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Fantasy NASCAR

2021 Las Vegas Motor Speedway, South Point 400

The round of sixteen is in the books and the twelve who advance have been determined. The biggest upset in my eyes was that Kurt Busch didn’t have a very good car at Bristol last Saturday night and never got it dialed in. Because of that he has been eliminated and Chip Ganassi has lost his last chance to win a Cup Championship.

SOUTH POINT 400

This week the series heads west to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the running of the South Point 400. This is an intermediate track and most of the drivers will really want this one because the next two races are a restrictor plate race and a road course. This is the one they will feel most comfortable at because no one knows what will happen in the next two races after this.

Kyle Larson: You have to stick with the hot hand and that has been Kyle for most of the season. He won the spring race at this track and has finished in the top three in four of his last seven starts at Las Vegas. I don’t see much changing for this team for the rest of the season and it is going to take an awful lot of bad luck to eliminate them from the playoffs.

Martin Truex Jr.: With two wins and five top five finishes in his last eight starts here, Martin is someone you can use in the A group. The Gibbs teams have shown a bit more speed the second half of the season and are getting close to being as good as the Hendrick teams every week.

Joey Logano: Joey has won two of the last five races he has run at this track and has finished in the top ten in nine of his last eleven starts here. The Penske teams haven’t shown a lot of consistency, but Ryan Blaney did win back to back races very recently, so they should still be able to run well this weekend.

Ryan Blaney: This is another Penske driver who has been very good at this track. He has finished in the top seven in seven of his last nine starts here. It’s only a matter of time before he picks up his first win at this track and now would be the perfect time to do it.

Kevin Harvick: Kevin has two wins at this track with the most recent one coming during the 2018 season. I still don’t think this team has much figured out yet. Especially at these intermediate tracks. He could surprise, but I don’t want to take a chance on him here. Maybe on a shorter track or a road course.

Brad Keselowski: Brad has eight top five finishes in his last twelve starts at Las Vegas to go with three wins during that stretch. He hasn’t run particularly well lately, but this is one of those tracks where he is very good. If he has a car that is handling well early on in the race they might be able to keep up with changing track conditions and pull off a win to help them advance.

Kyle Busch: Kyle hasn’t won a race here since the 2009 season. He has looked better than last season, but they still have some issues to work out. I think I’ll save any starts I have left for him for another day, He just isn’t consistent enough here for me to take a chance on him this week.

Denny Hamlin: Denny is still looking for his first win at this track and like Kyle he isn’t all that consistent here. Although, he has finished in the top five in each of his last two starts. Once again I think there are better tracks to use him at over the stretch run.

Chase Elliott: Chase hasn’t been all that consistent at this track either, but the Hendrick teams have shown the most speed all year and that means he should be a contender once again this weekend. Hopefully he and Kevin Harvick have their differences worked out and won’t let that spill over onto the track

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Joey Logano

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Aric Almirola
  • Tyler Reddick

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Chase Briscoe

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

  1. Kyle Larson
  2. Joey Logano
  3. Martin Truex Jr.
  4. Ryan Blaney
  5. Brad Keselowski

Dark Horse: Alex Bowman

Stay Away From: Kurt Busch

Big 18: Brad Keselowski

Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2021 Bristol Motor Speedway, Bass Pro Shops Night Race

Congratulations to Martin Truex Jr. who punched his ticket to the second round of the playoffs with his Richmond win. Two races down and one to go before the second round gets underway.

BASS PRO SHOPS NIGHT RACE

This week the series heads to the Bristol Motor Speedway for the running of the Bass Pro Shops Night Race. This will be a go or go home race for a lot of the playoff drivers. I think Michael McDowell will need to win to advance although there are other scenarios where he can get in without winning, but all of those long shots.

Kurt Busch and Alex Bowman are tied in points for the last spot in the round of twelve with Busch winning the tie breaker as of now. Tyler Reddick is only five points back of those two and Aric Almirola has a three point lead on Busch and Bowman. Then Kyle Busch sits in tenth with only an eight point cushion. There are still others that can get knocked out easily enough, but those are the closest in either direction.

Kyle Busch: I’m picking Kyle to win this week and ensure himself a spot in the round of twelve. He has won three of the last seven races he has run at Bristol and has six top five finishes in those races. It seems when someone really needs to do something they can do it and Kyle is one of the most talented drivers in the whole series.

Kurt Busch: Kurt is another driver who has to have a good showing here to advance to the next round. His last win came in the 2018 season and he has won here six times in his career. He has finished in the top ten in four of his last five starts here and is another driver who seems to do what he needs to do to advance.

Denny Hamlin: Once again this team has a lot of confidence as this playoffs has gotten underway and they won the first race of these playoffs. Denny won his race in 2019 and has four top five finishes in his last ten Bristol starts. However, those are also the only top ten finishes he has in those starts too. He doesn’t need to do anything to advance, so nothing bad can happen to him this week.

Kevin Harvick: Kevin won this race last season, but is still looking for his first win this year. In his three starts before last years win he didn’t finish in the top ten at all, but prior to those three races he has a string of seven straight top ten finishes. This team needs to start winning races if they want to have a shot at a championship this year.

Kyle Larson: The odds on favorite to win this year’s championship, Kyle is looking for his first career win here, but he did finish runner-up in both of the 2018 races. He has five top ten finishes in his last six starts and he is much better this year with his new team than he has been in the past and is a threat to win at any track on any given week.

Chase Elliott: Last years champion has his work cut out for him if he wants to repeat this year, but he’s been pretty good at Bristol, especially during the fall race. He has won three of the last four stages run here and has three top seven finishes in his last five starts at Bristol. This race isn’t that critical for this team so they don’t have a lot of pressure this week.

Joey Logano: There isn’t a lot of talk about Joey once again this year, but this team can sneak up on the competition. I don’t think a lot of the fans give Joey much of a thought when there are other drivers to use. Yet, he always seems to run better than you expect from him, while when you really think he might run well he can disappoint. He has two career wins at this track and should make the second round no matter what happens this week.

Brad Keselowski: Brad won the May race here last season and finished third in the race before that. However, those are the only good races he has run at Bristol in his last ten starts. This team isn’t consistent enough here to warrant our taking a chance on them. This might be the end of the playoffs for Brad as he doesn’t hold a very large lead over the thirteenth place driver.

Alex Bowman: Alex has only finished in the top ten twice in his six starts with Hendrick and he’s going to need one of those finishes most likely this week if he wants to advance. Once again here’s a driver who isn’t consistent enough at this track to have us use him in our lineups this week.

Ryan Blaney: Ryan runs very well here, but doesn’t come away with the finishing position they would hope for. He has lead 439 laps in his last six races at Bristol but has only one top five and two top ten finishes in those starts and one of those was in a race he never lead a lap. He won two races heading into the playoffs and has a twenty-eight point cushion in the standings, so he should make the second round unless something goes terribly wrong.

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Denny Hamlin

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Kurt Busch
  • Austin Dillon

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Daniel Suarez

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY

  1. Kyle Busch
  2. Denny Hamlin
  3. Kyle Larson
  4. Kurt Busch
  5. Chase Elliott

Dark Horse: Austin Dillon

Stay Away From: Martin Truex Jr.

Big 18: Ryan Blaney

Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2021 Richmond Raceway, Federated Auto Parts 400 Salute to First Responders

Denny Hamlin picked a perfect time to win his first race of the season taking the opening checkered flag of the playoffs. Now he’s guaranteed to be in the round of twelve, but not without thwarting a bold move by Kyle Larson. That just shows you how much these wins mean in the playoffs. I don’t know if Kyle would have tried that move in the regular season if he already had a win.

FEDERATED AUTO PARTS 400 SALUTE TO FIRST RESPONDERS

This week the series heads to the Richmond Raceway for the running of the Federated Auto Parts 400. This is a flat short track where handling will mean more than speed. This three-quarter mile track also means that pit stall selection is crucial here. That’s why I wish there was practice and qualifying at a track like this. It really has nothing to do with last week’s race.

Martin Truex Jr.: Even though the Gibbs drivers haven’t won either of the last two races run here, I think they are the ones to watch this weekend and Martin is my pick to win. He swept the races here in the 2019 season and then followed that up with a second place finish in 2020. In his last five races Martin has posted two wins, one second, one third and a fifth place finish while leading more laps than any other driver at this track.

Kyle Busch: The second of my Gibbs picks, Kyle won both races here in 2018. In fact besides those two wins, he has also finished second three times and in the top ten in ten of his last eleven starts at Richmond. After a disappointing finish last week this team feels they need a win to advance to the next round. This could be the place for him to do it.

Denny Hamlin: Our third Gibbs driver on our list is last week’s winner. Does that mean the Denny will be content now that he has a win? No! He would like to win again and grab some valuable playoff points. He’s been every bit as good as his teammates at this track coming away with seven top five finishes in his last nine starts here with one win.

Alex Bowman: While he only lead ten laps in the spring race Alex came away with the win. After having his own disappointments in last week’s race this team will be doing whatever they can to repeat that spring performance. The stakes are high for the rest of the season. Besides winning this spring Alex finished ninth here last year and those are his only top ten finished at this track.

Brad Keselowski: Brad won the race here last fall, but this team hasn’t been running all that well for most of the second half of the regular season. He has two career wins at this track and has finished in the top ten eight times in his last eleven races here. They are going to have to become more consistent if they want to keep advancing.

Joey Logano: Joey also has two career wins here with his last win coming during the 2017 season. He has been very consistent here with nine top five finishes in his last fifteen starts including both of those wins. Only twice during that stretch has he failed to finish in the top ten and his worst finish was fourteenth. Could be a great pick for those trying to make up some ground.

Kevin Harvick: Kevin finished twenty-fourth at Richmond this spring, but that was a huge anomaly. He is much better than that at this track. This is why. That was his worst finish here in his last twenty-three starts. In those other twenty-two starts he has two wins, eleven top five and sixteen top ten finishes. Another model of consistency at this track and still looking for his first win of the season.

Chase Elliott: Now, Chase has only run fifteen races here in his career which is way less than most of the older drivers. He hasn’t been the most consistent here either. However, he has improved a bit with three top five finishes in his last six starts. I still think there are better tracks to use this Hendrick driver at. Especially with another road course on the schedule.

Kyle Larson: Kyle won the fall race in the 2017 season at this track. However, like Chase I think there are better places to use him if you have any starts left. He just hasn’t been consistent enough here and we know he has run well at all other types of tracks. Still, five top ten finishes in his last eight starts is good, but I think he can be better than that.

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR RICHMOND RACEWAY

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Martin Truex Jr.

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Kyle Busch
  • Christopher Bell

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Michael McDowell

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT RICHMOND RACEWAY

  1. Martin Truex Jr.
  2. Kyle Busch
  3. Denny Hamlin
  4. Joey Logano
  5. Kevin Harvick

Dark Horse: Christopher Bell

Stay Away From: Ryan Blaney

Big 18: Kevin Harvick