Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2021 Michigan International Speedway, Firekeepers Casino 400

Congratulations to AJ Allmendinger on his win at the Indy Road Course last weekend. There are now only two races left before the start of the playoffs and there are thirteen drivers who have a win and are qualified for those playoffs. Allmendinger doesn’t qualify as he isn’t a full-time driver in the series and doesn’t receive any points. Kevin Harvick is the driver in sixteenth place right now without a win. With Daytona looming and anyone being able to win that race it could knock Kevin right out of the playoffs.

FIREKEEPERS CASINO 400

This week the series heads to the Michigan International Speedway for the running of the Firekeepers Casino 400. This is a two-mile track where speed is king and we all know who’s been showing us the speed all year. Pretty much going to have to stick to the drivers on those teams.

Kyle Larson: I have to pick Kyle to win this week and now I have a dilemma. I only have one more use left with him and want to save it for a future race, so I’ll most likely be using his teammates instead in my lineup this week. Those of you who have multiple starts left might want to use him here.

Alex Bowman: Alex has two wins on the season and this is his type of track. He won at Auto Club Speedway last year on a similar track and this year the Hendrick cars have been even faster. He has also run well at Michigan but hasn’t come away with the finishes they would expect. That can all change this weekend.

William Byron: William has finished mostly in the top fifteen at both Michigan and California. Once again we’ve seen the speed the Hendrick cars have shown this year and these are the drivers you need to have in your lineup this week. William won at Homestead-Miami earlier this season and has been running very well lately.

Chase Elliott: The last of the Hendrick drivers and once again I only have one more start left with him and want to save it for the Charlotte Roval. If you have multiple starts left with him this would be another great place to run him. Chase finished second in each of his first three races here and has only finished outside the top ten once in ten career starts here.

Martin Truex Jr.: Now we get to the other team that has been improving the most lately and getting closer to competing with the Hendrick teams each and every week. Martin is no slouch at this track either finishing either third or fourth in each of his last four starts. I think this is the Gibbs driver who has the best shot at taking the checkered flag from a Hendrick driver, but he’s not the only one who’s good here.

Denny Hamlin: Denny finished second here last year and has finished in the top ten in four of his last five starts at Michigan. He has also lead laps here in six of his last eight starts which tells me he runs up front quite a bit. If he can stay away from a late pit road penalty he could very well be a contender once again this weekend.

Kyle Busch: Kyle has finished in the top ten in his last eight starts at this track. Even though he hasn’t won here in ten years he has been getting better and better every week and can win again at anytime. I think he’s going to have a good handling fast car once again this weekend and will also contend for the win.

Kevin Harvick: Kevin has won four of the last five races here and also finished runner-up in the race preceding those. The problem here is that this team just hasn’t shown the speed they’ll need to compete with the Hendrick and Gibbs drivers on this 2-mile track with long straightaways. I would prefer to use him at some of the shorter tracks where handling is more important than speed.

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Martin Truex Jr.

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Alex Bowman
  • William Byron

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY

  1. Kyle Larson
  2. Martin Truex Jr.
  3. Chase Elliott
  4. Alex Bowman
  5. William Byron

Dark Horse: Austin Dillon

Stay Away From: Bubba Wallace

Big 18: William Byron

Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2021 Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, Verizon 200 at the Brickyard

Once again the Hendrick teams dominated the track last week with Kyle Larson beating teammate Chase Elliott to the finish line. The Gibbs teams seem to be close to being just as good, but not quite yet.

VERIZON 200 AT THE BRICKYARD

This will be the second race in a row run on a road course. The difference this time is that none of these drivers has ever raced on this one before. Then again, a lot of the young drivers had never races at Watkins Glen before either. This race will be held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course and the race is known as the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard.

This is going to be almost the exact same picks as last week. In fact, I think the only thing I might change is my C driver and I’ll decide that after the entry list comes out on Tuesday.

Chase Elliott: Once again we have to go with Chase to win at another road course. He was narrowly beaten by Kyle Larson and if he wouldn’t have flat spotted his tires early in that race the outcome may have been different. All in all it’s really hard not to have Chase in your lineup once again.

Martin Truex Jr.: Martin lead quite a few laps last week, but couldn’t hold off the Hendrick drivers late in the race. Still he’s another option if you’re taking a chance on someone beside Chase to make up ground in your league.

Kyle Larson: Last week’s winner is also a must have on your team this week. He’s proven that he’s just as good as Chase on these tracks and those two will probably be battling for the win once again this week.

Kyle Busch: This other Kyle could also contend for the win this weekend. He ran well last week at Watkins Glen although he was still over 10 seconds behind the winner. If things fall into place he could be a contender at the end again.

Ross Chastain: Ross had a good run at Watkins Glen coming away with a twelfth place finish. I had a lot of people asking me about him last week and with that showing I’ll have to say he’s a good option for the C group this weekend.

Denny Hamlin: Another consistent run by Denny last week makes him someone to take a chance on who probably won’t disappoint you this week. Which means I’m expecting him to at least finish in the top ten if not higher this weekend.

Christopher Bell: Christopher won the race at the Daytona Road Course earlier this year and this is the type of track where he really runs well most of the time in the early stages of his career. He ran well again last weekend on another track he’s never raced on before and has shown he can really get the job done on this type of track.

Kurt Busch: Kurt is another driver who runs consistently well on the road course tracks. He just doesn’t seem to be able to pick up the wins, but finishes in the top ten quite often. He is another driver you can take a chance on as they have been running pretty well on other tracks lately and picked up a win at Atlanta not too long ago.

The final thing to look at is the entry list when it comes out on Tuesday. Watch and see who might be entered this week that isn’t normally racing. Watch and see if AJ Allmendinger, Austin Cindric, or Kaz Grala are entered. Any of these drivers is worth taking a chance on in the C group and it will save you some starts with the regulars that you might need for the rest of the season.

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR INDIANAPOIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY ROAD COURSE

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Chase Elliott

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Kyle Busch
  • Kyle Larson

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Michael McDowell, AJ Allmendinger, Austin Cindric, Kaz Grala

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT INDIANAPOIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY ROAD COURSE

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

Dark Horse: Daniel Suarez

Stay Away From: Bubba Wallace

Big 18: Denny Hamlin

Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2021 Watkins Glen International, Go Bowling at The Glen

After a well deserved two week rest, the teams will be back at it this weekend. I believe it was scheduled like this to give the drivers a break, but also to have some open weekends in case Pocono was rained out one, or both days on their weekend. In any case all of the teams will be back in action with another points race this weekend.

GO BOWLING AT THE GLEN

The first race back will be another road course race, with this one being held at an old favorite of the series. Watkins Glen International will host the Go Bowling at The Glen race.

Chase Elliott: Once again we have to go with Chase to win at another road course. He has won at Watkins Glen the last two races held there and hasn’t done much other than win at all of the other road course tracks the series has been to in the past few seasons. This is where you stick with the consensus pick if you are towards the top of your league or take a chance on someone else and hope something causes Chase to falter this week so you can make up ground.

Martin Truex Jr.: The next most popular pick this week is going to be Martin. He finished second to Chase in each of the last two races here and won the race before that. These two seem to be the best of the best and Martin is the go to guy if you aren’t going to use Chase this week They’ve both been very good consistently on all of the road course tracks.

Kyle Larson: The third most popular pick might be a Kyle. Kyle Larson led a handful of laps in his last start here and has been very good each and every week on all types of tracks. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him contending towards the end of this race too.

Kyle Busch: This other Kyle could also contend for the win this weekend. In his last fourteen starts here he has twelve top ten finishes and two wins. One of his other finishes was eleventh. That makes only one time he has finished outside the top eleven in his last fourteen starts. He has also lead laps in nine of those fourteen starts which tells us that he is used to running towards the front of the pack.

Erik Jones: Erik might be someone you could take a flyer on. He hasn’t run the best with Petty Motorsports in his first season with them, but this is a track where he always ran well in the past. He has only run three races here and those were all with Gibbs. In those three starts he finished in the top ten each time and twice in the top five. Can he do it with his new team? Stranger things have happened.

Denny Hamlin: Denny is the only other active driver besides those already listed to have lead laps in at least one of the last two races at Watkins Glen. Denny won here in 2016. The only issue I have with him this week is that he has only lead laps here twice in fourteen starts and the total laps he has lead is twelve. We might be able to use him at better venues.

Christopher Bell: Christopher won the race at the Daytona Road Course earlier this year and this is the type of track where he really runs well most of the time in the early stages of his career. His big disadvantage is that he’s never run a Cup Series race at this track, but I think he can figure it out pretty quickly.

Kurt Busch: Kurt is another driver who runs consistently well on the road course tracks. He just doesn’t seem to be able to pick up the wins, but finishes in the top ten quite often. He is another driver you can take a chance on as they have been running pretty well on other tracks lately and picked up a win at Atlanta not too long ago.

The final thing to look at is the entry list when it comes out on Tuesday. Watch and see who might be entered this week that isn’t normally racing. Watch and see if AJ Allmendinger, Austin Cindric, or Kaz Grala are entered. Any of these drivers is worth taking a chance on in the C group and it will save you some starts with the regulars that you might need for the rest of the season.

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Chase Elliott

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Kyle Busch
  • Kyle Larson

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Michael McDowell, AJ Allmendinger, Austin Cindric, Kaz Grala

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL

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

Dark Horse: Erik Jones

Stay Away From: Bubba Wallace

Big 18: Erik Jones

Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2021 New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Foxwoods Resort Casino 301

The weeks are slowly winding down towards the playoffs. For some drivers without a win yet they might be winding down quite quickly though. Nobody wants to make the playoffs without a win under their belt. It’s hard to just turn it on all of a sudden and start winning races, which is what you need to do during the playoffs to win a championship.

FOXWOODS RESORT CASINO 301

This week the drivers head to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the running of the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301. This track is slightly longer than a mile and doesn’t have the banking we see at other tracks that are considered intermediate tracks on the circuit. What surprised me was that there are only seven active drivers who have won at this track. The question now is will one of these seven repeat again, or will we see a first time winner this week?

Denny Hamlin: I’m going to go out on a limb and say Denny wins this week. He has three career wins at Loudon and this is the type of track where he doesn’t need all the speed the Hendrick drivers have shown all year as the straightaways aren’t quite that long. It’s more about getting through the corners and getting back into the throttle early when exiting. I think Denny can do that this weekend and pick up the win.

Kyle Larson: None of the active Hendrick drivers have a win at this track. That is something that very well could change this week with the way they have run all year long. Of those four drivers I think Kyle has the best chance of winning this week. He’s been the most consistent of them week in and week out. He has also finished runner-up three times in his ten starts at this track. This might be the week he improves on that statistic.

Kevin Harvick: Kevin has the most wins at this track among all active drivers with four. I still don’t know what’s wrong with this team. It’s true they don’t seem to have the speed the other teams have, but they usually have a better handling car than they have shown for most of the year. I don’t think they’re far off and they have run into their share of bad luck this season. This could be one of those races where they can get the car handling the way they like and do some damage.

Martin Truex Jr.: Martin is another driver looking for his first win at this track. He has had some dominant cars here only to see his hopes dashed away by some late race issue. In fact, Martin hasn’t finished outside of the top twenty here in his last eighteen starts and has finished in the top ten in six of his last seven starts at Loudon. He has lead around six hundred laps in his last seven starts here too. Could this be the week he wins for the first time here?

Brad Keselowski: Brad won this race last year and that was the second time he visited victory lane here. The Penske teams have shown some speed this year and the handling is the key in this race. They should have a fast car right off the truck this week with the notes they have from last year’s race and that is always a plus. If they have enough adjustment built into the car they will be a contender come the end of this year’s race.

Kyle Busch: Kyle has three wins and four runner-up finishes at New Hampshire. He has also been running much better recently than he did all of last season and at the beginning of this season. I think this team is so close to breaking out of a small slump and going on a tear where they can win multiple races in a row no matter what type of track they’re racing on. I look for him to run towards the front in this race and contend for the win at the end.

William Byron: William has only run three races here and has finished in the top fifteen in each of them. He has yet to finish in the top ten though. That could very well come to an end this week as he has shown a lot of improvement this season and we have all seen how fast the Hendrick cars are every week. I look for William to finish at least top ten this week and he could move into the top five too.

Aric Almirola: Aric has shown a lot of improvement over the past month or so. He has run pretty well here the past three races which are the only three he’s run for Stewart-Haas Racing. I don’t think he’ll win this race, but another top fifteen isn’t out of the question for this team. He could be a driver you might want to consider if you’re trying to make up some ground in your league. You never know when one of the top drivers is going to have an issue.

Joey Logano: Joey has eight top ten finishes in his last ten starts at New Hampshire. I think he and Paul Wolff are really working well together and communicating so they make the changes the driver is looking for. This could be the deciding factor on whether or not he wins this race. One bad decision coming from the pits could make of break a driver this weekend. We also know that this team isn’t afraid to do something outside the box to try and win a race.

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Denny Hamlin

Driver Group Game Group B

  • William Byron
  • Aric Almirola

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Bubba Wallace

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY

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

Dark Horse: Ryan Newman

Stay Away From: Alex Bowman

Big 18: Kyle Busch

Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2021 Atlanta Motor Speedway, Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart

Chase Elliott did it again. This time he came from the back of the pack to win at a road course again and he did it by pulling away after taking the lead on the final restart of the race at Road America. He had over a six second lead as the drivers headed into the final lap and cruised home from there for his seventh road course victory in twelve starts.

QUAKER STATE 400 PRESENTED BY WALMART

This week the series heads to the Atlanta Motor Speedway for the running of the Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart. This is another of the intermediate tracks on the circuit and the pressure is starting to mount for drivers who don’t have a win yet this season as we are only six races away from the start of the playoffs. If we get a new winner who isn’t in the top sixteen in points it takes away another spot for someone to get in on points.

Kyle Larson: Larson has been the driver to beat on almost every track other than the road courses lately. I have to give him the nod to win again this weekend. The issue I have is I’m starting to run out of starts for him and might want to save him for some tracks where I think he has a better chance of winning, so I might not have him in my lineup this week. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use him. It is all dependent on if you can use him unlimited times or if you have a lot of his starts left.

Martin Truex Jr.: Martin was the fastest driver on the intermediate tracks earlier this year, but has since cooled off a bit. He could turn it back on at any time. I don’t know if they have been experimenting a little bit to get ready for the playoffs or if they are just a bit out of sync right now. I can’t believe they could have made that big of changes that made him the person to beat to being a top ten driver on these tracks now.

Kevin Harvick: Kevin is one of those drivers who has a pretty good cushion to get into the playoffs on points without a win, but I’m sure that’s not how he wants to try and qualify. He has been very good at Atlanta lately with two wins in his last four starts and ten top ten finishes in his last eleven races at this track. This team just doesn’t seem to have the speed they need to compete with the Hendrick teams at this point of the season.

Denny Hamlin: Denny’s lone win at Atlanta came back in the 2012 season. He along with Kevin who were probably the top two drivers at this point in time last year is still looking for his first win of the season too. He is usually very good at this track also and has finished in the top five in three of his last four starts here. Once again he has a solid points cushion and should make the playoffs that way unless things really go south for him in the next six races.

Alex Bowman: Alex is really good on these intermediate tracks and won at Pocono a few weeks ago. He has three wins on the season and finished third here last season. We have seen that the Hendrick drivers seem to have more speed than all of the other teams although the Gibbs teams seem to be making some headway. Still, I think it’s a good idea to stick with some of the Hendrick drivers until they show vulnerability.

Chase Elliott: Wins on road courses, but doesn’t quite have what his teammates have on the intermediate tracks right now. I expect this to change quickly though. This team has so much confidence after last week’s win that they could carry that through this weekend and give the rest of the Hendrick drivers some competition this week too.

Kyle Busch: Kyle has been getting better every week and if he can win in the Xfinity series as much as he does he can win in the Cup series too. He did win at Kansas earlier this season which is a little bit like Atlanta. He has two career wins at Atlanta and has finished in the top ten in seven of his last nine starts there. This team could surprise at any time and go on a streak of winning.

Joey Logano: Don’t ask me what it is, but I just have this feeling that Joey is going to be fast this weekend and be a contender. There really isn’t anything in his stats that should make me think what I do. It’s just a feeling that I have. He has never won here, although he did finish second back in the 2013 season. Maybe it’s just that I need to make up some ground in my leagues and I want to take a shot at someone who I don’t think anyone else will have.

Aric Almirola: That feeling hit me again with Aric as he has run pretty well the last three races. Once again, there really isn’t anything in the stats that tells me he could run well this weekend and most of his finishes have been pretty dismal this year. He’s another driver I don’t think a lot of people will have on their rosters this week and could help you make up ground.

William Byron: William had his best finish here last season although he has only run four races at Atlanta. We know the Hendrick cars have the most speed and that gives them an advantage at a track like Atlanta. I’m think he is going to run in the top ten most of the day and could very well be a contender at the end of this race.

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Joey Logano

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Alex Bowman
  • Kyle Busch

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY

  1. Kyle Larson
  2. Martin Truex Jr.
  3. Kyle Busch
  4. Denny Hamlin
  5. Alex Bowman

Dark Horse: Matt DiBenedetto

Stay Away From: Ross Chastain

Big 18: Joey Logano