The Cup Series will compete at Daytona International Speedway Sunday. This is the final race of the regular season game for Fantasy Live. The picks for this game have beaten 99% of the competition for 11 straight seasons. The picks are currently beating 99.4% of the entries with one race to go. We need a good race (and a lot of luck) Saturday in order to continue the streak.
Here are my picks for Coke Zero Sugar 400…
* I mapped out my allocations with each driver for each race. I do this each year to ensure I am using each driver at their best tracks. I will tweak it during the season if a driver gets on a hot-streak, but it gives me an idea of what allocations I have left with each driver.
Ryan Blaney (4): Ryan Blaney has been really good on the Superspeedways. He crashed out of the Daytona 500, but he finished 2nd and 6th in the two races at Daytona in 2020. Blaney usually runs out front to stay ahead of the wrecks. This allows the No. 12 team the opportunity to score a lot of Stage points. Blaney averaged 10 Stage points per race at Daytona last year. He will have a lot of momentum after his win last week at Michigan.
William Byron (1): I will have William Byron in the Garage as an insurance policy Saturday night. For some reason William Byron is fantastic in the summer race at Daytona and he stinks in the Daytona 500. Byron won the Coke Zero Sugar 400 last year and he finished 2nd in 2019. Byron starts on the front row and I doubt he will drop to the back too fast. Byron should score a lot of Stage points and have a good chance to win Saturday night.
Austin Dillon (9): Austin Dillon has a lot to race for Saturday night. He is currently outside the playoffs and it will be difficult for the No. 3 team to make the field of 16 without a win. Dillon is no stranger to Victory Lane in the summer race at Daytona. He won the Coke Zero 400 in 2018. Dillon also finished 3rd in the Daytona 500 this year and he scored 14 Stage points in the race. I am not worried about Dillon’s starting position. He should quickly make his way to the front and try to score as many Stage points as possible.
Bubba Wallace (10): I will take a chance with Bubba Wallace. He is one of the more underrated drivers on the Superspeedways and he must win to make the playoffs. Wallace has 8 races at Daytona on his resume and his average finishing position is 11th. Not too bad. He will have a lot of help from Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Christopher Bell in the race so they can get another Toyota into the playoffs.
Matt DiBenedetto (9): I am going to roll the dice with Matt DiBenedetto Saturday night. The Wood Brothers always bring a fast car to the Superspeedways and DiBenedetto is used to racing under pressure. He has been on a hot-streak ever since the team informed DiBenedetto that he was being fired at the end of the season. DiBenedetto finished 6th, 5th, 11th, 11th, 9th and 10th in his last six races. I will use DiBenedetto and hope the hot-streak continues in Daytona.
Michael McDowell (9): Michael McDowell will be my insurance policy in the Garage Saturday night. He won the Daytona 500 and he has not finished outside the top 14 at this track since 2018 (5 races). McDowell just needs to do his thing and avoid the wrecks and finish in the top-10.
I know some of you do not have the same allocations left with your drivers that I have with mine. Here is my top 12 for Sunday race…
1. Denny Hamlin (Use if you have any allocations left) (I am out of allocations with Hamlin)
2. Ryan Blaney (Use if you have any allocations left)
3. Austin Dillon (Use if you have any allocations left) (I am out of allocations with Elliott)
4.William Byron (Use if you have any allocations left)
5. Matt DiBenedetto (Use if you have any allocations left)
6. Michael McDowell (Use if you have any allocations left)
7. Bubba Wallace (He is my No. 1 replacement for the drivers listed above)
8. Brad Keselowski (He is my No. 2 replacement for the drivers listed above)
9. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (He is my No. 3 replacement for the drivers listed above)
10. Joey Logano (He is my No. 4 replacement for the drivers listed above)
11. Kevin Harvick (He is my No. 5 replacement for the drivers listed above)
12. Chase Elliott (He is my No. 6 replacement for the drivers listed above)
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.
If you like Fantasy NASCAR, LIKE my Fantasy NASCAR Tips Page on Facebook