The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will compete on its second road course of the season. This is a good opportunity for a driver who is not locked into the playoffs to sneak into Victory Lane. Fuel mileage always plays a big role in this race so some teams will gamble to make this race interesting. The Go Bowling at the Glen can be seen Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.
There are 5 races left in the regular season of the Fantasy Live game. This is a good race to save allocations but if you have 3 or more allocations left with Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick or Denny Hamlin; I would use them this week. They are very good at this track.
Fantasy Live Starting Drivers
* I would love to use Kyle Busch in this race but I have 2 allocations left with the No. 18 car. I know I need one for Bristol and I want to save him for either Michigan or Indianapolis.
Martin Truex Jr. (3): Truex has been the best road course driver in the MENCS and it is not even close. In the last five road course races, Truex finished 1st, 14th, 2nd, 1st and 1st. The only finish outside the top 2 was at the Charlotte Roval last year when he was running 2nd and spun out by Jimmie Johnson on the last lap. Truex is also good at scoring Stage points. He finished 1st, 2nd, 2nd and 5th in the last two races at Watkins Glen. Truex was 4th fastest in final practice with the 10-fastest 5-lap average speed. The No. 19 car should easily finish in the top 5.
Chase Elliott (3): Elliott said after the race at Watkins Glen last year, “I spent a lot of time with Jeff Gordon and my father in the simulator trying to improve my road course skills. They showed me what I was doing wrong and their advice worked.” Wow, did it ever work. Elliott qualified 3rd, led a race-high 52 laps, won Stage 2 and went to Victory Lane for the first time in the Cup Series. Elliott looks fast again. He posted the fastest lap speed in final practice with the 2nd best 5-lap average speed. I will use an allocation with Elliott Sunday.
Denny Hamlin (2): Hamlin is on quite the hot streak right now. He finished 2nd at New Hampshire and then won at Pocono. I expect the No. 11 team to continue to roll at Watkins Glen. Hamlin won the race in up-state New York in 2016 and he will be a serious threat to go back to Victory Lane Sunday. Hamlin posted the 7th fastest speed in final practice with the 3rd fastest 10-lap average speed. I only have two allocations left with Hamlin and I want to save the last one for Darlington. I will use the other one this week.
Clint Bowyer (3): Bowyer was the fastest of the Stewart-Haas Racing cars in practice. He posted the 6th fastest lap and seemed happy with the car. A source I know who used to work for SHR told me last year that this organization usually gives the best cars to the drive who needs it the most to make the playoffs. Bowyer is on the playoff bubble so it is not a surprise he led SHR in practice speed. Bowyer has an 8th place average finishing position at Watkins Glen in the No. 14 car. I will gladly take another top-10 finish from him Sunday.
William Byron (10): I need to save allocations so I will try to get a start from the No. 24 car Sunday. I was told that Byron spent a lot of time in the simulator with Jeff Gordon over the last month, preparing for this race. Gordon helped Chase Elliott get to Victory Lane last year. It looks like he learned something for the Go Bowling at the Glen. Byron posted the 8th fastest lap time with the 4th fastest 5-lap average speed in final practice. I will take a chance with Elliott this week.
My Garage Driver this week will be Ryan Blaney (4). Blaney won the Road Course race at Charlotte last year and backed it up with a 3rd-place finish at Sonoma this season. Blaney finished 8th at Watkins Glen in 2017 and 12th last year. He has the skills to run well at this track and Blaney looked fast in practice. He posted the 11th fastest speed in final practice with the 9th best 5-lap average speed. Blaney should be a safe option to have in the Garage Sunday.
Fantasy Live Picks for Watkins Glen
** Photos from NASCAR Media
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Good luck this week!