The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will be back to short track racing this week. That means the cars will have 750 HP engines, the aero ducts will be removed and the 2” splitter and 8” spoiler will be on the cars. Predicting what will happen in the Cup Series has been difficult this season but a return to the higher horsepower cars should make this race easier to predict since practice speed should translate into race speed at the Magic Mile. The Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 can be seen Sunday at 3 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 New Hampshire…
Driver Group Game A Picks
Martin Truex Jr. (5): The Truex family has put the “Magic” into the “Magic Mile.” It seems like whenever the checkered flag is waived, the name Truex is on the car. That could be the case Sunday. Truex posted the 5th fastest speed in final practice with the 4th fastest 10-lap average speed. The only reason I am starting Truex over Kyle Busch is because I need to save my allocations with the No. 18 car. If you have 4 or more allocations with Busch, use the No. 18 car.
Group A Driver Rankings: 1) Kyle Busch 2) Brad Keselowski 3) Martin Truex Jr. 4) Kevin Harvick 5) Chase Elliott 6) Joey Logano 7) Kyle Larson
Driver Group Game B Picks
Ryan Blaney (5): Blaney has a history of running upfront at the Magic Mile. He finished 9th in 2017 and 7th last year. He has also scored Stage points in every Stage at the track. Blaney posted the fastest speed in final practice with the fastest 10-lap average speed. The No. 12 car will start 5th and track position is very important at New Hampshire. Blaney should score a lot of Stage points and possibly lead some laps Sunday. I will burn another allocation with Blaney this week.
Jimmie Johnson (5): Johnson has 3 wins at the Magic Mile but his last trip to Victory Lane was in 2010. I still expect the No. 48 car to finish in the top 10 Sunday. Johnson posted the 10th fastest speed in final practice with the 15th fastest 10-lap average speed. He starts 10th and the outside lane usually gains a lot of position at the start of the race. That should help Johnson gain some track position, score Stage points and have the pit stall to finish up front.
Group B Driver Rankings: 1) Ryan Blaney 2) Denny Hamlin 3) Erik Jones 4) Aric Almirola 5) Kurt Busch 6) Clint Bowyer 7) Jimmie Johnson 8) Daniel Suarez 9) Austin Dillon 10) Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Driver Group Game C Picks
Ty Dillon (5): Dillon has been horrible at the large tracks and good at the short tracks. Dillon finished 15th at Phoenix, 13th at Martinsville, 15th at Bristol and 21st at Richmond. He also finished 16th at New Hampshire in 2017 and 23rd last year. Dillon qualified 18th and his car is fast enough to finish in the top 20.
Group C Driver Rankings: 1)Matt DiBenedetto 2) Daniel Hemric 3) Ty Dillon 4) Chris Buescher 5) Ryan Preece
Driver Group Game Team
Group A: Martin Truex Jr. (5)
Group B: Ryan Blaney (5), Jimmie Johnson (5)
Group C: Ty Dillon (5)
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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