The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series returns to points racing this week at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Fantasy NASCAR players will have a lot of information to use for the 600-mile marathon Sunday. The series just competed on a similar track at Kansas, they held the All-Star race at Charlotte last week and they have three hours to dial in their cars. It should not be difficult to figure out who has the fast cars this week. The Coca-Cola 600 can be seen Sunday at 6 p.m. ET on Fox.
One of the changes this season for the Driver Group Game is that your league commissioner has the ability to change to number of allocations for each driver and can place drivers into any group they choose. My picks will be based on the default settings (8 allocations per driver and the original group settings).
* NASCAR will inspect the cars Sunday afternoon (It is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. ET). Any car that fails will start in the back and be scored in Fantasy NASCAR from his qualifying position. If I need to update my picks I will post a message on my Twitter account (@MrFantasyNASCAR) and my Fantasy NASCAR FB Page.
Here are my picks for Charlotte…
Driver Group Game A Picks
Kyle Busch (5): The Coca-Cola 600 is Busch’s race to win. He qualified 3rd and he had the 5th fastest car in final practice. Busch has the best long run speed car. He posted the fastest 10-lap, 15-lap and 20-lap average speed in final practice. Busch has finished 1st or 2nd in the last 2 Coca-Cola 600s and last year he won both Stages and led 377/400 laps. The No. 18 car should dominate the race again Sunday night.
Group A Driver Rankings: 1) Kyle Busch 2) Kevin Harvick 3) Martin Truex Jr. 4) Chase Elliott 5) Joey Logano 6) Brad Keselowski 7) Kyle Larson
Driver Group Game B Picks
Erik Jones (5): The Joe Gibbs Racing cars did not qualify well but their cars are fast in race trim. They took 4 of the top 5 spots on the 15-lap average speed chart. Jones was 6th fastest in final practice with the 5th fastest 10-lap average speed, 3rd fastest 15-lap average speed and 2nd fastest 20-lap average seed. His car just maintains speed better than the rest. Jones finished 4th at Texas and 3rd at Kansas. He finished 7th in the Coca-Cola 600 last year and I expect another top-10 finish from him Sunday.
Clint Bowyer (6): Bowyer has been fast ever since the No. 14 team arrived in Charlotte 2 weeks ago. Bowyer qualified 8th and posted the 10th fastest speed in final practice. The No. 14 car was 9th fastest on the 10-lap average, 8th fastest n the 15-lap average and 6th fastest average speed chart. So Bowyer maintains speed better than the rest of the field too. Bowyer has been very good in the 550 HP engine, higher-downforce package this year. I will take a shot with the No. 14 car for Sunday night.
Group B Driver Rankings: 1) Erik Jones 2) Denny Hamlin 3) Clint Bowyer 4) Austin Dillon 5) Daniel Suarez 6) Ryan Blaney 7) Alex Bowman 8) Aric Almirola 9) Jimmie Johnson 10) William Byron
Driver Group Game C Picks
Daniel Hemric (5): I was planning to use Chris Buescher for this race but I cannot ignore what Hemric has done this week. The No. 8 car qualified 10th and posted the 2nd fastest speed in practice. Hemric was also 3rd fastest on the 10-lap average speed chart and 11th fastest on the 15-lap average speed chart. This is the home track for Hemric so he should be extra motivated to perform well. I will use Hemric and save my allocations with Buescher for another race.
Group C Driver Rankings: 1) Daniel Hemric 2) Chris Buescher 3) Ty Dillon 4) Darrell Wallace Jr. 5) Matt DiBenedetto
Driver Group Game Team
Group A: Kyle Busch (5)
Group B: Erik Jones (5), Clint Bowyer (6)
Group C: Daniel Hemric (5)
If you need any further advice with your team, look for me on Twitter @MrFantasyNASCAR
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Good luck this week!
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