The MENCS competes in Fontana, California this week in the Auto Club 400. This track is a 2-mile oval with a worn out racing surface. There is a lot of room to race so the fans should be in for a treat this week. This race comes down to horsepower and speed. The cream usually rises to the top at this track so stick with the drivers from the larger organizations and the teams that have been running well in 2018 (Stewart-Haas Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, Team Penske, Furniture Row Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing).
Points for leading laps and position differential will no longer be awarded. Fantasy teams will score points for finishing the Stage in the top 10 and where they finish the race. Because of this; it is no longer important to select drivers starting in the back. Just pick the best team you can.
* There is also a garage driver this year. Fantasy players can put this driver into their lineup at any time before the end of Stage 2. You will lose the Stage points from the driver you take out of your lineup though. I only plan to make a change if one of my driver crashes and that is likely to happen this week. If I make a change I will post a message on my Twitter account: @MrFantasyNASCAR
Kevin Harvick has been on fire. He has won three races in a row and has a great chance to win No. 4 Sunday. Harvick was freaky fast in the practices this week. He should quickly make his way to the front from the 10th starting position.
Martin Truex Jr. was not scheduled to be in my lineup this week and then the No. 78 car went out and won the pole. Truex was fast in practice and track position is important at Auto Club Speedway. I expect Truex to lead many laps and finish in the top five Sunday.
Kyle Busch will have the best chance to knock Kevin Harvick off his thrown this week. Busch has finished runner up to Harvick in the last two races. This is one of the best tracks for Joe Gibbs Racing so do not be surprised if Busch is in Victory Lane for the 4th time at Auto Club Speedway.
Kyle Larson has dominated the 2-mile ovals the past two seasons. Larson has won the last 4 races on tracks of this size and there is a good chance he could make it five in a row Sunday. No driver is as good as Larson at making passes at this track. He is very good at diving to the bottom and sliding to the top in order to pass cars. This is a great week to use an allocation with Larson.
Kurt Busch was really fast in practice, just like all of the Stewart-Haas Racing car. There is no guarantee the SHR Fords will be this fast all season so it would be a good idea to use an allocation with Busch now while he is running well. Busch led 52 laps and finished 8th at Atlanta. The racing surface at Auto Club Speedway is similar to Atlanta so I expect similar results from Busch Sunday.
Garage Driver: My Garage Driver this week will be Erik Jones. He had a lot of speed in practice so I expect him to be fast in the race. He starts 4th and should run up front Sunday. If anything happens to my other drivers, I will not hesitate to take Jones out of the Garage this week.
* Trust me on the allocations. I have each driver mapped out for the season so we use them at their best tracks. We will have plenty of allocations to get us through the season.
Here are my picks for the Auto Club…
Driver 1: Kevin Harvick
Driver 2: Martin Truex Jr.
Driver 3: Kyle Busch
Driver 4: Kyle Larson
Driver 5: Kurt Busch
Garage Driver: Erik Jones
STAGE 1 WINNER: Martin Truex Jr.
STAGE 2 WINNER: Kevin Harvick
PICK TO WIN: Kevin Harvick
Good luck this week!
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