The Cup Series is now entering the Round of 8. The drivers who are still alive in the playoffs include Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Ross Chastain, Christopher Bell, Ryan Blaney, William Byron, Denny Hamlin and Chase Briscoe. Will one of these drivers win Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway or could the Cup Series have another non-playoff driver in Victory Lane. Four of the six playoff races have been won by drivers who are not competing for the championship. Expect the unexpected Sunday in Sin City. The South Point Casino 400 can be seen Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC.
STRATEGY FOR LAS VEGAS
There are only four races left in the 2022 season. If you are like me, you will look your allocations and think, “Oh no… I am screwed.” Do not panic. We should run out of allocations with our top drivers. The people who have 3 or 4 allocations left with their top drivers are likely at the bottom of your league standings. We need to continue to choose the best drivers possible and do not worry about allocations.
Here are my picks for Las Vegas …
TYLER REDDICK (2): I only have two allocations with Reddick and I am going to use one of them Sunday. Reddick had the fastest car at Kansas and Texas. The No. 8 car looks fast again this weekend. Reddick didn’t look great in practice and won the pole for the race. He should run up front, score a lot of Stage Points and have a good chance to finish in the top-five in the South Point Casino 400.
RYAN BLANEY (4): Las Vegas has been a good track for Team Penske, but the team struggled in Sin City last March. A lot has changed since then. That includes Blaney’s speed on the 1.5-mile tracks. The No. 12 car finished 9th at Kansas and 4th at Texas in the playoffs. Blaney posted the fastest speed in practice and qualified fourth for the race. Blaney should run up front, score a lot of Stage Points and have a good chance to finish in the top-five Sunday.
JOEY LOGANO (1): Logano did not look fast in practice until the No. 22 team ran the pits of the No. 12 team (Ryan Blaney) and coppied their notes. Then the No. 22 car came to life. Logano posted the 10th fastest speed in practice and qualified 5th for the race. Logano has two wins at Las Vegas and he the best average finishing position in the Cup Series at the track. The No. 22 car should have a good chance to finish in the top-five Sunday.
WILLIAM BYRON (2): Byron has been the most consistent driver in the playoffs this year. His average finishing position in the six playoff races is 8.7. It looks like the No. 24 car will be fast again Sunday. Byron posted the 11th-fastest speed in practice with the 6th fastest long-run speed. Byron qualified third for the race. I will use one of my final allocations with Byron while he is running so well.
CHRISTOPHER BELL (2): I only have two allocations left with Bell and I am using one of them Sunday. He has had more success on the intermediate tracks than he has at the short tracks, so this will probably be his best track left on the schedule. Bell did not look good in practice but Crew Chief Adam Stevens made some adjustments and the car gained a lot of speed. Bell qualified seventh for the race. Bell will have momentum after his win last week. Can he make it two in a row? I would not bet against it.
GARAGE DRIVER ROSS CHASTAIN (4): Chastain had the best car at Las Vegas in March when he led 83 laps and finished third. Can Chastain finish in the top-five again Sunday? It has been a while since Chastain has dominated a race like he did earlier in the season, but the No. 1 car looks fast this week. Chastain posted the second-fastest speed in practice and qualified 11th for the race. I will have Chastain in the Garage. If his practice speeds translates to race speed, I will put him into my lineup.
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…
RYAN BLANEY vs. CHRISTOPHER BELL (My Pick: RYAN BLANEY)
CHASE ELLIOTT vs. JOEY LOGANO (My pick is JOEY LOGANO)
ROSS CHASTAIN vs. DENNY HAMLIN (My pick is ROSS CHASTAIN)
WILLIAM BYRON vs. CHASE BRISCOE (My pick is WILLIAM BYRON)
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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