Congratulations to Chase Elliott who won the race at Dover for his second win of the season. The win also automatically moves him to the third round of the playoffs. Kevin Harvick had the dominant car for most of the race once again as he led 286 laps in the race, but found himself a lap down and by the time he got back on the lead lap he didn’t have enough time to get all the way back to the front of the field.
The win was huge as the drivers all head to the Talladega Superspeedway this week for the running of the 1000Bulbs.com 500. This is the wildcard race of the second round as anyone can win this race and anything can happen to any driver at any point of this race. The potential for a big wreck that can take out half of the field because of the pack racing at a restrictor plate track is almost guaranteed to happen at least once during these races.
Brad Keselowski: I am going to pick Brad to win the race this weekend and get himself into the third round. Penske Racing has won four of the last five races at this track and like we said all year long, the Ford’s seem to have a little more going for them speed wise this year and they have shown it on this type of track. Brad and his teammates always seem to be able to find each other and work well together here.
Joey Logano: If Brad is going to win he will probably be teamed up in the draft with Joey most of the day. Joey is the other Penske driver who has won two of the last five races at this track. In fact, both Brad and Joey have very similar stats here over the past five races each leading right around 190 laps in those races and coming away with two wins. If they can stick together for most of the race I think they have the best chance to go to victory lane again.
Aric Almirola: Aric has four straight top ten finishes here and almost won at Daytona earlier this season. This team has really been coming on lately and might be able to put a full race together and get themselves into the third round of the playoffs. They won’t necessarily need to win, but they can’t have a disastrous finish here this week either if they want to move back into the top eight in the standings.
Kurt Busch: Kurt has had the best average finish out of all drivers over the past five races here. In fact, he finished second here in April and has finished in the top ten in four of his last five starts here too. He is a teammate of Aric Almirola and they are both in Ford’s also. I am going to stick with my strategy of having Ford drivers on my team again this week. One word of cation though. Don’t waste a start on any driver you don’t have a lot of starts left with because of the potential for accidents this week.
Denny Hamlin: Denny had a good run last weekend finally and he has led laps at Talladega in each of his last nine races there. He has always run well on the restrictor plate tracks in his career and if he can avoid mistakes on pit road this week where he might find himself out of the draft he should be a contender late in the race if he can find a drafting partner he trusts.
Chase Elliott: Chase has started inside of the top ten in each of his five career starts at this track. He also seems to be able to keep his car up front and lead laps in most of the races he runs here, but always seems to get caught up in a wreck or either isn’t sure when to make a move late in the race or no one wants to go with him when he tries to make that move. I think that was because some weren’t sure they wanted to trust him, but after his win last week he has shown he has what it takes to win in the series and more drivers will believe he is the person to follow.
Kyle Busch: Kyle seems to always have a good handling car here, but he either lacks patience or gets caught up in a wreck of someone else’s making. He is going to have to try and avoid something that will knock him out of this race. He has enough points to get into the next round if he plays it smart. Winning here isn’t mandatory for him, but staying in the race and finishing on the lead lap is.
Kevin Harvick: Back to another Ford driver who should have a fast car. Most of the time you won’t hear much about Kevin early in the race as he just rides around and tries to figure out what adjustments they might want to make to get their car handing the way they want for late in the race. He knows he has the speed to go from the back to the front in a hurry and has the patience to wait. It also seems like when things are going bad in front of him he usually finds a way to get through the mayhem early on.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Ricky has been fast at all of the restrictor plate tracks for the past few seasons. However, he didn’t make any friends the last restrictor plate race at Daytona when he was responsible for starting two big wrecks. I don’t think a lot or drivers are going to cut him any slack this week and might just knock him out of the way to get him off the track. So, no matter how good he has been lately, he is my stay away from driver this week.
Ryan Blaney: There is no reason the Ryan shouldn’t have a great car once again this weekend. It just seems like he doesn’t have enough patience at these types of tracks yet. He can have a very fast car, but if he loses the lead he tries too hard to get it back right away and makes some very daring moves to try and get it back. He needs to leard a little more patience and he will win races on these types of tracks.
DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR INSERT TRACK NAME
Driver Group Game Group A
- Brad Keselowski
- Joey Logano
Driver Group Game Group B
- Paul Menard
- Trevor Bayne
- Ryan Blaney
- Austin Dillon
Driver Group Game Group C
- David Ragan
- Michael McDowell
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT INSERT TRACK NAME
- Brad Keselowski
- Joey Logano
- Aric Almirola
- Kurt Busch
- Ryan Blaney
Dark Horse: Paul Menard
Stay Away From: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Big 18: Paul Menard