Fantasy NASCAR

2017 Daytona International Speedway, Coke Zero 400

Congratulations to Kevin Harvick who became the eleventh different winner of the series this season. Clint Bowyer overcame a spin with damage to his car and a pit road speeding penalty to finish second followed by Brad Keselowski who also had a lot of damage to his car in third place. There are still ten more races to go before the playoffs start and I think we will see a few more first time winners on the season before that happens.


This week the series goes from a road course track to a restrictor plate track as the drivers head back to the Daytona International Speedway for the running of the Coke Zero 400. This will be the last restrictor plate track on the schedule until the series goes back to Talladega during the playoffs and it could be a race where we get a new winner on the year. We’ve seen it before where any driver can win at this track on any given day. If you have a car that drafts well and can get some help you can win here as we saw with Trevor Bayne and David Ragan is past seasons. Plus we have quite a few other drivers who have won at this track before and are still looking for their first win of the season.

Denny Hamlin: I am picking Denny to get his first win of the season this weekend at Daytona. This team has been consistently fast at the restrictor plate tracks the past few seasons and they look like they are getting better and better every week. I think the Gibbs teams always have a good strategy at Daytona and Talladega and they work well together at these tracks too. Denny gets a push from a teammate on the last lap and uses it to propel himself to victory lane.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Dale will be the sentimental favorite this weekend in his final start here in this series when he is running for points. He will probably run races here in the future, but he won’t be running for points in those races, just for the win. I think he is going to do everything he can to pick up the win that will put him in position to run for a championship in his final full-time season in the Cup series. He leads all active drivers in wins and laps lead at this track and he wants to lead the last lap this weekend.

Joey Logano: Joey has finished in the top six in four of his last five starts at this track including winning the Daytona 500 last season. This team has really struggled lately and this is the type of place where they can get back on track. The Ford’s have shown a lot of speed and power and they have won both of the restrictor plate races run this year with Kurt Busch winning at Daytona and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. winning at Talladega.

Kevin Harvick: Now that he has his first win of the season he will be able to relax a little. This doesn’t mean that he is going to lay back on the track though. The pressure is off to get the first win, but he wants to win a bunch of races and rack up some bonus points. He has finished in the top four in three of his last five starts at Daytona and would love to make it back to back wins at two very different tracks.

Kurt Busch: Kurt won the Daytona 500 this year and lead the only lap that really mattered to him in that race. He has three top five finishes in his last five starts here and he always runs well at the other restrictor plate track on the circuit. I think this team would love to get another win right now so they can use it as a stepping stone to becoming more consistent as we get closer to the playoffs.

Brad Keselowski: Brad won this race last year and always seems to run well at both restrictor plate tracks. He leads a lot of laps at these tracks, but always seems to get caught up in some wreck somewhere along the line during the races, mostly through just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He will have a fast car once again this weekend just like teammate, Joey Logano, and will have a shot at claiming another victory this week if he can avoid trouble on the track or mechanically.

Clint Bowyer: Clint came close to picking up his first win of the season last weekend and I think this team will build on that momentum. Clint runs well here no matter if he is running for a top tier team or one of the lesser funded teams in the sport. He has four top ten finishes in his last six starts at Daytona and would love to pick up his first ever win here and first on the season to qualify himself for the playoffs in his first year at Stewart-Haas Racing.

Trevor Bayne: Trevor picked up his first and only career win at this track the first time he ever raced here. Now that the Roush/Fenway teams have shown they have a lot of speed once again this year and with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. winning at Talladega, this team could be a factor this weekend. He has finished in the top ten here in three of his last four starts and will have the speed and power to run up front once again this weekend.

Austin Dillon: Austin has always run well at both restrictor plate tracks during his short career and they have shown what they can do with fuel mileage this year too. He could steal another victory on fuel mileage, but I think he could win this race outright because he knows how to run in the draft. Late race restarts could be the key for all drivers this weekend because if you don’t get a good jump, you could find yourself wrecked when the field bottle-necks behind you.

Matt Kenseth: Matt could really use a win at this point of the season and he is one of the most patient drivers in the series. That goes a long way when it doesn’t really matter where you are early in the race unless you are really trying to get some stage points, but stage points don’t matter if you don’t make the playoffs. The real strategy for teams without a win right now is to get that win with only ten races left before the start of the playoffs.


Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Denny Hamlin
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Trevor Bayne
  • Austin Dillon
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  • Kasey Kahne

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Michael McDowell
  • Erik Jones


  1. Denny Hamlin
  2. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  3. Joey Logano
  4. Kevin Harvick
  5. Brad Keselowski

Dark Horse: Trevor Bayne

Stay Away From: Jamie McMurray

Big 18: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Fantasy NASCAR

2017 Sonoma Raceway, Toyota/Save Mart 350

Congratulations to Kyle Larson who picked up his second win of the season at Michigan last weekend. Larson pretty much dominated this race by starting on the pole and leading the most laps in the race. Martin Truex Jr. won the first two stages of the race and came away with a sixth place finish and holds a one point lead over Kyle in the standings.


This week the series heads back to California and the Sonoma Raceway for our first road course race of the season. We can throw out pretty much everything we learned about the teams so far this season as handling and driver skill is going to be more important than speed and power. Track position is also very important here as it is hard to pass and drivers have to have a balance of patience and aggressiveness to know when to fight for a position and when to let someone else go by you before they move you to get by. If they have to move you, you might find yourself spun out.

Clint Bowyer: Clint is my pick to win his first race of the season this week at Sonoma. Clint has one win at this track and has finished in the top ten here an impressive eight times in his eleven starts. Now that he is on a team with more funding and better equipment under him, I think he gets his car back to victory lane for Stewart-Haas Racing this weekend.

Kyle Busch: Kyle leads all active drivers with two wins here with the last of those coming in the 2015 season. This team has come so close all year to winning a race and this might be the weekend they do it. Kyle is one of the best when it comes to handling his car on this type of track. He also knows how to be aggressive and will be one of the hardest drivers to pass this week.

Jimmie Johnson: Jimmie has one win at this track also and has finished in the top ten in nine of his fifteen starts including seven of his last eight. We usually think of Jimmie as a great driver of the intermediate tracks, but these stats show that he is a great road course racer too. He would like nothing more than to pick up his second win here in his home state this weekend.

AJ Allmendinger: Even though he hasn’t run all that well this year, AJ is a great road course racer. This is a good track to use him on as he has the potential to win on this track no matter who he is driving for. He has started on the front row here in each of his last three starts and the only thing that took him out of contention in those races was mechanical issues and poor pit stops late in the race.

Kurt Busch: Kurt is another great road course driver and that shows in his stats. He has one win here and he has also finished in the top five in seven of his sixteen starts. If you can finish in the top five in almost half of your starts at any track it means you really know what you are doing at that track because it isn’t just luck.

Ryan Newman: Ryan is still looking for his first win at this track, but he does run consistently well here. In his career, Ryan has come away with seven top ten finishes in his fifteen starts and this team has looked much better this year on a weekly basis then they have the past couple of seasons. They say he is the toughest driver to pass and this is the track where it is tough to pass in the first place, so that just makes it better for him.

Joey Logano: Joey is another driver who we don’t really think about when it comes to the road courses, but he has finished in the top ten in half of his eight starts at this track. In addition he has led laps in three of those eight starts which tells us he can get his car to the front at some point in the race. He always surprises me with how consistent he really runs here during the races.

Kevin Harvick: Kevin is looking for his first win at this track and his first win of the season. He has finished in the top ten in seven of his sixteen starts at Sonoma with his best finish being second. He also has two third place finishes at this track, so he has been close here in the past and he is really hungry for a win right now and will do anything to pass cars this weekend.

Brad Keselowski: Brad hasn’t run as well at this track as he has run at Watkins Glen, which is the other road course track on the schedule. Still, he really knows how to drive on this type of track and is a good driver to take a chance on here. He doesn’t mind mixing it up with other drivers on the track and that is the attitude you need when running on these tracks.

Kasey Kahne: Kasey has one win at this track and has finished in the top ten in six of his thirteen starts here including top ten finishes in the last four races. Kasey has had some good weeks this season after struggling the past few years. This could be a week where he comes away with another top ten finish and might even surprise us with another win on this track.


Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Kyle Busch
  • Jimmie Johnson

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Clint Bowyer
  • AJ Allmendinger
  • Kurt Busch
  • Kasey Kahne

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Billy Johnson
  • Daniel Suarez


  1. Clint Bowyer
  2. Kyle Busch
  3. Jimmie Johnson
  4. Kurt Busch
  5. Brad Keselowski

Dark Horse: Jamie McMurray

Stay Away From: Trevor Bayne

Big 18: Kurt Busch

Fantasy NASCAR

2017 Michigan International Speedway, FireKeepers Casino 400

Congratulations to Ryan Blaney who won his first ever Cup race this past weekend at Pocono for Wood Brothers Racing. Kyle Busch dominated this race once again, but a caution with about 15 laps left cost him the win when he stayed on the track and the rest of the field pitted behind him. When the race was re-started it was only a matter of time before new tires would prove to be too much for Kyle and Ryan passed him and then held off a hard charging Kevin Harvick over the final 8 laps for his first victory.


Kevin Harvick: I am going to pick Kevin to win his first race of the season and second at Michigan. He has finished second here in five of the last eight races and of those other three races he finished in the top five in two of those. This team has looked better and better every week and this is the week they break into the win column for the year. It’s hard to keep a team like this out of the win column as long as he has been out of it and this week that changes.

Chase Elliott: Now that we have two first time winners on the circuit this season why not make it three? Chase finished second in his only two starts at this track with both of those races coming last year. This team is going to give Kevin everything he can handle once again and could very well pick up that elusive first win. Chase also led over thirty laps in each of those races last year, so we know he can get the job done here.

Matt Kenseth: Matt has three career wins at this track tying him with Kurt Busch for the most wins at Michigan by active drivers. He won here in August of 2015 and although he has had some pretty poor luck this year, this is the type of track where I expect him to always run well. I think he is going to be the best of the Joe Gibbs drivers this weekend and is worth taking a shot at and you should place him on your roster.

Jimmie Johnson: Despite having only one win at this track in his thirty starts, Jimmie always runs well here and leads all active drivers in laps lead at this track. He has also won on tracks similar to Michigan this season. After taking a hard hit into the wall last week at Pocono, I hope Jimmie is alright and won’t be suffering any lingering effects as he heads into this weekend’s race.

Kurt Busch: Kurt picked up the last of his three wins at Michigan in this race in 2015. I think that with the new Ford engines that Stewart-Haas is using this year Kurt has another great shot at picking up another win here. The extra speed will come in handy on the long straightaways on this track and both he and Kevin Harvick showed how well that speed works at Pocono last weekend.

Kyle Larson: Kyle finished third in this race last year and then followed it up by winning the August race at this same track. This team has been fast and solid all year and he should have no problem keeping that pace up this weekend. This looks to be one of the most competitive years across the board that we have seen in a long time in this series and it is only going to get more exciting.

Martin Truex Jr.: This team has found the speed and handling they had last year when Martin was dominating races through the middle of the season. He is a contender each and every week and this is the type of track where he has really excelled lately. He had another great run at Pocono and will follow that up with another top ten finish this weekend and might even make the right call late in the race and pull off another win.

Brad Keselowski: Brad is another driver looking for his first win at this track which is also his home track as he hails from Michigan. Brad has finished in the top ten here in each of his last six starts and almost pulled off an upset last week when a late race caution gave him the track position he needed to contend for the win at Pocono. However, he didn’t get a good restart and faded back to finish fifth.

Joey Logano: Joey won this race last year and has always run well here amassing two wins, four top five, and eleven top ten finishes in his career. He has finished in the top ten here in his last eight starts too. The only thing that is bothering me about him right now is they don’t seem to be getting the handling on his car right lately and he hasn’t finished well because of it for a month now. I think this team is going to get that straightened out soon, but I won’t take a chance on him yet.

Ryan Blaney: Now that he has a win under his belt he will be even more hungry to get back to victory lane and he has the speed and skill to do it. He has started in the top ten in three of his four starts here and finished fourth in the race last August. He impressed me by racing Kyle clean last week even after Kyle blocked him and almost ran him off the track. This kid is growing up in a hurry in this series and the future looks very bright for him.


Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Kevin Harvick
  • Martin Truex Jr.

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Chase Elliott
  • Ryan Blaney
  • Kurt Busch
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Erik Jones
  • Darrell Wallace Jr.


  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Martin Truex Jr.
  3. Chase Elliott
  4. Matt Kenseth
  5. Jimmie Johnson

Dark Horse: Erik Jones

Stay Away From: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Big 18: Chase Elliott

Fantasy NASCAR

2017 Pocono Raceway, Pocono 400

Jimmie Johnson showed why he is the king of Dover when he started at the back of the field and took the checkered flag for the eleventh time in his career. This was Johnson’s third win of the season as he took the lead for good on a green-white-checkered restart at the end of the race. Kyle Larson, who lead the most laps on the day, finished second, followed by Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Newman, and Chase Elliott.


This week the series heads from one of my favorite tracks in Dover to one of my least favorite tracks to watch a race at, the Pocono Raceway. The only good thing NASCAR ever did with this race in my opinion was to shorted it from 500-miles to the present 400-miles. Don’t get me wrong, the area is one of the most beautiful areas you can visit that has a NASCAR race, but the racing is boring and it seems to rain a lot at this time of the year in the mountains.

Brad Keselowski: I’m going to go with a Ford driver to win this race and that would be Brad Keselowski. Brad has had some very unfortunate luck the last two races he has started and he will put that all behind him and pick up his second career victory at this track. Besides his one win here, Brad has finished in the top 5 in six of his fourteen starts here and will have the speed and power to make passes on the Long Pond straightaway to get the job done.

Jimmie Johnson: We can’t count Jimmie out because when he wins a race he tends to win multiple races in a row. Jimmie has always run well here as can be seen with his three wins, eleven top five and nineteen top ten finishes in thirty starts at Pocono. The Hendrick teams haven’t shown as much speed as the Ford teams this season as of yet, but if a driver can get his car to handle well in all three corners at this track he is well on his way to a victory.

Denny Hamlin: It’s hard to believe, but we are already halfway to the playoffs this season and none of the Joe Gibbs drivers has won a race yet. There have been multiple races where they have had the best car, but couldn’t seal the deal at the end of the race. There always seems to be something going wrong for them. Denny will give them their best shot to win this weekend as he has always run well here himself. He leads all active drivers with four wins here and also has fourteen top ten finished in his twenty-two starts at this track.

Kurt Busch: Kurt has three wins at this track himself and now is back in a Ford which we know are fast this year. With thirteen top five finishes and eighteen top ten’s in thirty-one starts, Kurt has proven that he knows how to get around this track consistently. I look for him to have his best run of the year since the Daytona 500.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Dale has really struggled this year in all sorts of ways. They never can seem to get a handle on their car and don’t know what changes to make to it to get it to handle better during the race. Otherwise when they work their way to the front they end up with a penalty on pit road or something breaks on their car. Well, that can all come to an end this weekend as Dale has finished in the top five in six of his last seven starts including two wins and a runner-up finish.

Joey Logano: Joey has struggled the past couple of weeks trying to get the handling and the speed of his cars to where he is used to having them. He has run well at Pocono in the past with one win and six top ten finishes in sixteen starts at this track. I think this team is just in a mini slump and will break out of it very soon.

Martin Truex Jr.: Martin has been running very well lately no matter where he goes. He struggled at Pocono early in his career, but he has been getting better here all the time and he showed that last year when he won the second race here. This team is running so well right now they could win at every track they go to and Pocono should be no different. Look for Martin to have another strong run again this weekend.

Kyle Larson: Speaking of a driver who has been running well lately, Kyle has run well all year and even though he has only started six races at Pocono in his young career he has three top ten finishes and has never finished worse than twelfth at this track. I look for Kyle to make another run at a win again this weekend and continue to keep the pressure on Martin Truex Jr. for the points lead.

Ryan Newman: Ryan has once again been quietly putting together another solid season. The difference this year is that he already has a win under his belt. That wasn’t the case the past couple of years. Ryan has been consistent at Pocono throughout his career and has finished in the top ten in seven of his last twelve starts here. He has also only finished outside of the top twenty twice in his last twenty-three starts here.

Kevin Harvick: Not only is Kevin looking for his first ever win at Pocono, he is also looking for his first win on the season. He has run well here lately with three top five finishes in his last five starts including back to back runner-up finishes in the 2014 and 2015 seasons. I look for this team to break into the win column very soon and probably win multiple races before the start of the playoffs.


Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Brad Keselowski
  • Jimmie Johnson

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Kurt Busch
  • Kyle Larson
  • Ryan Newman
  • Kasey Kahne

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Erik Jones
  • Ty Dillon


  1. Brad Keselowski
  2. Jimmie Johnson
  3. Kyle Larson
  4. Kurt Busch
  5. Matt Kenseth

Dark Horse: Kasey Kahne

Stay Away From: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Big 18: Kurt Busch