NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: 2019 Playoff Season opener at Las Vegas

Drivers with Most Top 10s:
In the last 5 races (2016 to 2019) 
Both with 5 -  Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano
All with 4 - Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney
All with 3 - Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick and Aric Almirola

Driver Rating - Top 15 (Since 2017)
Factors in Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps and Lead-Lap Finish. A driver can score a maximum driver rating of 150 points per race. Updated prior to the 2019 September race.

Avg. Rating
Martin Truex Jr.
Joey Logano
Brad Keselowski
Kevin Harvick
Kyle Larson
Kyle Busch
Ryan Blaney
Chase Elliott
Erik Jones
Kurt Busch
Denny Hamlin
Aric Almirola
Jimmie Johnson
Alex Bowman
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

2017 Race Winner: Brad Keselowski

Recent Pole Winners:
2018 Erik Jones
2017 Brad Keselowski

The Likely Suspects:  Las Vegas is known for playing the odds, but I'm all in favor of picking the favorites for my fantasy team. Here are my Las Vegas go-tos: Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, Erik Jones, and Aric Almirola.

My 2 Cents: Two words: Think Penske. My no-brainer pick this week is Brad Keselowski. My next choices are Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Daniel Suarez, Ryan Newman, and Aric Almirola. I will round out my team with Chris Buescher and Corey Lajoie.

My Final Four: Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, Ryan Newman and Corey Lajoie.

Second-chance driver: This week's second-look driver is Alex Bowman. Alex has one Top 15 and three Top 20s at this track. Back in March, he started and finished just outside the top 10 in 11th on the grid. This is Alex's second year as a championship contender. Last week's second-look driver Daniel Hemric had an okay day, that is until he was caught up in a multi-car wreck in the final stage of the race at Lap 106 which ended his day. Daniel began the race in the 11th starting position and finished in 34th.

Points to Ponder:
  • The second starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field producing more winners (four) than any other starting position at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
  • Jimmie Johnson leads the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with four victories (2005, 2006, 2007 and 2010).
  • Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson lead all active drivers in second-place finishes in the Monster Energy Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with two each. 
  • Kyle Busch leads the series in top-five finishes at Las Vegas with seven top fives.
  • Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman lead all active drivers in top-10 finishes at Las Vegas with nine each.
  • Joey Logano leads all active drivers in the Monster Energy Series in average finish at LVMS with a 8.5. 
Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your picks by 8 a.m. ET on Saturday, September 14th, and your final picks by 7 p.m. ET on race day Sunday, September 15th.

Enjoy the race!


Carol D’Agostino wields fantasy-racing superpowers. Each week, Carol researches statistics and combs through her personal racing notes to provide fans with fantasy racing advice in NASCAR Fantasy Fusion, a column she has written for Skirts & Scuffs since October 2011. Carol also does race coverage for Skirts & Scuffs at Richmond Raceway and occasionally at her home track, Dover International Speedway. This year she joins the NASCAR Expert Picks panel at Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet. When she isn’t crunching numbers, you’ll find Carol in business meetings or hammering out a news release or creating a marketing strategy at a small niche public relations firm she founded called Purple Cat. 
NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: 2019 Playoff Season opener at Las Vegas NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: 2019 Playoff Season opener at Las Vegas Reviewed by Carol D'Agostino on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 Rating: 5