Matty’s Picks – Vol. 4 – STP 400 at Kansas Speedway

Matty’s Picks

Vol. 4 – Kansas – June 5, 2011

[media-credit name=”CIA Stock Photo” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]This week, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves to a track that I hate to say, but I have very limited knowledge about. I sent out a Tweet this morning looking for some help with making my picks for this week’s STP 400, and unfortunately got no help.

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After a couple of absolutely amazing finishes last week, I am fairly excited to see what this week will bring.

Last Week’s Recap

For last week’s Coke 600, I was on the Roush Fenway bandwagon that dominated the All-Star Race the week before. As my Dark Horse, I rode the Sprint Showdown winner, David Ragan to another Top 5 pick for myself. Ragan came in second following a pit on lap 397 for four tires and fuel, after receiving the free pass just a lap prior.

Ragan was running well all night, and as it turned out, ended up on the right end of the pit strategy gamble. The fresh tires and fuel made the difference in the end, as it did for race-winner Kevin Harvick and last-lap loser Dale Earnhardt Jr. Kudos to me for winning the pit-strategy pick of the week, and Kudos to Ragan for a career best second place finish.

After starting 3rd on Sunday Night, my Winner pick, Carl Edwards looked like the favorite to win. He jumped out front while the sun shined, and slowly moved backwards as darkness fell in Charlotte. Edwards lead 61 laps while the sun was up, but failed to reach the point in the last half of the race. Edwards finished right in line with his other two Roush Fenway teammates who found the front for numerous laps on Sunday – Biffle in 13th, Kenseth in 14th, Edwards in 16th. No points for me on the back to back backflips.

As for the bonus pick last week, the 100th Annual Indianapolis 500 was another race that came down to who could stay on track the longest. I didn’t think we could see two heartbreak finishes in the same day, but last Sunday proved me wrong again. I won’t bore you with the details that you all know about already so… I picked Dario Franchitti who lead 51 laps Sunday afternoon, had to pit late and finished the race in 12th as the last car on the lead lap. No double points for me for the bonus pick.

STP 400 Picks

Against by better judgment, I’m off the Roush Fenway bandwagon for this week. My winner pick this week already has a win this year, and swept the first two races at Kansas. Jeff Gordon is my Winner pick for this week. As I write this column, he is currently 4th on the speed chart. On top of the two wins, he has seven Top 5’s and eight Top 10’s at Kansas, with an average finishing position of 8.5. I think Gordon is a sure-fire Top 10 for this week.

I did do a bit of research for this week, and found out that the winner of the past two races at Kansas have come from the 5th starting spot on Sunday afternoon. Since qualifying isn’t until tomorrow for the Sprint Cup Series, I do not have the luxury of jumping on the 5th starting spot superstition.

Dark Horse Pick

As for my dark horse this week, I am going with a guy that impressed me over the two weeks at Charlotte. A.J. Allmendinger has put his Ford Fusion towards the front countless times this season. At a track where the asphalt is beginning to wear (resurfacing is an item of discussion at Kansas), starting positions are critical. Allmendinger has started 2nd, 2nd, and 7th in the past three points races. He is a driver who knows how to lay down a qualifying lap, and on top of that has two Top 10’s at Kansas during his Sprint Cup career.

I’m looking forward to learning more about Kansas Speedway throughout the weekend and am looking for a solid couple of picks this week.

As always, please lend me some advice with my picks for next week via email; riotwvu@yahoo.com or you can always send me comments via Twitter @ML_B_lo

Until Next Time….You stay classy NASCAR NATION!

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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