The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competes at Chicagoland Speedway Sunday. There are only 10 races left in the season and most fantasy teams are running low on allocations with their top drivers (if not you are probably not very high in your league standings).
The best strategy is to use your top drivers at the 1.5-mile tracks and take some gambles at the short tracks and Superspeedways. The cream usually rises to the top at these tracks. It has been a long time since a driver outside the top 10 in the point standings won a race at a 1.5-mile track. Do not be afraid to use your best drivers Sundays.
Here are my picks for Chicago…
Kyle Busch (2): Busch led the first practice Friday and then came out and made a statement in qualifying. The No. 18 car was almost ½ a second faster than any other car. That is big-time domination! It is the biggest lead by a driver who won the pole since the race at Indianapolis in 2009. I only have 2 allocations left with Busch and I need to save 1 for Martinsville. I will burn one at Chicago because I want to save Martin Truex Jr. for other tracks. I have them finishing #1 and #2 so the allocations are more important than the 3 extra points.
Group A Rankings: 1) Martin Truex Jr., 2) Kyle Busch, 3) Kevin Harvick, 4) Brad Keselowski, 5) Denny Hamlin, 6) Joey Logano, 7) Matt Kenseth, 8) Jimmie Johnson, 9) Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Chase Elliott (4): The No. 24 car has been the best car in the Hendrick Motorsports garage since Charlotte and nothing changed at Chicago. Elliott qualified 8th and he has a series-best driver rating at the track. Elliott was 4th fastest in final practice with the 3rd fastest 10-lap average speed. I am not worried about using an allocation with him this week.
Ryan Blaney (1): The No. 21 car has problems in qualifying so Blaney will start 12th. If they could have got the car running he problem would have started 6th. His car was fast in practice and Blaney finished 4th in this race last year. I will burn my last allocation with Blaney mostly because I want to save my last two allocations with Kurt Busch for races where he starts up front (My other option was Jamie McMurray and he has not looked very good).
Group B Rankings: 1) Chase Elliott, 2) Kyle Larson, 3) Ryan Blaney, 4) Austin Dillon, 5) Kurt Busch, 6) Ryan Newman, 7) Clint Bowyer, 8) Jamie McMurray, 9) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 10) Aric Almirola, 11) Kasey Kahne, 12) Danica Patrick, 13) Trevor Bayne, 14) Chris Buescher, 15) Paul Menard, 16) AJ Allmendinger
Ty Dillon (3): I really do not want to use my last allocation with Erik Jones this week. I will hold onto to him and go with Dillon. The No. 13 car has been horrible in qualifying the past two months but Dillon has been able to improve his positions in the race. He has moved an average of 11 spots in 3 of the last 4 races. I am hoping he can do the same Sunday.
Group C Rankings: 1) Erik Jones, 2) Daniel Suarez, 3) Ty Dillon, 4) Michael McDowell, 5) David Ragan, 6) Landon Cassill
Good luck this week!
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