The Cup Series will race at home this week when the take the green flag at the Charlotte Roval. There have been five races in 2022 on the road courses and they have been pretty exciting. The Charlotte Roval is known for being the most chaotic road course race (Remember Jimmie Johnson spinning out Martin Truex Jr. on the final lap in the inaugural Roval race or Brad Keselowski leading the field into the wall the next year?). I expect more chaos Sunday. The Bank of America Roval 400 can be seen Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on NBC.
STRATEGY FOR CHARLOTTE ROVAL
The Gen-7 car has leveled the playing field this year but it has not affected the road course races as much as it has on the oval tracks. Some drivers (like Tyler Reddick) have figured out how to maneuver the independent real suspension around the road courses better than others. I will focus my picks this week on the drivers who have consistently run up front on the road courses in 2022, have a history of running well at the Charlotte Roval and posted fast speed in practice. I want the drivers who check most of these boxes.
Here are my picks for Charlotte Roval …
CHASE ELLIOTT (4): Elliott won the races at the Charlotte Roval in 2019 and 2020. He is also averaging 13.5 Stage Points in his last three races at the track. Elliott finished 4th at COTA, 2nd at Road America and 4th at Watkins Glen. Elliott is already locked into the Round of 8 so he can be more aggressive with his pit strategy and go for the win Sunday. There is no reason to fade Elliott at one of his best tracks.
WILLIAM BYRON (3): Byron has been the best driver in the field at the Charlotte Roval. He leads the Cup Series with at 121.8 Driver Rating and his average finishing position in his last three races at the track is 7th. Byron has the second-best average finishing position in the playoffs this year, so he is on a hot streak right now. Byron has not been great on the road courses this year, but I will have him on my team at one of his best tracks.
JOEY LOGANO (2): Logano has been good at running up front and scoring Stage Points but he had problems finishing the races. His problems seemed to be solved in his last two races on the road courses. Logano finished 6th at the Indy Road Course and 3rd at Watkins Glen. He has competed in all four races at the Charlotte Roval and Logano has never finished outside the top-10. He should be a safe pick for your Fantasy Live lineup.
TYLER REDDICK (5): The No. 8 car has been bad fast on the road courses this year. Reddick won at Road America and he the Indy Road Course. He also finished 5th at COTA and 7th at Watkins Glen. Reddick said after his win at the Indy Road Course, “The Gen-7 car just fits my driving style on the road courses. I think it has a lot to do with the brakes. I always brake way too late into the corners in the previous car. The braking zones match up perfectly to my driving style in the Gen-7 car.” Reddick has been too good on the road courses to fade this year.
AUSTIN CINDRIC (5): Cindric has been very good on the road courses this year. He finished 8th at COTA, 5th at Sonoma, 7th at Road America and 2nd at the Indy Road Course. He is also averaging the 3rd most Stage Points on the road courses this year. His average finishing position at the track is 3rd in the Xfinity Series. Cindric should have a great chance to finish in the top-10 Sunday.
GARAGE DRIVER AJ ALLMEDINGER (5): What should we do with Allmendinger this week? He has the talent to win any race at a road course but he always seems to have some kind of mechanical issue or bad luck in the race. If Allmendinger can get his car to last all 109 laps, he should easily finish in the top-10. I like using Allmendinger more in Fantasy Live than in other games because we can start him in the Garage and if he starts dominating the race, we can insert him into our starting lineup. That is my plan this week.
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…
CHASE ELLIOTT vs. KYLE LARSON (My Pick: CHASE ELLIOTT)
CHRISTOPHER BELL vs. WILLIAM BYRON (My pick is WILLIAM BYRON)
AUSTIN CINDRIC vs. CHASE BRISCOE (My pick is AUSTIN CINDRIC)
DANIEL SUAREZ vs. JOEY LOGANO (My pick is JOEY LOGANO)
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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