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WWT Raceway / Gateway Confidence Rankings / Post-Practice Predictions

Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

On Sunday, NASCAR returns to WWT Raceway/Gateway for year #3 on this 1.25-mile egg-shaped oval. At Gateway I would approach it as you would approach a ‘shorter flat circuit’ (Phoenix, New Hampshire and Richmond). Of the three mentioned, Phoenix has the most correlation. I note that the new low downforce package will not be used this weekend.

Saturday we trained for Gateway. Teams had 30 minutes, and keep in mind that teams have different agendas (some might want to focus on long runs, some might just want to try out their car, some might focus on qualifying so they can start at the front, etc.). Make sure you check out our Gateway Practice Notes And Gateway 5,10,15,20 and 25 laps average speed Cheat Sheet Heat Chart.

Here is the WWT Raceway/Gateway qualifying results/grid.

NEW for 2024, check out our WWT Raceway/Gateway quick rankings!

Gateway Full-field Fantasy Rankings

1) Denny Hamlin
Start 6th / Expected Finish Range 1-6 / Dominator Potential – Medium High
Gateway Outlook – Denny Hamlin is a super-elite performer on the shorter flat track and at Gateway he will put up a fast #11 and be tough to beat. When the series visits shorter flat songs, Hamlin always plays a role. Hamlin won the most recent race on this sub-track type (Richmond) and since 2023, during the combined shorter flat track races, Hamlin has the Best Track Type-Overall Speed ​​Ranking, the Best Average Running Position (6.6), the 2nd Best Driver Rating and the 3rd best average finish. In practice, Hamlin was fast and had the best average over 20 laps.
Gateway track record breakdown – Denny Hamlin was elite at Gateway. Hamlin finished second last summer and in 2022 Hamlin was looking good in the top five until he got “Chastain’ed.” Last year, Hamlin finished third on Stage #1, third on Stage #2, had an average running position of 3.0, earned the third best driver rating and then finished second overall. In terms of speed stats, Hamlin ranked 2nd for Speed ​​Late In A run and 3rd for Total Speed ​​Rankings. In 2022, Hamlin appeared to be a top five candidate, but he finished 34th with an asterisk. In the race, Hamlin finished 4th on stage #1, but early on stage #2 on lap 65, while battling Chastain for 5th place, they had contact and that led to Hamlin crashing hard into the wall, putting him three dropped laps behind. During the first quarter of the race prior to his problem, Hamlin had the fourth fastest car on the track.
DraftKings $11,200/FanDuel $14,000

Further recommended reading = Gateway projected end ranges, DraftKings Gateway Score Projections, FanDuel Gateway Score Projections

2) Ryan Blaney
Start 3rd / Expected Finish Range 1-6 / Dominator Potential – Medium High
Gateway Outlook – At Gateway, look for Ryan Blaney to perform at a high level and be a factor. Blaney performed excellently in the combined races and he is also one of the best on shorter, flat circuits. In the Next Gen era on shorter flat tracks dating back to 2022 across all races combined, Blaney has the best Track Type Total Speed ​​Ranking. As of 2023, Blaney is ranked second overall in terms of Shorter-Flat Track Total Speed ​​Rankings. Phoenix is ​​often seen as the most comparable track, with Blaney finishing 5th this spring and second last fall. In practice, Blaney had the best 15-lap average and the third-best 10-lap average.
Gateway track record breakdown – Ryan Blaney was elite at Gateway and is among the best. Across the combined races, Blaney has the third-best average finish (5.0), second-best average running position (4.7), second-best Driver Rating and second-best Next Gen Speed ​​Ranking. Last year the #12 was a rocket. In the race, Blaney finished second on Stage #1, won Stage #2, had an average running position of 2.6, earned the second best driver rating, led 83 laps and then finished sixth overall. In terms of speed stats, Blaney ranked second for the Total Speed ​​Rankings and then third for Speed ​​Late In A Run. In 2022, Blaney was impressive, finishing 4th despite his race not being incident free. In the race, Blaney started 5th, led 12 laps and finished 2nd on stage #1, but on lap 95, while running 3rd, Blaney suffered a flat tire and spun, bringing out the caution. When Stage 2 ended, Blaney finished 10th. During the final stage, Blaney rode hard to take his 4th place. In addition, Blaney had an average running rank of 6.8 and ranked second for the Total Speed ​​Rankings, Green Flag Speed ​​and Speed ​​Late In A Run.
DraftKings $10,800/FanDuel $10,500

3) Christopher Bell
Start 4th / Expected Finish Range 1-6 / Dominator Potential – Medium High
Gateway Outlook – Don’t be surprised if Christopher Bell, fresh off a win in Charlotte, goes back-to-back and wins at Gateway. Bell is an elite performer on the shorter flat track and in 2024 he was arguably the best at these venues. Phoenix is ​​said to be the track with the most correlation and this spring Bell raced his way to victory lane there. For the season over the combined races held on shorter flat tracks, Bell has the best average finish (3.5), 2nd best track type-overall speed rankings and 3rd best driver rating. In practice, Bell had the 5th best 10-lap average.
Gateway track record breakdown – Christopher Bell performed solidly at Gateway and over the combined races Bell achieved an average finish of 10.0 and the 7th best Next Gen Speed ​​Ranking. Last year, Bell finished eleventh, even though his race was not without incident. On lap 204, while running in 11th place, Bell was spun, increasing his difficulty, but Bell fought back. In terms of speed statistics, Bell ranked 11th for Speed ​​Late In A Run and 16th in terms of Total Speed ​​Rankings. In 2022, Bell finished 10th in Stage #1, 6th in Stage #2, had an average running rank of 8.9, and then finished 9th overall. In terms of speed stats, Bell had the 7th best overall speed rankings and then ranked 3rd for speed late in a run.
DraftKings $10,000/ FanDuel $12,000

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