Thursday, September 27, 2018

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: The Roval Round One Closer

Track Length: 2.28 miles
Number of Turns: 17
Change in elevation: 35 feet
Banking in Corners: Varying from 2 to 24 degrees
Banking on Straights: Varying from 0 to 5 degrees
Race Distance: 248.52 miles (109 Laps)
Stages: Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 25), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 50), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 109)

by Carol D'Agostino

An elimination NASCAR playoff race always unfolds with lots of drama and nail biting. However, as we enter race weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the buzz is at a new high as drivers face the "Roval" -- the road course/oval combo. Although some drivers had the opportunity to test at the new, one-of-a-kind, 1-turn, 2.28-mile track, most of them brought back a mangled car.

In other words fellow fantasy players, we've got another Talladega on our hands in terms of fantasy picking this week. None of us know what racing product we'll get this weekend, but I believe the our road racing elites and our top playoff drivers will perform well.

Driver's statistics and averages on road courses provide a strong foundation for my selection strategy this weekend.


Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Drivers' Statistics for the last 10 races 
(Road courses only, All track lengths)

1
Kurt Busch
10
0
3
8
0
47
14.1
7.1
2
Kyle Busch
10
1
5
8
1
81
8.7
10.1
3
Denny Hamlin
10
1
4
5
1
60
12.0
12.9
4
Kevin Harvick
10
1
4
7
0
114
12.4
10.2
5
Martin Truex, Jr.
10
2
4
5
0
121
8.6
14.8
6
Joey Logano
10
1
4
5
0
12
11.9
12.5
7
Brad Keselowski
10
0
2
3
0
92
12.5
14.9
8
Clint Bowyer
10
0
4
6
0
9
18.1
12.5
9
Kyle Larson
10
0
1
2
2
11
5.2
16.9
10
Jimmie Johnson
10
0
0
3
0
65
12.9
18.7
11
Jamie McMurray
10
0
1
4
1
10
11.0
16.2
12
Ryan Newman
10
0
0
2
0
0
15.4
18.3
13
Kasey Kahne
10
0
0
3
0
3
22.7
17.8
14
Matt Kenseth
9
0
2
4
0
2
17.4
17.4
15
A.J. Allmendinger
10
1
2
3
2
115
4.6
21.4
SOURCE: www.racing-reference.info

Driver Averages at Road Courses in Recent Races (since Feb 2016)Dr 

Driver
Avg
Finish
Races 
Wins
Top
5's
Top
10's 
Laps
Led
Poles
Avg
Rating
5.50
6
0
3
6
61
1
112.1
8.83
6
2
4
5
116
0
122.9
8.17
6
0
0
5
4
0
92.8
5.67
6
1
4
5
60
1
103.7
11.33
6
1
2
4
62
0
99.9
15.50
6
0
0
3
1
0
83.7
13.17
6
0
3
3
0
0
78.1
11.75
4
0
1
3
1
0
84.4
10.00
6
1
2
3
61
0
99.1
19.17
6
0
1
2
29
0
82.1
17.50
6
0
0
2
2
0
74.2
16.20
5
0
1
2
0
0
79.5
16.17
6
0
2
2
8
0
76.8
11.00
6
0
2
2
65
0
96.3
9.50
4
0
2
2
14
0
90.9
SOURCE: www.driveraverages.com

Recent Road Race Winners:
Kyle Larson, Sonoma Raceway (September 22, 2018)
Denny Hamlin, Watkins Glen International (August 5, 2018)
Martin Truex Jr., Watkins Glen International (August 6, 2017)
Kevin Harvick, Sonoma Raceway (June 25, 2017)

Recent Road Race Pole Winners:  
Kyle Larson, Sonoma Raceway (September 22, 2018)
Denny Hamlin, Watkins Glen International (August 5, 2018)
Kyle Busch, Watkins Glen International (August 6, 2017)
Kyle Larson, Sonoma Raceway (June 25, 2017)

The Likely Suspects: There are drivers who embrace the art of road racing. Watching them traverse a road track is a thing of beauty. I look for these drivers to adapt well to the Roval: Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson. Although he hasn't been driving upfront this season, AJ Allmendinger needs a ride next year and will no doubt flex his road racing prowess this weekend.

My 2 Cents:  My no-brainer pick is a tie between Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Larson. Kyle Busch is also a fine pick and Denny Hamlin is a good road racer with a lot of incentive this week since he needs a win. My next picks are Chase Elliott, Clint Bowyer, Erik Jones and Jamie McMurray. I'll round out my team with William Byron and Michael McDowell.

My Final Four: Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch and Michael McDowell.

Second-look driver: This week's second-look driver is AJ Allmendinger. In the past six road races, the Dinger has scored one top five, two top 10s and led 29 laps. Last week's second-look driver, Matt Kenseth, had a less-than-stellar performance. He finished 25th after starting in 17th place.
Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your picks by 8 a.m. EDT on Friday, September 28th and your final picks by 2 p.m. EDT on race day Sunday, September 30th.

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

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