The NASCAR Cup Series will compete on a road course for the first time this season. This will not be any normal road course. The Cup Series will race on the Daytona Roval for the first time. Some of the drivers have some experience on this track in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona races, but for most of the field it will be there first time turning any laps on this track. This should be a true test of the skills of the best drivers in the world. The Go Bowling 235 can be seen Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on NBC.
Here are my picks for the Go Bowling 235 …
Driver Group Game A Picks
Chase Elliott (Start): Chase Elliott has been the best driver on the road courses for the past two seasons. He won the last two races (Charlotte Roval and Watkins Glen) and he finished 6th at the Charlotte Roval and won at Watkins Glen in 2018. Elliott should score a lot of Stage points and have a great chance to win the race Sunday.
Martin Truex Jr. (Bench): If you do not want to use Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr. should be your driver. These two drivers have won six of the last seven road course races (Ryan Blaney was handed the trophy at the Charlotte Roval when Truex was spun out in 2018, unless it would be seven wins in a row for Truex and Elliott). I expect the No. 19 car to be really fast Sunday.
Kyle Busch (Contrarian Pick): Most people in your league will use one of the drivers listed above. If you want to be different and have a chance to gain some points on your competitors, take a chance with Kyle Busch. He was four wins on the road courses on his resume. He also competed in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona this year. It was his second time competing in that race so Busch will have some knowledge of the track. Busch desperately needs a win before the playoffs begin and he is really motivated by stats. He likes the fact that he has won on every track so he will be extra motivated to scratch the Daytona Roval off his list. There is a lot to like about the No. 18 Sunday
Group A Driver Rankings: 1) Chase Elliott 2) Martin Truex Jr. 3) Kyle Busch 4) Kevin Harvick 5) Denny Hamlin 6) Brad Keselowski 7) Joey Logano
Driver Group Game B Picks
Matt DiBenedetto (Start): Matt DiBenedetto showed last year that if he is given a good car, he can compete for a win on the road courses. DiBenedetto finished 4th at Sonoma, 6th at Watkins Glen and 11th at the Charlotte Roval. His 7th place average finishing position was 4th best and his 94.7 Driver Rating was 6th best in the Series. This is a good race to use an allocation with DiBenedetto.
Clint Bowyer (Start): Clint Bowyer has been good on the road courses and even better on the Roval tracks. Bowyer has the second-best average finishing position on the road courses and he finished 3rd at the Charlotte Roval in 2018 and 4th last year. He said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio this week, “I’m a weird driver. Everyone knows that. So it should not surprise anyone that this funky track fits my driving style. This is our best chance to win a race before the playoffs. Bowyer should run most of the race in the top 10, score a lot of Stage points and be a good pick for your Fantasy NASCAR team.
William Byron (Bench): William Byron has been improving on the road courses each time he races on the road course. He finished 6th at the Charlotte Roval last year and not having practice this week should benefit Byron more than the rest of the drivers. Byron is very good at using the track simulator to figure out a track. He said he spent a lot of time on the computer this week. I expect Byron to finish in the top 10 Sunday.
Jimmie Johnson (Bench): No driver in the field has as much experience on the Daytona Roval as Jimmie Johnson. He has competed in seven Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona races and finished second in 2005 and 2008. Johnson had a great chance to win the inaugural Charlotte Roval race in 2018 but he spun out trying to pass Martin Truex Jr. on the last turn. Johnson returned to the Charlotte Roval and finished 9th last year. He should finish in the top 10 Sunday.
Group B Driver Rankings: 1) Ryan Blaney 2) Clint Bowyer 3) Kurt Busch 4) Matt DiBenedetto 5) Jimmie Johnson 6) William Byron 7) Alex Bowman 8) Erik Jones 9) Aric Almirola 10) Chris Buescher
Driver Group Game C Picks
Michael McDowell (Start): This is a good week to use an allocation with Michael McDowell. The No. 34 car starts deep in the field Sunday but McDowell should not have any problems making his way through traffic. He finished 18th in his first Roval race at Charlotte and 12th last year. This is a good race to save an allocation with your top drivers and use McDowell in the race.
Christopher Bell (Bench) Christopher Bell figured out how to navigate the road courses last year. He won the Xfinity Series race at Road America, finished 2nd at Mid-Ohio and 2nd at Watkins Glen. He starts higher in the field than Michael McDowell so he is probably a safer pick. I want Bell to have a race in a Cup car on a road course before I use him in the race though.
Group C Driver Rankings: 1) Michael McDowell 2) Christopher Bell 3) Matt Kenseth 4) Tyler Reddick 5) Daniel Suarez
Driver Group Game Team
Good luck this week!
*Stats from Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet Pro
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