The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is already eight races into the season and allocations with the top drivers are starting to run out. This week I am giving Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, Erik Jones, Daniel Suarez and Ty Dillon the week off. I plan to use their allocations on the 1.5-mile intermediate tracks since they have run so well at those tracks this season.
Here are my picks for the GEICO 500…
Brad Keselowski (7): Keselowski has won at this track four times and he is my pick to win Sunday. He starts in the second row and the word in the garage is that Keselowski is the hardest driver to pass for the lead because of his ability to block the field. Team Penske Racing has won the last three races at Talladega. They have the cars to beat this week.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (9): I have all 9 allocations left with Stenhouse Jr. and he starts on the pole Sunday. That makes him an easy pick this week, but it is not the only reason I went with Stenhouse. He has the 6th best average finishing position at the track and he is having his best season. Last year Stenhouse started 6th and finished 5th at Talladega. He is one of the best at avoiding wrecks, so he is a great play this week.
Austin Dillon (8): This pick came down to Trevor Bayne or Austin Dillon. Bayne is having a much better season and starts up front, but Dillon is one of the best in the field at finishing the races on the restrictor-plate tracks. Dillon finished 9th and 3rd in the two races at Talladega last year. A top-10 finish this week could jumpstart his season.
Michael McDowell (9): The No. 95 car has been a reliable allocation saver for fantasy players in the Yahoo Fantasy Auto Racing game. He finished 21st and 16th in his two races at Talladega last year. He started both of those races outside the top 30. Sunday he starts 24th so he could improve upon his stats from 2016.
Good luck this week!
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