Fantasy NASCAR

2014 Talladega Superspeedway, Aaron’s 499

Congratulations to Joey Logano who picked up his second victory of the season on Saturday night at Richmond. Now he, along with Kevin Harvick both are definitely in the Chase field and can relax a little bit for now. There are still seventeen more races before the start of the Chase so, those drivers without a victory yet this year still have time to pick up that victory to help them into the Chase field.


This week the series heads to Talladega Superspeedway for the running of the Aaron’s 499. This is the second restrictor plate race of the season and is one of the races that any driver that makes the field can take the checkered flag and secure a spot in the Chase. What I mean is that every driver and team is on equal footing when it comes to restrictor plate racing. The individual equipment doesn’t matter as much as who you draft with to get you to the front and hopefully keep you there.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Dale is my pick to win his second race of the season at Talladega. This team has been very consistent week in and week out this year and Dale is always very good at Talladega. He seems to know who he can draft with and how to draft with them that he is always in the mix at the end of the race if he can stay out of a wreck early in the day. He has five career victories at this track and finished second here last fall.

Jeff Gordon: Jeff is the only active driver with more career victories than Dale Earnhardt Jr. with a total of six wins here. This team has also been extremely consistent on a weekly basis this year and Jeff knows how to draft with the best of them. The main thing for every team this week is to stay out of trouble until the end of the race and then you have a shot at the win.

Matt Kenseth: Matt is still looking for his first victory of the season and has been very good at Talladega. He has lead a lot of laps during his last eight starts here and won the fall race back in 2012. I look for Matt to have a car capable of moving up in the pack whenever he wants to if he finds a drafting partner that is willing to race early on. If not, he will be content to ride along at the back of the pack until it is go time late in the race.

Kyle Busch: Although he hasn’t lead a lot of laps during the last five races here, Kyle has three top five finishes in the last four races here. This is the type of track where a driver doesn’t care how many laps he leads, but more importantly which lap he leads. Kyle needs to stay patient early in the race and not take any foolish chances that might cause a big wreck. You can’t win if you aren’t running at the end.

David Ragan: David proved that David can beat Goliath here last season as he won this race for a minimally funded team. He has also shown that this wasn’t a fluke as he is the only driver that has finished in the top ten at Talladega in each of the last four races. He has done this by staying out of trouble and then teaming up with somebody late in the race to make a push for the victory. This just goes to show that you need a partner more than money to win this race.

Jimmie Johnson: Jimmie always seems to lead laps at Talladega. As a matter of fact, he has lead laps in twenty-two of his twenty-four career starts at this track including two races where he lead the final lap. Jimmie is also looking for his first victory of the season and will do whatever it takes to push his way to the front at the end of this week’s race also.

Brad Keselowski: Brad and Matt Kenseth had a small difference of opinion last week late in the race at Richmond. Both of these drivers need to put that incident behind them because there is no room for error or letting your emotions get the best of you this weekend at Talladega. You need all of the help you can get to win this race and it can come from your worst enemy if that’s the way it needs to be. Brad will find a drafting partner during this race, but I doubt if it will be Matt.

Greg Biffle: Greg has had good cars at Talladega recently and can usually find his way to the front during the race. It seems like the Roush/Fenway drivers work well together in the draft and if they can find each other late in the race one of them will have a shot at winning the race. Greg works well with both Carl Edwards and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and doesn’t seem to mind doing the pushing for one of his teammates either.

Kevin Harvick: This will be Kevin’s second restrictor plate race since moving over to Stewart/Haas Racing this season. They have struggled with mechanical issues in quite a few races this year that could be their biggest issue this week. You can’t afford to have the smallest problem during a restrictor plate race or you will find yourself out of the draft and there is no way you can catch back up.

Clint Bowyer: Clint is another driver that always seems to find someone he drafts well together with. I can see him teaming up with someone like Michael Waltrip, who knows how to win at restrictor plate tracks. They might just ride around at the back of the pack early in the race trying to stay out of the big wreck, but look for them to make a run to the front later and have a shot at the victory.


Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  • Jeff Gordon

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Jamie McMurray
  • David Ragan
  • Aric Almirola
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Michael Waltrip
  • Trevor Bayne


  1. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  2. Jeff Gordon
  3. Matt Kenseth
  4. Jimmie Johnson
  5. Kyle Busch

Dark Horse: Michael Waltrip

Stay Away From: Tony Stewart

Fantasy NASCAR NASCAR Fantasy Live

NASCAR Fantasy Live Picks, 2014 Richmond International Raceway, Toyota Owners 400

After an Easter weekend off the racetrack, the NASCAR drivers return to the short track at Richmond. There will not be a shortage of paint transfers, and the end result will be some exciting racing in Virginia.

Richmond will be the first race where I will begin to write articles on salary cap racing. Based on the scoring and salary cap data from, this article will focus on the best value picks for your weekly salary cap leagues.


The rankings that are used are the results from the spring race over the last five years. The salary cap league combines:

  • Points from the race results
  • Rank differential between the beginning of the race and the end
  • Laps led
  • Top lap speeds for the race

Drivers perform differently on tracks at different times of the year. As a result, I chose to only use the data for the spring race. The formula being used in this article is simply the average points per race over the last five years divided by the salary cap amount for the driver.

The final result is the average points per race over the last five years divided by the salary cap figure. The only inaccessible data was the top laps at the track and is not used in this formula.


  • Matt Kenseth Average finish over the last five races: 13th place (31 fantasy points)
  • Matt Kenseth Average Start/Finish Differential last five races: (10 places = 10 fantasy points)
  • Matt Kenseth Total Laps led over the last five years: 156 (156/five races = 31.8 laps per race/2 = 15.6 points per race)
  • Matt Kenseth total points last five races: 57
  • Current Matt Kenseth salary on 28.25
  • Fantasy Nascar points per salary cap dollar for Matt Kenseth: 2.02


Applying this formula for all 43 drivers at Richmond had some predictable results accompanied with some surprises value picks. Most of the rookies do not have any historical data at the track. For comparison’s sake, we are using each rookie’s average point total per race for the 2014 season.

Best Picks

  • Kyle Busch 3.71 fantasy points per dollar ($27.75)
  • Landon Cassill 3.61 ($7.75)
  • Dave Reutimann 3.42 ($5.25)
  • Reed Sorensen 3.41 ($6.75)
  • Dave Ragan 2,75 ($11.25)
  • Denny Hamlin 2.62 ($23.25)
  • Carl Edwards 2.48 ($27)
  • Tony Stewart 2.41 ($23.25)

Worst Picks

  • Joe Nemechek -1.15 fantasy points per dollar ($9.50)
  • Michael McDowell -0.57 ($5.25)
  • Brad Keselowski 0.42 ($25.75)
  • Parker Kligerman 0.75 ($9.50)
  • Ryan Truex 0.93 ($10.75)
  • Casey Mears 0.97 ($18.50)

Other Notables

  • Matt Kenseth 2.02 fantasy points per dollar
  • Jimmie Johnson 1.32
  • Jeff Gordon 1.45
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1.06
  • Kevin Harvick 1.16
  • Joey Logano 1.13
  • Kasey Kahne 1.07
  • Kurt Busch 1.22
  • Ryan Newman 1.53
  • Kyle Larson 1.35
  • Austin Dillon 1.59


  1. Kyle Busch $27.75
  2. Carl Edwards $27
  3. Denny Hamlin $23.25
  4. Dave Ragan $11.25
  5. Landon Cassill $7.75

Total Salary Cap Used: $97

Fantasy NASCAR

2014 Richmond International Raceway, Toyota Owners 400

It took eight races, but we finally have our first multi-race winner of the season. Congratulations to Kevin Harvick, who dominated most of the night at Darlington and then fought his way back to the lead with just over one lap left, passing Dale Earnhardt Jr. and taking the checkered flag for the second time this season. It seemed like a long time between wins for this team because of all the mechanical issues they have faced so far this season and now they should be really locked into the Chase.


The series will take a week off to observe the Easter holiday weekend and then they will be back to short tracking as they head to Richmond, VA for the running of the Toyota Owners 400. Richmond International Raceway is a 3/4-mile D-shaped asphalt race track. Once again there will be a narrow pit road with stalls all the way around the track. Pit stops here can be just as exciting as the racing itself.

Kyle Busch: Kyle has won four of the past five spring races at Richmond and that is why I am picking him to get his second win of the season. He has lead 586 laps during the past five spring races and has finished in the top five in eight of his nine spring starts at this track. Way too consistent to not have him on your team for this race.

Jeff Gordon: Jeff has had a very good season so far, but he is still looking for his first win of the year. He has always been very good at Richmond and has finished in the top ten here in ten of his last fourteen starts. This team is going to break into the win column very soon and this might be the race where they get the job done.

Denny Hamlin: Denny has lead 1,390 laps at Richmond in his fifteen career starts there. He looked very good at the beginning of this season, but lately the team hasn’t made the correct adjustments to the car to keep up with the track and Denny has been caught for speeding on pit road each of the past two races. You can’t make mistakes like these when you are racing against the best drivers in the world.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Dale continues to impress this season, having great runs at tracks he never excelled at in the past. This team looks like a championship contender for the first time in many years. Dale has also been very good at Richmond during his career with three wins to his credit. Look for Junior to come away with another great finish from this track.

Tony Stewart: Tony has had his ups and downs this season and Richmond might be the cure for what is ailing this team. Tony has three wins and four runner-up finishes at this track including four top ten finishes in his last five starts here. I think there is a lot of pressure on Tony being a part owner of four Sprint Cup cars and he is still recovering from the broken leg he sustained last season. When all is said and done this team will win more than one race before the Chase.

Kevin Harvick: Kevin won this race last season and has won three races overall at this track during his career. If this team can stay away from the mechanical issues they had early this season, I think they will be contenders on a weekly basis and will win more races before the start of the Chase. Right now I think they are the team to beat this year, but it is early yet.

Ryan Newman: Ryan has been very impressive this year in his own right. He has one win at this track and has finished in the top ten in more than half of his starts here. They are not afraid to take a gamble with two tire stops and it has improved their track position all year and given them chances to win races. I think he is on a team where he can use his engineering degree to help them get better every week.

Carl Edwards: Carl really struggled last weekend at Darlington, but they already have a win under their belt this year and might just be trying some different things with their setups now. He also got his first win at this track last fall and should be a contender once again in this race. Another win on a short track is very possible for this team.

Clint Bowyer: Clint has won at this track twice during his career and always seems to run well on the short, flat tracks. He finished second in this race last season and has lead a bunch of laps in each of his last three starts here. This team is looking for a lot of improvement so they can get back to where they were two years ago when Clint finished second in the standings.

Matt Kenseth: Matt sat on the pole for this race last year and lead 140 laps during the race before settling for a seventh place finish. This team is still looking for their first win of the season and would like it to come soon so they don’t have to worry about making the Chase. After this next race we will be 1/3 of the way to the start of the Chase and teams don’t want to have to worry about getting a win as we close in on race #26 on the season.


Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Kyle Busch
  • Jeff Gordon

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Denny Hamlin
  • Ryan Newman
  • Tony Stewart
  • Carl Edwards

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Austin Dillon
  • Justin Allgaier


  1. Kyle Busch
  2. Jeff Gordon
  3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  4. Kevin Harvick
  5. Clint Bowyer

Dark Horse: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Stay Away From: Brain Vickers

Fantasy NASCAR

2014 Darlington Raceway, Bojangles’ Southern 500

Another rain delay, more tire issues, and our seventh winner in seven races. This has been a dismal season as far as the weather goes so far, but the racing has more than made up for it. It looks like the teams are going to have to take some of the camber out of their setups so as not to wear out their tires too quickly this year. The most amazing thing to me however is that we have seven winners in seven races and none of them are named Jimmie Johnson or Matt Kenseth. They were the top two drivers all of last year and neither of them has a victory yet, but I think that will change soon.


This week the series heads to Darlington Raceway in Darlington, SC for the running of the Bonjangles’ Southern 500. This is a Saturday night race so make sure that you get your picks in before any deadlines you might encounter. Darlington is an egg shaped track with quite a bit of banking in the turns. Known as “The Lady in Black” and “The Track Too Tough To Tame”, Darlington Raceway has a reputation of jumping out and biting unsuspecting drivers. It lulls a driver into being a little lackadaisical and before they know it they have what is known as “The Darlington Stripe” on the side of their cars. This could get real interesting if drivers continue to have tire issues again this weekend.

Jeff Gordon: Jeff is my pick to win the race this weekend and Darlington. Jeff has seven career victories at this track and has finished in the top five in eight of his last ten starts at this track. The way this team has been running the past few weeks, they are due for a win and this could very well be the week they get that win to propel them into the Chase.

Jimmie Johnson: Jimmie has three wins at this track himself with the last win coming two years ago. He has also finished in the top ten in eleven of his fifteen career starts and wants to get his first win of the season sooner rather than later. I think that once this team breaks into the win column they will probably string together multiple wins during the next six to eight weeks.

Matt Kenseth: Matt is another driver that is still looking for his first win of the season and this is the track that he could do it at also. He won this race last year and has finished in the top ten in nine of his twenty starts here. All this team needs is for the pieces to fall in the right place as the race progresses and they will be in contention to win it at the end.

Denny Hamlin: Denny has only started eight races here during his career and has one win to show. However, he also has finished runner-up three other times. Those are impressive stats, finishing in the top two in half of your starts at any one track. Denny looked very good at the beginning of the season only to hit a small lull. This team looked good last week at Texas and might have figured something out that they can build on going forward.

Ryan Newman: Ryan has never won a race at this track, but he has finished in the top ten an astounding ten times in fifteen starts. Those are also very impressive stats that tell me that Ryan has a good understanding of how to get around here in a hurry. This team has surprised me with how good they are early in the season and should only continue to improve as the year carries on.

Tony Stewart: Tony seems to be getting better each and every week in his own right. I think his leg is giving him more trouble than he is letting on, but regardless he is getting the job done. This is one of the few tracks that Tony has yet to win at. His best finish at this track is third place, which he has accomplished twice. The amazing stat for me is that Tony has only lead twenty laps in twenty-one starts here.

Carl Edwards: Carl has only run ten races at this track in his career with his best finish being second which he has done twice. Carl has finished in the top ten in seven of his ten starts and should get a win here sooner rather than later. Carl already has one win this year and should make the Chase based on that win. It seems that some of these teams are just trying to go all out for wins once they get one because they don’t have much to lose.

Kyle Busch: Kyle has one career win and five top ten finishes in only nine starts at Darlington. He also has a win this season to his credit and has been running very well lately. He has also lead a lot of laps in five of his last six starts here and you can’t win a race without leading a lap.

Greg Biffle:
Greg always seems to run very well at Darlington and won back to back races here in 2005 and 2006. It seems that if his car is good enough to lead a lap he is going to lead over one-hundred laps. If this team comes with car that is close on its setup coming off the trailer they are going to be contenders at the end of the race.

Kevin Harvick: Kevin has really struggled with mechanical issues for the past month. This team seems to have a car capable of winning a race every week and then something mechanical happens to them. Once they get all of these issues figured out they are going to be contenders each and every week. When that time will come I don’t know, but I think it will be in the not to distant future.


Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Jeff Gordon
  • Jimmie Johnson

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Denny Hamlin
  • Greg Biffle
  • Carl Edwards
  • Ryan Newman

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Kyle Larson
  • Austin Dillon


  1. Jeff Gordon
  2. Jimmie Johnson
  3. Denny Hamlin
  4. Kyle Busch
  5. Greg Biffle

Dark Horse: Martin Truex Jr.

Stay Away From: Brian Vickers