NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Ally 400 at Nashville


After a two-week break, it's time to rev those engines again as the NASCAR Cup Series resumes regular-season racing at Nashville Superspeedway, the longest concrete-surface track on the NASCAR schedule. Although this is the second time at this track, it is the first time with the Next Gen car. I don't think we'll see the dominance from one driver like we did last year when Kyle Larson led 264 of the scheduled 300 laps, but all bets are off. 

This Week's Pick Strategy: I'm sticking with flat-track statistics, weighing Phoenix, New Hampshire,  and Richmond heavily. I'm also going to focus on drivers with past experience here, especially those with wins, as well as drivers who just seem to have a knack for adapting to new tracks. And then there's those drivers who love to shift. Don't forget those Team Penske drivers who led practice charts Friday afternoon.

Top 10 Finishers in Last Year's Debut:
Kyle Larson (1st), Ross Chastain (2nd), William Byron (3rd), Aric Almirola (4th), Kevin Harvick (5th), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (6th), Daniel Suarez (7th), Kurt Busch (8th), Christopher Bell (9th), and Joey Logano (10th) finished inside the Top-10 in the NASCAR Cup Series' inaugural race at Nashville Superspeedway.

Top 10 in Practice on Saturday:
Bubba Wallace (1st), Kyle Busch (2nd), Tyler Reddick (3rd), Kyle Larson (4th), William Byron (5th), Kurt Busch (6th), Ross Chastain (7th), Ryan Blaney (8th), Denny Hamlin (9th), and Martin Truex Jr. (10th)

What the Drivers Are Saying:
Kyle Busch: “I think it’s a cool racetrack and a cool venue. I raced there a lot over the years in the ARCA Series, the Camping World Truck Series, as well as the Xfinity Series. I’ve had my fair share of races there and also my fair share of wins there. I was able to win the Xfinity Series race there last year, but we struggled a bit with our Cup car there. It’s a whole new ballgame with the new car there this year to see what is going to make our car fast."

Aric Almirola: “Last year, Nashville was a big turning point for us. We went to a track that was new in the Cup Series for everyone and ended up getting the pole and a Top 5. That gave us so much momentum because it was a terrible season up to that point. I have always felt good at Nashville. We’ve already shown what we can do at a new track in this Next Gen car this year at St. Louis.”

Brad Keselowski: “Despite this being only our second Cup event in Nashville, it’s a place I’m really familiar with in the Xfinity and Truck days. Matt and the guys ran pretty well there last year, so we feel good about the notes we have going into the weekend, combined with our Dover notes with the tracks being similar in shape and size.” 

The Likely Suspects: I think the Chevys and Toyotas are going to be dominant this week. I will be focusing on these drivers: Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Ross Chastain, Tyler Reddick, William Byron, and Kurt Busch.

My 2 Cents: My no-brainer pick this week is Kyle Larson. My next picks are Kyle Busch, Bubba Wallace, William Byron, Ross Chastain, and Chase Briscoe. I will complete my team with Austin Cindric and Corey Lajoie.

My Final Four: Kyle Larson, Ross Chastain, Bubba Wallace, and Corey Lajoie.

Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your initial picks by 8 a.m. ET on Saturday, June 25th and your final picks by 5 p.m. ET on race day, Sunday, June 26th.

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: Ally 400 at Nashville NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Ally 400 at Nashville Reviewed by Carol D'Agostino on Friday, June 24, 2022 Rating: 5