NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Ally 400 at Nashville


We're back from a one-week break in the Cup Series with Martin Truex Jr.'s win in Sonoma in the rear view mirror. The summer segment of the season always seems to literally bring the heat, lots of excitement and a few hurt feelings. I'm counting on Chase Elliott, Ross Chastain, and RFK Racing to make some noise in the upcoming weeks. 
This Sunday keep an eye on the Hendrick camp, which has Nashville Superspeedway figured out. Chase Elliott won last year and Kyle Larson took the checkered flag in the inaugural race here in 2021. With Chase's current position in the driver standings (27th) this could be his opportunity to punch his ticket to the Playoffs, but not if Ross Chastain, and a few other drivers whose season has been less than stellar have anything to say about it. Erik Jones was pretty fast in practice yesterday, but I think it's going to take some long-run speed to get to Victory Lane.

This Week's Pick Strategy: I'm going heavy with Hendrick Motorsports and factor in stats from Phoenix, New Hampshire, and Richmond, and finish off by weighing heavy on drivers who ran well at both previous races.  

Top 10 in Practice on Friday (Overall):
Tyler Reddick (1st), Martin Truex Jr. (2nd), William Byron (3rd), Ross Chastain (4th), Bubba Wallace (5th), AJ Allmendinger (6th), Chase Elliott (7th), Erik Jones (8th), Daniel Suarez (9th), and Kyle Larson (10th). 

Top 10 in Practice on Friday (20 Lap Average):
Ross Chastain (1st), Tyler Reddick (2nd), William Byron (3rd), Kyle Larson (4th), Martin Truex Jr. (5th), Ryan Blaney (6th), Christopher Bell (7th), AJ Allmendinger (8th), Chris Buescher (9th), and Denny Hamlin (10th).
Top 10 Finishers in Last Year's Race:
Chase Elliott (1st), Kurt Busch (2nd), Ryan Blaney (3rd), Kyle Larson (4th), Ross Chastain (5th), Denny Hamlin (6th), Austin Cindric (7th), Christopher Bell (8th), Joey Logano (9th), and Kevin Harvick (10th).
2022 Pole Winner: Denny Hamlin

The Likely Suspects: I think we may see a couple Fords in the mix upfront, but the Chevys and Toyotas will dominate this week. I will be focusing on these drivers: Ross Chastain, Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, Tyler Reddick, Martin Truex Jr., William Byron, AJ Allmendinger, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, and Christopher Bell.

My 2 Cents: My no-brainer pick this week is a tie between Kyle Larson and Ross Chastain. My next picks are Martin Truex Jr., Aric Almirola, Bubba Wallace, and Tyler Reddick. I will complete my team with AJ Allmendinger and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

My Final Four: Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr., Tyler Reddick, and AJ Allmendinger.

Second-Look Driver: This week's second-look driver is Christopher Bell. Christopher finished eighth in this race last year and ninth in the inaugural year. He was seventh on the 20-lap average chart on Friday. Christopher has two Top 10s at Nashville and an average finish of 8.5, the fifth-best among active drivers here. Christopher currently sits seventh in the standings, and has the potential to notch his second win of the season in Music City.
Points to Ponder:
  • A total of eight different drivers have finished in the Top 5 in the two NASCAR Cup Series races at Nashville Superspeedway – Kyle Larson and Ross Chastain are the only two drivers to finish inside the Top 5 in both races.
  • A total of 14 different drivers have finished in the Top 10 in the NASCAR Cup Series at Nashville Superspeedway, and six drivers have finished inside the Top 10 in both races – Christopher Bell, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson, and Ross Chastain.
  • Kyle Larson leads the NASCAR Cup Series in average finish at Nashville Superspeedway with a 2.5 in two starts, as well as in laps led with 264. 
Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, you should make your initial picks by 12:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 24th and make your final picks by 7 p.m. ET on race day, Sunday, June 25th.

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 Saturday, June 24, 2023 Rating: 5