NASCAR Picks: Tales of the Turtles 400 in Joilet, Illinois
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After an action packed race last weekend in Loudon New Hampshire the drivers of the Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series head to Dover to take on ‘The Monster Mile’. Kyle Busch took the checkered flag last weekend which punched his ticket to the next round of the playoffs which starts next week at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kyle Larson and Bob Keselowski are the only other drivers that are safe in terms of moving on to the next round heading into this weekend’s 48th Annual Apache Warrior 400. It will take at least 400 laps for a driver to take the checkered flag so there will be plenty of opportunities to grab a lot of bonus points if we pick the driver that will lead the most laps and finish in the top 10.
Dover International Speedway sits as a one-mile oval with 24 degrees of banking in the corners and nine degrees of banking down both the front back stretches. It would be foolish not to try to squeeze two of the top three drivers into your line ups, especially in cash games. If you follow Nascar on a weekly basis you know who I am talking about, but in case you don’t I will run through them quickly.
Martin Truex Jr ($11,000) has been an absolute beast this season and his salary certainly reflects that. He is the odds on favorite to not only win the Championship but has been inserted by Vegas as a 3-1 favorite to win this weekend. Track history is on his side as well as he has finished out of the top 10 just once in the seven races he has run in the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota since he joined Barney Visser back in the beginning of 2014. Truex has captured the pole for the 48th Annual Apache Warrior 400.
Kyle Busch ($11,000) has also seen his salary eclipse the 11k mark as he is second in the point standings and will start on the outside pole come Sunday afternoon. Busch won last week at Loudon which gave him a free pass into the next round of the playoffs next weekend. If Busch can keep the #18 M&M’s Caramel Toyota on the track he should have no problem finishing inside the top 10. In the last 10 starts here at Dover he has racked up six top 10 finishes to go along with three other times he was collected up in a wreck.
Kyle Larson ($10,200) is the third part of this explosive trio as he sits in third place and will also start from the third position when the green flag drops Sunday afternoon at 2 pm EST. The driver if the #42 Credit One Bank Chevrolet clocks with five top 10 finishes in just seven starts here at Dover in his young career. Now you can see why you probably need to fit two of these three drivers into your lineups come Sunday afternoon.
Jimmie Johnson ($9,400) and Joey Logano ($9,000) are no slouches here either as both have seven top 10 finishes in the last 10 races here in Delaware. Johnson has racked up four wins along the way and is probably a bit of a bargain considering the salaries of some of the other drivers this week. Logano looks more like a GPP play here as two of his last three finishes have ended up outside the top 20. Both drivers will start from the ninth row and could reap some fantasy benefits if some of the drivers in front of them run into trouble. Johnson is sitting solidly in seventh place while Logano did not qualify for the playoffs this season.
Speaking of playoffs, there are a lot of drivers in danger of not advancing to the next round. As we know, four of the 16 will not make it to the next round but the way these guys are stacking up it looks like anything can happen and usually does. Chase Elliott ($9,200) and Ryan Blaney ($8,300) seem to be the safest as they are tied for eighth place which is 26 points ahead of Austin Dillon ($7,400) who is the odd driver out in 13thplace.
Kevin Harvick ($10,300) sits in 10th place with a 25 point lead while Jamie McMurray ($8,100) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($7,600) are sitting in the most precarious spots as one mistake will surely cost them a chance of surviving to the next round. Stenhouse has had a bit of good luck here at Dover over the past 10 races as he had finished 11th, 14th and eighth in three of his last four starts at ‘The Monster Mile’. He did crash out of the race held here earlier this year but should be good to go as the driver of the #17 Fastenal Ford will start from the 15th spot on the grid on Sunday afternoon. Meanwhile McMurray will start 26th but did increase his speed inside the top six in both of Saturday’s practices.
Ryan Newman ($7,200) is on the outside looking in as he is just a mere 2 points away from the playoff cutoff line. There is no doubt that the driver of the #31Waste Masters Chevrolet wouldn’t mind seeing the drivers ahead of him get into trouble early. He will still have to maintain a decent pace and could claim the last spot with a decent run here. Newman finished fourth here in June and will start from the eighth spot this afternoon.
Matt DiBenidetto ($5,000) will probably be a little more higher owned than usual this week as the driver of the #32 Keen Parts Ford did not run a qualifying lap, which will thus have him start from the 40th position on the grid. He has five starts here and has finished in in 27th and 29th place in the last two. Combining his starting position and salary this should be a no brainer.
If anyone is doing their homework they know that Ross Chastian ($4,700) ran his only MENCS race here at Dover back in June and finished with a respectable 20th place finish. The only problem we have is that he will start 32nd in Sunday’s race but that should be okay considering some of the other bad drivers that are entered into the race.
That will about do it for another week of Nascar analysis here at Fanvice.com. As always, follow me on twitter @elctrceye and good luck in your contests this weekend.