Fantasy NASCAR

2016 Daytona International Speedway, Coke Zero 400

Congratulations to Tony Stewart who picked up his first win in over two years at Sonoma this weekend. With the win, all Tony needs to do to make the Chase is finish in the top thirty in points and he is in. Right now he is only nine points out of that position so, he should make it easily if he stays healthy over the next ten races.

There are now eleven different drivers with wins this season which only leaves five more spots open for the Chase. I think we will get at least two more first time winners this year in that stretch which will leave three spots in the Chase that will be filled based on the point standings. Then again, we might get more than two new winners also so, it is imperative that drivers who want to make the Chase do their best to win a race.


This week the series heads from a road course back to a restrictor plate track. Daytona International Speedway is a two-and-a-half-mile high banked, high speed tri-oval. This is one of the tracks on the circuit where all forty drivers in the starting grid have a chance to win the race. We have seen small teams without the resources of the larger teams come away with wins at this track before and anything can happen here.

Denny Hamlin: Denny came oh so close once again last weekend at Sonoma and he won the Daytona 500 this season. Now he returns to the scene of that triumph albeit with a different car under him. The car he won the Daytona 500 with is in Daytona U.S.A. so, he won’t be able to use that one but, I think he will have a car that is equally as good. Over his last ten points races at restrictor plate tracks Denny has two wins, five top five, and seven top ten finishes. Look for him to sweep Daytona this year.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Dale is probably the king of restrictor plate racing. At least among all active drivers. He has had great cars in the first two races run on these tracks this year but, he has spun out in both of those races and wrecked his car. I think he will have another great car this weekend and if he can stay out of early trouble it is going to be hard for anyone to beat him.

Clint Bowyer: After a disappointing week in Sonoma last weekend when Clint had an electrical fire that took him out of the race, this team looks to improve on their finishing positions this year with a good run at Daytona. As I said before, anyone can win this race and Clint is one of the most consistent drivers on this type of track. I look for this team to come away with a top fifteen finish at the worst this weekend and they might surprise everyone.

Joey Logano: Joey is one of the drivers who isn’t afraid to stick the nose of his car where he wants it to be no matter who is around him. Somehow he seems to get away with it more often than not and you need that kind of luck when you are running on a restrictor plate track. I look for this team to have a fast car that is good in the draft and if he can hook up with teammate, Brad Keselowski, he will have a shot at the end.

Kurt Busch: Kurt is still looking for his first restrictor plate win in a points race. He is always very good at these tracks and just can’t seem to push across the finish line before all of the other drivers. This isn’t going to last forever and Kurt will be in the mix once again this weekend. I think he is well worth having on your team this week because of his consistency on this type of track.

Kevin Harvick: Kevin will also have a great car this weekend and you might not hear much about him until late in the race. If he qualifies towards the front or can get to the front quickly once the race starts he will stay there but, if he ends up somewhere in the middle to back of the pack he will bide his time and make his move when he needs to go at the end of the race.

Brad Keselowski: Brad won the race at Talladega this season and always seems to have a fast, great handling car when it comes to these tracks. He and Joey Logano seem to be able to find each other on the track quite easily and they work well together in the draft. If both of them stay out of trouble early, look for them to hook up and make a push for the checkered flag at the end of the race.

Austin Dillon: Austin is another driver who is very consistent at the restrictor plate tracks and he is only getting better each time as his experience increases and other drivers trust him more. I don’t think there are any drivers who don’t trust him anymore and he has learned a lot from his grandfather, Richard Childress, about how to win races here like the late great Dale Earnhardt.

Martin Truex Jr.: Martin came up just short at Daytona this year and I mean just short. This team has been very fast and very consistent all season long and they will be a team to be reckoned with once again this weekend. With a win under their belt already this season they might take a chance on fuel or with pit strategy if they need it to try and pick up their second win of the season.

Jimmie Johnson: It has been a while since Jimmie has won a restrictor plate race but, if he can stay out of the big wreck he usually finishes in the top five. With a couple of wins under their belt already this season this team will also not be afraid to make some decisions on pit road that can get them in a position to win another race and collect the bonus points once the Chase starts.


Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Denny Hamlin
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Jamie McMurray
  • Clint Bowyer
  • Danica Patrick
  • Casey Mears

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Michael McDowell
  • Landon Cassill


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

Dark Horse: Clint Bowyer

Stay Away From: Kasey Kahne

Big 18: Austin Dillon

Fantasy NASCAR

Sonoma Raceway, Toyota/Save Mart 350

Congratulation to Joey Logano, who picked up his first win of the season and is now qualified for the Chase. There are now eleven races left before the Chase begins and we have ten different drivers with wins who are virtually qualified for the Chase and six spots that can be filled by new winners.


After a much deserved week off, the series heads back out west to Sonoma Raceway for the running of the Toyota/SaveMart 350. This is the first of two road course races that appear on the schedule before the Chase and we very well could see our eleventh different driver in victory lane this season. This is a slightly longer than two-and-a-half-mile track that features twelve turns and one hundred sixty feet of elevation change in the Sonoma Mountains in Sonoma, CA.

Kurt Busch: Kurt is my pick to win this week’s race. He has one win, seven top five finishes, and has led more laps here than any other active driver. This team has the power it needs to get the job done on a road course and Kurt has the mentality it takes to be patient and use the bumper when he needs to, which is something you need to do to pick up positions.

Tony Stewart: Tony has won two races at this track and looked very good at Michigan a couple of weeks ago. That is so much better than he has run the past two seasons and this is the type of track he can use the momentum from Michigan on to get a win and be eligible to make the Chase if he can move into the top thirty in points which I think he can do. If it wasn’t for Kurt needing a win, he might let his boss take this one away from him but, Tony is going to have to fight for this win.

AJ Allmendinger: The two road course races are AJ’s best chance to make the Chase. He won the race at Watkins Glen two years ago to get qualified for the Chase that time and these are the races this team prepares for all year. AJ is probably the best road course driver in the series as far as true road course racers can be considered. It is nice to see a team like this make the Chase, but once the Chase starts there odds of moving on round by round diminish because they don’t have the resources to compete on every track every week.

Jimmie Johnson: Jimmie has one win and nine top ten finishes in his fourteen career starts. Jimmie has taken what he has learned from off-road racing and what he has learned from Jeff Gordon in the past all the way to being one of the better road course racers in the series. Jimmie really likes to run these races because it reminds him of his early career to a certain extent. Look for this team to be solid once again this weekend.

Clint Bowyer: Clint has really struggled for most of the year and that isn’t because of his driving ability. This is one of those weekend’s where Clint is going to be someone to take a chance on because speed isn’t a factor in this race as much as handling and hitting your marks is. Clint has one win, six top five, and eight top ten finishes in only ten starts here. Those are impressive numbers that tell me he knows how to run these races. Take a chance on him this weekend.

Carl Edwards: Carl won this race two years ago and has been having a very good season so far with two wins which has guaranteed him a spot in the Chase. Any more wins gives him some bonus points once the Chase starts and another trophy for his collection. Still, Carl likes to run the road course races and he also loves to compete with the best in the sport. Look for Carl to push it to the limit this week and maybe take a few chances to try and pick up his third win of the season.

Kyle Busch: Kyle is tied with Tony Stewart with the most wins, with two, of all active drivers at Sonoma. I don’t know what to think of Kyle’s chances this week after having problems in every race over the past month. Is he going to come into the weekend thinking that something is going to break on his car again or is he happy that he has three wins on the season and this is a good time for bad luck? I can see this going either way but, the frustration has to be building.

Ryan Newman: Ryan always runs well at the road courses but, he is still looking for his first win at Sonoma. This team would love to get a win and break a long winless streak and make their way into the Chase with a win instead of fighting to get in on points. I think they will have another great road course run this weekend and could surprise folks by taking the checkered flag.

Greg Biffle: Greg has struggled the past two seasons because the Roush teams just haven’t been able to get the speed and aerodynamics of their cars figured out. They have been getting a little better though lately and he is another driver who knows how to run on this course. He is another driver who could surprise here and can be used in most leagues as an inexpensive driver or a surprise driver others in your league might not have on their roster.

Brad Keselowski: Brad doesn’t have the finishes here that he could have. He always seems to have a great handling car but, he doesn’t seem to have the patience when it comes to passing people. The result is he is either causing a wreck or is getting wrecked by someone he has had a run in with earlier in these races. If he can stay a little patient early in the race he could have a shot at the end when there are no drivers on the track who are looking to get a little payback from an early incident in the race.

Jamie McMurray: Jamie is another driver whose results here don’t mirror his race. He usually is very good early in the race but, something breaks on his car, he has a poor pit stop, or he gets caught up in some type of accident on the track. He knows how to get around these tracks fast enough and just needs to have all of his luck to be good to get the finish he deserves.


Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Kurt Busch
  • Jimmie Johnson

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Tony Stewart
  • Ryan Newman
  • Clint Bowyer
  • Greg Biffle

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Chris Buescher
  • Chase Elliott


  1. Kurt Busch
  2. Tony Stewart
  3. Carl Edwards
  4. AJ Allmendinger
  5. Jimmie Johnson

Dark Horse: Clint Bowyer

Stay Away From: Matt Kenseth

Big 18: Ryan Newman

Fantasy NASCAR

2016 Michigan International Speedway, FireKeepers Casino 400

Congratulations to Kurt Busch who played the fuel game and won the rain delayed race at Pocono this past Monday. He beat Dale Earnhardt Jr. by just over a second on the 2.5-mile triangular shaped speedway to pick up his first win of the season and qualify himself for the Chase. We now have nine drivers who have wins on the seasons and there are twelve more races before the Chase begins to settle the final seven spots.


This week the series heads to the Michigan International Speedway for the running of the FireKeepers Casino 400. Michigan is a two-mile moderately banked D-shaped oval that is very similar to California Speedway. This race will go to the driver who can carry their speed out of the corners and pick up even more as they head down the long straightaways. This race is often won by fuel mileage just like the race last weekend, so don’t be sure the best car and driver are going to win this weekend.
Matt Kenseth: I am picking Matt to win his second race of the season this weekend in Michigan. Matt has three career wins at this track with the last of those wins coming last fall. He has also finished in the top five fourteen times, and the top ten twenty times in his thirty-three starts here. The way the JGR cars have been running this season, I think Matt will be the class of the field by the end of the race.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: After almost winning the race at Pocono last week, this team is feeling better about how they are running on the track now. Michigan is another of those tracks where Dale will run the high line and carry his speed out of the corners like I said you need to do to win here and he is one of the best at doing that. This is one of those tracks where if this team stays out of trouble in the pits and on the track early in the race they will have a good shot at picking up their first win of the season.

Kurt Busch: Kurt has also won three races at this track and carries the momentum from last Monday’s win into this weekend. However, Kurt is a feast or famine driver at this track and has only two top ten finishes in his last eleven starts which includes one of his wins. I think there are better tracks to use Kurt at than Michigan and he will win more races before the end of the season.
Carl Edwards: Carl has two win, nine top five, and sixteen top ten finishes in only twenty-three starts here. This team has two wins on the season and might be one of the teams to take a chance on fuel to win their third race of the season. If they have a fast car that can compete for the win they will play it safe, but if they have a car that they don’t think is good enough to win straight up they will take some chances with their decisions.
Jimmie Johnson: Jimmie won his first race here in June of 2014. He has lead more laps at this track than any other active driver, yet he hasn’t come away with the finishes one would think they should have. With only five top five finishes and eleven top ten finishes in twenty-eight starts there are much better tracks to take your chance with Jimmie on. I will hold off on using his starts until he goes somewhere he drives consistently better.

Joey Logano: Joey won his first and only race at this track in August of 2013. He has nine top ten finishes in fourteen career starts at this track and this team always seems to run well on this type of track. I think this team will be fast during qualifying and will be a contender all day long with a chance to pull out a win at the end of the race and get themselves qualified for the Chase.

Martin Truex Jr.: This is the type of track where Martin really excels and he could come away with his second win of the season after the way he dominated the race at Charlotte a couple of weeks ago. Michigan is known for its long green-flag runs and if you have a dominant car you can put three-quarters of the field a lap down and reduce your competition. It makes for a boring race, but that is what all drivers are trying to do.

Brad Keselowski: Brad is still looking for his first win at this track, but the Penske drivers are second only to the Joe Gibbs drivers in having consistently fast, great handling cars on a consistent basis this year. Brad has three top five and six top ten finishes in his thirteen starts at this track and he has finished in the top fifteen in his last nine starts at Michigan.

Kevin Harvick: Let’s not forget about Kevin. The way Kevin has run at this track the past three seasons he is going to be the driver that will give Matt the most competition for this week’s win. Kevin has finished second five times in the last six races he has run here. While he only led laps in two of those races, this team knows how to get the most out of their car and knows when its time to go at the end of a race.

Greg Biffle: Greg leads all active drivers with four wins at this track with the last two not coming that long ago with one win in 2012 and one in 2013. If the Roush/Fenway drivers are getting better we will be able to tell this weekend by the way Greg practices and qualifies even before the green flag waves. If he has any type of speed at all I look for him to run in the top ten most of the day. If they still can’t find any speed, they are in for another long remainder of the season.


Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Matt Kenseth
  • Kevin Harvick

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Carl Edwards
  • Kasey Kahne
  • Paul Menard
  • Greg Biffle

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Chase Elliott
  • Ryan Blaney


  1. Matt Kenseth
  2. Kevin Harvick
  3. Joey Logano
  4. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  5. Carl Edwards

Dark Horse: Paul Menard

Stay Away From: Jamie McMurray

Big 18: Matt Kenseth