The MENCS heads back to Dover International Raceway this week to start the second round of the playoffs. With only 7 races left on the schedule, allocations are becoming more difficult to find in Group B and Group C of the Driver Group Game. We need to pick and choose our drivers very carefully in these final races so we can maximize our points in the final races of the season. The Drydene 400 can be seen Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.
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 Dover…
Driver Group Game A Picks
Kevin Harvick (3): Harvick has been running well for the past month and I expect the No. 4 car to have a good chance to win the race Sunday. Harvick has a 3.6 average finishing position in the last 3 races at Dover and he enters the race with a 3.2 average finishing position in his last 4 races this season. Harvick posted the 3rd fastest speed in final practice with the fastest 15 and 20-lap average speed. He starts on the second row so he will be in position to get the lead early. This is a great race to use an allocation with the No. 4 car.
Group A Driver Rankings: 1) Kevin Harvick 2) Martin Truex Jr. 3) Kyle Larson 4) Chase Elliott 5) Kyle Busch 6) Joey Logano 7) Brad Keselowski
Driver Group Game B Picks
Jimmie Johnson (2): Johnson has 11 wins at Dover and he will have a good chance to add another Miles the Monster Trophy to his collection Sunday. Johnson posted the 2nd fastest 5 and 10 lap average speeds in final practice and he was 3rd fastest on the 15 and 20-lap speed chart. I expect the No. 48 car to score a lot of Stage points and finish in the top 10 Sunday.
William Byron (5): Byron was not expected to be competing for the championship in round 2. Chad Knaus really has the No. 24 car running well and Byron is getting the most out of every lap. He finished 8th at Dover in May and he usually finishes better in his second trip to a track. Byron starts 6th so he will have the track position to run in the top 10, score Stage points and he should finish in the top 10 too.
Group B Driver Rankings: 1) Denny Hamlin 2) Jimmie Johnson 3) William Byron 4) Kurt Busch 5) Ryan Blaney 6) Alex Bowman 7) Erik Jones 8) Clint Bowyer 9) Daniel Suarez 10) Aric Almirola
Driver Group Game C Picks
Matt DiBenedetto (3): DiBenedetto is the only good choice in Group C. He did not have a great race in his first trip to the Monster Mile but the No. 95 team has shown a lot of improvement from how they were running in May. DiBenedetto posted the 6th fastest lap in final practice with the 11th fastest 10-lap average speed. DiBenedetto almost won the Bristol Night Race so he knows his way around high-banked concrete tracks. I will use another allocation with DiBenedetto Sunday.
Group C Driver Rankings: 1) Matt DiBenedetto 2) Chris Buescher 3) Ty Dillon 4) David Ragan 5) Michael McDowell
Driver Group Game Team
Group A: Kevin Harvick (3)
Group B: Jimmie Johnson (2), William Byron (5)
Group C: Matt DiBenedetto (3)
*Stats from Driveraverages.com and career stats from Racing-Reference.Info…
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Good luck this week!