The short track portion of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs is now complete. The drivers will now enter the toughest round to navigate. Las Vegas, Talladega and the Charlotte Roval are the tracks in the Round of 12. Talladega and the Roval are very unpredictable so the teams will do everything they can (even gamble with pit strategy) to win the race in Sin City. It will take a lot of pressure off the teams if they do not have to worry about Dega or the Roval. It should be fun to watch. The South Point Casino 400 can be seen Sunday night at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
Here are my picks for the South Point Casino 400…
Kyle Larson (3): I used two allocations with Kyle Larson and I am using another one Sunday night. I wanted to wait and use my allocations with Larson for the races where he starts on the pole, has a history of running well in and has a lot to race for. The race Sunday night checks all of the boxes. Larson led 103 laps, scored 10 Stage points and won the race at Las Vegas in March. I think he will do it again Sunday night.
Denny Hamlin (3): Denny Hamlin has never won at Las Vegas, but he has been really good. He led 121 laps, won Stage 1, finished 2nd in Stage 2 and finished 3rd in this race last year. Hamlin came back in March and led 47 laps, scored 15 Stages points and finished 4th. Hamlin starts 6th Sunday night. He should score a lot of Stage points and finish in the top-five.
Kyle Busch (4): Kyle Busch has the best average finishing position on the 1.5-mile tracks this season. He has finished 3rd, 5th, 1st, 3rd and 2nd on the intermediate tracks since the last race at Las Vegas (2.8 average finishing position). I have four allocations left with Busch so it is about time I start using them.
Martin Truex Jr. (3): Martin Truex Jr. used to be the most dominant driver on the 1.5-mile tracks. Truex has not been able to win races on the intermediate tracks like he had in the past, but Truex is still very good. He finished 6th at Las Vegas, 9th at Atlanta, 6th at Kansas and 3rd in the June race at Atlanta. Truex may not win Sunday night but he should score a lot of Stage points and finish in the top eight.
Ryan Blaney (5): Ryan Blaney has scored the fourth-most points on the 1.5-mile tracks this season. That should not surprise anyone though. Blaney has always been fast on the intermediate tracks. He had to start 26th in the last race at Las Vegas. Blaney flew through the field and scored 14 Stage points and finished 5th. His car had the third-fastest average green flag speed in the race. Blaney starts on the front row so he has the track position to lead some laps and score a lot of Stage points Sunday night.
Brad Keselowski (5): I will have the ultimate insurance policy parked in the Neon Garage at Las Vegas. Brad Keselowski finished 2nd, 13th, 7th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 6th, 5th, 1st, 7th, 1st and 3rd in his last 12 races at Las Vegas. That is a 4.25 average finishing position over the last decade. That is too consistent to ignore this week. I would start him Sunday night but I trust the drivers listed above a bit more for this race. If any of them have problems though, I will have the best driver at Las Vegas ready to roll.
Good luck and be sure to follow me on Twitter @MrFantasyNASCAR. I will send out a Tweet during the race to let you know if I plan to swap out one of my drivers for my Garage pick.
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