The MENCS will kick off their run for the championship with the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This year the race will be under the lights. The racing is always more exciting at night and I expect the same this week. The South Point 400 can be seen Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.
The rules are a bit different for the Fantasy Life Playoff Game. We must select 2 Playoff Drivers and 2 Non-Playoff Drivers. The Garage picks can be a driver who is either in the playoffs or a driver not competing for the championship. If you select a Playoff-Driver for the Garage, you can only use him to replace a Playoff-Driver. If you select a Non-Playoff Driver for the Garage, you can only use him to replace a Non-Playoff Driver.
Fantasy Live Playoff Game Strategy
My strategy last year was to select a Non-Playoff for the Garage pick. My theory was… The drivers who are running for the championship typically run up front and do not have problems. The Non-Playoff Drivers missed the playoffs because they finish in the back and often have problems. I rather have more options to play from the Non-Playoff Drivers since there are no allocation limits and I typically can find two Playoff Drivers who can run up front all night. Most people select a Playoff-Driver for the Garage ad this gives us an advantage over the field.
This week we must select our driver to win the championship. I selected Denny Hamlin because of the hot streak he has been on and how well he runs at Homestead. Hamlin has finished 7 of the last 8 races in the top 5. He also has 2 wins at Homestead. If Hamlin can get to the Final Four, he will have a good chance to take home the trophy. If you correctly select the Championship Driver, you will earn 60 bonus points.
Here are my picks for the race in Las Vegas….
– Kevin Harvick has a great chance to dominate this race. He starts 3rd and he should be able to take the lead from his Stewart-Haas Racing teammates. I expect the No. 4 car to score the most Stage Points and have a good chance to win the race.
– I am not worried about the starting spot for Kyle Busch. There are 80 laps in Stage 1 so each team will have to pit before the end of the Stage. I expect Busch to pass 10 cars on his own and his pit crew to pick him up 4-5 spots. He should be in the top 5 by the end of the Stage.
* If you want to be contrarian and play it safe, Chase Elliott is a good choice. The No. 9 car had a lot of speed in practice and Elliott starts 8th. He should score a lot of Stage points Sunday night.
– You almost have to start Daniel Suarez when he starts 2nd. I am not sure how long he will stay up front but he should score some Stage points and finish in the top 12.
– Jimmie Johnson seems to be more motivated to win now that he has been eliminated from the playoffs. He had a lot of speed in practice and now he starts 9th. Johnson should score some Stage points and finish in the top14.
I think you need an extra bullet in you Non-Playoff Driver gun so I am using Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the Garage. He said in practice, “This is the best car we have had all season.” He qualified 12th and there is a good chance he finishes in the top 10. Stenhouse finished 6th in the first race at Las Vegas this season.
** Photos from NASCAR Media
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Good luck this week!
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