Fantasy NASCAR

2016 Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Kobalt 400

Week 2 is now in the books with Jimmie Johnson winning on pit strategy after Kevin Harvick dominated the race. The win is almost sure to lock Jimmie into the Chase while they know they still have some work to do on getting their car to be faster and the handling better. On the other hand, Kevin is probably a little disappointed he didn’t pick up the win and qualify himself for the Chase, but this team knows that they had the car to beat once again and that the wins will come soon enough.


This week the series heads out west to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the running of the Kobalt 400. Once again this is a mile-and-a-half race track somewhat similar to Atlanta. The difference is in the progressive banking on the track and the fact that tire wear should be improved over what it was at Atlanta. This is also a 400-mile race instead of 500-miles like the Atlanta race was. That shouldn’t really matter as we saw no engine problems on any of the cars last weekend.

Kevin Harvick: I am going to pick Kevin to win the race at Las Vegas this week after his dominant performance at Atlanta last weekend. Kevin won this race last season and showed this team still has the speed and handling to be a contender every weekend once again this year. After the disappointing result to the race last week, Kevin is going to be ready to get back on the track and show everyone that he is a legitimate contender once again this season.

Jimmie Johnson: Jimmie leads all active drivers with four wins at Las Vegas and has a lot of confidence after picking up the win last week at Atlanta. We have seen in the past how this team usually wins multiple races in a row and they will do everything they can to do it again. However, as I said before, this team needs to find a little more speed and better handling throughout the race so they can win with that instead of pit strategy.

Matt Kenseth: Matt had a great car last weekend and probably would have been a contender if not for a penalty on the gas man on a pit stop half-way through the race. To add insult to injury, they didn’t realize they were being black flagged and lost another lap when NASCAR stopped scoring them. Matt has won three races at this track and has finished in the top ten in nine of his sixteen starts here. All of the Gibbs teams showed speed and Matt is probably the best of them on the mile-and-a-half tracks.

Kyle Busch: Let’s not leave out Kyle though. After having the fastest qualifying lap, he was relegated to the rear of the field for the start of the race when his car failed post-qualifying inspection. Despite starting at the rear and not being able to really push his car because of tire wear, Kyle worked his way back towards the front and came away with a third place finish. Kyle has one win here and has finished in the top ten in five of his eleven starts.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Dale is still looking for his first win at this track, but he has finished in the top ten in nine of his sixteen starts at this track. Dale hung around in the top ten all race last week and then moved up to take second place on the green/white/checkered finish restart. It seems these types of tracks are really Dales favorites besides Pocono where he ran very well last year.

Carl Edwards: Carl has two wins at this track and has finished in the top ten in six of his eleven starts here. This includes top five finishes in four of his last five starts at Las Vegas. Carl stayed in the top ten for most of the race last weekend despite feeling a vibration in his car for much of the race. Once he can feel confident that his car isn’t going to blow a tire or he doesn’t have a loose wheel he will be able to push it a little harder.

Joey Logano: Joey had a good car last week at Atlanta also and only found himself a lap down because he hit the cone entering pit-road and had to do a pass through penalty which stuck him a lap down that he didn’t get back until the end of the race. This team has been good over the past couple of seasons on this type of track and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them in victory lane this weekend.

Martin Truex Jr.: Martin is another driver looking for his first win at Las Vegas. He did finish runner-up to Kevin Harvick in this race last year and was the second best car to Kevin’s last weekend also. This team looks poised to make another run at a championship this season and has an even better chance now that they are affiliated with the Joe Gibbs Racing teams.

Denny Hamlin: Denny started off last week’s race like a man on a mission as he passed a slew of cars early in the race. However, he wore out his tires and lost all of the track position he had gained and never quite recovered as he lost a lap on the track. This wasn’t a big deal to this team after winning the Daytona 500 and qualifying themselves for the Chase already. Denny has finished in the top ten in five of his ten starts at LVMS and shouldn’t have to worry about tires as much this weekend.

Chase Elliott: The rookie ran well all day at Atlanta last weekend and came away with a top ten finish. This should give this team a lot of confidence as they head into this weekend’s race at a similar track. There is only upside to the potential for this young driver. He has great equipment, teammates that can give him a lot of good advice, and a father who has been through it all before. I look for this team to win a race before the end of the season and it might come this weekend.

My Big 18 pick for this week is going to be Matt Kenseth. I think that after last week’s disappointment, this team will come out firing on all cylinders. Besides, I am going to use Kevin Harvick at Phoenix where he has been almost unbeatable the past three seasons.


Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Kevin Harvick
  • Jimmie Johnson

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Martin Truex Jr.
  • Carl Edwards
  • Austin Dillon
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Chase Elliott
  • Ryan Blaney


  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Jimmie Johnson
  3. Matt Kenseth
  4. Martin Truex Jr.
  5. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Dark Horse: Chase Elliott

Stay Away From: Kurt Busch

Big 18: Matt Kenseth

Fantasy NASCAR

2016 Atlanta Motor Speedway, Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500

Rough start to the year for yours truly with my best placing driver finishing twenty-sixth. The good news is that there are thirty-five more races left in the season for me to climb my way back up in the standings and there are only three restrictor plate races left.

Other than the bad news for me the finish of the race was pretty exciting. Kind of boring the last half of the race when the Gibbs teammates and affiliates had it figured out and just stayed in line knowing the outside line couldn’t catch them, but strategy is a big part of racing each and every week and you can’t fault teams for doing what works and within the rules.


The series is right back at it next weekend as the drivers head to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the running of the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. There were no real engine troubles at Daytona last week, which is a good sign for all of the teams heading into another 500-mile race albeit this week there will be no restrictor plates on the cars.

This will be the first race on a fast mile-and-a-half track this year and it will tell us a lot about which teams have improved, which have remained about the same and who has fallen a bit behind. I’m really interested to see if the Roush/Fenway teams have improved over last season. They looked like they were more competitive at Daytona, so maybe they have there aero package figured out this year. We will see next Sunday.

Jimmie Johnson: With four wins, and thirteen top five finishes at Atlanta in twenty-four starts, Jimmie is the driver to beat this week. Jimmie won this race last season and I think this team will be back at the top of their game early this season. Every driver wants to get the win that will qualify them for the Chase early in the season and this team usually gets that job done.

Kevin Harvick: Kevin won the first race he ever ran at Atlanta, but he hasn’t won a race here since. That really doesn’t mean much to me because of the way Kevin has driven over the past two seasons. He has one of the fastest and best handling cars every week and he just needs a few breaks to go his way during a race and he will find himself back in victory lane here again.

Matt Kenseth: Matt has never won a race at this track which came as a surprise to me as I was doing some research for this article. Matt has always been good on this type of track and his average finish at Atlanta is very good. He has ten top five finishes in twenty-seven start which is a great average to have and any driver would be happy with those results, but they all want to win every week and at least once at every track.

Carl Edwards: Carl has won three times at Atlanta in only eighteen starts and has finished in the top five in half of those races. In his second season at Joe Gibbs Racing, Carl should be much improved over last season in which he qualified for the Chase, but wasn’t really a contender. This season this team looks to compete for a championship during the Chase.

Kasey Kahne: Kasey has won three races at this track during his career and has finished in the top ten in nine of his nineteen starts here. All in all, Kasey hasn’t lived up to the expectations he or Rick Hendrick had when he signed with them back in 2012. In his fifth year with the team, Kasey needs to run more consistent, win a few races, and compete for a championship he is longing to win.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: After a disappointing result at Daytona last weekend, this team looks to rebound this week at Atlanta. Dale has one win under his belt at this track and has finished in the top ten in thirteen of his twenty-eight starts here. Watching his interview after getting out of the infield care center after his crash at Daytona, I noticed that Dale didn’t look real disappointed with what happened like he is sometimes. This tells me this team is very confident this season and last week was just a mishap not to worry about.

Brian Vickers: Brian ran well until the end of the Daytona 500 which tells me he feels comfortable behind the wheel once again. He has always run well at Atlanta having finished in the top ten in eight of his seventeen starts there. He also has great equipment under him as he fills in for Tony Stewart while Smoke recovers from back surgery. The question will be, can he do what Tony couldn’t do in this car? We’re going to find out this week.

Kyle Busch: The reigning NASCAR champion missed the race at Atlanta last year as he recovered from injuries suffered the week before at Daytona. Kyle has won twice at Atlanta in the past and has led a lot of laps in his seventeen starts. Kyle did what a teammate is supposed to do at Daytona last week, but this week when you don’t need drafting help it is going to be every driver for themselves.

Kurt Busch: Kurt has won three races in Atlanta and has led more laps than any other driver that will be competing here next week. Another of the Stewart-Haas drivers, Kurt has the equipment to compete every week no matter what type of track he is racing on. Kurt missed this race last season like his brother because he was suspended by NASCAR while he was involved in a legal matter that was under investigation. Kurt was cleared of any wrong doing and was reinstated by NASCAR, and qualified for the Chase and made a good run for the championship. I think this year he will be even better.

Denny Hamlin: Let’s not forget this year’s Daytona 500 winner! Congratulations to Denny Hamlin who was the class of the field all week at Daytona and gave us another exciting finish to a NASCAR race. I don’t think there has been a better finish since Ricky Craven beat Kurt Busch at Darlington in 2003 or the Watkins Glen finish in 2011 between Marcos Ambrose, Brad Keselowski, and Kyle Busch. With a win and six top ten finishes in sixteen races it might not be his best track, but he is relaxed because he is in the Chase, but also hungry for more wins.

I am going to take Dale Earnhardt Jr. as my Big 18 driver this week. Even though I think Jimmie will win this race I am going to use him at both of the Dover raves where he has ten wins in twenty-eight starts. I also want to save Kevin Harvick because he is good just about every week.


Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Jimmie Johnson
  • Kevin Harvick

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Carl Edwards
  • Kasey Kahne
  • Martin Truex Jr.
  • AJ Allmendinger

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Ty Dillon
  • Ryan Blaney


  1. Jimmie Johnson
  2. Kevin Harvick
  3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  4. Matt Kenseth
  5. Kyle Busch

Dark Horse: Ty Dillon

Stay Away From: Greg Biffle

Big 18: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Fantasy NASCAR

2016 Daytona International Speedway, Daytona 500

Here we go! I am getting fired up for the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Denny Hamlin were the class of the field all week long at Daytona and with the big wreck in the second Can-am race on Thursday I don’t want to trust drivers in a backup car without a lot of practice under their belts.

Daytona 500

Seeing it is already late in the week I am going to get to my picks after a little explanation of a game people are playing and I have been asked advice about.

When I was in this game it was called the Big 18. You pick any driver that you think is going to do well that week and you get his points for that race, or finishing position depending on the version of the game and who is running it. The catch is you can only use a driver twice during the season. That means you can use 18 drivers two times each or you might want to use 20 or more drivers. That is your choice, but remember you can only use each driver twice.

When I played the lowest score won. If your driver won the race you received 0 points if he finished second you got 2 points and so on down the line. Lowest scores at the end of the year won the prizes allocated.

I will be adding my picks for this type of game to the end of my article each week. Play along if you would like and send me your picks before the start of each race. Just put it in the comment section at the end of the articles.

My pick for this week’s Big 18 is Casey Mears.

One word of caution before I reveal my roster for this week. Don’t use drivers who you will want to use nine times during the year at other tracks in the Yahoo game. The risk/reward is too great to take chances of them getting caught up in the big one! Now for my Yahoo picks and top 5 overall.


Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  • Denny Hamlin

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Casey Mears
  • Danica Patrick
  • Aric Almirola
  • Paul Menard

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Brian Vickers
  • Michael Waltrip


  1. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  2. Denny Hamlin
  3. Kevin Harvick
  4. Joey Logano
  5. Kyle Busch

Dark Horse: Casey Mears

Stay Away From: Ryan Newman

Big 18: Casey Mears

Fantasy NASCAR

2016 NASCAR Preview

Welcome To Another Season Of Fantasy NASCAR!

We are only about two weeks away from the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup season’s first points race. Drivers will try to qualify for the Daytona 500 on February 14th with the top two fastest drivers sitting on the front row.

Once again the final spots will be determined in the Can-Am Duel races on February 18th with a few spots going out on times and to a past champion if one of them needs to make the race.

Daytona 500 – February 21, 2016

The Daytona 500 is scheduled to be run on February 21st with 43 drivers taking the checkered flag as we wait to see not only who will win the “Great American Race”, but who will become this year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion.

  • Can Kyle Busch repeat?
  • Will Kevin Harvick run as well as he has the past two seasons?
  • Will Jimmie Johnson be a Championship contender throughout the season?
  • Which NASCAR rookies will run well and will any of them be consistent?

Join My Yahoo Fantasy League

I think this is going to be another interesting season, and once again we will be running our own Yahoo Fantasy Racing League. If you would like to join there is still time, but you better hurry because the league is limited to the first 50 participants and those spots will be going fast. Click on the link and sign up now at Yahoo Fantasy Racing League.

The Group ID is 1257 and the password is busch (all small letters).

I will be back here after the Can-Am Duels (taking place at 7 PM and 9 PM (EST) on Thursday, February 18, 2016) to give you my advice on Yahoo starting lineups for the Daytona 500. So, check back on February 19th if you would like to use some of my advice or even if you just want to see how your team stacks up against mine before the first race of the season.

I will also try to answer any questions that anyone has, so just leave a comment and I will do my best to reply as soon as possible.

Once again, good luck and may the best fantasy player win this league!