Thursday, April 28, 2016

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: GEICO 500 at Talladega


Track Classification: Superspeedway
Similar Tracks: Daytona International Speedway • Auto Club Speedway (Fontana)  
Indianapolis Motor Speedway • Michigan International Speedway • Pocono Raceway
Distance: 2.66 Miles

By Carol D'Agostino

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
All with 3 - Dale Earnhardt Jr., Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle
All with 2 -  Paul Menard, Martin Truex Jr., David Gilliland, Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth and David Ragan

By Track
Clint Bowyer - 5
All with 4 -  Dale Earnhardt Jr., Martin Truex Jr.Brad Keselowski, Matt Kenseth, Paul Menard, 
Ryan Newman and David Ragan
All with 3 - Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle BuschKevin Harvick and Greg Biffle

Recent Pole Winners:  
2015 Jeff Gordon
2014 Brian Scott

Last Year's Race Winner: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The Likely Suspects: Picking a fantasy team for a restrictor-plate race is an unnerving process. There are restrictor-plate greats and there are dark horses who can just as easily win by not getting caught in a big wreck. Break out the crystal ball and just pick and hope and pray. Look for these drivers to perform well: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle, Paul Menard, Martin Truex Jr., Carl Edwards and Ryan Newman.  

My 2 Cents:  My no-brainer pick this week is a tie between Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kevin Harvick. My next choices are Paul Menard, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Newman and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. I will complete my team with Ryan Blaney and David Gilliland.

My Final Four: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Paul Menard, Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Blaney.

Points to Ponder:
  • A total of 45 different drivers have won at Talladega Superspeedway, led by Dale Earnhardt with 10. Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads all active drivers with six.
  • Seven active drivers are tied for the most poles at Talladega with one – Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Brian Vickers, Brian Scott, Michael Waltrip and Bobby Labonte.
  • Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the Cup Series in average starting position at Talladega with a 9.750.
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads all active drivers in the Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Talladega with 960 laps led in 32 starts.
  • Richard Childress Racing and Hendrick Motorsports are tied for the most wins at Talladega in the Sprint Cup Series with 12 each.  
  • Nine different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Talladega, led by Chevrolet with 40 victories, followed by Ford with 22 and Toyota with three.
  • About 70% (65 of the 93) Sprint Cup races at Talladega have been won from a top-10 starting position.
  • The outside pole is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (20) than any other starting position at Talladega. 
Enjoy the race! Post your comments here or follow me on Twitter at @purplecatpr. 

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