculation the Daniel Suarez lands here and this team runs the full schedule. It feels kind of late for something like this to be taking shape, but I think the best case scenario for both sides would be for Suarez to land here for a few years with some support to get his footing. If it does happen, I would expect to see Suarez as a value play to start the year, as I would imagine the transition to a lesser team would put him in that 6.2k-to 6.5k range on DraftKings.
Next up: The best of the rest of the one car teams or at least some of the smaller teams with bigger alliances.
I hope you enjoyed. Only a few more weeks until we go racing!