Welcome back NASCAR degens! It’s been easy riding the Toyota tandem of Busch/Truex but been hit and miss recently with the rest of my picks. Harvick looked strong last week and I think the gap is closing for the remainder of the Chase as we’re heading to Talladega where everything can be thrown out the window. This is one of the rare weeks where staying away from the top can be a profitable strategy and leaving any amount of salary on the table can be justified.
I’m going to avoid talking about the guys above $10K because I feel it’s extremely risky to pay that price at a restrictor plate race. I may splash with one of each depending on what I see but I will be nowhere near 100% with anyone this week. I’m going to focus on guys I like at their price and how I think they’ll do, but I will do my best to mix up LUs, find some value, and spread my shares around because as we know, anything can happen on plate tracks. And you’ll need a little luck come Sunday afternoon for all six your guys to cross the finish line.
Brad Keselowski $9,800: This may be my highest owned guy of the week. He always has speed at plate tracks and has led 30+ laps in each of the L3 races at Talladega. Has won here twice since 2014 and has 4 T7 in the L6.
Kevin Harvick $9,700: Riding some momentum with stage wins last week and I’d say he’ll be up front this Sunday as well. Only has one finish outside the T15 in L8 at Talladega. One career W at Dega and expect him to challenge for his second this weekend.
Denny Hamlin $9,500: Has improved at restrictor plate races and has the third best average since 2015 (14.3). Only one finish in T10 in L4 but everyone knows it’s about staying out of trouble. If he does, he’ll be at the front.
Dale Earnhardt Jr $9,200: I’ve believed that Jr will win a race before season’s end since he announced his retirement. What better place than a restrictor plate track to put icing on his career cake? He only has 1 T20 in his L7 at plate tracks. However he has started in the T3 in 6 of 7. He will have speed and expect him to run up front Sunday afternoon.
Kurt Busch $8,300: Despite no wins, he has been Mr. Consistency at Dega in recent races. In his L6, 5 T10s and no finish worse than 12. That being said, is he due for some bad luck at plate tracks?
Ricky Stenhouse Jr $8,000: Can’t talk about plate racing without mentioning the winner of the last two. He has 3 T10s in his L5 at Dega including the win here earlier in the year. However it’s been ten years since we’ve seen a season sweep at the track (Jeff Gordon).
Cole Whitt $5,000: If you need someone in this low of a price range, Whitt provides a good option. He has 2 straight T20s here and also T20s in 4/5 at Dega.
David Ragan $5,800: Former winner here and at a plate track, has potential. Put together 4 straight T10s in ‘12-’13 but had a bad stretch since. However he did finish 10 here in May.
Here’s to turnin up, slowin down, and cars that go real fast! Boogity boogity boogity!