The Cup Series will travel to Austin, Texas this week to race at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA). This is one of the elite road course tracks in the country and the ending of the race last year was fantastic. NASCAR decided to change things up this week by bringing a new aero package to the track, eliminating the Stage breaks and adding the choose rule. The field is stacked and it should be a good race in Texas. The EchoPark Texas Grand Prix can be seen Sunday at 3:30 pm ET on FOX.
The One & Done picks got off to a slow start, but they are starting to bounce back. Justin Haley did not perform as expected with his 22nd-place finish at Atlanta, but the second-place finished from Brad Keselowski and the seventh place finish from Ryan Blaney helped. We will need some good luck this week on the road course in Texas.
ONE & DONE CONTESTS
This pick is for games where you can only use a driver once throughout the season.
JORDAN TAYLOR will be my pick in games where you can only use a driver once. We know Taylor is going to have one of the fastest cars in the field. Chase Elliott has dominated the road course races for years in the No. 9 car. Taylor did not test the Gen-7 car but he has been working with Hendrick Motorsports in their Garage 56 car (The 24 Hours of Le Mans car). Chad Knaus from Hendrick Motorsports said that car is similar to the Gen-7 car and Taylor practiced at COTA in the Garage 56 car. Taylor also got a 50-minute practice Friday, where he posted the 10th-fastest speed. This is a good race to use Taylor and save your Cup Series regulars for other races.
ONE & DONE (REGULAR SEASON/PLAYOFF GAMES)
This pick is for games where you are allowed to use a driver once in the regular season (the first 26 races) and then you can use them again in the playoffs, if your team advances in the playoffs. We only need 26 drivers in these games so we can be a bit more aggressive with our picks. Here are my picks for games that reset at the end of the regular season…
MICHAEL MCDOWELL will be my pick in games where you can only use a driver once in the regular season. There were only five drivers who averaged a top-10 finish in the Gen-7 car on the road courses last year. McDowell was one of them (the others were Chase Elliott, Austin Cindric, Chris Buescher and Tyler Reddick). McDowell also has a 10th-place average finishing position in his two races at COTA. McDowell posted the sixth-fastest speed in practice with the seventh-fastest long-run speed. McDowell has a history of running well on the road courses, so I will take a chance with the No. 34 car Sunday.
ONE & DONE (USE A DRIVER MORE THAN ONCE)
I play in a game where I can use a driver three times throughout the season. I know some of you have told me you can use your drivers twice. We will only need 18 drivers in these games, so we do not need to dig too deep with our picks. Here is my pick in games where you can use a driver more than once….
TYLER REDDICK will be my pick in games where you can use a driver more than once. Reddick participated in a two-day test at COTA in January. Reddick was the best driver in the Cup Series at the road courses last year. He won the races at Road America and the Indy Road Course. He also finished fifth at COTA last year. The switch from Richard Childress Racing to 23XI Racing hasn’t slowed him down. Reddick posted the fastest speed in practice with the fastest long-run speed. The word in the garage is that the No. 45 team has the car to beat Sunday so I will use Reddick at COTA.
Good luck Sunday!
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