The Cup Series had their regular practice and qualifying session Saturday. The teams had 20 minutes to dial in their cars for the Verizon 200 and then they set the starting lineup through group qualifying. The cars are impounded after qualifying so the speed the cars had in practice should be the speed the drivers will start the race with Sunday.
Here is my starting lineup for the race at the Brickyard…
GROUP A DRIVER
CHASE ELLIOTT (5): I have been saving some allocations with Elliott for the road courses and I will go ahead and use one of them Sunday. Elliott has been on fire for the last two months by rotating wins and runner-up finishes. The trend would suggest he should finish second this week since he won last week at Pocono. Either way, Elliott should be the best pick in Group A at the Brickyard.
GROUP B DRIVERS
TYLER REDDICK (6): Reddick went to Victory Lane at Road America this year. Can he win another road course race this week? Reddick scored very well in the Driver Group Game at the Brickyard last year. He won both Stages and led some laps. Reddick looks fast again this week. The No. 8 car posted the seventh-fastest speed in practice and won the pole for the race. I have plenty of allocations left with Reddick so I will use one of them Sunday.
CHASE BRISCOE (5): Briscoe had the fastest car at the end of the race at Indy last year but he was pushed off the track and took a short-cut that resulted in a penalty. I figured Briscoe would have this race circled on his calendar since it is his home track and he figured the Brickyard owned him a victory. Briscoe posted the 13th fastest speed in practice and qualified third for the race. He needs Stage Points and a top-10 finish to improve his spot in the playoffs. I expect the No. 14 team to use strategy to keep Briscoe up front this week.
GROUP C DRIVER
AJ ALLMENDINGER (7): My plan this season has been to use Allmendinger in the six road course races and save my other drivers for the oval tracks. I am going to stick to the plan. Allmendinger won this race last year. The No. 16 car does not have the same speed that they had last year, but Allmendinger has the talent to get a bad car into the top-10. I will use Allmendinger this week so I can save the Cup Series regular drivers for other tracks.
Good Luck Sunday!
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