After a long rain and lightning delayed race we can finally take a breather but not for too long. Denny Hamlin hung on to win this past Sunday into the night in Florida and now the teams have a few days off.
However, they won’t have a lot of time as this week they head to the Talladega Superspeedway for the running of the Geico 500. This week there will be one practice session and a qualifying session for the first time in months. This is also the second restrictor plate race of the season. I’m guessing most of the teams are going to try and stay separated during the practice session so they don’t wreck their car before the race. They can figure out the drafting as they go as long as their car handles well.
Joey Logano: I’m going to pick Joey to win this week. In his last four starts here he has one win and three top five finishes. I think the Penske teams work well and draft well together and will do so once again this weekend. Word of warning, don’t use too many drivers in the B and C group who you are going to use up the allotment of races you can use them in. There is too big of a chance for a lot of drivers to get caught up in the big one here.
Aric Almirola: Dark horse of the week. Aric always seems to run well at these types of tracks and I think it’s because he is very patient. He knows that it’s foolish to make moves early in the race to try to get to the front when you can wait until the end to do it. If you have a car that can run up front all day fine, otherwise be patient and stay out of trouble. Aric is the only driver in the field to finish in the top ten in each of the last four races here.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: A loose cannon who might be able to get the job done. Totally on the other side of the spectrum from Aric as Ricky will be bobbing and weaving his way through traffic right from the get go. This tends to tick off a lot of other drivers and it means you might not get the help you need at the end of the race if you even make it to the end of the race. Still, he is someone you can use here this weekend because you probably won’t use all of his starts anyway.
Austin Dillon: Austin seems to run well here on a consistent basis and has scored points in four of the last six stages run at this track. He finished sixth in the fall race here last year and his career best finish at Talladega is third. He is another driver who you probably won’t use all of his starts so this is a great race to have him on your team.
Kurt Busch: Kurt always seems to run well here but, he is still looking for his first win at this track. Here is another driver who runs consistently well at this track but, you really don’t want to take the chance on having him in your lineup this week. You are going to use all of his starts and there is no reason to take the chance on him in a restrictor plate race.
Ty Dillon: Yes, that’s right, Ty Dillon. He always seems to run well at this track and he is the type of driver you can take a chance on in this race. He very easily could come away with a top ten finish and maybe even more. We have seen in the past that almost anyone can win races at the restrictor plate tracks so why not take a chance. If they get caught up in the big one, no big deal, you aren’t going to use them up anyway.
Bubba Wallace: Bubba has been running pretty well the past couple of races and this is the type of track where he can do some damage. Remember what he did a Daytona in his first Cup race. That was no fluke, just patience and being in the right place at the right time. Watch to see how he runs in practice. If he is drafting then they believe they have a car that can run up front and go for the win.
Denny Hamlin: Last week’s winner is also very good on the restrictor plate tracks. He won at Daytona this year already. I’m probably going to start Logano over him just because there are so many more tracks where Denny can be used. Like I said before, no sense taking chances on drivers you are going to use at a lot of other tracks.
Chris Buescher: Chris hasn’t done much this year yet, but this could be a good week for the Roush/Fenway driver. We say Trevor Bayne win at Daytona with a Yates engine under the hood and Chris has the talent to stay out of trouble early and have a shot at the end of this race. I think this is a great time to have him in your lineup.
DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY
Driver Group Game Group A
- Joey Logano
- Denny Hamlin
Driver Group Game Group B
- Aric Almirola
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
- Austin Dillon
- Chris Buescher
Driver Group Game Group C
- Ty Dillon
- Bubba Wallace
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT INSERT TRACK NAME
- Joey Logano
- Denny Hamlin
- Kevin Harvick
- Aric Almirola
- Chase Elliott
Dark Horse: Aric Almirola
Stay Away From: Ryan Newman
Big 18: Austin Dillon