With only one more race left to go before the playoffs start there are still some unanswered questions as to who will all be in and who will be out. Ryan Newman or Austin Dillon could make a big move and get in on points yet. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is about the only driver in the top seventeen who has to worry about that final spot. It looks like the top fifteen are pretty much guaranteed to be in no matter who wins this week’s race. A surprise winner or one of the two drivers already mentioned could knock him out of that final spot.
BIG MACHINE VODKA 400 AT THE BRICKYARD
Congratulations to Brad Keselowski whose crew had a great pit stop late in the race and helped get him a win as we approach the playoffs. With one wee to go most of the drivers who are in are going to be going all out for all the playoffs points they can accumulate this weekend besides the fact that every driver will be doing everything in their power to win at the prestigious Brickyard.
This weekend could be hot in Indiana as the teams head to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the running of the Big Machine Vodka 400. This track is very flat with wide sweeping corners and a hot track will make for some interesting racing with cars sliding around on the track. Look for those with a dirt track background who have had fast cars most of the year to be the contenders here this week.
Kyle Busch: Kyle is my pick to win heading into the playoffs and gain at least five more playoff points. He has won two of the last three here and finished in the top two in three of the last four races at Indy. He know that every playoff point counts and momentum heading into the playoffs will easily get him through the first round. The only thing that can keep him out of victory lane is impatience, mechanical failure, or a penalty. If he keeps a cool head early and avoids the other two catastrophe’s he will be back in victory lane.
Kevin Harvick: Kevin won his only race here was back in the 2003 season. However, he has finished in the top ten in eleven of his seventeen starts at this track. He knows a second place finish here this week won’t mean anything to him in the short or long term. He will be doing all he can to win this race and take those five playoff points away from Kyle and get his own momentum heading into the final ten races of the season.
Kyle Larson: After dominating the race at Darlington last week and then coming away with a disappointing third place finish, Kyle will have a chance to win once again this weekend. He is one of those old dirt track racers and has had a good car most of the season. In his four starts at the Brickyard he has finished in the top ten three times. This week he looks to make that big move to the winner’s circle here.
Joey Logano: Joey is looking for his first win at this track, but he has finished second here once in his nine starts. He also has six top ten finishes including his last five starts here. He is guaranteed a playoff spot with a win at Talladega earlier this year and would like to get another win at a different type of track heading into the playoffs so he can show everyone the Penske teams will need to be reckoned with the rest of the year.
Denny Hamlin: Denny won the pole once again last week, but failed to carry that through to the checkered flag. He could very well win the pole here once again this weekend. He finished in the top five in three of his last four starts here which tells us that he knows how to get around this track on a consistent basis. This team needs to figure out what adjustments they need to make during the race to keep this car fast when it comes down to crunch time.
Brad Keselowski: Last week’s winner will be looking to make it two wins in a row this week at Indy. Brad has always been pretty good here during his eight race career coming away with four top ten finishes and leading laps in six of those eight races which means he usually runs towards the front here. We might be able to see if this team finally found something at the right time of the year or not this weekend.
Matt Kenseth: Matt is going to be behind the wheel of the #6 car once again this weekend and could be a dark horse. Granted, he hasn’t run real well in his stints this season, but this is one of those tracks where he is probably the most consistent of all those entered for this race. In his eighteen starts here he has finished in the top five half of the time and in the top ten two-thirds of those races. Can he do it again? Might be worth having on your roster and watching how he practices and qualifies once again this weekend.
Jimmie Johnson: Jimmie leads all active drivers with four wins at this track. Jimmie is another of those drivers who came up through the dirt track ranks and loves running on this track. The big question is do they have enough speed for the long straightaways at this track. I’m not sure this team has shown me enough during the season or lately to peg his as a legitimate contender for this race, but one never knows for sure.
Clint Bowyer: Now I am getting into some of the drivers who haven’t been very consistent here. Clint has always been a pretty good flat track driver, but he only has three top ten finishes in his twelve starts and has led a total of six laps in those starts. Why can’t he run better here? Granted, some of those races he was running for teams without the funds of the team he is on now. So, can he have a good run this weekend? I think he can seeing how well the SHR teams have performed all season.
Ryan Newman: Ryan finished third here last year and won this race in the 2013 season. He hasn’t been the model of consistency here, but he is from Indiana and considers this his home track. He ran well last week until getting into a wreck as he was trying to pit and the Childress teams have shown a little more speed lately, so he might be worth taking a shot with if you need to find someone to fill your roster with and save some starts as there will still be ten more races to go after this week.
I am on vacation this week and will have limited access to the internet, so I might not be able to answer a lot of questions or give out advice, so don’t be disappointed.
DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Driver Group Game Group A
- Kyle Busch
- Denny Hamlin
Driver Group Game Group B
- Ryan Newman
- Matt Kenseth
- Daniel Suarez
- Jamie McMurray
Driver Group Game Group C
- Chris Buescher
- Alex Bowman
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
- Kyle Busch
- Denny Hamlin
- Kyle Larson
- Kevin Harvick
- Joey Logano
Dark Horse: Matt Kenseth
Stay Away From: Ryan Blaney
Big 18: Kyle Busch