NASCAR will celebrate its heritage this weekend when the Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Truck Series compete in their “throwback” race schemes. This is one of my favorite weekends of the season, because it typically brings back memories of the cars, I used to have in my Fantasy NASCAR lineups in the past. The racing at Darlington is also really good. Here is the schedule for the race weekend at Darlington…
Darlington is a unique racetrack. It is 1.366-miles in length and egg-shaped because of a Mino pound outside the track. There are about 14 drivers in the field that are really good at this track. My strategy this week is to look at the drivers who have a history of running well at Darlington and see how they ran at Dover and Kansas the last two weeks. If a driver’s checks both boxes, he will be in my lineup.
You can watch the extended highlights of the last September’s race at Darlington here: NASCAR Race Rewind
STATS FOR DARLINGTON
How do we handicap the race at Darlington? Tire management is extremely important at Darlington, just like it was at Auto Club. We can use some of the data from the race in Fontana, California for the race this week. Darlington is also high banked like Dover. The data from the Monster Mile should also translate into speed at Darlington. The races at Las Vegas and Kansas are intermediate tracks, somewhat similar to Darlington, so we will want some data from those races too. But the best data to use is from the previous races at Darlington. Some drivers know how to get around this odd-shaped track better than others. I used the data from all of these races, with an emphasis on the races at Darlington for the Driver Rankings this week.
Here are the stats from the races at Auto Club, Las Vegas, Dover, Kansas and the two races at Darlington using the Gen-7 car last year…
EARLY WEEK PICKS FOR DARLINGTON
ONE & DONE PICK: ERIK JONES
DRIVER GROUP GAME PICKS: DENNY HAMLIN, WILLIAM BYRON, MARTIN TRUEX JR., KYLE BUSCH, TYLER REDDICK, KEVIN HARVICK, JOSH BERRY, TY GIBBS
* Use Michael McDowell if Josh Berry is not available.
FANTASY LIVE PICKS: DENNY HAMLIN, MARTIN TRUEX JR., KYLE LARSON, JOEY LOGANO, TYLER REDDICK (GARAGE) KYLE BUSCH
* I will be watching Kevin Harvick, William Byron and Erik Jones in practice. They could end up in the Fantasy Live lineup this week.
Good luck this weekend!
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