The MENCS will return to the Heartland Sunday for some exciting racing at Chicagoland Speedway. The race at this track was one of the best of the 2018 season. I expect the same this week. This track is bumpy and wears out tires because of the harsh winters in the Midwest. Pit strategy and getting their cars at the perfect height to navigate the bumps will be the key to success at Chicagoland. The Camping World 400 can be seen Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network (Yes, NBC Sports Net. Not Fox…so make sure you have the right channel).
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 Chicagoland Speedway…
Driver Group Game A Picks
Kyle Busch (4): Busch is kind of flying under the radar this week. I have not heard too many people talking about the 2018 race winner and that could make him dangerous. Busch posted the 14th fastest speed in final practice with the 6th best 10-lap average speed. He said in practice that his car only needed to run the bottom better and he would be great. I am sure they will get him fixed up and Busch will be at the front Sunday. I wish I had Kevin Harvick, but Busch will be a good second choice.
Group A Driver Rankings: 1) Kevin Harvick 2) Kyle Busch 3) Chase Elliott 4) Brad Keselowski 5) Martin Truex Jr. 6) Joey Logano 7) Kyle Larson
Driver Group Game B Picks
Denny Hamlin (4): Many of the teams in the garage think Hamlin has the car to beat Sunday. He thinks the same. Hamlin only posted the 13th fastest lap speed in final practice but his car was second fastest to Kevin Harvick on the long runs. Hamlin told MRN Radio, “This car is better than what we had at Texas.” Guess who won the race at Texas? Yes, it was Hamlin. I will take him at his word and use another allocation with the No. 11 car Sunday.
Alex Bowman (8): Bowman has been good on the large oval tracks since the Cup Series left Texas. He finished 2nd at Kansas (very similar track to Chicagoland Speedway), 7th at Charlotte and 10th at Michigan. Bowman has never finished outside the top 10 at Chicago since he joined Hendrick Motorsports. His car was very fast in practice Saturday. Bowman posted the 8th fastest speed in final practice with the 3rd best 10-lap average speed. Bowman should finish in the top 10 again Sunday.
Group B Driver Rankings: 1) Alex Bowman 2) Denny Hamlin 3) Kurt Busch 4) Jimmie Johnson 5) Clint Bowyer 6) William Byron 7) Ryan Blaney 8) Daniel Suarez 9) Erik Jones 10) Aric ALmirola
Driver Group Game C Picks
Chris Buescher (4): I was hoping for more speed out of the No. 37 car this week but I think he will be fine in the race. Buescher posted the 15th fastest speed in final practice. It may need seem fast but it was better than Martin Truex Jr, Brad Keselowski and almost identical to Kyle Busch. Buescher started 18th and finished 10th at Kansas. He started 22nd and finished 6th at Charlotte. He should score another top 15 finish this week.
Group C Driver Rankings: 1) Chris Buescher 2) Daniel Hemric 3) Matt DiBendetto 4) Michael McDowell 5) Ty Dillon
Driver Group Game Team
Group A: Kyle Busch (4)
Group B: Denny Hamlin (4), Alex Bowman (8)
Group C: Chris Buescher (4)
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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