The NASCAR Cup Series will compete for the first time at World Wide Technology Raceway (WWT Raceway) this week. While this is the first time the Cup Series will race right outside of St. Louis; the Xfinity and Truck Series have competed at this track many times in the past. It should be fun to see how the Gen-7 car performs on the 1.25-mile, flat track. The Enjoy Illinois 300 can be seen Sunday at 3:30 p.m. on FS1.
STRATEGY FOR WWT RACEWAY
NASCAR will have a unique schedule this week since the Cup Series is racing on a new track. The teams will get 50 minutes to dial in their cars during their practice session Friday. I have a good idea of what drivers I want for my team, but my final decision will be based on which drivers look fast in practice. Be sure to check back Friday evening for my updated picks. Lineups do not lock until 8 a.m. ET Saturday morning.
Here are the picks for the Enjoy Illinois 350…
DRIVER GROUP GAME LINEUP
GROUP A DRIVERS
KYLE BUSCH (5): Busch is my pick to win Sunday. WWT Raceway may be a new track for most of the drivers in the field, but not for Busch. He has competed in three Xfinity Series races at WWT Raceway with finishes of 5th, 8th and 1st. The Truck Series competes at the track every year so Rowdy will have a lot of notes from his Kyle Busch Motorsports team to work with this week. Busch finished seventh at Phoenix and ninth at Richmond. Joe Gibbs Racing is running a lot better now, so I expect the No. 18 car in Victory Lane Sunday.
RYAN BLANEY (6): I debated between Chase Elliott and Blaney for the second driver in Group A. Elliott has been the safer pick because he has the second-best average finishing position on the short tracks this season (behind Kyle Busch), but he has no experience at WWT Raceway. Blaney raced a Truck at this track in 2014 and he finished seventh. The main reason why I chose Blaney though is because he won the pole at Phoenix and at Richmond. Those tracks are similar to WWT Raceway so Blaney will have a good chance to win the pole and score some bonus points for our team. I plan to use Blaney for qualifying points and use Busch in the race.
GROUP A DRIVER RANKINGS: 1) Kyle Busch 2) Ryan Blaney 3) Chase Elliott 4) Kyle Larson 5) Martin Truex Jr. 6) Denny Hamlin 7) Kevin Harvick
GROUP B DRIVERS
ROSS CHASTAIN (6): Each Wednesday I tell myself, “I am not fading Ross Chastain this week.” Then he goes out and qualifies 22nd and I leave the No. 1 car out of my starting lineup. I do not care if Chastain starts on the Moon Sunday; I am starting him in my lineup. Chastain has two starts at WWT Raceway in the Truck Series. That includes a trip to Victory Lane in 2019. Chastain finished second at Phoenix this year and he should finish in the top-five Sunday.
CHRISTOPHER BELL (6): I really like the speed Joe Gibbs Racing has now and I really like the momentum that the No. 20 team has. Bell has finished his last five (non-Superspeedway) races in the top-10. He also has had some success at WWT Raceway. Bell won the Truck Series race at WWT Raceway in 2016 and he finished sixth in 2017. I plan on using another allocation with Bell this week.
WILLIAM BYRON (6): I need at least one driver from Hendrick Motorsports in my lineup so I will use Byron this week. He only has one race at WWT Raceway on his resume. He qualified 3rd, led 17 laps and a late pit-road penalty caused Byron to finish 17th in 2016 (Christopher Bell won that race). Byron led 122 laps and finished third at Richmond and he led 212 laps and won the race at Martinsville this year. He has been good the best driver on the short, flat tracks so I will have Byron in my lineups.
CHASE BRISCOE (9): When I talked to my friends who work in the NASCAR garage they told me that the most similar track to WWT Raceway is Phoenix. That means Briscoe should be a good play this week. The No. 14 car won the race at Phoenix and he has had success at WWT Raceway too. Briscoe won the pole, led 88 laps and finished second in the Truck Series race at WWT Raceway in 2017. He looked great last week, so I plan on using Briscoe in my lineup Sunday.
GROUP B DRIVER RANKINGS: 1) William Byron 2) Ross Chastain 3) Christopher Bell 4) Chase Briscoe 5) Joey Logano 6) Tyler Reddick 7) Alex Bowman 8) Kurt Busch 9) Austin Dillon 10) Bubba Wallace
GROUP C DRIVERS
DANIEL SUAREZ (6): My Amigo has a fast car., but my Amigo does not know how to finish a race….. It is frustrating using Suarez in your Fantasy NASCAR lineup. He spends a lot of time racing in the top-10 and when the checkered flag is waived, Suarez is listed outside the top-20. Sooner or later his luck is going to change. He has never competed at WWT Raceway but he finished ninth at Phoenix earlier this season. I like the speed that Trackhouse Racing has, so I plan to use an allocation with Suarez Sunday.
ERIK JONES (5): I debated between Austin Cindric and Jones for the final pick in Group C. Neither driver has been very good on the short, flat tracks this year. I decided to “pencil in” Jones because he has more experience at WWT Raceway. He competed in three Truck Series races at the track. Jones had mechanical issues in two of the races, but he won the pole in one race and finished fifth in another. I will watch practice and see who looks good in Group C to pair with Daniel Suarez Sunday.
GROUP C DRIVER RANKINGS: 1) Daniel Suarez 2) Erik Jones 3) Austin Cindric 4) AJ Allmendinger 5) Cole Custer
* Be sure to check back Saturday evening for my starting lineup for the Driver Group Game.
TRUCK SERIES PICKS
* Be sure to check back Friday evening after qualifying for my starting lineup for the Truck Series race.
Good Luck This Week!
If you need any further advice with your team, look for me on Twitter @MrFantasyNASCAR
If you like Fantasy NASCAR, LIKE my Fantasy NASCAR Tips Page on Facebook