The MENCS competes at Talladega Superspeedway this week in the GEICO 500. Allocations are very important in the Driver Group Game and saving drivers is the best strategy at the Superspeedways. It will be OK to use a good driver in Group A since there is plenty of talent in this group to get you through 36 races, but I would save your top drivers in Group B and Group C for more predictable tracks.
Here are my picks for Talladega…
Brad Keselowski (8): If Talladeaga is the “Track Too Tough to Tame”, Keselowski is the “Track Tamer”. He has a series-high 5 wins at the track, including the last race at the track. He only has 2 DNF’s in his 18 starts at the track so he should be a safe pick. Keselowski uses the strategy of going to the front and staying there as long as possible. This is a good strategy because it is hard to hit other cars when no one is in front of you. He is also great at scoring points for leading laps. I will roll the dice with the Blue Deuce this week.
Group A Rankings: 1) Brad Keselowski 2) Denny Hamlin 3) Joey Logano 4) Kevin Harvick 5) Martin Truex Jr. 6) Kyle Busch 7) Jimmie Johnson 8) Kyle Larson
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (8): Drivers cannot race Talladega afraid. They need to have the confidence that they can avoid wrecks and get to the front. There may not be a more confident driver in the race than Stenhouse. He has won 2 of the last 4 races on the Superspeedways and he is confident even when his car is bouncing off the wall. Stenhouse will be a popular pick this week, but he has the talent to win this race.
Paul Menard (8): Menard is the best pick on paper this week. He has the best average finishing position on the Superspeedway tracks in the last 6 races. His worst finish is 13th and he has finished 4 of the last 6 races in the top 10 at these tracks. If you want a safe pick, Menard is your driver this week.
Group B Rankings: 1) Ryan Blaney 2) Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 3) Kurt Busch 4) Paul Menard 5) Clint Bowyer 6) Chase Elliott 7) Ryan Newman 8) Austin Dillon
David Ragan (9): Michael McDowell is a better pick on paper, but he has had a lot of problems this season with his new team so I will go with Ragan. He has won been very good on the Superspeedways. Ragan won the race at Talladega in 2013. His Roush-Fenway Ford with the Roush-Yates engine should be one of the best cars Ragan has had at this track in a long time. I expect him to finish in the top 15 Sunday.
Group C Rankings: 1) Alex Bowman 2) David Ragan 3) Darrell Wallace Jr. 3) William Byron 4) Michael McDowell 5) Chris Buescher
Good luck this week!
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