NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Goodyear 400 at Darlington

Darlington Raceway is a tough track that offers up competitive racing. This weekend is Throwback Weekend when it pulls out all the stops to honor the legends of the sports while having tons of fun with special paint schemes. I think we'll see another new winner. Stay tuned!

This Week's Pick Strategy: My focus this week will be those drivers who love to run dangerously close to the wall, and don't let a little thing like a Darlington stripe intimidate them.

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last eight races):
Kevin Harvick - 8
All with 6 - Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones, Kurt Busch,  and Kyle Busch 
Martin Truex Jr.- 5
Recent Drivers in all their races at Darlington
Recent Pole Winners:
2021 Brad Keselowski (Set by Metric Qualifying)
2020 Ryan Preece (Set by Metric Qualifying)
2019 William Byron (September 1)
Last Year's Race Winner:  Martin Truex Jr.

The Likely Suspects: My Darlington go-tos are Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski, and William Byron.

My 2 Cents: My no-brainer pick this week is the king of the high line, Kyle Larson. My next picks are Denny Hamlin, William Byron, Tyler Reddick, Austin Dillon, and Brad Keselowski. I will complete my team with Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez.

Second-Look Driver:
 This week's sleeper pick is Chris Buescher. Chris earned his first pole last weekend at Dover Motor Speedway. He has a bit of momentum behind him coming off of two consecutive Top 10s. In the last eight races at Darlington he has earned two Top 10s. I think he has the chance to make some real noise this weekend.

My Final Four: Kyle Larson, William Byron, Tyler Reddick, and Erik Jones.

Points to Ponder:
  • The first starting position is the most prolific starting position in the field, producing more winners (20) than any other starting position at Darlington. The outside front row (second place) has produced the second-most wins (17). 
  • Denny Hamlin (2021, 2020, 2017, 2010) leads all active drivers in victories at Darlington with four, followed by Kevin Harvic with three (2020, 2020, 2014)
  • Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson lead all active drivers in second-place finishes at Darlington with three each.
  • Kevin Harvick leads all active series drivers in Top 5 finishes at Darlington with 12 Top 5s as well as Top 10 finishes at Darlington with 17 Top 10s.
  • Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins by an organization at Darlington in the NASCAR Cup Series with 14 victories.
  • Kyle Larson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series in average finishing position at Darlington with a 5.500 in eight starts.
Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your initial picks by 8 a.m. ET on Saturday, May 7th and your final picks by 3:30 p.m. ET on race day Sunday, May 8th.

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: Goodyear 400 at Darlington NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Goodyear 400 at Darlington Reviewed by Carol D'Agostino on Friday, May 06, 2022 Rating: 5