The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will travel to Indianapolis Motor Speedway this week for the Brickyard 400. All on track activity was canceled Saturday and the field will be set by owner’s points. The race will either be at 1 pm ET Sunday or Monday after the Xfinity Series race.
Martin Truex Jr. (1): I had Truex in my lineup last week but I took him out when he went a lap down. Now I still have 1 allocation left with the No. 78 car and I will use it Sunday. Truex had a good chance to win this race last year. He crashed when he tried to pass Kyle Busch for the lead. The No. 78 team always shows up for the big races. They need some momentum heading into the playoffs so I expect Cole Pearn to have a fast setup in the Furniture Row Racing Toyota this week.
Kyle Larson (1): If Larson runs half as well this week as he did at Darlington, we will be in great shape. Larson has run all 4 of his races at the Brickyard in the top 10. Last year he was running 4th when he was caught up in a crash. Chip Ganassi has a lot of wins at this track in the Indi Series and he really wants some in the MENCS as well. Larson already has a playoff spot wrapped up but I still expect this team to bring one of their best cars to the track this week.
Brad Keselowski (1): Keselowski will enter the race this week with a lot of confidence after winning at Darlington. It is no secret that Team Penske wants to get their first win at the Brickyard in the MENCS. This team has run very well at this track but has not been able to kiss the bricks. Keselowski finished 2nd in this race last year. The team said they found some speed during a test at Michigan. Joey Logano and Keselowski finished 1st and 2nd last week and they should finish in the top 5 again Sunday.
Erik Jones (2): Joe Gibbs Racing really performs well at the Brickyard. Jones has been the 2nd-best driver on the team this summer. He enters the race this week after a pair of top-5 finishes and an 8th-place finish last week. Jones ran upfront and led 10 laps in this race last year but was caught up in an accident. The No. 20 team really knows how to setup a car for the Brickyard. Matt Kenseth has a series-best driver ranking and the 2nd-best average finishing position in this car. I am sure the team will give Jones a car fast enough to compete with his teammate, Kyle Busch Sunday.
Chase Elliott (2): Elliott is running too well right now to ignore. No driver in the series has run as well as Elliott in the last 4 races. He has finished 1st, 9th, 3rd and 5th over the last month of the season. Hendrick Motorsports usually brings fast cars to the Brickyard and the No. 9 team is their ticket to Victory Lane Sunday. The No. 9 team is starting to heat up and I plan on playing Elliott Sunday.
My Garage pick will be Ryan Blaney (2). Team Penske knows how to setup cars for the Brickyard and Blaney is very good at large, fast tracks. He may be in my starting lineup when the race starts Sunday but right now the plan is to start the No. 12 car in the garage.
My Bonus Picks will be updated after I see the cars on the track this weekend. Here are my thoughts right now…
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Busch
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch
Race Winner: Kyle Busch
Winning Manufacturer: Toyota
* I am out of allocations with Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and Kurt Busch. I know most of you have allocations left with some drivers I cannot use and are out of allocations with drivers I am using this week. I am posting my top 10 drivers based on finishing position and Stage Points earned. Just use the highest driver in the rankings this week. I will post the same information next week at Indianapolis.
- Kyle Busch
- Kevin Harvick
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Kyle Larson
- Joey Logano
- Kurt Busch
- Brad Keselowski
- Chase Elliott
- Erik Jones
- Ryan Blaney
- Denny Hamlin
- Clint Bowyer
- Ryan Newman
- Daniel Suarez
- Aric Almirola
Good luck this week!
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