Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2021 Kansas Speedway, Hollywood Casino 400

Kyle Larson wasted no time in securing a spot in the championship race by winning at Texas this past weekend. The odds on favorite to win this years championship didn’t have much of a problem winning his eighth win of the season and third of the playoffs. Joey Logano took the biggest hit when he lost an engine late in the race and now sits forty-three points below the cut line. He’s probably going to need to win to make it in.

HOLLYWOOD CASINO 400

This week the series heads to the Kansas Speedway for the running of the Hollywood Casino 400. This is the second race of the round of eight and only three more drivers can make the championship race. Things are going to heat up as these seven drivers try to win one of the next two races or position themselves to get in on points.

Kyle Larson: How can you not pick Kyle to win every week through the end of the year? He has nothing to lose and nothing to gain. They might try to do some testing for next year, but I think they just try to stay focused and keep winning races. As dominant as he was last weekend there’s no reason to think he can’t do it again this week.

Kyle Busch: Kyle won the race here back in May of this year and had a pretty good early showing last week at Texas. This team knows that they almost have to win one of the next two races to make the championship and they can win either of those. The Gibbs drivers don’t seem quite as fast as the Hendrick drivers, but Kyle doesn’t want to head to Martinsville needing to win.

Martin Truex Jr.: Martin hasn’t won here since sweeping the races here back in the 2017 season. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t been good here though either. He has only finished outside of the top ten once in his last nine starts at Kansas. The problem is they just don’t seem to be in the same groove they were in for a few years at the intermediate tracks.

Chase Elliott: Chase won at Kansas during the fall of 2018 and has finished in the top six in five of his last six starts there. He currently sits just below the cutline, but that doesn’t really matter right now with two races to go. The question is, when will Kevin Harvick make sure he doesn’t win the championship again this year? I think he waits until Phoenix if Chase makes it in.

Ryan Blaney: Ryan has run well here his whole career, but lately he hasn’t been getting the types of finishes he would expect. In his last four starts at Kansas he has scored points in every stage, yet he has only finished in the top twenty once. They are going to have to figure out why they can’t finish a race here in the top ten consistently and get that corrected this week. He should have a car capable of winning this race.

Brad Keselowski: Brad had a good run at Texas last week and needs to continue that momentum this week at Kansas. He finished third in the May race and has finished in the top ten in four of his last five starts including a win in the spring of 2019. All they need to do is the same thing they did last week and hope for a little bit of luck.

Joey Logano: After losing an engine late in last weeks race this team really needs to win one of the next two races. He won this race last season, but they haven’t run consistently well with only three top ten finishes in their last nine races. This could be the beginning of the end for them for this season.

Denny Hamlin: Denny won back to back races here in the 2019 and 2020 seasons. He currently sits in third place, but only has a nine point cushion. Nobody is truly in or out at this point with two races left to determine the championship four so they can’t sit back and points race. He has scored points in each stage in the last five races so that’s something else he’s got going for himself.

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR KANSAS SPEEDWAY

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Ryan Blaney

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Alex Bowman
  • Christopher Bell

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Chase Briscoe

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY

  1. Kyle Larson
  2. Kyle Busch
  3. Ryan Blaney
  4. Martin Truex Jr.
  5. Brad Keselowski

Dark Horse: Tyler Reddick

Stay Away From: Matt DiBenedetto

Big 18: Austin Dillon

Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2021 Texas Motor Speedway, Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500

The field of eight is set for the next three races to see which four of those drivers will race for this year’s championship. I still think Kyle Larson has to be the odds on favorite to win his first championship when everything is said and done. This round will consist of two intermediate tracks followed by a short track race.

AUTOTRADER ECHOPARK AUTOMOTIVE 500

This week the series heads back to the Texas Motor Speedway to kick off the round of eight. This is a mile and a half track and speed is the name of the game here. Drivers should be getting close to if not over 200 mph on the straightaways. A mistake on pit road late in the race could cost someone a shot a championship.

Kyle Busch: I’m going to pick Kyle to win this weeks race and propel himself into the championship race. He has won three of the last ten races here including last year’s October race. He knows that he’s going to have to win a race most likely to advance and this is one of the best tracks for him and we’ve seen the Gibbs drivers getting a bit faster as the season progressed.

Ryan Blaney: Ryan has six top ten finishes in his last seven Texas starts. This team really came on late in the season and this is the type of track where they started to show some speed and that they can run with the Hendrick and Gibbs teams. They should have a car fast enough to have a shot here once again.

Denny Hamlin: Denny has won three races here with the last of those coming during the 2019 season. This team has had their hopes dashed in past seasons because of mistakes they make and that is my worry here once again. Have they excised those demons and can they string some good races together and have a shot at Phoenix?

Kyle Larson: Kyle won the All-Star Race at this track earlier this year and that should give them a lot of confidence that they will have a fast good handling car right off the truck this week. After winning last week’s race he will have an excellent starting position and could possibly be the pole sitter. He could very well jump out to a sizable lead and maintain that speed throughout the race.

Joey Logano: Joey has six top five and nine top ten finishes at Texas in his last ten starts there. Those are really good stats and the Penske teams seem to have more speed than the other teams who are running Ford’s. I already said the Ryan Blaney has a shot here and Joey does too. He seems to quietly place himself in a position to win when he really needs to.

Kevin Harvick: Despite Kevin finishing in the top ten including three wins in his last thirteen Texas races this team just doesn’t seem to have what it takes to win a race this season. I just don’t see them flipping a switch this week and coming away with a win. Especially not that they have been eliminated from the playoffs. Most likely just going to try and figure out how to fix things for next season.

Kurt Busch: Kurt has eight straight top ten finishes at Texas, but none of those finishes have been top five’s. I don’t know where Chip Ganassi sits right now as these will be the last four races he gets to watch with a car he owns. Kurt is also moving on to a new team next year, so I’ll say we don’t want to really take a chance on him the rest of this year.

Chase Elliott: I don’t know what’s going to happen this week with the feud that has developed between Chase and Kevin Harvick. I’m sure a lot of it is just frustration on Kevin’s part, but will he continue to try and wreck Chase’s chances and will NASCAR put an end to it by some other means?

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Ryan Blaney

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Aric Almirola
  • Alex Bowman

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Chase Briscoe

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

  1. Kyle Busch
  2. Ryan Blaney
  3. Denny Hamlin
  4. Joey Logano
  5. Kyle Larson

Dark Horse: Tyler Reddick

Stay Away From: Kevin Harvick

Big 18: Aric Almirola

Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2021 Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course, Bank of America ROVAL 400

Congratulations to Bubba Wallace for picking up his first ever Cup win and the first win for 23XI Racing. Many drivers get their first win on the restrictor plate tracks and Bubba finished second in his very first Daytona 500. This should give this team more confidence as they head to the future and grow this team.

BANK OF AMERICA ROVAL 400

This will be a bit of a short week for the teams as they had to compete on Monday because of the rain at Talladega. It shouldn’t be too bad though seeing they will have a totally different type of car for this week’s race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course as they all try to conquer the Bank of America ROVAL 400. This is also the last race in the round of twelve so four more drivers will be eliminated after this race.

Chase Elliott: Chase has won two of the three races run on this track and those were the last two. He is just so good on this type of track that it’s hard not to use him in your lineup. He should finish top five even if he doesn’t win the race. The only thing that can stop him is poor pit stops, penalties, or someone wrecking him.

Kyle Larson: After getting caught up in a wreck at the end of stage one at Talladega last week, this teams points cushion took a bit of a hit. He still sits in second place in the standings with a twenty-two point cushion which is still pretty comfortable. He would have to have some pretty serious problems this week to not make it. He has led laps in each of his two starts here, but hasn’t cracked the top ten in the race results.

Ryan Blaney: The only other driver besides Chase to win on this track. Ryan won the first race when he got a gift from Jimmie Johnson who was trying to make a pass on Martin Truex Jr. late in the first race and he just drove by them both for the win. With only a fifteen point cushion himself this week, Ryan will need to be a bit patient early on and then he can make some moves later on.

Alex Bowman: Alex has two top five and three top ten finishes at the track and has shown that he can race at places like this. He is fifty-two points below the cut line right now, so he almost has to win to make it into the round of eight. second place won’t do him any good, so if he’s in contention at the end he won’t hesitate to move everyone else out of the way.

Joey Logano: Joey finished second to Chase in this race last year and has three top ten finishes in as many starts at the Charlotte Roval. He currently sits third in the standings with a twenty-one point cushion above the cut line. Playing it safe pretty much guarantees him to move on and that’s looking at the big picture. Most of the playoff drivers who feel they have enough of a point cushion will probably play it safe.

Martin Truex Jr.: Martin hasn’t won at a road course for a little bit, but he is always a contender. He fought back for a twelfth place finish last week after sustaining some damage early on. You can never count this team out and Martin never gives up. Unlike one of his teammates who gets pouty once in a while when things aren’t going as well as he would like.

Kyle Busch: Kyle currently holds the eight place position in the standings nine points ahead of Kevin Harvick. The problem here is that he hasn’t finished better than thirtieth in his three starts on this course. He’s going to have to do much better than that if he wants to have a shot at winning another title.

Kevin Harvick: On the other hand, Kevin hasn’t finished worse than eleventh in his three starts here. Will a tenth place finish be enough to get him into the round of eight. He can’t rely on points alone because if one of the three playoff drivers below him wins this race he has to pass two people on points. He doesn’t have much choice other than to go hard all day and try and win this race.

Kurt Busch: Kurt has two top five finishes in his three starts here and always seems to have a shot on the road course races. As his career winds down at Chip Ganassi Racing he would love to get Chip another win before the team changes owners at the end of the year. Already eliminated from the playoffs he has nothing left this year, but to try and win a race. Any other position has no meaning for them.

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY ROAD COURSE

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Chase Elliott

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Alex Bowman
  • Kurt Busch

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Michael McDowell

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY ROAD COURSE

  1. Chase Elliott
  2. Martin Truex Jr.
  3. Joey Logano
  4. Kurt Busch
  5. Alex Bowman

Dark Horse: Alex Bowman

Stay Away From: Kyle Busch

Big 18: Ryan Newman

Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2021 Talladega Superspeedway, YellaWood 500

Congratulations to Denny Hamlin for racing his way into the round of 8. That’s was a huge win for this team seeing the next two races can be very tough on the rest of the playoff drivers who are still trying to advance.

YELLAWOOD 500

This week the series heads back to the Talladega Superspeedway for the running of the YellaWood 500. This is a restrictor plate race which means any driver who starts this race can win it. There is such a potential for the Big One to take out so many cars that no one is safe here. I think that potential gets even greater with it being a playoff race where some drivers will take an even bigger chance on making a move that might cause one of those wrecks.

Aric Almirola: I’m going to go out on a limb and pick Aric to win this weekend. He has a win and eight top ten finishes in his last ten Talladega starts. If he can stay out of trouble in the early stages of the race he will be a contender at the end and could take away a win from someone in the playoffs who might need it to advance.

Ryan Blaney: Ryan has been running very well lately and has won two of the last four races at this track. He has also scored stage points in all but two of the last eighteen stages run here. That tells me he runs towards the front of the pack for the most part which cuts down on the chance of getting caught up in a wreck until those up front really start making moves.

Joey Logano: Joey has won two races here in his career and has led laps in eleven of the last twelve races run here. That means he has a car that drafts well at this track and gets a lot of people to help him out in the draft. In fact, all of the Penske drivers really run well here each and every time they visit this track.

Brad Keselowski: Brad has six career wins at Talladega. I just don’t know what to think about this team right now as they haven’t been running very well lately, but this is a restrictor plate race where anyone can win. I think that gives Brad a chance this week to win a race and move into the round of eight. Do I use him here or wait for a short track at the end of the season? That is my dilemma right now.

Denny Hamlin: Denny won this race last year and has finished in the top five in four of his last six starts at Talladega. He also runs very well at Daytona all the time. He doesn’t need to win either of the next two races to advance now that he won at Las Vegas, but I’m sure they will go for the win, but might just push a teammate to victory to help them advance also. Either way I think they run towards the front on the pack again.

Chase Elliott: Chase won here a couple of years ago and currently has a twenty-two point cushion to work with. Twenty-two points isn’t a lot when you head to a restrictor plate track. An early incident can knock you out of the race and other drivers can score stage points and easily put you behind the eight ball so to speak. He just needs to be careful early on and then go for it towards the end of the race to try and protect that cushion.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Ricky is pretty much a wild card on a wild card weekend. He runs very well at the restrictor plate tracks, but takes a lot of chances very early in the races in my opinion which leads to him causing some wrecks. That in turn leads to many drivers not wanting to help him in the draft. If he can make it to the late stages of the race all of those concerns go out the window and any driver will go with someone who will get them to the front of the pack.

Ryan Newman: Ryan is another driver who could potentially take a win away from a playoff driver this week. In his five starts here with Roush/Fenway Racing he has three top ten finishes with one of those being a runner-up finish. This is very likely his last year in the Cup series and this might be one of his best chances to win one last race.

Kevin Harvick: Kevin hasn’t run consistently well at this track in his career, but he is smart enough to know that he needs to stay out of trouble early on here. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him and some other drivers fall back from the lead pack and just drive around the track early on and wait until closer to the end to get back into the mix. He might need a win to advance. The thing is, if you fall back to stay safe early on you can’t get any stage points.

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Ryan Blaney

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Aric Almirola
  • Ryan Newman

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY

  1. Aric Almirola
  2. Ryan Blaney
  3. Joey Logano
  4. Denny Hamlin
  5. Brad Keselowski

Dark Horse: Michael McDowell

Stay Away From: Martin Truex Jr.

Big 18: Ryan Newman

Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2021 Las Vegas Motor Speedway, South Point 400

The round of sixteen is in the books and the twelve who advance have been determined. The biggest upset in my eyes was that Kurt Busch didn’t have a very good car at Bristol last Saturday night and never got it dialed in. Because of that he has been eliminated and Chip Ganassi has lost his last chance to win a Cup Championship.

SOUTH POINT 400

This week the series heads west to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the running of the South Point 400. This is an intermediate track and most of the drivers will really want this one because the next two races are a restrictor plate race and a road course. This is the one they will feel most comfortable at because no one knows what will happen in the next two races after this.

Kyle Larson: You have to stick with the hot hand and that has been Kyle for most of the season. He won the spring race at this track and has finished in the top three in four of his last seven starts at Las Vegas. I don’t see much changing for this team for the rest of the season and it is going to take an awful lot of bad luck to eliminate them from the playoffs.

Martin Truex Jr.: With two wins and five top five finishes in his last eight starts here, Martin is someone you can use in the A group. The Gibbs teams have shown a bit more speed the second half of the season and are getting close to being as good as the Hendrick teams every week.

Joey Logano: Joey has won two of the last five races he has run at this track and has finished in the top ten in nine of his last eleven starts here. The Penske teams haven’t shown a lot of consistency, but Ryan Blaney did win back to back races very recently, so they should still be able to run well this weekend.

Ryan Blaney: This is another Penske driver who has been very good at this track. He has finished in the top seven in seven of his last nine starts here. It’s only a matter of time before he picks up his first win at this track and now would be the perfect time to do it.

Kevin Harvick: Kevin has two wins at this track with the most recent one coming during the 2018 season. I still don’t think this team has much figured out yet. Especially at these intermediate tracks. He could surprise, but I don’t want to take a chance on him here. Maybe on a shorter track or a road course.

Brad Keselowski: Brad has eight top five finishes in his last twelve starts at Las Vegas to go with three wins during that stretch. He hasn’t run particularly well lately, but this is one of those tracks where he is very good. If he has a car that is handling well early on in the race they might be able to keep up with changing track conditions and pull off a win to help them advance.

Kyle Busch: Kyle hasn’t won a race here since the 2009 season. He has looked better than last season, but they still have some issues to work out. I think I’ll save any starts I have left for him for another day, He just isn’t consistent enough here for me to take a chance on him this week.

Denny Hamlin: Denny is still looking for his first win at this track and like Kyle he isn’t all that consistent here. Although, he has finished in the top five in each of his last two starts. Once again I think there are better tracks to use him at over the stretch run.

Chase Elliott: Chase hasn’t been all that consistent at this track either, but the Hendrick teams have shown the most speed all year and that means he should be a contender once again this weekend. Hopefully he and Kevin Harvick have their differences worked out and won’t let that spill over onto the track

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Joey Logano

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Aric Almirola
  • Tyler Reddick

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Chase Briscoe

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

  1. Kyle Larson
  2. Joey Logano
  3. Martin Truex Jr.
  4. Ryan Blaney
  5. Brad Keselowski

Dark Horse: Alex Bowman

Stay Away From: Kurt Busch

Big 18: Brad Keselowski