Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2020 Phoenix Raceway, Season Finale 500

Some very exciting and tense moments at the end of the race last weekend as three drivers were all within a point or two of each other to make it to the championship race. At this moment Kevin Harvick has been eliminated. Joey Logano and Chase Elliott are in via their wins in the third round and Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin are in on points.

SEASON FINALE 500

The championship race is scheduled to be run at the Phoenix Raceway. Another short flat track although about twice the length of Martinsville. The weather will be a little different and the racing will be a bit different, but the intensity will be even higher than it was last week.

Kevin Harvick: Even though he has been eliminated from running for a championship, I still have to pick Kevin to win this race. With nine wins and being able to finish in the top five in over half of his thirty-five starts you can’t really go wrong picking him this week. I’m sure he’s disappointed, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to win. Probably wants it even more.

Kyle Busch: While Kevin has the most wins of all active drivers, Kyle has actually been a little better overall the last seven races at Phoenix. In that stretch he has two wins, lead more than six-hundred laps, and finishes in the top five six times. The only issue I have with them this year is they haven’t been very consistent and I don’t know if they’ll run well or not.

Denny Hamlin: Denny is a master at this type of track and I think he will win the championship this year. He won the November race here last year and if he doesn’t make mistakes on pit road I think he can beat all other championship drivers this week and come away with his first ever championship.

Chase Elliott: Not to be outdone by Denny too much, Chase has really been running well again lately and he has also excelled on the flatter tracks all season. He has finished in the top three twice in nine career starts at this track and is probably the overall fan favorite to win this weekend.

Joey Logano: Joey won here in March and that setup should be good once again this weekend. I think with Paul Wolfe on top of his pit box might make him even better. You know you’re going to see all four of the championship drivers running in the top ten for most of the race barring some unforeseen problems.

Brad Keselowski: Brad is still looking for his first win at this track although he did finish second in the November race two years ago. Anything can happen and if everything falls into place any of these 4 drivers can win the championship. I think the end of this race might be one of the best we have seen in a long time.

Martin Truex Jr.: Another disappointed driver, Martin was running in the top spot for a while late in the race before being passed by Chase when he ended up with a loose wheel. A mistake by your pit crew that could have possible cost you a win in this race is going to be hard to swallow. He’ll be another non-championship driver with a chip on his shoulder this week.

Ryan Blaney: Ryan finished third in both races at Phoenix last season and has been really running well this year. Once again he has two teammates that are running for a championship and he could be in a position to help them out on the track. If not for the speeding penalty Brad had on pit road last week I wonder if the outcome might have been a little different.

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR PHOENIX RACEWAY

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Kevin Harvick
  • Denny Hamlin

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Kurt Busch
  • Ryan Newman
  • Alex Bowman
  • William Byron

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Cole Custer
  • Christopher Bell

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT PHOENIX RACEWAY

  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Kyle Busch
  3. Denny Hamlin
  4. Chase Elliott
  5. Joey Logano

Dark Horse: Ryan Newman

Stay Away From: Matt DiBenedetto

Big 18: Kevin Harvick

Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2020 Martinsville Speedway, Xfinity 500

I’m writing this before the Texas race is finished, so I don’t really know who needs to do what now to qualify for the championship race. The other side of the coin is that a lot of you need the advice early so you can get your leagues taken care of during work, so I’m going to do my best this week.

XFINITY 500

The good news is that this is a short track, so how good their cars were at Texas really has no bearing on how well their cars might run this week as the head to the Martinsville Speedway for the running of the Xfinity 500. This is the shortest track on the circuit and doesn’t have a lot of banking either. The drivers will want to make sure to pass inspection this week because you don’t want to start at the back if you can help it. If you do start at the back the leader will be a half a lap ahead of you before you get to the start/finish line and you could get lapped in a hurry.

Brad Keselowski: I’m going with Brad to win this week. He has been pretty amazing here lately with eight top five finishes in his last nine starts including one win. His other finish in that stretch was a tenth, so he knows how to get the job done here and a win gets him in. He’s going to be tough to beat.

Martin Truex Jr.: Martin won the last two races here and could go for three in a row. This team has been off a little bit and I don’t know what’s going to happen after NASCAR confiscated his rear spoiler last weekend. If they find something illegal about it he might end up losing some points and might have to run very well and possible win to make the championship.

Kyle Busch: Kyle had finished in the top five at Martinsville in eight straight races until last fall. Now he has two straight top twenty finishes and I don’t know what his mind set is. This is one of those tracks where he excels and if he really wants to go out and win he could do it this week. On the other hand if he’s just waiting for the season to end he won’t run well at all.

Joey Logano: Joey is already locked into the championship race via his win at Kansas a couple of weeks ago. He has lead laps in eleven of the last thirteen races he has run at Martinsville which tells me he runs up front here quite a bit. Could he and Brad be up front and Joey do some blocking for him? That is a very real possibility. Joey could make himself difficult to pass and if someone gives him the bumper to get by he would have no qualms about returning the favor.

Jimmie Johnson: Jimmie has nine wins at this tracks and his chances of winning a race this season are getting pretty slim. He might have that one more in him this week. He finished tenth here in the first race this year so he had a pretty good car. If things fall right for them they are going to do anything to get Jimmie a win before he rides off into the sunset.

Denny Hamlin: Denny has five career wins at Martinsville and has finished in the top five in three of his last four starts there. He either has a really good handling car here or recently on his bad days he does a lot of wheel hopping as he goes into the corners which push him out of the groove and isn’t good for the tires. He might just have to point his way in and take it easy on his equipment this week.

Kevin Harvick: This isn’t his best track as he only has one career win here and that came back in the 2011 season, but he can run good enough to make the championship and Phoenix is his best track. That means depending on his outcome at Texas after scraping the wall before the rains came. He might just have to do well enough to point himself in too.

Ryan Blaney: Ryan runs well here finishing in the top five in four of his last five starts. If you get all three Penske drivers up front together it’s going to be tough to pass them all. Ryan might be another blocker to help Brad get into the championship if it comes down to that. I think all of the Penske drivers are going to have good handling cars this week.

Chase Elliott: With four top ten finishes in his last five Martinsville starts Chase has a chance to win this week. He might need to depending on what happens at Texas. It’s going to be very hard for him to make the championship if he needs to win this race as there are too many drivers who are more consistent here.

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Brad Keselowski
  • Martin Truex Jr.

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Clint Bowyer
  • Jimmie Johnson
  • Kurt Busch
  • William Byron

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Tyler Reddick
  • Cole Custer

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY

  1. Brad Keselowski
  2. Martin Truex Jr.
  3. Kyle Busch
  4. Joey Logano
  5. Denny Hamlin

Dark Horse: Clint Bowyer

Stay Away From: Matt DiBenedetto

Big 18: Denny Hamlin

Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2020 Texas Motor Speedway, Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500

Congratulations to Joey Logano who is the first driver to qualify for the championship race by virtue of his win at Kansas last weekend. Kurt Busch took the biggest hit as he was already in eighth place in the standings and lost an engine early on in the race and finished a disappointing thirty-eighth. He will almost surely need to win one of the next two races to qualify for the championship now.

AUTOTRADER ECHOPARK AUTOMOTIVE 500

This week the series heads to the Texas Motor Speedway for the running of the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500. This track will be a bit like Kansas and we should see the drivers who were fast at Kansas come with cars capable of winning this week.

Kevin Harvick: Once again I have to pick Kevin to win this weekend. He was close last week at an intermediate track and he has been phenomenally good at Texas lately. In fact he has finished in the top ten here in each of his last twelve starts which includes three wins, three runner up finishes, and nine top five’s. He should have another great run this week.

Joey Logano: Last week’s winner should also come to the track with a fast good handling car. He has been very good here himself during his career, finishing in the top five in six of his last nine starts with only one of those finishes being worse than tenth. He has nothing to lose and will go all out to win another race and get ready for the championship.

Erik Jones: Erik has been running quite well lately and has finished in the top ten in his last six starts at Texas. If he hasn’t already signed a contract for next year he is doing a heck of a job showing other owners that he can get the job done. I think he’s running better because there isn’t any pressure on him right now.

Kurt Busch: We already said that Kurt will most likely have to win one of the next two races to make it to the final weekend. The good news for him is that he has finished in the top ten at Texas in nine of his last ten starts there. The bad news is that none of those have been top fives and anything less than a win isn’t going to cut it.

Ryan Blaney: Ryan ran much better this past weekend than he has in recent weeks and he has been very good at Texas lately with five top ten finishes in his last six races. This team is working towards next season, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to try and win some races and they have shown they have the speed to get it done on this type of track all season long.

Martin Truex Jr.: I’ve been waiting for Martin to come out and dominate one of these races on the intermediate tracks and this is the last one of the season. He has finished in the top ten in eight of his last eleven starts at this track and we know he could break into the win column at any time. With Logano winning last week, I would think there might be a little added pressure on this team now seeing there will be one less driver getting in on points.

Denny Hamlin: Denny was in contention early in last week’s race and then brushed the wall in the final stage which took him right back out of contention. He won here last spring, but his consistency isn’t very good here with only three top ten finishes in his last eleven starts. He just needs to avoid a major incident that would knock him out of a race and he won’t head into Martinsville needing to win.

Aric Almirola: This is probably the last good chance Aric has to win a race the rest of the season. He hasn’t been very good on the short tracks so he needs to do it here where he has four straight top ten finishes. If you have a start left for him this is the week to use it.

Chase Elliott: Chase showed flashes of how he won multiple races on this type of track earlier this season last week at Kansas and I’m sure this team will work on getting back to there once again this weekend. He finished in the top ten in five of his first six races here, but hasn’t had a top ten finish in his last three starts.

Brad Keselowski: Brad hasn’t really had the consistency at Texas one would want to see when setting their fantasy lineups. He has five top five and nine top ten finishes in his twenty-four career starts here and that just isn’t good enough to make us want to use him this weekend. Not saying that he can’t win, but the odds aren’t really in his favor 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

  • Erik Jones
  • Aric Almirola
  • Matt DiBenedetto
  • Alex Bowman

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Cole Custer
  • Tyler Reddick

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Joey Logano
  3. Martin Truex Jr.
  4. Chase Elliott
  5. Kurt Busch

Dark Horse: Alex Bowman

Stay Away From: Matt Kenseth

Big 18: Matt DiBenedetto

Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2020 Kansas Speedway, Hollywood Casino 400

Now there are only four races and eight drivers left to decide this year’s champion. There really wasn’t any excitement in last week’s race as the top eight remained in the top eight and the bottom four remained there and were eliminated from the playoffs.

HOLLYWOOD CASINO 400

This week the series heads to the Kansas Speedway for the running of the Hollywood Casino 400. This is the first of back to back intermediate tracks the drivers will race at in the third round of the playoffs. So, two straight mile and a half tracks to open up this round followed by a short track in the elimination race.

Kevin Harvick: I have to go with Kevin to win this week and lock himself into the championship race without having to worry about points. He has won two of the last eight races run here and hasn’t finished worse than sixteenth in his last twenty starts at this track. He has been the most consistent driver no matter what type of track the series has run on this season.

Martin Truex Jr.: Martin has been close for a while now and he knows it’s time to step up his game a little bit. He has won two of the last seven races at this track and has also finished in the top six in six of those races. No one wants to try and point their way into the championship race, so you’re going to see some more aggressive driving now.

Denny Hamlin: Denny has won the last two races here including this July. He also has finished in the top five in four of his last six starts here. He has been almost as consistent as Kevin has this season although he has had a few more ups and downs. I think the first three I mentioned will all make the championship race.

Chase Elliott: Last week’s winner, Chase won this race two years ago and has finished in the top five in four of his last six starts at Kansas. He needs to get back to running on the intermediate tracks like he did in the middle of the season so he can try to pick up another win and lock himself into a chance to win a championship.

Brad Keselowski: Brad won the spring race here last year and finished second to Denny in the July race this year. I think he is going to be a contender once again this week even though he’s hasn’t been the most consistent driver throughout the year. He has won a championship before so he knows what it takes to get the job done.

Kurt Busch: Kurt surprised some people by winning a race in the second round and moving into the third round. He shouldn’t be a surprise contender this week as he has run very well at Kansas in his career. Even though he is still looking for his first win here he has finished in the top ten in eight of his last eleven starts at this track.

Erik Jones: Erik has run better since announcing that he wouldn’t be back with Joe Gibbs Racing next season. He has also been very good at Kansas lately with five straight top ten finished there. Maybe the pressure is off him now and he can just relax and it’s helping his racing. He might already have a deal to drive for another top tier team next season and is just waiting to announce it.

Kyle Busch: I keep waiting for Kyle to break back into the win column and believe that even with his struggles this year he could pull off a win at any time. He has finished in the top five in seven of his last eleven starts. With those kind of stats it’s hard not to believe he can get the job done this week. Maybe like Erik the pressure is off Kyle now that he has been eliminated from the playoffs and he can just concentrate on his racing.

Alex Bowman: A lot of people were surprised to see Alex’s name in the top eight as we head to the third round of the playoffs. He has been improving all year and he has shown he is good at the intermediate tracks. He finished second here last May and this team seems to have figured out how to communicate with each other.

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR KANSAS SPEEDWAY

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Martin Truex Jr.
  • Denny Hamlin

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Erik Jones
  • Kurt Busch
  • William Byron
  • Austin Dillon

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Cole Custer
  • Christopher Bell

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY

  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Martin Truex Jr.
  3. Denny Hamlin
  4. Brad Keselowski
  5. Chase Elliott

Dark Horse: Alex Bowman

Stay Away From: Matt Kenseth

Big 18: Clint Bowyer

Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2020 Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course, Bank of America ROVAL 400

Now there is only one race left in the second round of the playoffs and a few of the drivers are in must win situations. They can’t rely on someone ahead of them in the standings getting knocked out into last place and them being able to move on to the third round on points. Aric Almirola is one of those drivers. Kyle Busch could make it on points, but he’s going to have to let it all hang out and just try to win this week’s race.

BANK OF AMERICA ROVAL 400

This week the series heads to the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course, also known as the Roval. This is going to be interesting as some of the playoff drivers are good on this type of track and others hate them with a passion. Let’s get to our analysis.

Chase Elliott: I’m picking Chase to win this race and move into the third round of the playoffs. Chase won this race last year and he also won at the road course in Daytona earlier this year. He has been one of the best the past couple of seasons at all of the road course tracks he has run on and this weekend should be no different. He should have a good handling car that he can drive to the front once again.

Martin Truex Jr.: In his last eight road course starts across the entire series Martin has three wins and six top three finishes. I think he is going to give Chase the most competition this week. At the least he should be able to move into the third round as he has a bit of a comfortable lead in points, but early problems could change that.

Clint Bowyer: Clint has one career road course win and has finished in the top five in five of his last nine road course starts. This includes top five finishes in both of his Charlotte starts. He might just have to win this race to advance, but if things fall his way and he can score points in both stages and come away with another top five finish he might move on that way.

Kyle Busch: Kyle also sits in a position where he might very well have to win this race to advance. He has four road course wins in his career, so we know he can do it. In his last thirteen starts at the different road course tracks, Kyle has six top five and nine top ten finishes. Once again if he finishes in the top five and some other drivers have early problems he could move into the top eight and advance.

Alex Bowman: Alex doesn’t need to win this race. Right now he is in position to advance and just needs to have a good run this week to do it. He has been pretty good on this type of track lately finishing no worse than fourteenth in each of his last seven starts. That includes two top five finishes at this track where they have only run two races.

Denny Hamlin: Denny is already locked in to the next round with his win at Talladega last week. He has always run well on the road course tracks and has finished in the top five in seven of his last eleven starts. He doesn’t need to win, but I’m sure he is going to give it his all. He should be good at Martinsville and Phoenix so you might want to save your starts for him.

Kevin Harvick: Kevin has a comfortable cushion heading into this race too. He just needs to stay out of major trouble and have other extraordinary things happen to get knocked out. I don’t see any of that happening to him. He runs well on this type of track and it shows by his ten top ten finishes in his last fourteen road course starts.

Kurt Busch: Kurt has also moved on to the third round of the playoffs and should be very relaxed going into the weekend. He has finished in the top ten in ten of his last fourteen road course starts the same as Kevin. I see him coming away with at least a top fifteen finish once again this weekend as he prepares for the next round of the playoffs.

Ryan Blaney: Ryan has been very good on the road courses in his short career. In fact he has finished in the top ten in six of his last nine road course starts and won the first race run on this track. He isn’t in the playoffs anymore, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t going to do his best to win this week’s race.

Jimmie Johnson: As his career quickly comes to a close, Jimmie would like nothing more than to win one more race. He had a shot at winning here two years ago, but made a mistake and took himself and Martin Truex Jr. out late in that race and it also knocked him out of the playoffs that year. He would really like to redeem himself and go to victory lane this week.

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR CHARLOTTE ROVAL

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Chase Elliott
  • Martin Truex Jr.

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Clint Bowyer
  • Alex Bowman
  • Kurt Busch
  • Jimmie Johnson

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Michael McDowell
  • Ty Dillon

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT CHARLOTTE ROVAL

  1. Chase Elliott
  2. Martin Truex Jr.
  3. Denny Hamlin
  4. Clint Bowyer
  5. Kyle Busch

Dark Horse: Erik Jones

Stay Away From: Austin Dillon

Big 18: Chase Elliott