Thursday, October 12, 2017

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Round Two, Race Two at Talladega


by Carol D'Agostino

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
All with 3 - Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski
All with 2 -Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth, Paul Menard, Kyle Busch, David Ragan and Martin Truex Jr.  

By Track
All with 5 - Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch and Paul Menard  
All with 4 - Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr.
All with 3 - Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, Aric Almirola, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jamie McMurray, Denny Hamlin and David Ragan

Recent Pole Winners:  
2016 Martin Truex Jr.
2015 Jeff Gordon

Last Year's Race Winner: Joey Logano

The Likely Suspects: Talladega fantasy picking is a bit nerve-wracking. You can pick based on past performance, but it is so easy to get caught up in someone else's bad day. Check out DNFs and pick restrictor-plate greats, and then pray a lot!

I'll be focusing on these drivers: Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Paul Menard, David Ragan, Jimmie Johnson and Jamie McMurray.

My 2 Cents: My no-brainer pick this week is Ricky Stenhouse Jr. My next picks are Brad Keselowski and Dale Earrnhardt Jr. I will round out my team with Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch and Jamie McMurray. I'll finish it up with David Ragan and Ty Dillon.

My Final Four: Brad Keselowski, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Kurt Busch and David Ragan

Points to Ponder:
  • The winner of the Talladega Superspeedway Playoff race has never gone on to win the title in the same season.
  • Eleven different drivers have won the pole for Talladega’s Playoff races. Kasey Kahne and Martin Truex Jr. are the only active drivers who earned a pole at a Talladega playoff race. 
  • Five active drivers are tied for the second-most poles at Talladega with one each – Martin Truex Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Chase Elliott and Ricky Stenhouse Jr..
  • The outside front row (second-place) starting position is the most proficient starting spot in the field, producing more winners (20) than any other at Talladega. 
  • Almost three-quarters (68 of the 96) of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Talladega have been won from a top-10 starting position.
  • A non-Playoff driver has won the MENCS Playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway five times. Among active drivers Jamie McMurray has done it twice (2009 and 2013). Clint Bowyer also won in 2011.
  • Richard Childress Racing and Hendrick Motorsports are tied for the most wins at Talladega in the MENCS with 12 each. 
  • Ten different drivers have won the Talladega Playoff races, led by Clint Bowyer, Jamie McMurray and Joey Logano with two each. 
  • Nine drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series have posted consecutive wins at Talladega. Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads the series in consecutive wins at Talladega after posting four straight from the fall of 2001-2003.  
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads all active drivers with six wins at Talladega, followed by Brad Keselowski with four.
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads all active drivers with most runner-up finishes at Talladega with five, most top-five finishes with 12, most top-10s with 27. Kurt Busch leads all active drivers with 18.
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. leads all active drivers in the MENCS in average finishing position at Talladega with a 10.375.
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads all active drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in laps led at Talladega with 960 laps led, followed by Matt Kenseth with 517. 
Remember, if you're playing Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing, your pick deadline is Saturday, October 14, at 5 a.m. EDT.

Enjoy the race! Post your comments here or follow me on Twitter at @purplecatpr.

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