1. NASCAR's regular season ends at Richmond Twenty-five races ago, Danica Patrick was the story across the sport. She won the pole for the Daytona 500 and was kicking off a season bundled with optimism and overhype of NASCAR's new Gen-6 platform. Naturally, Jimmie Johnson won the first race.
So much happened at Atlanta Motor Speedway this past weekend that the winner was, in some ways, irrelevant. Kyle Busch’s fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup victory clinched his spot in the Chase, but it was one the driver had on lockdown for weeks. The No. 18 Toyota, comfortably within the top 10 in points, has been overshadowed amongst potential title contenders by Jimmie Johnson’s strength-turned-slump and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth’s five wins.
Not long ago, Sonoma Raceway was owned by drivers Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart who, between 1998-2006, won seven of the nine NASCAR Sprint Cup races at the 1.99-mile road course. Road-racing aces like Robby Gordon and Juan Pablo Montoya were the real competition, not the typical oval-centric stock car crowd. And certainly not drivers with a short-track background like Martin Truex Jr., in the midst of a 218-race winless skid.
With the first half of this year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winding down, one of two annual visits to a road course — right-hand turns, everybody! — presents itself this weekend as the tour heads to Sonoma Raceway, a track that has seen eight different winners in the last eight years.
To help guide you through the 2013 Fantasy NASCAR season, Athlon Sports contributor Geoffrey Miller will be offering his best predictions for each race. And because Yahoo's Fantasy Auto Racing game is arguably the most popular, he’ll break down the picks according to its NASCAR driver classes — A-List, B-List, C-List.