The Cup Series will travel to Dover International Speedway this week and hopefully they bring some luck with them. The Fantasy Live picks once again performed well for 95% of the race and then it all went to crap in the last 10 laps. Bubba Wallace, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick and Aric Almirola were all running in the top-12 with five laps to go. I was in first place in most of my leagues and then the Fantasy NASCAR Gods flipped my team the middle figure and set my drivers to the back of the pack. Damn you Talladega! The good news is that Dover is a more predictable race than the Bristol Dirt Race or Talladega. The picks have dominated this game for over a decade. They cannot hold me down too long….
This will be the first race on a high-banked, one-mile track. Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a high-banked intermediate track too, so I will use some of the data from that race for the picks this week. Most of the drivers are in my lineup based on their speed in the 20-minute practice session and their track history at Dover.
Hendrick Motorsports dominated this race last year. Alex Bowman won the race, Kyle Larson finished second, Chase Elliott finished third and William Byron finished fourth. They also led 382 of the 400 laps. There is a good chance the HMS cars will be up front again Sunday so I will have a lot of their drivers in my lineup.
Here are my picks for the DuraMAX Drydene 400…
FANTASY LIVE LINEUP
KYLE LARSON (6): Dover is the best track for Larson. He led 263 laps, won both Stages and finished 2nd last year. He did not compete in the races in 2020, but he finished 1st and 3rd in 2019. There is a good chance Larson will dominate some of the race Sunday. The No. 5 car posted the fastest speed in practice and qualified third. There is no need to save an allocation with Larson at his best track.
CHASE ELLIOTT (7): We need to save our allocations with Elliott for the road courses and there are four of them remaining on the Fantasy Live schedule (Sonoma, Road America, Indy Road Course and Watkins Glen). That gives me 3 allocations to work with. I need one for Charlotte (Elliott’s best track that is not a road course), so now I am down to 2 allocations left. I will burn one this week at Dover. He finished 3rd in this race last year and Elliott has finished 88% of his races at the Monster Mile in the top-5. This could be the track where he gets his first win of the season.
ALEX BOWMAN (10): Bowman won the race at Dover last year and he did not “back his way into Victory Lane.” Bowman led 98 laps and scored 11 Stage Points on his way to Victory Lane. Bowman has finished 4 of his last 5 races at Dover in the top-5. The No. 48 car starts 6th.. Bowman should score a lot of Stage Points and finish in the top-5 Sunday.
KYLE BUSCH (9): Busch has been the best and most consistent driver for Joe Gibbs Racing this year. He has had success at Dover too. He has 3 wins at the Monster Mile. Busch posted the 11th fastest speed in practice and was 5th fastest on the long-speed chart. Busch starts 10th. He should be able to score a lot of Stage Points and finish in the top-10 Sunday.
KEVIN HARVICK (8): The last time Harvick won a race, Harrison Burton was in diapers. OK, maybe it has not been that long, but is has been 54 races (Bristol in 2020). That streak could come to an end Sunday. Harvick is good at the high-banked, concrete tracks. He finished 6th, 1st, 4th, 4th, 4th, 6th and 1st in his last 7 races at the Monster Mile. Harvick said after practice that he really likes the way his car drives in race-trim.
GARAGE DRIVER: DENNY HAMLIN (8): I know it is hard to trust Hamlin and that is why I am going to start the No. 11 car in the Garage. Dover is also one of the toughest tracks to make a pass at. Hamlin starts 2nd and he should be able to run up front. He has had a lot of success at the Monster Mile in the past. I will have Hamlin as an insurance policy Sunday.
* I would use Ryan Blaney over Kyle Busch but I am running low on allocations with Blaney.
Fantasy Live has a new Bonus Picks section this year. Instead of selecting the winning team or manufacturer, we will earn 10 bonus points for selecting the driver who finishes the best in a Head-to-Head matchup. Here are my picks for the matchups…
KYLE LARSON vs. ROSS CHASTAIN (My Pick: KYLE LARSON)
ALEX BOWMAN vs. WILLIAM BYRON (My pick is ALEX BOWMAN)
KEVIN HARVICK vs. MARTIN TRUEX JR. (My pick is KEVIN HARVICK)
CHASE ELLIOTT vs. TYLER REDDICK (My pick is CHASE ELLIOTT)
Good Luck this week!
*Stats from Fantasy Racing CheatSheet Pro
* Team Information from Jaysky.com
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