The NASCAR Cup Series travels to Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) this week to compete in the Pennzoil 400. This is a 1.5-mile track that doesn’t wear out tires as quickly as Auto Club Speedway last week. That does not mean the track does not have character. The bumps over the tunnel turn and the winds can cause trouble for some drivers if they race too close to the edge at LVMS. The Gen-7 car produced some good racing at this track last year and I expect the same this week. The Pennzoil 400 can be seen Sunday at 3:30 pm ET on FOX.
STRATEGY FOR LAS VEGAS
The more things change, the more the more stay the same. The Fantasy Live game has been my best game for over a decade. That has a lot to do with the fact that most people do not understand how to play the game. They are too concerned with allocations with really you do not need to be. If you fade your top drivers at the Superspeedways and the Road Courses, you only need 10 drivers to get you through the season. That means we can stack out lineups in the intermediate and short-track races. The picks are off to a good start and I expect them to continue at LVMS. There is no need to save any of your top drivers in the PENZOIL 400.
Here are the picks for the PENNZOIL 400 …
JOEY LOGANO (9): Logano won the last race at Las Vegas, and he will have a good chance to get back to Victory Lane Sunday. The No. 22 car was fast last week at Auto Club Speedway and they unloaded with some speed again Saturday. Logano posted the third-fastest speed in practice and won the pole for the race. I will use another allocation with Logano this week.
KYLE LARSON (10): I had Larson in my starting lineup last week but an electrical problem sent him to my Fantasy Live Garage. Now I have 10 allocations left with the No. 5 car and I plan to use one of them Sunday. Larson scored the second-most Fantasy Live Points on the 1.5-mile tracks last year. He looks fast again this weekend. The No. 5 car posted the fastest speed in practice and qualified sixth for the race. I will give Larson another chance Sunday.
KYLE BUSCH (9): There is a lot to like about Busch at his home track. He competed in the Truck and Xfinity Series races and that gives him two extra practice sessions and 334 laps in the races to get his rhythm down for the Cup Series race. Buschlooked horrible in practice but the team worked on the car and Rowdy qualified fifth for the race. This is one of his best tracks so there is no reason to fade Rowdy Sunday.
ROSS CHASTAIN (9): The 2022 season for Trackhouse Racing was not a fluke. It looks like their cars will be fast again in 2023. Chastain led the most laps, won both Stages and finished third last week at Auto Club. The No. 1 car also led the most laps in both races at LVMS last year. He finished third in the spring race and second in the fall. Chastain posted the 10th fastest speed in practice and qualified eighth for the race. I plan to play Chastain on the intermediate tracks and fade him on the smaller tracks.
WILLIAM BYRON (10): Byron was really good in this race last year. He scored 16 Stage Points and finished fifth. His car was fast again last October, but he lost track position late in the race. The No. 24 car unloaded with some speed Saturday. Byron posted the fifth-fastest speed in practice with the fastest long-run speed. Byron qualified second for the race. Byron seems to be at his best on the 1.5-mile tracks so I will use him in my lineup.
GARAGE DRIVER: RYAN BLANEY (10): It has been a while since Blaney has been to Victory Lane. That could all change Sunday. Blaney ranks at the top of the speed chart in all of the races at the 1.5-mile tracks last year, but he has nothing to show for it. The No. 12 car is fast again this week. Blaney posted the second-fastest speed in practice and qualified third for the race. I will have Blaney in the Garage as an insurance policy Sunday.
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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