Two races left in the NASCAR Cup Series season. I am not sure if that is enough time to make it to the top of our league standings. I hope your teams are doing better than my teams in the Driver Group Game. I have been playing some sort of the Driver Group Game (it used to be on Yahoo.com) since 2000. This is by far my worst season. I usually map out my allocations for each race to ensure we have the best drivers for each track. When NASCAR changed the schedule and added double-header weekends, it threw a wrench into my plans. I have some good picks to help use score well in these final two races, but I am already looking forward to 2021.
Here are my picks for the Martinsville…
Driver Group Game A Picks
Brad Keselowski (Start): Brad Keselowski is the most consistent driver at Martinsville. He is almost a lock for a top-5 finish Sunday. Keselowski hs finished 3rd,3rd, 1st, 5th, 10th, 4th, 2nd, 1st, 2nd and 5th at Martinsville since 2015. He had a good race at the track in June. Keselowski started 6th, only led 5 laps, but he finished 3rd. The No. 2 car is going to be tough to beat Sunday.
Martin Truex Jr. (Bench): Martin Truex Jr. has dominated the last two races at Martinsville. He started 3rd, won both Stages, led 464 of the 500 laps and went to Victory Lane in the October race last year. He started 5th in June and it took him half of the race to get his car right. Truex took the lead from Brad Keselowski on lap 370 and it was all over after that. Truex led 132 laps and went to Victory Lane for the second consecutive time at Martinsville.
*I picked Martin Truex Jr. to win the race but I am using Brad Keselowski because the No. 2 car needs points Sunday. Keselowski will try to score as many Stage points as possible and Truex may sacrifice Stage points to get into a good position to win the race. Truex is in a “must win situation”.
** I am out of allocations with Denny Hamlin
Group A Driver Rankings: 1) Brad Keselowski 2) Martin Truex Jr. 3) Joey Logano 4) Chase Elliott 5) Denny Hamlin 6) Kyle Busch 7) Kevin Harvick
Driver Group Game B Picks
Jimmie Johnson (Start): Jimmie Johnson said a few years ago, “I can driver Martinsville in a dump truck and still finish in the top 10.” He is probably right. Johnson has 9 Grandfather clocks in his collection. He had a really good race at Martinsville in June. Johnson started 21st and quickly made his way to the front. Johnson finished 3rd in Stage 1, won Stage 2, led 70 laps and finished 10th in the race. His 5.86 average running position was the 3rd best in the race. This will be my last time I may use Johnson in Fantasy NASCAR so no matter how he performs Sunday, I will be thankful for all of the Fantasy Championships he has helped me win over the years.
William Byron (Start): William Byron is a good pick at Martinsville. He stated 11th, finished 6th in both Stages, and finished 2nd in this race last year. The No. 24 car was fast again in June. Byron started 15th and quickly moved into the top 10. He finished 10th in Stage 1, 7th in Stage 2 and 8th in the race. Do not be surprised if Byron finishes in the top 10 again Sunday. This is a good track for Hendrick Motorsports.
Ryan Blaney (Use if you can): Ryan Blaney is the best option in Group B Sunday. That should not surprise anyone because Team Penske Racing has dominated the recent races at this track. Blaney finished 2nd, 4th and 5th in his last 3 races at Martinsville. Blaney started on the pole, led 34 laps, scored 9 Stage points and finished 2nd in the June race. He should be the best non-playoff driver in the race Sunday.
Clint Bowyer (Use if you can): Clint Bowyer has a history of running well at Martinsville. He won at this track in 2018. The No. 14 car was fast in June but Bowyer had little to show for it. Bowyer started 4th and finished 2nd in Stage 1. He had a commitment cone violation in the final Stage and Bowyer lost his track position. He finished 17th in the race. Bowyer should have a good chance for a top-10 finish this week “if” he can avoid making mistakes.
* I am out of allocations with Ryan Blaney, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Alex Bowman and Aric Almirola
Group B Driver Rankings: 1) Ryan Blaney 2) Jimmie Johnson 3) Kurt Busch 4) Clint Bowyer 5) William Byron 6) Alex Bowman 7) Matt DiBenedetto 8) Ryan Newman 9) Aric Almirola 10) Eric Jones
Driver Group Game C Picks
Bubba Wallace Jr. (Start): Bubba Wallace is actually pretty good at Martinsville. He has finished 11th, 13th and 17th in his last 3 trips to this track. Wallace had one of his best races of the season at Martinsville in June. He started 23rd and quickly made his way through the field. Wallace finished 5th in Stage 1, 6th in Stage 2 and 11th in the race. His 12.03 average running position was 12th best in the race. He has the best stats from the Group C drivers so I will roll the dice with Wallace Sunday.
Tyler Reddick (Start if you can): Tyler Reddick was the best rookie in the June race at Martinsville. He started 14th and was able to finish 10th in Stage 2. Reddick had a 13.02 average running position (13th best) and finished 16th in the race. He should have a decent chance for a top-15 finish Sunday.
* I am out of allocations with Tyler Reddick
Group C Driver Rankings: 1) Bubba Wallace Jr. 2) Tyler Reddick 3) Matt Kenseth 4) Ryan Preece 5) Christopher Bell
Driver Group Game Team
Good luck this week!
*Stats from Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet Pro
If you need any further advice with your team, look for me on Twitter @MrFantasyNASCAR
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