Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2021 Homestead-Miami Speedway, Dixie Vodka 400

We now head into the third race of the season and the third different type of track as the teams remain in Florida. That means this is the third set of totally differently build cars that the drivers will be using this week. That’s a lot of work for the teams to do in three short weeks although they probably had most of the work done in the off-season.

DIXIE VODKA 400

As mentioned above, the teams are once again in the state of Florida this week as they head to the Homestead-Miami Speedway for the running of the Dixie Vodka 400. This is one of those mile and a half tracks that are still prevalent on the circuit, though NASCAR has added some new tracks to the schedule.

Kevin Harvick: I have to go with one of the most consistent drivers from last year to win this race. We will be able to tell more after the first couple of races on the intermediate tracks about which teams and drivers have improved or fallen back on these tracks from where they were last year. Kevin was one of the drivers who was good each and every week last year on this type of track.

Chase Elliott: Last year’s champion got better and better as the year progressed last season. So far this year he is looking like a legitimate contender to retain that title. This race will tell us if the Hendrick cars have continued to improve after they all got better as the season went on last year. Once again he was very tough throughout the playoffs.

Denny Hamlin: Denny and Kevin fought it out week after week in the middle of the season last year. There’s no reason to think this team won’t be a contender most weeks again this year as they try to win their first championship together. They just need to be more consistent in the pits, both the crew and the driver. They need to cut down on their mistakes in this part of the race.

Kyle Busch: Though he had a rough season last year, Kyle still remains one of the best drivers on the circuit. We’ll find out if the team chemistry has gotten better this year which will allow Kyle to start winning multiple races early this year and get this team a chance to get ready for the playoffs and get their confidence back. He has been good at this track the last three seasons.

Martin Truex Jr.: Martin was a bit disappointed with his teams performance on the intermediate tracks last year because they were so used to dominating for a couple of years previous to that. It seemed like he didn’t have a car that handled well at the beginning of races and had to make adjustments to get him towards the front, but they found it hard to win races. We’ll see if they figured something out for this year when there will be very few races that have practice sessions once again.

Joey Logano: All of the Penske drivers had fast cars on a weekly basis last season and Joey has always run well here. He won here back in the 2018 season and had a top five finish the year after. It seems as if this team has a good car early in the race they can compete, but if they miss on the initial setup it becomes a very long day for them.

Ryan Blaney: Another of the Penske drivers, Ryan is usually somewhere in the mix towards the front of the field. I think he still needs to learn to be a little more patient early in races and that will come with more experience. This is another team that can win almost every week if they can stay out of trouble of their own making.

Aric Almirola: Aric has excelled on the intermediate tracks the last couple of years and needs to make one more step in the right direction to start winning more races. We know the Stewart-Haas teams have the speed to win. This team just needs to believe in themselves more and not try to second guess when it comes to making decisions on adjustments during the race.

Brad Keselowski: Brad went on a streak of winning races on the intermediate tracks last season and he’s a past champion who knows what he needs to do to win races. With a fast car and with his crew together for the second season we might see a bit of that consistency early on this year.

Kyle Larson: Let’s not forget that Kyle is back now after being reinstated following a suspension last year. He is now with Hendrick Motorsports. I want to wait and see how the team works together before I start using him on my fantasy teams. It’s a long season so there’s no reason we can’t wait and see how the team gels before we use up some of his starts.

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Kevin Harvick

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Aric Almirola
  • Kyle Busch

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Bubba Wallace

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY

  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Chase Elliott
  3. Denny Hamlin
  4. Kyle Busch
  5. Martin Truex Jr.

Dark Horse: Christopher Bell

Stay Away From: Ryan Newman

Big 18: Kevin Harvick

Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2021 Daytona Road Course, O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 At Daytona

Once again a restrictor plate track doomed me as a couple of my drivers were involved in the early race wreck at Daytona. Congratulations to Michael McDowell, who picked up his first ever win and is now qualified for this years playoffs. All in all a pretty disappointing weekend with the rain delay and the race not ending until late at night for most of us fans.

O’REILLY AUTO PARTS 253 AT DAYTONA

This week the series stays right in Daytona, but they will be running on the road course here this time. We shouldn’t see crashes with a third of the field involved this week, but the road course races can be tough on equipment and we will see quite a few cars getting moved by someone getting into them as they battle on the turns.

Chase Elliott: Last year’s champion is my pick to win this week’s race. He won here last August and has won his last four road course starts. Hard to go against someone who has stats like that, although it won’t be a cake walk for him. There are other drivers who want to end his streak and are capable of doing so.

Denny Hamlin: Denny finished second to Chase here last season and is one of the more consistent road course racers on the circuit. He has seven top five finishes in his last twelve starts on this type of track and showed last year that he will be a contender each and every week and this week will be no different.

Martin Truex Jr.: After getting involved in the early race wreck at Daytona last week, I’m sure this team is looking forward to this week’s race. Martin has two wins and two runner-up finishes in his last nine road course races. He has also finished in the top ten in eight of those nine races which shows that he has a handle on this type of racing and can stay out of trouble on the track.

Ryan Blaney: Ryan has shown that he knows how to race on this type of track also. He has finished in the top five in four of his last six road course starts including a win at Charlotte a few years ago. I think he just keeps getting better and better each week and should have another good run coming up this weekend.

Kyle Busch: After a very disappointing year for Kyle last season I’m sure he’s looking forward to this season and turning his fortunes around. He won the Busch Clash a couple of weeks ago on this track, so he should have a great handling car once again this weekend. Even though he hasn’t finished in the top ten in his last four road course starts he did have a run before that of nine top ten finishes in ten races.

Kurt Busch: Kurt is another driver who has run consistently well on this type of track throughout his career. Like Kyle, Kurt hasn’t quite had the results we would expect of him lately. He did finish fourth at Charlotte last October and hasn’t finished outside of the top twenty in his last nineteen starts which include thirteen top ten finishes in those races.

Kevin Harvick: No top ten finishes in the two road course races last season for Kevin, but once again like some of the other drivers, Kevin had seven top ten finishes in his eight starts before that including a win at Sonoma back in 2017. We have seen that he is one of the most consistent drivers on all types of track week in and week out.

Erik Jones: Erik is my dark horse this week as he usually runs well on this type of track, but now that he is on a new team this year we’ll have to see how they gel together. This is one of those races where there are only a couple of pit stops, so there isn’t a lot of chances to adjust the handling of the car. If the equipment doesn’t break I think he has a good run this week.

Alex Bowman: Alex has quietly made a name for himself on the road course tracks. Though still looking for his first road course win, Alex did finish second at Charlotte a couple of years ago and has never finished outside the top fifteen in his nine starts since joining Hendrick Motor Sports.

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR DAYTONA ROAD COURSE

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Chase Elliott

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Kyle Busch
  • Alex Bowman

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Michael McDowell

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT DAYTONA ROAD COURSE

  1. Chase Elliott
  2. Denny Hamlin
  3. Martin Truex Jr.
  4. Ryan Blaney
  5. Kyle Busch

Dark Horse: Erik Jones

Stay Away From: Christopher Bell

Big 18: Chase Elliott

Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2021 Daytona 500 Picks

Short and sweet this week seeing the qualifying races were run so late in the week. I will be back early next week with an analysis and my preliminary picks for the Daytona road course race and will continue to post articles as early as I can once the week’s race is complete.

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Joey Logano

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Austin Dillon
  • Ryan Newman

Driver Group Game Group C

  • David Ragan

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY

  1. Aric Almirola
  2. Joey Logano
  3. Denny Hamlin
  4. Brad Keselowski
  5. Austin Dillon

Dark Horse: Bubba Wallace

Stay Away From: Martin Truex Jr.

Big 18: Austin Dillon

Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2021 Fantasy Racing Preview

The 2021 racing season is almost upon us and there are some changes being made to the Driver Group Game to hopefully make it easier for everyone to play.

The boss decided to do something about the changes to race weekends and no qualifying. First, he nixed the Bench drivers as it’s pointless to pick a Bench driver with the lock at race time. So, the entry form will have only 4 slots to fill. That way you won’t have to worry about setting any of your lineups until right before the race if that’s what you want to do. Otherwise just put your starters in early in the week and you won’t have to worry about forgetting to set your lineup later and if you still want to change your lineup on race day you can do that too.
The other change is to do with the 8 races with qualifying scheduled:

  1. Race #1 Daytona 500
  2. Race # 7 Food City Dirt Race (Bristol Dirt Track)
  3. Race #14 Circuit of the Americas
  4. Race #15 Coca-Cola 600
  5. Race #17 Nashville
  6. Race #20 Road America
  7. Race #24 Indy Road Course
  8. Race #36 at Phoenix

The 7 races (not Daytona 500) with qualifying will have:

  • 8AM ET lock on the day of qualifying.
  • Entry form will let you select 8 drivers
    • (2 A, 4 B, 2 C)
  • All 8 drivers will earn qualifying, lap, stage and race points.
  • Driver starts are bumped from 8 to 9.
  • These are the default settings for all leagues and can still be changed by the league commissioner.

There are a few new drivers, and some old drivers who are in different rides this season. Kyle Larson has been reinstated and will driver the #5 car for Hendrick Motorsports. Erik Jones moves over to the #43 for Richard Petty, Bubba Wallace is in the new #23 team owned by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan. Finally Chase Briscoe joins Stewart-Haas Racing to fill the seat of the #14 car for the now retired Clint Bowyer.

Feel free to create your own leagues once again or just join as many of the other leagues already created. Commissioners, remember to change the default settings if you so choose to do so. They won’t have the same rules as last season.

Once again I will be writing weekly articles telling you who I am targeting and why for each particular race. My first picks for the Daytona 500 will come after the Duels at Daytona and might be updated after the final practice. Stay tuned to see how this season plays out.

I have started my Guts or Gutless league once again with the same scoring that NASCAR uses for the drivers other than playoff points. I have also started a new league this year which I am calling Guts Opposite Scoring League. In this one the points are just the opposite of the DGG League scoring. I have also updated the driver groups to each only have 6 drivers in them. Pick the drivers you think are going to have the worst finishes in your group each week. A great league for those of you who always seem to pick a driver who ends up having trouble more often than not!

Join one or both and have some fun with me this season.

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