The Cup Series will travel to Talladega Superspeedway this week and there will be even more fans at the track to cheer on the drivers. NASCAR is allowing 5K fans into the race this week. The stands will still look empty but it is better than no fans. Hopefully this trend continues. The GEICO 500 can be Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on Fox.
I really have no words to describe my Driver Group Game picks. I have been played some form of this game (also on Yahoo!) since 2002. My picks have always crushed it and this year they have sucked. Kevin Harvick has finished 17/19 races at Homestead in the top 10 and he never finished worst than 4th in a Stewart-Haas Racing car. I pick him and he finishes 26th. My luck sucks! The good news is that my “Bench Drivers” have been scoring very well, so maybe it is best to use those picks for a while. I will continue to work hard to turn around this sinking ship. There are still 24 races left in the season, so we can climb out of this hole.
Race Rewind at Talladega: 1,000Bulbs.com 500 (2019)
Here are my picks for the GEICO 500…
Driver Group Game A Picks
(Start) Joey Logano: I am not too worried about allocations in Group A so I will use the best driver available. We need to decide between Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin this week. Logano has been better at Talladega so I will use the No. 22 car. Logano finished 4th, 1st, 5th, 4th and 11th in his last 5 trips to Talladega. His average finishing position in his last 8 races at this Superspeedway is 9.4 with an average of 30 laps led per race. I will take my chances with Logano Sunday.
(Bench) Denny Hamlin: Denny Hamlin may be the best driver in the Cup Series on the Superspeedways but he is better at Daytona than he is at Talladega. Hamlin has finished 4 of his last 7 races at Talladega in the top 6 but he has not led a lap at the track in his last 4 races. The No. 11 car will finish up front and will be a good pivot from Joey Logano if you want to save your allocation with the No. 22 car.
Group A Driver Rankings: 1) Joey Logano 2) Denny Hamlin 3) Chase Elliott 4) Brad Keselowski 5) Kyle Busch 6) Kevin Harvick 7) Martin Truex Jr.
Driver Group Game B Picks
(Start) Aric Almirola: Aric Almirola is not only my pick for Group B, he is also my pick to win the race. Almirola has completed every lap in 9 of the last 10 races at Talladega. Are you freaking kidding me?!! Almirola has finished 4th, 9th, 1st, 7th, 5th, 4th and 8th at Talladega in his last 7 races at the track. Almirola has two wins in the Cup Series and they both came on the Superspeedways. I would not be surprised to see the No. 10 car in Victory Lane Sunday.
(Start) Ryan Newman: Ryan Newman could easily have been the 2020 Daytona 500 Champion. Instead he ended up on his roof and in the hospital. Newman said he is not worried about getting back to Superspeedway racing and I believe him (The dude is as tough as nails). Newman finished 2nd, 9th, 25th, 7th and 2nd in his last 5 races at Talladega. His 8.9 average finishing position in the last 10 Superspeedway races is best in the series. This is a good race to use the No. 6 car.
(Bench) Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has a reputation of wrecking the field at Talladega but usually he is not involved in the wrecks. Stenhouse has finished 5th, 1st, 26th, 5th, 3rd, 25th and 9th in his last 7 races at Talladega. Stenhouse knows this race is one of his best chances to win and lock up a spot in the playoffs. I am sure he will wreck to field to win again Sunday (as long as he doesn’t wreck my other drivers, I do not care).
(Bench) Ryan Blaney: If you are not worried about allocations and you want a driver who could dominate this race; Ryan Blaney is your driver. Blaney won the last race at Talladega and I would not be surprised to see the No. 12 car in Victory Lane again Sunday. Team Penske Racing is by far the best at Talladega and you cannot have too many of their drivers in your lineups. Blaney also finished 2nd in the Daytona 500 this season. He seems to have the Superspeedways figured out.
Group B Driver Rankings: 1) Aric Almirola 2) Ryan Newman 3) Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 4) Ryan Blaney 5) Kurt Busch 6) Austin Dillon 7) Clint Bowyer 8) William Byron 9) Alex Bowman 10) Matt DiBenedetto
Driver Group Game C Picks
(Start) Ty Dillon: Ty Dillon has been very consistent at Talladega and that is a trait that is hard to find in a driver at this track. His worst ever finish at the Talladega is 17th. That is not bad. The most incredible stat for Dillon is that he has finished on the lead lap in a 6 of his races at Talladega (He has NEVER crashed at Talladega). This dude is the safest pick in Group C Sunday.
(Bench) Ryan Preece: If for some reason you do not trust Ty Dillon, Ryan Preece is the next best option in Group C. Preece has become one of the more underrated drivers on the Superspeedways. He finished 3rd and 18th in his 2 races at Talladega. Preece also finished 8th at Daytona last year. This is a good race to take a chance with Preece.
Group C Driver Rankings: 1) Ty Dillon 2) Ryan Preece 3) Corey LaJoie 4) Tyler Reddick 5) Darrell Wallace
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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