We now approach race number ten on the season. The weeks are flying by and we’ll be to the playoffs before you know it. Some drivers are starting to get antsy looking for their first win on the season and the chance to lock themselves into the playoffs. This could be the week where the pressure really mounts depending on who wins this race.
This week’s race is the second restrictor plate race of the season will be held at the Talladega Superspeedway and I’ll warn you right away. Don’t use the best drivers in your group. As in those you will use on nine other tracks during the season. The risk of an accident taking out a third of the field through no fault of most of those involved is too great to take here. I’ll tell you who I think is going to be good this week, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll have them in my lineup. It’s a game of deciding when is the best time to use them.
Joey Logano: Joey has lead more laps at Talladega than any other active driver. Then again, he only has three wins to show for it. That kind of tells you that someone can be really good here and lead a lot of laps but still find it difficult to win a race. In fact, in twenty-four starts at Talladega, Joey hasn’t finished seven of those races. Mostly because of accidents that were no fault of his own.
Denny Hamlin: I’m really tempted to use Denny here because of how good he is on both of the restrictor plate tracks. He has two wins here and only Joey has lead more laps than him during their careers when we talk about active drivers. You really need to look at each of your leagues and how many starts you get with your drivers and who is in each group. For the DGG league it might be worth it to take either of these top two drivers as there are plenty of other options for the rest of the season with most of those drivers being contenders at every track.
Brad Keselowski: Brad leads all active drivers with five wins at Talladega. That kind of fits in with teammate, Joey Logano, leading more laps than any other active driver. Brad seems to be able to find his teammates and draft well with them and if they aren’t around he finds someone else who can get him to the front and you know he isn’t going to be content pushing someone else to the victory without trying to pass them at the end himself.
Kurt Busch: Kurt is my dark horse this week. Not because you could pick any driver to be a dark horse, but because he has been so good here and never won yet. He’s bound to break into the win column sometime and always seems to run better here than at Daytona for some reason. He’s as good a pick as anyone else to win this race, but once again look at your options before you decide to use him.
Ryan Blaney: Ryan has won twice in only thirteen starts here and that leads me to comment on the Penske teams at this track. They all seem to have something that other teams are missing. That something is being able to pull out of the draft and still pass cars in front of them. There is something they have in the power of their cars that give them an advantage when trying to pass that can get them a spot here or there and at the end of the race you might only need to pass one car to win.
Chase Elliott: Another driver with out a lot of starts at Talladega, Chase has been very impressive here too. In only ten start he has one win and has finished in the top five in three of his last six starts. That tells me he has learned in each of his races here how to get to the front and give himself a chance to win at the end. The main thing is trying to be patient and stay out of trouble early in the race.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Here is the real wild card. You just never know if he’s going to do something early in the race to cause an accident or create a bunch of enemies who won’t want to help him at the end. On the other hand he has finished in the top ten in sixty percent of his starts here. He always has a car fast enough and he knows how to side draft other cars to his advantage, but he also makes mistakes while doing that and creates a lot of chaos. Still worth taking a shot on this week.
Aric Almirola: Aric really runs well here and has one win to show for it along with almost winning again last year. In fact, he had a streak of eight straight top ten finishes broken up last year when he got knocked into the wall late in the race while leading which is the reason he didn’t have another top ten finish to keep that streak alive. Another driver you have to decide on when you really want to use him.
Kevin Harvick: Kevin is another driver who fares a bit better at Daytona than Talladega, but that doesn’t mean he can’t win here. He has one win in his career and he’s patient if his car isn’t handling real well early in the race. When that happens you won’t even here much about him until all of a sudden in the last fifteen laps or so it seems like he comes out of nowhere to be a contender once again.
DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY
Driver Group Game Group A
- Brad Keselowski
Driver Group Game Group B
- Matt DiBenedetto
- Chris Buescher
Driver Group Game Group C
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY
- Denny Hamlin
- Joey Logano
- Brad Keselowski
- Aric Almirola
- Ryan Blaney
Dark Horse: Kurt Busch
Stay Away From: Martin Truex Jr.
Big 18: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.