The MENCS teams were scared to death about what would happen at the Charlotte Roval last year. NASCAR officials were worried too because they did not even know what to expect from a half road course / half oval track. Well, it turned out to have a lot of chaos but the ending was one of the best of the season. The teams will have a lot more information to use this week so I doubt we will see 20 cars following Brad Keselowski into the wall. I still expect an exciting race. The Bank of America Roval 400 can be seen Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on NBC.
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).
Here are my picks for Charlotte Roval…
Driver Group Game A Picks
Chase Elliott (7): Elliott has been the 2nd-best driver on the road courses behind Martin Truex Jr. Elliott won the last 2 races at Watkins Glen, finished 6th at the Charlotte Roval last year and 4th at Sonoma in 2018. He currently sits 35 points above the cut line for the playoffs so the No. 9 team simply needs a good point’s day. I had Truex picked as my Group A driver but then he blew his engine in practice and he will start from the back. Truex said, “We do not need Stage points so we will likely pit before the Stages so we can get track position to make a run for the win.” I do not want my driver sacrificing Stage points so I will use Elliott Sunday. Elliott was fastest in final practice.
Group A Driver Rankings: 1) Chase Elliott 2) Kyle Larson 3) Martin Truex Jr. 4) Brad Keselowski 5) Kevin Harvick 6) Joey Logano 7) Kyle Busch
Driver Group Game B Picks
Ryan Blaney (3): Blaney has been good on the road courses this year. He finished 3rd at Sonoma and 5th at Watkins Glen. That gives Blaney a 3rd-place average finishing position in the last three road course races. The No. 12 team brought another fast car to the track this week. Blaney posted the 6th fastest lap in final practice and he qualified 9th. Blaney should score a lot of Stage points and finish upfront Sunday.
Jimmie Johnson (3): Johnson finished 8th in the Charlotte Roval race last year. He was running down Martin Truex Jr. on the last lap and decided to race him aggressively for the win, instead of taking the points to advance to round 2. Both cars spun out and Johnson finished outside the top 5. It looks like he brought the same speed to the track this week. Johnson posted the fastest lap in the first practice and he had a fast car in final practice. He did spin out and hit the wall but the team said they could fix the car.
Group B Driver Rankings: 1) Ryan Blaney 2) Clint Bowyer 3) Kurt Busch 4) Denny Hamlin 5) Jimmie Johnson 6) William Byron 7) Erik Jones 8) Alex Bowman 9) Aric Almirola 10) Daniel Suarez
Driver Group Game C Picks
Michael McDowell (5): What a weekend for McDowell. He woke up with kidney stones Friday, went to the hospital and they passed and then he went to the track and qualified the car in the 22nd position. Matt DiBenedetto and Chris Buescher are better picks but I have 3 allocations left with Matty-D and 2 allocations left with Buescher. I will use McDowell this week so I can save my allocations with the No. 95 car. I will feel pretty good going into the last 7 races (1 is at Talladega so I can use a scrub there) with 5 allocations left with DiBenedetto and Buescher. McDowell was 5th fastest in final practice.
Group C Driver Rankings: 1) Michael McDowell 2) Chris Buescher 3) Matt DiBenedetto 4) Ryan Preece 5) Daniel Hemric
Driver Group Game Team
Group A: Chase Elliott (7)
Group B: Ryan Blaney (3), Jimmie Johnson (3)
Group C: Michael McDowell (5)
If you need any further advice with your team, look for me on Twitter @MrFantasyNASCAR
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Good luck this week!