Fantasy NASCAR

2020 Darlington Raceway, Cook Out Southern 500

The regular season is in the books and the playoffs starts this weekend. Congratulations to the sixteen drivers who have a shot at winning a championship. I feel a bit bad that Jimmie Johnson didn’t make the playoffs in his final year of full-time racing in the series, but I would still like to congratulate him on his seven championships and wish him the best in the future. Who knows, he still has a shot at winning some races this year.


The series heads back to Darlington Raceway to kickoff the first round of the playoffs. Known as “The Lady in Black” and “The Track Too Tough To Tame” Darlington has a unique configuration as it is shaped somewhat like an egg with one end of the track narrower than the other end. This creates some headaches for the crew chiefs and drivers as they try to get their cars to handle well on both ends of the track. At 1.366 miles in length, Darlington will be the longest track in the first round of the playoffs.

Kevin Harvick: I’m going to pick Kevin to win this race a cement his spot in the second round. In his last nine starts Kevin has won twice, finished in the top five eight times and in the top ten in that one other race. He is by no way a lock to win this weekend, but with the way he has run this year he is one of the front runners when it comes to picking drivers for your lineup.

Denny Hamlin: Denny is the reason why Kevin isn’t a lock this weekend. Let’s look back at Denny’s last twelve races at this track. Three wins, eight top five, and ten top ten finishes. I think this is going to be a good race between the two drivers who have shown the most consistency this year. Winning this race takes a lot of pressure off of the driver who picks it up if he is in the playoffs.

Kyle Busch: In his last ten Darlington races, Kyle has finished second twice and come away with eight top ten finishes. This team hasn’t shown that they can put a whole race together yet this year, but this is one driver who could put a run together over the next ten races and come away with another championship. Going to be tough sledding for him unless he can make his way to victory lane a few times though.

Brad Keselowski: Brad has finished in the top five in three of his last four starts here including a win. This team has had some really great runs during the season and they seem to go in streaks. If he can get on one of those streaks again he will have something to say about this years champion.

Erik Jones: Erik didn’t make the playoffs and won’t be returning to the #20 next season. However, in his five career races at Darlington, Erik has a win and has never finished worse that eighth. I think there’s just something about this track that he likes and he is someone you will want to take a shot with this weekend. He could come away with another win and take one away from the playoff group.

Kurt Busch: Kurt has four top seven finishes in his last five starts here including a third place finish in the first race of the double header weekend back in May. Not a lot of people are giving Kurt much of a chance to win this years championship, but if he takes it one race at a time and can pick up a win when he needs it he could be around yet for the championship race.

Chase Elliott: Chase has been up and down at this track even though he has only run six races here. His best finish was a fourth place finish which was also the first race of the double header weekend back in May of this year. He has also been involved in accidents twice in those six races. I’m not sure if this is the weekend to have him in my lineup and I think there are better drivers for me to go with.

Martin Truex Jr.: Martin has five top ten finishes in his last seven starts at Darlington including a win back in the 2016 season. This team seems to start off a bit slow in the races and then comes on after the first or second pit stop when they can adjust their car. I’m not sure how he will do without any practice or qualifying this weekend, but never count him out either.

Matt DiBenedetto: Matt has finished in the top ten in two of his last three starts here and been in the top fifteen in all of those starts. He really has nothing to lose by taking some chances as hardly anyone outside his team and fan base believes he can win this championship. I’m all for him going outside the box if he has to and taking the chances when they present themselves.

Joey Logano: Still looking for his first win at this track, Joey lead some laps in the last race here before ending up with a sixth place finish in that race. He has never been very consistent here, but runs better here in the fall than he does in the spring races. I don’t know if that has to do with temperatures or that the team is more in sync at this time of the year.


Driver Group Game Group A

  • Kevin Harvick
  • Denny Hamlin

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Erik Jones
  • Kurt Busch
  • Matt DiBenedetto
  • Austin Dillon

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Tyler Reddick
  • Christopher Bell


  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Denny Hamlin
  3. Kurt Busch
  4. Erik Jones
  5. Brad Keselowski

Dark Horse: Erik Jones

Stay Away From: Clint Bowyer

Big 18: Kurt Busch

27 replies on “2020 Darlington Raceway, Cook Out Southern 500”

Are you sure you haven’t used Erik Jones twice already for the big 18? First Pocono race and First Dover race?

Thanks for pointing that out. I can’t believe I have my spread sheet so messed up. The league I am usually in didn’t run this year due to the virus and I’m keeping track all on my own. I changed my pick to Kurt Busch for this week.

Who do you like to win the Championship this season! I know there’s still 10 races, but ya have to make a fantasy pick! I’m thinking Hamlin finally gets his 1st! Who you taking?

I have to go with Harvick. Hamlin just makes too may mistakes and that can’t happen if you want to win a championship.

I’m locked in on on the Busch Brothers but am waffling on #20. Would you still go with him in lieu of let’s say #88 ? You don’t seem to worry much about starting position.

Pick the one you have the most starts with. Starting position doesn’t mean much when it’s pulled out of a hat. No one knows how good their car is until the race starts.

Nascar website has that Fantasy Live game, the part I have trouble on is trying to pick who wins stage one an stage two in the race. How do you pick those an who predicts those stage one or stage two races?

That’s hard to predict. Sometimes it’s strategy that the team has, other times it depends on something that happens as the race progresses. Maybe you pit with 2 laps remaining in a stage and then stay out when the stage end. Things like that. No rhyme or reason for predicting those stage finishes.

I’m going with your whole line up for my fantasy nascar league but who would you start this week out of #88, #3 or #21

And I know it’s very random but who would you pick for stage winners and who do you think will win the race?

stay away from clint bowyer here? sorry but i’ll actually be starting him. he DOMINATED the 2nd of the 2 races in may, which will most resemble this race because of the time of the day it was ran. won both stages. plus bowyer didn’t do good at martinsville or really that good at bristol earlier. having 3 uses left – this one’s a definite to use one. barring trouble on the track, he’s a good bet for a top 10.

Consistency wise he just doesn’t have it at this track and I beg to differ that he dominated in that race. Finished 22nd even if he did win the first two stages. If you don’t get fantasy points for stages then he didn’t really do much for you in that race. Finished 17th in the first race that weekend too. Only has two top ten finishes in sixteen starts at Darlington. Good luck to you.

I don’t think you can worry too much about starting positions with the way those are being set. I’m still going with past history and Jones is the best out of those three.

Do you think Byron and bowman can get top 10s today? Jones starting 30th worries me, just because he could get caught up in a wreck. Do you think bowman and Byron being 3/4 helps them stay up front?

I have more faith in Bowman than Byron, but the starting spot doesn’t concern me too much for Jones either. I think he gains a lot of spots before the competition caution comes out and works his way up a bit at a time from there.

I don’t know what game your playing so it’s hard to tell what other options there could be.

Let’s gooo thanks Jeff!!! I won my nascar league this week thanks to you keep giving that good advice!👌

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