NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: YellaWood 500 at Talladega

There's only one thing more challenging than picking your fantasy roster for Talladega, and that's actually being in the cockpit racing it. It's super fast and completely unforgiving. Pick the wrong driver or the wrong car to push you or be the bad pusher and your day can end really fast. I guess the only upside here is that you don't have to worry about needing the car again since we'll be racing the New Gen Cup next year.

This Week's Pick Strategy: Focus on Talladega elites and load your roster with Hendrick Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing and Team Penske drivers. And don't be shy about picking one or two wildcards. A lot of luck and a real fast car can make for a winner who may not be on your radar.

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):

By Race
Denny Hamlin - 4
Both with 3 - Aric Almirola and Joey Logano 
Both with 2 - Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Ryan Newman

By Track
Aric Almirola -8
All with 6 - Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
All with 5 -  Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, and Chase Elliott

Last Year's Race Winner: Denny Hamlin

My Final Four: Chase Elliott, Ryan Newman, Tyler Reddick, and Ryan Preece.

Points to Ponder:
  • The outside front row (second starting position) is the most prolific starting position in the field, producing more winners (20) than any other starting position at Talladega Superspeedway in the NASCAR Cup Series.
  • Hendrick Motorsports leads the NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Talladega Superspeedway with 13 victories, followed by Richard Childress Racing with 12. Team Penske has the third most wins here with 10.
  • Nine of the 49 NASCAR Cup Series race winners at Talladega Superspeedway are active this weekend. They are Brad Keselowski with 6; Joey Logano with 3; Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney with two each; and Chase Elliott, Aric Almirola, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kevin Harvick, and Kyle Busch with one each.
  • Kevin Harvick leads all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers with three runners-up finishes at Talladega Superspeedway. 
  • Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers in Top 5s at Talladega with nine.
  • Kurt Busch leads all active drivers in Top 10s at Talladega with 21.
  • Tyler Reddick (three starts) leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series in average finishing position at Talladega with a 11.33.
  • Joey Logano leads all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers in laps led at Talladega with 407 in 25 starts. 

Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your final picks by 2 p.m. ET this afternoon. Enjoy the race!


Carol D'Agostino has been playing Fantasy NASCAR for 15 years. She launched  NASCAR Fantasy Fusion for Skirts & Scuffs in October 2011. Each week, Carol pores through statistics and combs through her personal notebooks to arm fans with analysis and picking strategies that will leave their friends wondering how they got so smart. Carol also does race coverage for Skirts & Scuffs at Richmond Raceway and occasionally at her home track, Dover International Speedway. She is also part of the distinguished NASCAR Expert Picks panel at formerly called Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet.
When she isn’t wielding her fantasy-racing superpowers, you’ll find Carol hammering out a news release or creating a marketing strategy at a small niche public relations firm she founded called Purple Cat or executing downtown revitalization projects for a small town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: YellaWood 500 at Talladega NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: YellaWood 500 at Talladega Reviewed by Carol D'Agostino on Sunday, October 03, 2021 Rating: 5