NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Talladega

Willy B looked pretty good in that nerdy big hat in Victory Lane at Texas last week. It was William Byron's 6th win this year, his first Playoff win, 10th Cup Career win, and more importantly the 300th Cup Series win for Hendrick Motorsports. William will be the only driver not nervous as the green flag waves today.

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):

By Race
Denny Hamlin - 5
Erik Jones - 4
Chase Elliott - 3
All with 2 - Ty Dillon, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Aric Almirola, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Michael McDowell

By Track
All with 6 - Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, and Erik Jones
Both with 5 - Aric Almirola and Kevin Harvick
All with 4 -Ryan Blaney,  Joey Logano, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Michael McDowell, and Alex Bowman

Last Year's Pole Winner: Christopher Bell
Last Year's Race Winner: Chase Elliott
The Likely Suspects: My Talladega go-tos include Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Aric Almirola, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Michael McDowell.
My 2 Cents: My no-brainer pick this week is Chase Elliott. My next picks are Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, Erik Jones, Chris Buescher, and Michael McDowell. I will complete my team with Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Todd Gilliland.

My Final Four: Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, Erik Jones, and Todd Gilliland.

Second-Look Driver: My sleeper pick this week is Erik Jones. Over the past several weeks we've seen the No. 43 team show up at the track with a competitive car and with their driver up on the wheel racing in the Top 15 and leading laps. Their finishes have definitely not been a true indicator of just how well this team is running. Talladega is one of those tracks where Erik shows just how good he really is. In his 13 NASCAR Cup Series starts, Erik has earned two Top 5s, seven Top 10s, and has led 76 laps.

Points to Ponder:
  • The outside front row (second starting position) is the most prolific starting position in the field, producing more winners (20) than any other starting position at Talladega Superspeedway in the NASCAR Cup Series.
  • Hendrick Motorsports leads the NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Talladega Superspeedway with 14 victories, followed by Richard Childress Racing with 13. Team Penske has the third-most wins here with 10.
  • Eleven of the 51 NASCAR Cup Series race winners at Talladega Superspeedway are active this weekend. They are Brad Keselowski with 6; Joey Logano with 3; Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, and Ryan Blaney with two each; and Ross Chastain, Bubba Wallace, Aric Almirola, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Kevin Harvick with one each.
  • Kevin Harvick leads all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers with three runner-up finishes at Talladega Superspeedway. 
  • Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, and Joey Logano lead all active Cup Series drivers in Top 5s at Talladega with 10 each.
  • Kevin Harvick leads all active drivers in Top 10s at Talladega with 19.
  •  Chase Elliott (15 starts) leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series in average finishing position at Talladega with a 14.067.
  • Denny Hamlin leads all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers in laps led at Talladega with 431 in 35 starts. 

Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your final picks by 2 p.m. ET on race day, Sunday, October 1st. 
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: Talladega NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Talladega Reviewed by Carol D'Agostino on Sunday, October 01, 2023 Rating: 5