We are a quarter of the way through the season now and Kyle Busch leads the series with three wins and sits at the top of the standings. Some things to note at this point of the season are as follows. The Chevrolet teams haven’t been able to compete on the intermediate tracks yet, but they showed some improvement at Texas a few weeks ago. Kevin Harvick is still looking for his first win of the season, yet he sits in fourth place in the standings. Kurt Busch and Daniel Suarez both look very good on their new teams, and Austin Dillon is having a great year so far.
After a week off to celebrate the Easter holiday the series heads to the Talladega Superspeedway for the second restrictor plate race of the season. This is the first restrictor plate race where they will run the new aero package and I’m not expecting much difference than any other restrictor plate race. Drivers will still have to use the draft to make any moves. If nobody goes with a driver I don’t think they will be able to make a pass on their own. If you fall out of the draft you are going to be in big trouble this weekend.
With five wins at this track already in his career and the speed the Penske drivers have shown all year, I am picking Brad to win here once again. Both he and Joey Logano work well together here and even with the new aero package I still think the Ford’s will be the manufacturer to beat. I am going to load up on them once again for this race.
If Brad doesn’t win I think he pushes one of his teammates to win here. Joey has three wins here himself and has lead five more laps in his career at this track than Brad has. If they don’t get greedy at the end of the race and both try for the win, Roger Penske can mark this one in the books.
Ryan Blaney: Let’s not forget the third Penske driver. Ryan has run well for the most part this year until something happens to him late in the race. If he can stay out of trouble early on he will be right there with the rest of his teammates at the end competing for his first win of the season. The only thing about the B drivers is I don’t necessarily want to use the best ones here because of the potential for the big wreck to take them out.
Kevin runs well at every track he goes to and you might not here much about him early in the race if he doesn’t qualify well because then he will just drive around at the back of the pack and just try to stay out of trouble. Then, at the end of the race he will make his move towards the front and try to use that strategy to pull off a win here.
Denny won the Daytona 500 this year and always seems to run well on the restrictor plate tracks. Granted, they are going to run a different package here than at Daytona and the car he won there with is down in Daytona U.S.A. for the year. I still think this team will have something to say about getting to the front at the end of the day.
Kurt has run well here in the past and always seems to lead laps in the races. He has finished in the top ten in over half of his thirty-six starts at Talladega and is looking for his first win at this track. I have a feeling the Ganassi drivers are going to have some pretty good cars this weekend.
Austin Dillon: Austin always runs well at the restrictor plate tracks himself and one of his two career wins came in the Daytona 500 last year. Even after a horrific crash at Daytona back in July of 2015, Austin goes about racing on these tracks as business as usual. I think he is a good sleeper to have on your team this weekend.
Paul is in his first season with the Wood Brothers and he runs well on the restrictor plate tracks. Combine these two and you have the potential for a minor upset this weekend. Remember when Trevor Bayne wont he Daytona 500 for the Wood Brothers back in 2011 and they have been competitive on this type of track every year. He is my dark horse this week.
Clint has two wins at this track and has finished in the top ten in half of the twenty-six races he has run at this track. This team seems to be getting a little better every week and we know they have the speed of the Ford engines under their hood. I think Clint needs to just be patient early in the race and try to stay out of trouble and he will have a chance at the win at the end.
Aric is the only active driver to finish in the top ten in each of his last five starts here including a win in the fall race last season. This team has looked very good all year and once again I am reluctant to have him on my roster this week due to the fact of the potential for the big wreck to take out half of the field through no fault of their own.
DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY
Driver Group Game Group A
- Brad Keselowski
- Joey Logano
Driver Group Game Group B
- Paul Menard
- Austin Dillon
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
- Alex Bowman
Driver Group Game Group C
- Micheal McDowell
- Ty Dillon
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY
- Brad Keselowski
- Joey Logano
- Ryan Blaney
- Kevin Harvick
- Aric Almirola
Dark Horse: Paul Menard
Stay Away From: Erik Jones
Big 18: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.