2020 May27 Finishline Main

NASCAR Finish Line: Analyzing best Group 1 plays for both Charlotte races

NASCAR Finish Line, a free-to-play gaming app from Penn National Gaming, is back with the resumption of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season. Each week, there will be six groups of five drivers for the upcoming race. Users will predict which driver will finish first among each of the six groups and then the overall race winner and second-place finisher for a chance to win $25,000 if all eight scenarios are correctly selected.

RELATED: Download NASCAR Finish Line

The first of six groups for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (6 p.m. ET on FOX/FOX Sports App, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) consists of four past NASCAR Cup Series champions — Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson — and the reigning Cup champion in Kyle Busch. Each of these drivers has won at the 1.5-mile layout. The Coca-Cola 600 is the longest race by mileage on the circuit each year.

The group remains the same for Thursday’s 208-lap race at Charlotte (7 p.m. ET on FS1/FOX Sports App, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) except Chase Elliott takes Johnson’s spot. Elliott has yet to win at Charlotte on the track’s oval layout.

RELATED: Stage lengths for NASCAR’s first races back

For a stats look, NASCAR.com has compiled the average finish of the last two races on the Charlotte oval layout, this year’s results at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (the lone 1.5-mile track run), the average finish from the two races just held at Darlington Raceway and the drivers’ overall average finish for their career on the Charlotte oval to see who is the best play to make in Group 1. We have included all Group 1 drivers (for both races) to help you prepare for the events.

A points system has been assigned to each year, starting with one point for the best finisher and counting up to six points for the worst finisher. Those numbers were then added up. The lowest total signifies the strongest driver (green), and the highest total represents the weakest driver (red) — in recent years.

Driver Last 2 Charlotte races‘1 Career Charlotte
avg. finish
2020 Las Vegas
Both 2020 Darlington races
Kyle Busch Avg. finish: 2.0 (2) Avg. finish: 14.6 (4) Finished 15th (4) Avg. finish: 14.0 (4) 14
Chase Elliott* Avg. finish: 7.5 (4) Avg. finish: 16.3 (6) Finished 26th (6) Avg. finish: 21.0 (5) 21
Kevin Harvick Avg. finish: 25.0 (6) Avg. finish: 15.4 (5) Finished 8th (3) Avg. finish: 2.0 (1) 15
Jimmie Johnson* Avg. finish: 6.5 (3) Avg. finish: 12.2 (1) Finished 5th (2) Avg. finish: 23.0 (6) 12
Joey Logano Avg. finish: 12.0 (5) Avg. finish: 12.5 (2) Finished 1st (1) Avg. finish: 12.0 (3) 11
Martin Truex Jr. Avg. finish: 1.5 (1) Avg. finish: 14.1 (3) Finished 20th (5) Avg. finish: 8.0 (2) 11

* Means Elliott is in Group 1 for Thursday’s race only; Johnson is in Group 1 for Sunday’s race only.

The data indicates Logano and Truex are the ones to be eying in Group 1, which is interesting in that Busch and Harvick are sure to be the popular picks in the group. If you value recent Charlotte history in combination with the recent Darlington results, Truex is the choice to make. If you want to just zero in on the results from the lone 1.5-mile race to date, Logano is the pick.