Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2020 Daytona International Speedway, Daytona 500

Short and sweet for this week. Remember, don’t use the better drivers at the restrictor plate tracks.

DAYTONA 500

I will be back right after the finish of this week’s race to make my predictions for the race in Las Vegas. Until then don’t forget to set your lineups for this week’s race!

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Joey Logano
  • Chase Elliott

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  • Jimmie Johnson
  • Austin Dillon
  • Alex Bowman

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Darrell Bubba Wallace Jr.
  • Brendan Gaughan

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY

  1. Joey Logano
  2. Denny Hamlin
  3. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  4. Jimmie Johnson
  5. Chase Elliott

Dark Horse: Bubba Wallace

Stay Away From: Clint Bowyer

Big 18: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Categories
Driver Group Game Fantasy NASCAR

2020 Daytona International Speedway, Daytona 500 Preview

Hello race fans! We are back for another year of fantasy racing and it starts on February 16th with the running of the Daytona 500.

DAYTONA 500

Seeing that qualifying for the Daytona 500 is done differently than all other races we won’t need to set our drivers until after the Duel’s on February 13th when the field will be pretty much set. So, I’m just going to go with some of my preliminary thoughts based off of last season, but that might all changed after speed weeks is moving along and we can see who looks like they have improved the most since last season.

Some of the things that we do know are that Cole Custer has taken over the #41 ride at Stewart-Haas Racing replacing Daniel Suarez. We also know Paul Menard has retired from the sport. Let’s see, Matt Dibenedetto to Wood Brothers Racing and Chris Buescher to Roush/Fenway Racing.

The schedule has also been revamped for this season with the biggest change going to be that both Pocono races will be run on the same weekend. One on Saturday and one on Sunday, weather permitting.

Please note I will be going back to weekly articles once the Daytona 500 is in the books. My picks below are only based on last season and might change dramatically after the Duel’s have been run. I will try and get my final picks on the site sometime on Friday February 14th in the evening, so check back then.

Let me caution you once again about using the better drivers on a restrictor plate track. There is a good chance most of the drivers are going to get caught up in some kind of accident in this type of racing so we don’t want to take the chance on them and waste one of their starts by having them running here.

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Denny Hamlin
  • Joey Logano

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Austin Dillon
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  • Alex Bowman
  • Ryan Newman

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Michael McDowell
  • Bubba Wallace

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY

  1. Denny Hamlin
  2. Joey Logano
  3. Brad Keselowski
  4. Chase Elliott
  5. Martin Truex Jr.

Dark Horse: Michael McDowell

Stay Away From: Daniel Suarez

Big 18: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Categories
Driver Group Game Fantasy NASCAR

2019 Homestead-Miami Speedway, Ford EcoBoost 400

First off I would like to thank all of you loyal readers for sticking with us this year. I know there were times when the DGG had some glitches and we had to work through them and we are all looking forward to next season and having a smoother time with the game. Thanks also for the kind words you have passed along to me about my article. Hopefully I helped most of you out in at least a small way and made your season a little more enjoyable.

FORD ECOBOOST 400

The field is set for the 2019 championship race and we will not have a repeat champion this year as Joey Logano was eliminated by the win by Denny Hamlin at Phoenix last week. Kyle Busch took the last spot on points and Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick had already won races in this round to secure the other two spots.

This week the series heads to the Homestead-Miami Speedway for championship weekend culminating in the running of the Ford EcoBoost 400. This is another of the mile and a half tracks that make up the majority of the NASCAR schedule. This track also has progressive banking which makes it more like Las Vegas Motor Speedway than most of the other intermediate tracks, but that really doesn’t seem to make a lot of difference to the drivers.

Kevin Harvick: I am going to pick Kevin to win this race and the second championship of his career. He has finished in the top four here in each of his last five starts including winning this race in 2014 in his first year with Stewart-Haas Racing. He has really run well towards the end of the year and his win at Texas a couple of weeks ago should give him some confidence heading into this weekend.

Martin Truex Jr.: It won’t be a walk in the park for Harvick because Martin has run well at the end of the season also. He won three races during the playoffs and has been strong on the intermediate tracks for the past three seasons. He finished first and second in his last two starts here and I think he is going to give Harvick a real battle. Pit crews might decide this championship.

Kyle Busch: With four straight top six finishes here including a win at the end of the 2015 season to win his first championship, Kyle can’t be counted out. The only thing that concerns me a little bit is that this team hasn’t performed well in the second half of the season, so they really need to come with their A game if they want to compete for the win this weekend.

Denny Hamlin: Denny has won here twice, the last coming in 2013. He sat on the pole for this race the last two seasons and that is huge because you get to pick the best pit stall and that can win you a championship on a late race caution when everyone pits. You can get out first and track position on a restart could decide the champion too.

Joey Logano: Joey might be out of contention, but he won this race last year and has finished in the top six in each of his last four starts here. I’m sure he is a bit disappointed that he won’t be able to defend his championship, but he can still go back to back races here with wins. This team will do whatever it takes to win another race and set themselves up for a nice off-season.

Chase Elliott: Chase has only run three races at this track and hasn’t finished worse than eleventh. Now that the pressure is off this team until next year they can relax and have fun this weekend and that might be what Chase needs to get back to running like he did before the start of the playoffs. He’s young and will use this season to learn as he heads into next season.

Kyle Larson: For most of the season this team ran into some bad luck, but then they started to turn that around and they have been running well for a while now. Kyle has only run six races at this track and has three top five finishes to show. He has also won three of the last four stages at this track, so he should come with a great car once again this weekend.

Brad Keselowski: Brad has finished in the top seven in six of his last seven starts here. This team struggled once they got to the playoffs, but this is the last race of the season and every driver wants to win it so it makes the off-season seem shorter and they really have something to look forward to next year. Look for Brad to compete this weekend or do something drastic with strategy to try and get that win.

Aric Almirola: Aric has run really well on this type of track all season and should have another good car once again this weekend. He finished in the top ten in this race last year in his first season with Stewart-Haas Racing and could very easily improve on that ninth place finish from last year.

Clint Bowyer: Clint has finished in the top ten here in five of his last eight starts. This team hasn’t been as consistent as I thought they might be this year and that will be their next challenge. Next year I look for them to have better communication between all of the crew members and start running more consistently. This week could be a step in that direction.

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Kevin Harvick
  • Martin Truex Jr.

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Aric Almirola
  • Clint Bowyer
  • william Byron
  • Alex Bowman

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Matt DiBenedetto
  • Chris Buescher

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY

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

Dark Horse: Kyle Larson

Stay Away From: Daniel Suarez

Big 18: Kevin Harvick

Categories
Driver Group Game Fantasy NASCAR

2019 ISM Raceway, Bluegreen Vacations 500

Congratulations to Kevin Harvick who punched his ticket to the championship race with his win at Texas this past weekend. Now he and Martin Truex Jr. are guaranteed to be in the championship race and the other two spots are still open with one race remaining in the third round. So, six drivers are going for two spots this week and that means no more Mr. Nice Guy this weekend.

BLUEGREEN VACATIONS 500

This week the series heads to the ISM Raceway in Phoenix, AZ for the running of the Bluegreen Vacations 500. This one-mile, low-banked, tri-oval track is going to have some fireworks in it with those two playoff spots for the championship race up for grabs. This is going to be a no holds barred type of race and you are sure to see some bumpers getting banged around pretty good. These drivers know they are going to need to go and some of them have to win this race to advance while there are others who can still get in on points. Stage points and the race win will be hotly contested this weekend.

Kyle Busch: I am going to pick Kyle to break his small winless streak and make sure he has a shot at the championship this weekend. He has won the last two races here and has finished in the top five in seven of his last eight Phoenix starts. This is where he makes his money and you know he doesn’t care who he has to move to get the job done. He has lead over a hundred laps in four of his last five starts here and will be considered the driver to beat.

Kevin Harvick: Kevin has won seven of his last fourteen starts at this track and by him winning again this weekend he might be able to keep someone the likes of Kyle Busch from making the championship race. His only non top ten finish in his last fifteen starts here was a thirteenth place finish. That tells me he is going to be a contender once again this weekend and will have a say in who the other two drivers are that will make the championship.

Chase Elliott: Chase needs to win this race if he wants to make the championship. He has finished second and third here recently, so we know he can get the job done. The problem is that he is going to be under tremendous pressure and any mistake will end his hopes of making the championship. He hasn’t run well the past two weeks and this is going to be a tall task for him to pull off.

Denny Hamlin: Denny’s only win here came back in the 2012 season. He has been running very well on this type of track this year and he could come away with a victory to cement his spot in the championship. Once again though, any mistake can take you right out of contention because the track is so short. Speeding in the pits will relegate you at least one lap down and you could end up fighting your way back on the lead lap and it might take the whole race to get there.

Kyle Larson: Kyle has a second and two third place finishes here in his last six starts. He is another driver who almost has to win this race if he wants a shot at a championship. He could still point his way in with stage points and something bad happening to some of the drivers ahead of him on points, but the only sure way to get there is to win this race.

Ryan Blaney: Ryan is in a similar situation as Larson and that’s the bad new. The good news is that Ryan lead ninety-four laps and finished third here in March of this year. That should give this team some confidence heading into this weekend, but there will still be a lot of pressure on this young driver also this weekend. He is prone to making mistakes as we saw with him trying to get onto pit road at Talladega and almost driving of the jack this past week in Texas.

Joey Logano: The good news for this team is right now they are currently in the championship race. The bad news is they haven’t run very well at Phoenix since winning this race in 2016. Since that time he has had two accidents and only one top ten finish. He is going to try and score some stage points and stay out of trouble if his car isn’t handling flawlessly early in this race and hope he can hang on to his points lead.

Martin Truex Jr.: Martin finished runner-up to Kyle in the spring race this year and has finished in the top five in three of his last four starts here. He has also won three races on other flat tracks this season and won’t have any pressure on him whatsoever this weekend. I look for him to have another good run on this track and just enjoy tuning up for the race at Homestead.

Aric Almirola: Aric never had a top ten here in his career until four races ago and since then he has gotten better every time he runs here. He finished fourth in each of his last two starts here and even lead twenty-six laps in the spring race here. Aric isn’t someone I think of much on these flat tracks, but he has shown that he can do it this year and he is my dark horse this weekend.

Brad Keselowski: Brad finished second in this race last year and is looking to just have a good run and maybe pick up a win this weekend as he gets ready for next season. He has struggled a bit lately on all types of tracks and I think they are in the process of trying to figure some things out for next year. I still think this is the type of track where they can hit on their setup early and be a contender.

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR ISM RACEWAY

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Kyle Busch
  • Kevin Harvick

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Ryan Blaney
  • Aric Almirola
  • Kurt Busch
  • Ryan Newman

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Matt DiBenedetto
  • Chris Buescher

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT ISM RACEWAY

  1. Kyle Busch
  2. Kevin Harvick
  3. Martin Truex Jr.
  4. Aric Almirola
  5. Denny Hamlin

Dark Horse: Aric Almirola

Stay Away From: Joey Logano

Big 18: Ryan Newman

Categories
Driver Group Game Fantasy NASCAR

2019 Texas Motor Speedway, AAA Texas 500

Congratulations to Martin Truex Jr. for winning the race at Martinsville this past weekend and becoming the first driver to be qualified for the championship race. He won in dominating fashion leading 464 of the 500 laps run in that race and now he can relax a bit over the next two weeks if he wants to. Chase Elliott on the other hand had major mechanical issues and now finds himself in almost a must win situation over the next two weeks if he wants to make the championship race himself.

AAA TEXAS 500

This week the series heads to the Texas Motor Speedway for the running of the AAA Texas 500. This is another of the intermediate tracks and will be the most similar track to Homestead where the final race of the year will be run. That means this could be a real test for the drivers who are going to be heading to Homestead with a shot to win a championship and now Martin can do some serious testing this week while the others are still in a battle to make that race in contention yet.

Kevin Harvick: I’m picking Kevin to win this race and get himself qualified for the championship race without having to worry about winning at Phoenix. He has six top three finishes in his last ten starts including two wins and three runner-up finishes. He came on strong late in the year on this type of track and won this race the past two seasons. He would like nothing more than to make it three in a row and take the pressure off of himself until the final race of the season.

Erik Jones: Erik has struggled a bit since the playoffs started, but he has finished fourth here in each of his last three starts. This team is working on getting ready for next season and this is one of those tracks where he can gain a little confidence and feel good about himself and his team heading into the off season. I look for him to have a good run this weekend.

Joey Logano: We saw how dominant Joey was at Michigan earlier this year and even though that is a 2-mile track and this is a mile and a half he usually runs well here. In face he has finished in the top three at Texas in four of his last seven starts and that should give this team a lot of confidence heading into this weekend. If another playoff driver wins this week that will mean only one or two of the eight drivers would make the championship race on points and no one wants to go to Phoenix wondering if they need to win.

Chase Elliott: As I mentioned earlier, Chase had a major mechanical failure at Martinsville and now finds himself in an almost must win situation in the next two races. The good news is that in seven career starts at Texas Chase has never finished worse than thirteenth. The bad news is that his best finish has been a fourth place finish. He will need to run well and gain as many points as he can during each of the stages to try and get himself closer if he can’t come away with the win this weekend.

William Byron: William had a great run at Martinsville last weekend coming away with a second place finish. Also on his side this weekend is the fact that he has only run three races at Texas and finished in the top ten in two of them. He finished sixth here in March and lead fifteen laps in that race. I think this teams confidence is going to be sky high this week and we know that Chad Knaus can set up the car to win here.

Ryan Blaney: Ryan also had a great run at Martinsville last weekend and he finished second in this race last season. He knows he might need to win a race to make the championship and we have seen how fast the Penske teams have been all season. I think Ryan just needs to be a little patient early in the race this week and keep relaying good information to his crew chief to get the car handling to his liking late in the race and then go for broke.

Kyle Busch: Kyle has finished in the top five here in six of his last ten starts including two wins. This team has struggled quite a bit in terms of how they are used to running over the past few months and they can’t afford to have any type of trouble in the pits or on the track. Aric Almirola said he was going to make life difficult for Kyle on the track for the rest of the season and that might come into play here.

Martin Truex Jr.: Martin is still looking for his first Texas win in his career, but he has finished in the top ten here in seven of his last nine races.That includes a second place finish in this race two years ago. This team looks like they will be the odds on favorite to win the championship right now no matter who else qualifies. They have been great on the track and in the pits throughout the playoffs and that momentum should keep carrying them.

Denny Hamlin: Denny won the race here in March and is a bit disappointed to say the least in his finishing position at Martinsville in a race he thinks he should have won. Add to that the fact that he isn’t real happy with the Penske drivers and they are not real happy with him right now might make for some more excitement on the track this week. I think tempers are going to be short all around over the next three weeks.

Kurt Busch: Kurt is on a streak of five straight top ten finishes at Texas. I’m not real confident in him on the intermediate tracks right now and will be saving my final start for his for the Phoenix race. If you have more than one start left with him you should put him on your roster this week and see how he does in practice and qualifying and then decide if you want to take a chance on him this week.

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Kevin Harvick
  • Joey Logano

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Ryan Blaney
  • Erik Jones
  • William Byron
  • Aric Almirola

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Chris Buescher
  • Daniel Hemric

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Joey Logano
  3. Denny Hamlin
  4. Ryan Blaney
  5. Martin Truex Jr.

Dark Horse: William Byron

Stay Away From: Ryan Newman

Big 18: William Byron