The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will travel to Talladega Superspeedway this week for the GEICO 500. Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske have won every race in 2019 but that could change Sunday. This is the most unpredictable races of the season. Most of the drivers who are entered in the race have a good chance of winning. Anything can happen at this track and that is what makes it exciting. The GEICO 500 can be seen Saturday at 2 p.m. ET on Fox.
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 Talladega…
Driver Group Game A Picks
Joey Logano (5): The No. 22 car has finished 5 of the last 6 plate races in the top 5. That is awesome at a track where a driver can easily be taken out even if he did nothing wrong. Logano has 3 wins at Talladega, including a trip to Victory Lane in this race last year. Logano qualified 8th and he will have his two teammates right in front of him to work with. I expect Logano to quickly make his way to the front and dominate this race.
Group A Driver Rankings: 1) Joey Logano 2) Brad Keselowski 3) Kevin Harvick 4) Kyle Busch 5) Chase Elliott 6) Martin Truex Jr. 7) Kyle Larson
Driver Group Game B Picks
Aric Almirola (5): Almirola is one of the best picks in the field this week. He has a series-best 4.25 average finishing position since 2016 at Talladega. Almirola has finished 5 consecutive races at this track in the top 8. That includes a trip to Victory Lane last October. He is also good at running up front so that means a lot of Stage points. I am down to 5 allocations with Almirola but he is too good at this track to fade. The No. 10 car is the safest pick in the field Sunday.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (7): Stenhouse has the 2nd-best average finishing position (8.75) and a win at Talladega over the last two seasons. He finished 3rd and 5th in the two races at the Biggest and Fastest Track on the circuit last year. Stenhouse had one of the fastest cars in practice and he qualified 6th. This is one of his best tracks so there you will not find a better race to use an allocation with the No. 17 car.
Group B Driver Rankings: 1) Kurt Busch 2) Aric Almirola 3) Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 4) Clint Bowyer 5) Denny Hamlin 6) Ryan Blaney 7) Erik Jones 8) Daniel Suarez 9) Jimmie Johnson 10) Austin Dillon
Driver Group Game C Picks
Ty Dillon (7): Dillon is the best choice in Group C. He has NEVER finished a MENCS race at Talladega outside the top 15. I want drivers who are good at avoiding the wrecks and Dillon is one of those drivers. Dillon qualified 13th so he will have a good pit stall which will allow him to stay up front after pit stops. I will use another allocation with Dillon this week.
Group C Driver Rankings: 1) Ty Dillon 2) David Ragan 3) Michael McDowell 4) Daniel Hemric 5) Matt DiBenedetto
Driver Group Game Team
Group A: Joey Logano (5)
Group B: Aric Almirola (5), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (7)
Group C: Ty Dillon (7)
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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