Track: Talladega Superspeedway
Time: Sunday 2:00 pm EST
Keys to this week:
Talladega is one of the big pack racing tracks that often make you think you should “Stack the back” and wait for the big crash, but that’s not necessarily true! the last couple of races here we have seen drivers from the top 10 end up in perfect lineups. Talladega races should be played differently in my opinion. You should play the driver you think will win the race, and you should also play easy PD spots. If a driver is starting further back than he probably should, or for how fast his car has been, you should probably start him. Those PD points could be valuable.
I know what you’re going to say though “but there’s going to be a crash up front and the guys in the back will get through. Look at Daytona!” and sure, that could happen. But the crashes are so sporadic and you never know what spot any drivers will be in when it happens. That’s definitely a strategy you can consider this week. You can also look at the recent superspeedway races and see how they went. You’ll notice a lot of teams and alliance teams in the top of those races as well. it’s another strategy that can be employed in pack racing tracks like this.
Weather by Chris Rothar
Cloudy with scattered showers throughout the day. May see some delays. Temperatures will be in the low 70’s with light winds.
12k+ guys (FD) 10k+ guys (DK), listed in order as I like them.
Logano hasn’t been driving where we would like to see him lately, but his track history is way too good here to ignore. He has 3 wins, with 6 top ten finishes in his last 10 races here. The other races he crashed, so like many drivers at Talladega, he’s great if he stays racing. He’s going to start the race from the 10 spot, so you get some decent PD from him with a win, which I think is very possible if he stays out of trouble. His price on FD is reflecting his history here and his price on DK is representative of his current form. this could easily be the race where he turns it around and goes on a tear for the rest of the playoffs.
Tough luck for Hamlin this week as he blew his engine in qualifying. But if you really think about it, better it happened in Qualifying, than during Lap 1 of the race! Hamlin was driving a really fast car in practice, and the hope is that his replacement engine is close to the same. Because of this change, he will start the race from the 40 spot. He’s a HUGE PD play and since many will be stacking the back, you can anticipate that he will be the highest owned driver in this race purely for PD. While a top 10 finish would be amazing, I think we’re going to see him make it to the midpoint in the field.
I haven’t written much about Kyle Busch in recent weeks. that’s worked out for us as he’s had some trouble in a couple of races with some DNFs. The other races though he did OK. This week he’s starting 26th and had a pretty fast car. He should be good for some PD points this week and those points help to offset his price since he’s the most expensive driver on DK. A win has avoided him here in 9 recent races, but he does have
8-12k guys (FD) / 7-10k guys (DK), listed in order as I like them.
Almirola isn’t in playoff contention anymore, but he on a team with drivers who are. That team helped him to win the Talladega playoff race last season as they all had really fast cars. Almirola showed that here already with a 2nd fastest practice and a 5th place qualifying. It’s very possible that he stays that high in this race as a top 5 finish wouldn’t shock me in any way. This is a driver you’re playing for finishing position.
“Wrecky” is one of the drivers we usually talk about when we have a pack race. He has a win here and also four top 5’s, and 5 top 10 finishes in his last 10 races at Talladega. He’s starting 7th this week, which isn’t for the faint of heart, but he’s got the chops to win this race, This could also end poorly for him, but he doesn’t have much to lose here!
Bowyer has been driving well as of late, and other than the 25th place finish in Las Vegas a couple races back he has not finished worse than 10th in his last 7 races. He’s also Almirola’s teammate and has a decent car himself with the fastest practice speed in the 2nd practice this weekend. He’s currently sitting outside of the cutline for the next level of the playoffs so he could be gunning for a win this week. Since he’s starting from the 8th spot, this could be a week that happens.
Kurt has a whole bunch of top 10 finishes in the last 10 Talladega races. That’s the good. The bad is that he didn’t seem to practice well this weekend. He also has a 24th qualifying spot. I do think he has a faster car than he showed. He’s driven well at the Superspeedways this season and It’s one of the major reasons I like him. Also his starting spot is pretty good for PD in this race.
Your low – mid tier priced players on both sites, listed in order as I like them. Use as needed.
I mentioned Newman’s teammate earlier, and now it’s Newman’s turn. Newman often will sit back in a race like Talladega and wait for the accident to happen. He actually has 5 top 10 finishes to support that method of racing, and he’s done well with PD in his last few races. His starting position is worrisome to me, but honestly, I see him finishing top 10 this week, especially with his practice speeds.
DiBenedetto is a good driver in poor equipment. Fortunately, this is one of those races where the driver matters more. MDB had top 10 practice speeds in BOTH practices which you could expect from a good driver in pack racing. His qualifying time (where he was alone on the track) brought him down to 31st. He’s better than this, and more than likely will give us some good PD points at Talladega.
Preece is another driver in subpar equipment but someone who is a good driver. He had a 5th place practice speed but will be starting from the 30th spot. He’s another driver I will be looking forward to moving up and giving us some PD in this race. as far as his history here, he finished 3rd in the race earlier this season, after starting from the 30th spot. This would be great to see repeat, but is a lofty expectation. I’ll be happy with a top 15 finish from him in this race.
The Yellow Flags
These are your deep punts – use with caution! They will help you fit the high priced drivers, but may not do much more. There should be no need to use any of these guys on FanDuel.
There are some drivers back there with some fast practice speeds, so maybe consider Gaughan, Lajoie, and Chastain.