We are now just one race away from the start of the playoffs and there is still a lot to be decided. As of right now the final spot in the playoffs belongs to Daniel Suarez who wins a tie breaker between himself and Ryan Newman for that final spot as they both have the exact same amount of points. Clint Bowyer is only eight points ahead of those two and Jimmie Johnson only trails them by eighteen points. Stage points are going to be huge for these drivers and yet there could be a new winner who isn’t in the top sixteen in points that could knock someone out. All in all it should be a fun race to watch.
BIG MACHINE VODKA AT THE BRICKYARD
The final race before the playoffs will be run at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, also known as “The Brickyard”. This is a two and a half mile low banked rectangular oval track that has long straightaways, which means that speed is a major factor in winning this race. The temperature will also have a lot to do with how cars will handle here and let’s not forget about tire management. On long green flag runs the speeds will fall off quickly and those who are fast at the start of a run might get run down the longer those runs go by cars that are handling better and drivers able to manage the tire wear.
Kyle Busch: I have to go with Kyle winning this race and padding his playoff points a little more. He has two wins here and eleven top ten finishes in his fourteen career starts here. His pit crew seems to be one of the most consistent on the circuit this year and he doesn’t make many mistakes getting on or off pit road. I think he is going to qualify well and run well this week.
Kevin Harvick: Although he hasn’t won here since the 2003 season, Kevin always seems to have something to say before this race is over. He has five straight top eight finishes here and that trend should continue. He would like nothing more to win for the second time at Indy and get a few more of those playoff points himself.
Brad Keselowski: Brad won this race last season and finished second in 2017. I talked about speed being a big factor in this race and the Penske teams have shown that they have the speed this year to get the job done on this type of track. We also know that Paul Wolff will try different strategies to try a steal wins when they don’t have the best car on the track, but that can backfire at times too.
Joey Logano: Joey is still looking for his first win at this track, but usually runs well here despite not getting that elusive win. He has finished in the top ten in five of his last six starts here and lead laps in four of those six races. He lost out on the regular season championship, but that doesn’t mean he won’t try to win this race and get five more playoff points this week.
Kyle Larson: Kyle has only run five races here and finished in the top ten in his first three. This team has really come on strong the past month or so and is poised to make some noise in the playoffs. He would be a great driver to put on your roster and if he practices well he could be a bit of a surprise and allow you to make some gains if you are looking to make up ground in your league.
Denny Hamlin: It is a bit surprising to me that Denny hasn’t won a race here yet. However, he has finished in the top five in four of his last five starts here and he knows that second place this week won’t do him any good at all as far as where he sits in the standings for the regular season or the playoffs. Look for him to go all out for the win this week.
Jimmie Johnson: Jimmie’s best shot at making the playoffs is to win this race. It is something he has done four times in his career, so he could do it again. However, this team really hasn’t shown me much at all this season and I don’t see them all of a sudden making major strides in winning a race. Especially on a track like this. He might be worth having on your roster in case something does happen and you can use him to save some starts for others if he practices well, but don’t count on him too much.
Erik Jones: Last week’s winner has only run two races here and he finished second in this race last year. He also ran very well at Pocono this year and this track is a bit similar in the fact that it has long straightaways and not a lot of banking in the corners. I think he is probably someone you want on your roster this week. Momentum is a big deal for a young driver and hopefully he doesn’t get over confident and make a mistake that could cost him late in the race.
Clint Bowyer: Clint won the first stage of this race last year, but he has been inconsistent to say the least at this track in his career. In thirteen starts he has three top five and four top ten finishes. On the other side of the coin, his worst finish here was twenty-first when he was running for HScott Motorsports which was a team that didn’t have big sponsorship money to spend.
Paul Menard: Paul won this race back in the 2011 season, but has only lead one lap here since then. He has finished in the top ten in two of his last three starts here and he ran well at Darlington last week which should give them some confidence coming into this weekend. He is another driver you might want to put on your roster and then decide if you should starts him after seeing how he does in the practice sessions. He has to win this race if he wants to make the playoffs.
DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Driver Group Game Group A
- Kyle Busch
- Brad Keselowski
Driver Group Game Group B
- Denny Hamlin
- Erik Jones
- Clint Bowyer
- Jimmie Johnson
Driver Group Game Group C
- Chris Buescher
- Ty Dillon
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
- Kyle Busch
- Brad Keselowski
- Kevin Harvick
- Joey Logano
- Kyle Larson
Dark Horse: Paul Menard
Stay Away From: Martin Truex Jr.
Big 18: Kurt Busch