NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Go Bowling at The Glen

I was super excited have covered last week's race weekend at Richmond Raceway. Kevin Harvick made a statement — old guys rule. He is focused and still has plenty of gas in the tank. That should make the entire field a little nervous.

This Week's Pick Strategy: 
We have racers from a variety of disciplines joining the field for Sunday's race. Included are sportscar aces Mike Rockenfeller from Germany and Kyle Tilley from England, NASCAR Euro Series champ Loris Hezemans from the Netherlands, and a pair of former F1 drivers, Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and the talented Russian driver Daniil Kvyat. However, I think we've all learned that just because you can drive the heck out of an open-wheel car or other discipline like a sprint car doesn't mean you can run well in stock cars. Tony Stewart and Kyle Larson are the exceptions to that rule. Stick to the stock car regulars this week, but if you must stray a bit look to those drivers who have experience driving with Cup racers. And it can't hurt if your name is Kyle or Chase!
Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years)*:
By Race & Track
Martin Truex Jr. - 4 
All with 3: Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, and Erik Jones.
* No race in 2020 

Active Race Winners at Watkins Glen in the Field
Top Five in Top 5s at Watkins Glen (Active)

Last Year's Race Winner: Kyle Larson

The Likely Suspects: My Watkins Glen go-tos include Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, and A.J. Allmendinger.

My 2 Cents: Seven drivers who visited Victory Lane in the NASCAR Cup Series last season are still looking for their first win of 2022: A.J. Allmendinger, Aric Almirola, Brad Keselowski, Bubba Wallace, Martin Truex Jr., Michael McDowell, and Ryan Blaney. Coincidentally, half of these same drivers aren't too shabby at The Glen. Just sayin'.

This week's no-brainer pick is a tie between Martin Truex Jr. and Chase Elliott. My next picks are Christopher Bell, Chris Buescher, Ross Chastain, and Chase Briscoe. I'll round out my team with A.J. Allmendinger and Erik Jones.

My Final Four: Chase Elliott, Christopher Bell, Chase Briscoe and A.J. Allmendinger.

Second-Look Driver: This week's second-look driver is Chris Buescher. Chris comes into The Glen fresh off a third-place finish at Richmond Raceway. During the May tire test here, Chris showed great speed. He scored his best finish of 11th at the 2.45 mile road course in 2017. Last season he finished 17th. This year, Chris has proven that when it comes to stats you can toss them out the window. He is on the verge of his second Cup Series win. This week could be it. Stay tuned. 

Points to Ponder:

  • The Busch Pole position (1st) is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (10) than any other starting position in 38 races at Watkins Glen International in the NASCAR Cup Series (27%). The most recent driver to accomplish the feat was Chase Elliott in 2019. 
  • Kyle Busch leads all active drivers in poles at Watkins Glen with two (2011 and 2017).
  •  Chase Elliott (2018, 2019) and Kyle Busch (2008, 2013) lead all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers in wins at Watkins Glen with two victories each.
  • Hendrick Motorsports leads the NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Watkins Glen with eight victories.
  • Brad Keselowski leads all active Cup drivers in runner-up finishes at Watkins Glen with three. 
  • Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. lead all active drivers in Top 5s at Watkins Glen with six each.
  • Kyle Busch (second all-time) leads all active drivers in Top 10 finishes with 13 Top 10s
  • Erik Jones leads all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers in average finishing position at Watkins Glen with a 6.333 in three starts.
Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your initial picks by 8 a.m. ET on August 20th, and your final picks by 3 p.m. ET on race day August 21st.

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: Go Bowling at The Glen NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Go Bowling at The Glen Reviewed by Carol D'Agostino on Friday, August 19, 2022 Rating: 5