Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2021 Martinsville Speedway, Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500

After the fiasco that was the Bristol Dirt Race and a week off for the Easter holiday, the drivers head to the Martinsville Speedway for the running of the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500.

BLUE-EMU MAXIMUM PAIN RELIEF 500

What can you say about NASCAR’s attempt to run a race on a dirt track without doing any testing prior to it. What a fiasco it turned out to be once again. When will they learn to take expert advice? They could have went to Eldora Speedway to run the races and that has been proven for years and years. This is Tony Stewart’s track and it wouldn’t have taken much advertising to get fans interested in the race. Instead they had tire issues and overheating issues because they didn’t want to listen to anyone.

Anyway, let’s see what we can figure out for this Saturday night’s race at Martinsville. The shortest track on the circuit and one of the flattest tracks too. Handling means more than speed at this track and the use of the chrome horn usually comes into play. Drivers won’t be having a lot of patience with slower cars in front of them as they move them out of the way to get by.

Martin Truex Jr.: I’m picking Martin to win this week on a short flat track. He has won 2 of the last three races here and has finished in the top five in five of his last seven Martinsville starts. He also has lead almost 750 laps in his last six races here which leads all drivers over that stretch.

Brad Keselowski: Brad has nine top five finishes in his last ten Martinsville starts including two wins. His other finish in that stretch was a top ten finish. That tells me that Brad has figured out a way to get around this track and communicate with his crew chief to relay the adjustments he needs to make his car handle better as the race moves through it’s stages.

Ryan Blaney: Ryan has finished runner-up here in each of his last two starts. He has also finished in the top five in five of his last six races here. This is the type of racing Ryan enjoys. The type where you can trade a little paint with your competitors if you need to move them to get by. One of the moves that has been prevalent here for a long time.

Chase Elliott: Chase won the fall race here last year on his way to his first championship. I think he has really learned how to run on the flat tracks over the past few seasons and is one of the drivers to beat on a weekly basis no matter what type of track he is on.

Joey Logano: All of the Penske drivers run extremely well here and Joey is no exception. He has seven top ten finishes in his last nine starts including a win back in the fall of 2018. With three drivers on the same team it makes it a bit tougher to get by them all if they are running up front together. Two can do a bit of blocking to keep the leader out front.

Kyle Busch: Not that long ago, Kyle had a run of eight straight top five finishes at Martinsville which included two wins and two runner-up finishes. The last year and a half has been a struggle for this team, but they seem to be getting a bit better once again. I’m not sure if this is the right time to use Kyle or if we should give them more time and see if they can consistently run in the top ten again.

Kurt Busch: Kurt has four top ten finishes in his last five starts at this track and has actually been more consistent than his little brother lately. This is the type of track where this team has a better chance to win as they don’t need the power as much as the handling on this track. I think Kurt should come away with another top ten finish this week.

Denny Hamlin: Denny used to be very dominant here early in his career. He has won five times at Martinsville, but four of those wins came before the 2011 season. Lately he has been doing a lot of wheel hopping here and with all of the pit road speeding penalties he gets this isn’t the place to take a chance on him. A pit road penalty will put you multiple laps down and those are very hard to make up.

Kevin Harvick: Kevin has had good stretches and bad stretches at this track in his career. He has never been consistent enough to say, yes, this is Kevin’s week to win. In his last ten starts he had a stretch of five straight top ten finishes and then the other five races he finished anywhere from fifteenth to twentieth. That just isn’t good enough to take a chance on him this week when you are limited in the amount of starts a driver gets during the season.

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Martin Truex Jr.

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Kurt Busch
  • Alex Bowman

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Ryan Preece

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY

  1. Martin Truex Jr.
  2. Brad Keselowski
  3. Ryan Blaney
  4. Chase Elliott
  5. Kyle Busch

Dark Horse: Alex Bowman

Stay Away From: Ross Chastain

Big 18: Denny Hamlin

Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2021 Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt, Food City Dirt Race

This will be the last race before the series takes a week off for the Easter holiday. The rules for the DGG league are a little different also and you should have received an email about them. Make sure you check it out and ask questions if you’re not sure.

FOOD CITY DIRT RACE

The series heads to the Bristol Motor Speedway for the running of the Food City Dirt Race. Yes, as the name implies this week’s race is going to be run on a dirt track. They are covering Bristol with dirt for the entire weekend. This article might be a little shorter than most because we really have nothing to go on other than looking at which drivers have competed on dirt tracks earlier in their careers.

Kyle Larson: Once again I’ll have to go with Kyle to win this race. Last year when he was suspended from NASCAR he ran in the World of Outlaws and other dirt track events. In fact, he won forty races last year on dirt, so he is far and away the driver with the most experience on dirt. Especially the one with the most recent exposure.

Austin Dillon: Austin cut his teeth on dirt tracks with his brother Ty and they both have a lot of experience on the dirt. I’m not sure if Ty will be in a car this weekend or not, but you might want to keep your eye on the entry list. If he does register to race and has a halfway decent team he might be someone to take a chance on.

Christopher Bell: Christopher dabbles in running on dirt and is someone else to watch for this week. He had won three straight Chili Bowl Nationals races before losing to Kyle Larson the past two seasons. These are my top two drivers to pick from this weekend.

Chase Briscoe: Chase also grew up racing on dirt tracks in the Midwest and has been running a few dirt track events lately to try and get himself back to being familiar with this type of racing.

Other of Interest: Chase Elliott and Kyle Busch will all run in the super late model class at the Bristol Dirt Nationals this week. Kyle did win one of these races back in the 2012 season, so he has run on dirt before.

Joey Logano will compete in the open-wheel modified class, while Brad Keselowski recently ran a race on dirt at the Cochran Motor Speedway in which he finished twlefth.

Chris Buescher will compete in the 604 late model class.

Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. will both run the truck series race on the dirt at Bristol too.

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR INSERT TRACK NAME

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Ryan Blaney
  • Chase Elliott

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Kyle Larson
  • Christopher Bell
  • Austin Dillon
  • Ryan Newman

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Chase Briscoe
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT INSERT TRACK NAME

  1. Kyle Larson
  2. Christopher Bell
  3. Chase Briscoe
  4. Austin Dillon
  5. Ryan Blaney

Dark Horse: Chase Briscoe

Stay Away From: Alex Bowman

Big 18: Christopher Bell

Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2021 Atlanta Motor Speedway, Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500

Five races in the books and five different winners so far. Will that trend continue this coming week or will we have our first repeat winner of the year?

FOLDS OF HONOR QUIKTRIP 500

The series now heads over to the Atlanta Motor Speedway for the running of the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. This is the third mile and a half track on the young season and so far we have had two different winners. Both of those drivers run for Hendrick Motor Sports, so we will probably stick with as many of them as we can this week.

Chase Elliott: I’m picking Chase to be the third Hendrick driver to win on a mile and a half track this season. He has been very good at Atlanta through his young career only having run five races at this track. In those five races he has come away with four top ten finishes. This team just keeps improving every week and I think they are due to win at Atlanta this week.

Kyle Larson: Let’s not forget the winner of the Las Vegas race a couple of weeks ago. Kyle has also run pretty well at this track and now that the Hendrick teams are showing a lot of speed on the track he should be able to improve on his average finishing position at Atlanta and could well give Chase a battle for the win.

William Byron: After a dominating performance when he won at Homestead-Miami, we can’t forget about William this week either. All of the Hendrick cars have been fast so far this season and Atlanta is a track built for speed. I have a feeling all of the Hendrick drivers are going to run towards the front of the pack this week. The question is which one can pull out the win?

Kevin Harvick: Kevin won the first race he ever ran in the Cup series at Atlanta back in the 2001 season. After that he seemed to struggle a bit at this track until three years ago. He has won two of the last three races at Atlanta and has also finished in the top ten here in nine of his last ten starts. You can really never count this team out on any track and he will give the Hendrick teams some competition this week.

Martin Truex Jr.: Martin is still looking for his first win at this track which is a bit surprising seeing how he dominated on this type of track for a couple of years running. That’s not to say that he doesn’t run well here. He just hasn’t gotten to victory lane yet. He has finished in the top five in five of his last nine starts here and the top ten in eight of those starts. He will be another non Hendrick driver to give them some competition.

Brad Keselowski: Brad has six straight top ten finishes at Atlanta and that includes two wins. That tells you that the Penske teams are going to be very competitive this week too. Brad has lead laps here in seven of his last eight starts which tells you that he is usually towards the front of the pack in every race he runs here. This is going to be a very competitive race this week at one of the fastest tracks on the circuit.

Kyle Busch: Kyle has six top ten finishes in his last eight Atlanta starts including a win back in the 2013 season and a runner-up finish last year. This team might not be back to dominating like they did a few years ago, but they are getting better and once they do start winning again they could go on a streak of wins. I might hold off on him a bit longer on this type of track, but I think by the middle of the year we will know how good they will be.

Kurt Busch: Another surprising thing to me is that Kurt has finished no worse than thirteenth in his last eleven Atlanta starts. That in itself isn’t so surprising, but that he did it with four different teams is. If he can run that well with that many different teams it tells me he has a great feel for this track and can communicate to his crew chief exactly what adjustments he needs to make his car better as the race progresses.

Denny Hamlin: This track hasn’t been all the great for Denny. He hasn’t been very consistent here throughout his career. In fact, in his last eight starts here he has finished in the top ten three times, but also finished thirty-eighth three times. Those aren’t the kind of stats I’m looking for when I want to set my lineup here.

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Chase Elliott

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Kyle Larson
  • William Byron

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Chase Briscoe

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY

  1. Chase Elliott
  2. Kyle Larson
  3. Kevin Harvick
  4. Martin Truex Jr.
  5. Brad Keselowski

Dark Horse: Aric Almirola

Stay Away From: Denny Hamlin

Big 18: Kyle Larson

Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2021 Phoenix Raceway, Instacart 500

With four weeks in the season complete we head to a different type of track for the first time this year. That means all new cars and a different strategy where the speed isn’t as important as the handling and pit selections are huge. Let’s see who we think will run well this week.

INSTACART 500

The series stays out west as the drivers and teams head to the Phoenix Raceway for the running of the Instacart 500. This 1-mile flat track will demand that the cars are handling great into and coming out of the turns. The straightaways aren’t all that long, so speed isn’t the major factor here. If you falter early you will find yourself at least one lap down if not several and it’s hard to get those laps back on a shorter track because so many will get lapped on the track without having to pit for an issue.

Kevin Harvick: I have to stick with Kevin even though he isn’t as dominant here now as he has been in the past when he was virtually unbeatable for a few years. Still, he is the only active driver to finish in the top ten here in each of the last six races run. In fact, he has finished in the top ten here in nineteen of his last twenty-one starts and that includes seven wins and three runner-up finishes.

Kyle Busch: Kyle is no slouch here either. He has finished in the top five in nine of his last eleven starts with two wins in that stretch. He has also lead way more laps than any other driver in his last six starts. Even when he’s having a bad year like last year, this is the track where he will always run well. The biggest question will be where he gets to pit.

Denny Hamlin: Denny won the fall race here two years ago and has finished in the top five in four of his last six starts. Denny has always been very good on the flatter tracks and this is one of those. My concern with Denny is all of the speeding on pit road penalties he gets. That is something you can’t do at a track like Phoenix where if you start at the back you’re already in danger of going a lap down.

Martin Truex Jr.: Martin has five top ten finishes in his last seven Phoenix starts. That’s pretty good, but there are better drivers to choose from this week and there are better places to use Martin at. I think he is someone we want to use on the mile and a half and longer tracks and possibly on the road courses where he has shown much more consistency.

Chase Elliott: Chase won this race last fall to win the season championship and has finished in the top three three times in his short ten race career at this track. The way he runs on the road courses and flat tracks tells you he should have a fast car once again this year. Plus the fact that he won here last year will give this team a lot of confidence heading into this weekend.

Joey Logano: Joey has won here twice in his career. The last coming in this race last year. The only driver to lead more laps here over the past six races is Kyle Busch which tell me that when Joey’s car is handling well he is going to run up front. The thing is, when he doesn’t have a good handling car early in the race they never seem to get it to handle well and then he suffers with poor finishing positions.

Kyle Larson: It’s still early in the season for this new team, but Kyle has run very well at Phoenix in his career. He has finished sixth or better in six of his last eight races at this track, but is still looking for his first win. They have impressed me with now well they have been running already this season and I only see them getting better at the year progresses. He might be worth taking a shot on this week.

Brad Keselowski: Brad has finished runner-up in two of his last five starts at this track as he looks for his first win. The problem here is the same problem his teammate, Joey Logano, has. If he doesn’t have a good handling car right away they don’t seem to be able to get it much better during the race. Hard to tell where they’ll be come race day without any practice sessions.

Aric Almirola: A bit of a surprise to me was that Aric has finished in the top ten in five of his last seven Phoenix starts. I guess I shouldn’t really be that surprised as he has run much better at these flatter tracks the past few seasons from what he did earlier in his career. It probably has a lot to do with him being with Stewart-Haas Racing now and being able to learn from Kevin Harvick.

William Byron: William has done pretty well in his short six race career at this track. He has an average finishing position of 13.5 with three top ten finish overall. With this team already qualified for the playoffs they might use this race as a test session to see what they can do to get the car to handle at its best so they have a leg up if they make the championship race this year.

Kurt Busch: Kurt has finished in the top twelve in each of his four starts here since joining Chip Ganassi Racing a couple of seasons ago. His career average finish is 13th in thirty-six starts at this track. He is someone you might want to take a chance on this week also.

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR PHOENIX RACEWAY

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Kevin Harvick

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Kyle Busch
  • Kyle Larson

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Bubba Wallace

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT PHOENIX RACEWAY

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

Dark Horse: Christopher Bell

Stay Away From: Alex Bowman

Big 18: Kyle Busch

Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2021 Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube

The Hendrick teams looked very good last weekend at Homestead-Miami and continue to improve the speed and handling of their cars. Two years ago they couldn’t really compete and now they are looking to be every bit as good if not better than the competition. Let’s see if they can keep it up this coming weekend.

PENNZOIL 400 PRESENTED BY JIFFY LUBE

This week the series heads out west to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the running of the Pennzoil 400 Presented by Jiffy Lube. This is the second intermediate track in as many weeks with both tracks being fairly similar in configuration. That means we should look at the drivers who ran well last week and use them this week as they should be good once again.

Martin Truex Jr.: Martin looked very good last weekend and has been one of the most consistent drivers on the intermediate tracks the past few seasons, so I’m picking him to win this week’s race. He won the fall race here two years ago and has finished in the top five in four of his last six starts. There will definitely be some competition for him this week, so it won’t be a cake walk to get the win.

Kevin Harvick: Kevin won here back in the spring of 2018 and has finished first or second in six of the last twelve stages run at this track. He has also lead more laps than any other active driver over the last six races here. He came on late in the race last week and that should give them a good idea on how to setup the car for this week. He should be a contender once again.

Joey Logano: Joey won the last two spring races at this track. I’m not sure what to think about his performance last weekend and if that will carry over to this weekend. It’s kind of a toss up on whether or not to have him on your roster this weekend. I think we can wait and see if last week was a fluke or if this team has some work to do to become more competitive.

Brad Keselowski: In his last eleven starts at Las Vegas, Brad’s worst finish is thirteenth and that is the only time he has finished outside of the top ten in that stretch. In fact, he has three wins and seven top five finishes in those eleven races. He looked good early on in last week’s race before having to pit late. I think they should be fine once again this weekend.

Kyle Larson: Kyle is back and looked very good last weekend. I think this team will only get better as the year progresses and they should win some races. It’s a long season, so we can probably wait a little longer to make sure last weekend wasn’t a fluke. I’m guessing that all of the Hendrick teams are going to do well throughout the year though.

William Byron: Last week’s winner made it look easy as he won going away. Even when they dropped some spots in the pits he easily made it back to the front and stayed there with no one close at the end. This tells me that the Hendrick teams have found something and with a few years under their belts in this series they are working well with their individual teams and making the right decisions during the race.

Kyle Busch: Still not the finish this team expects or wants, but much better than last season. I think they will continue to build on what they did last week and eventually will be a contender on a weekly basis once again. This is Kyle’s hometown track and he hasn’t won here since the 2009 season, but he has finished in the top ten in four of his last six starts here. Once again we can probably hold off on having him in our lineup until they show us they have improved even more.

Alex Bowman: Another top ten for a Hendrick driver in last week’s race. Alex runs well on this type of track and should have a fast car once again this weekend. They probably learned a few things about their car and can learn more from some of their teammates about what they did to run a bit better than Alex last week. I see this team running well again.

Denny Hamlin: Denny was running with the leaders for most of the race until he once again got caught speeding in the pits. He really tries to push the envelope a little too much and too often entering and leaving the pits which puts him behind the eight ball. He needs to learn that he can take a bit of extra time getting into his pit stall because these penalties, especially late in the race, are killers.

Michael McDowell: Surprising me once again, Michael had another great run last weekend. He has now finished in the top ten in each race this season and that was done on three different types of tracks. If he can do it again this weekend more people will start taking notice. I’m not sure if this team can keep it up, but I’m pulling for them. Always nice to see one of the smaller teams do well on the track.

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Martin Truex Jr.

Driver Group Game Group B

  • William Byron
  • Kyle Larson

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Michael McDowell

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

  1. Martin Truex Jr.
  2. Kevin Harvick
  3. Kyle Larson
  4. William Byron
  5. Denny Hamlin

Dark Horse: Michael McDowell

Stay Away From: Kyle Busch

Big 18: Martin Truex Jr.