NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Road-racing at Verizon 200 at the Brickyard

Well, last week at Michigan was a fun one. While I thought that Fords were likely to shine again, and they were respectable with five Fords in the top finishing spots, I couldn't have predicted that Chris Buescher would earn back-to-back wins. The last time the No. 17 car was in Victory Lane for consecutive wins was when Matt Kenseth did it in 2009, opening the season with wins at Daytona and Auto Club. It was Chris' first back to back win in his career and his second win this season. Oh, and guess what? Chris is a pretty good road racer. Stay tuned.
This week's pick strategy: Road racing provides opportunities for fantasy players to dust off some drivers who you haven't used for a while. Resist the temptation to weigh too heavily on "what have you done for me lately" thinking and remember that road racing is something that some drivers love and it seems to come to them naturally. I typically prefer to take a chance on a Cup driver who has strong skills making those lefts and rights, then the racers who come from other disciplines. And then there's SVG! Stick with your gut when you pick this week, and good luck. 
Active Drivers with Most Top 10s on Road Courses (Since February 2020)
Includes Sonoma,Watkins Glen, Road America, Charlotte Roval, Indy Road Course, and Circuit of the Americas.
Chase Elliott - 12
Tyler Reddick - 10
Both with 9 - Joey Logano and Chris Buescher
All with 8 - Kyle Busch, Christopher Bell, Michael McDowell, Ross Chastain, A.J. Allmendinger, and Kyle Larson 
Both with 7 - Martin Truex Jr. and Alex Bowman
All with 6 - Ryan Blaney, Austin Cindric, and Denny Hamlin
Both with 5 - William Byron and Kevin Harvick  

Top 5 Average Finishes Among Active Drivers at Indy Road Course (2022 and 2021)
Harrison Burton 3.0 (One start in 2022)
Both with 4.0 - A.J. Allmendinger and Todd Gilliland (One start in 2022)
Austin Cindric 5.5
Bubba Wallace 9.0
Chase Elliott 10.0

Last Year's Pole Winner: Tyler Reddick
Last Year's Race Winner: Tyler Reddick

The Likely Suspects: While I can't wait to see how the international road-ringers perform I am focusing on these road course elite drivers: Tyler Reddick, Chase Elliott, AJ Allmendinger, Kyle Larson, and Austin Cindric.

My 2 Cents: My no-brainer pick is AJ Allmendinger. My next picks are Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Austin Cindric, Chris Buescher, Bubba Wallace, and Tyler Reddick. I will complete my team with Harrison Burton.

My Final Four: Joey Logano, Chris Buescher, Tyler Reddick, and AJ Allmendinger.

Second-Look Driver: My sleeper pick this week is Christopher Bell. Christopher is a decent road racer. While his record at the Indy road course has been less than stellar with a 12th place finish last year and a disappointing 36th in the inaugural race, Christopher has a decent record at road courses in general and lots of motivation to make a statement with only two more races remaining until the Playoffs begin.

Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your final picks by 2:30 p.m. ET on race day Sunday, August 12th.

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: Road-racing at Verizon 200 at the Brickyard NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Road-racing at Verizon 200 at the Brickyard Reviewed by Carol D'Agostino on Saturday, August 12, 2023 Rating: 5