The most difficult race on the schedule to predict is here. Each race on a Superspeedway is tough to predict but the race Sunday is even crazier because drivers take more chances when a playoff spot is on the line and that usually leads to big wrecks. This is a great race to save your top drivers and take a chance with drivers you have a lot of allocations with. We will need a lot of luck this week so just close your eyes and hope for the best. The 1000Bulbs.com 500 can be seen Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on NBC.
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
Chase Elliott (6): Elliott sits 11th in the playoff standings and seven points below the cut line. He needs a lot of points or a win Sunday to advance to the Round of 8. The good news is he can get it done. Elliott won the last race at Talladega and he finished 3rd at the track last year. Elliott won the pole and he has his three Hendrick Motorsports teammates starting behind them. I expect the HMS cars to work together and be very tough to beat Sunday.
Group A Driver Rankings: 1) Chase Elliott 2) Joey Logano 3) Brad Keselowski 4) Kevin Harvick 5) Kyle Busch 6) Martin Truex Jr. 7) Kyle Larson
Driver Group Game B Picks
Aric Almirola (4): Almirola got off to a hot start in 2019 and then he went into a slump ever since the last race at Talladega. If the No. 10 team is going to have anything positive to look at for the off-season, it could be a win in Alabama. Almirola won this race in 2018 and he has two trips to Victory Lane on the Superspeedways on his resume. Staying out of trouble is the name of the game at Talladega and Almirola is one of the best drivers in the field at avoiding wrecks. He has finished 9th, 1st, 7th, 5th, 4th and 8th in his last six races at the track. Almirola is the safest pick in Group B this week.
Alex Bowman (5): Bowman is a good pick for a couple of reasons. The No. 88 team is very good at qualifying on the Superspeedways so he gives you a good chance to score qualifying points. He will likely run right in front or right behind Chase Elliott and that is not a bad place to be. And Bowman needs as many points as possible to stay in the top eight of the playoff standings. He finished second at Talladega in April and he will have a good chance to finish in the top five Sunday.
Group B Driver Rankings: 1) Aric Almirola 2) Alex Bowman 3) Ryan Newman 4) Kurt Busch 5) Jimmie Johnson 6) Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 7) Ryan Blaney 8) Denny Hamlin 9) Paul Menard 10) Clint Bowyer
Driver Group Game C Picks
Ty Dillon (4): Dillon had his best race at Daytona in July. He qualified 23rd and finished fourth. He was one of the winners from Chevy deciding to work together. Dillon spent a lot of time working with the Hendrick Motorsports cars in all of the Superspeedway races this season. That is not a bad place to be on the track. This is a good race to use an allocation with Dillon.
Group C Driver Rankings: 1) Ty Dillon 2) Ryan Preece 3) David Ragan 4) Michael McDowell 5) Matt DiBenedetto
Driver Group Game Team
Group A: Chase Elliott (6)
Group B: Aric Almirola (4), Alex Bowman (5)
Group C: Ty Dillon (4)
*Stats from Driveraverages.com and career stats from Racing-Reference.Info…
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Good luck this week!