NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: West Coast swing at Sin City

My two takeaways from Fontana were: the New Gen car is proving to be the great equalizer and Kyle Larson is not only the real deal, but he is more than ready to defend his championship. It's a little early, but could Kyle be poised to start a winning streak? In 11 Cup series starts at Las Vegas, Kyle has one win (2021), four Top 5s, eight Top 10s, and has led 224 laps.
This Week's Pick Strategy:
Think Fords and Team Penske this week with a sprinkling of Hendrick Motorsports. Also, I'll be giving a nod to the RFK Racing stable as Brad Keselowski will no doubt use his deep Las Vegas notebook to make good things happen. I'm staying away from Toyotas despite Vegas- elite drivers like Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. I just don't think the Toyota camp has these new cars dialed in yet.
Drivers with Most Top 10s:
By Race and Track in the Last 5 Years (Last 9 races - 2017 to 2021)
Both with 8 - Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex, Jr.
All with 7- Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, and  Ryan Blaney
Both with 6 - Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick
Danny Hamlin - 5

Recent Pole Winners:
2021 Kevin Harvick (Set by metric qualifying)
2020 Kyle Busch
2019 Kevin Harvick

2021 Race Winner: Kyle Larson

The Likely Suspects:  Look for these drivers to run well on Sunday: Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr., the Kyles (Busch and Larson) and William Byron.
My 2 Cents:  My no-brainer pick is Joey Logano. My next picks are Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, William Byron, Aric Almirola, and Brad Keselowski. I will round out my roster with Erik Jones and Austin Cindric.

Second-Look Driver: My sleeper pick this week is Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Although in his nine previous starts here, Ricky has earned only one Top 5 and two Top 10 he has had a great start to the new season, and he typically runs decently at Las Vegas. Look for him at add another Top 10 on Sunday.

My Final Four: Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Erik Jones.
Points to Ponder:
  • Seven of the 17 Cup Series Las Vegas pole winners are active this week: The Busch Brothers each earned two poles, while Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones, Brad Keselowski, and Joey Logano have one each. 
  • The second starting position has produced more winners than any other in the field with four.
  • Roush Fenway Racing leads the series in wins at Las Vegas with seven victories.
  • Brad Keselowski leads all active drivers in wins at Las Vegas with three (2014, 2016, 2018).
  • Four active drivers have multiple NASCAR Cup Series wins at Las Vegas: Brad Keselowski (three); Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano (each have two).
  • Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson lead all active drivers in second-place finishes in the NASCAR Cup Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with two each.
  • Among active Cup drivers, Kyle Busch leads the series in Top 5s at Las Vegas with nine.
  • Kevin Harvick leads the series in Top 10s at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with 13. He is also the lap leader at Las Vegas with 679 laps led in 23 starts
  • Joey Logano leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series in average finish at LVMS with an 8.588 in 17 starts.  
Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your initial picks by 8 a.m. on Saturday, March 5th and your final picks by 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 7.  Enjoy the race!
Carol D'Agostino has been playing Fantasy NASCAR for 16 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: West Coast swing at Sin City NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: West Coast swing at Sin City Reviewed by Carol D'Agostino on Friday, March 04, 2022 Rating: 5