Fantasy Picks ~ ISM 2
Race Recap and Results
“AAA Texas 500"
The one and a half-milers are notoriously a bit challenged for excitement and the Fort Worth race unfortunately fit in that category, had it not been for a couple of late cautions and overtime finish. Vivian and J. L.’s pick of Kevin Harvick hung on for the win against David’s Ryan Blaney. Joey Logano made contact with Aric Almirola to finish third, while eliminating one more name from his Christmas card list. Mitch saw his pick of Chase Elliot finish 6th, while Frank’s Martin Truex Jr. pick was the final top-10 finisher, coming in in 9th. Kyle Busch’s misfortunes resulted in a 17th place finish, much to the dismay of Berra, PattyKay and Vicq who had pinned their hopes on him this week. Tim was close behind with a 23rd place finish.
Texas seemed to have more excitement off-track than on. NASCAR inadvertently penalized Jimmie Johnson before the race, Blaney and Almirola received post-race penalties and Race winner Harvick was hit with an L1 penalty on Wednesday resulting in the #4 losing his automatic berth in the Homestead final.
When the Texas dust settled there were no position changes among our fantasy racers as Frank held onto his lead. You can see the latest results from the “AAA Texas 500” from Fort Worth.
It’s Phoenix, which means it must be race #35 for the season. The race to set the final three Chase spots. It used to set the final 2 but L1 penalties on Wednesday assessed against Kevin Harvick for some kind of spoiler violation stripped him of the Texas win advancing him into the finals at Homestead. So now, the 4 is on the outside looking in like the other seven Chasers. That’s the bad news (if you are a Kevin Harvick fan). But, Kevin has owned the desert 1-miler for what seems like an eternity (that’s the bad news for the competition and good news for the Harvick fans). Harvick has won here 9 times, including the March race, making him the winningest active driver here Sunday. The next closest is Jimmie Johnson with four wins followed by Ryan Newman with two wins. The remainder of the short list of winners includes Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano. The normal cast of winning characters missing from the winners list but have had strong showings includes Bad Brad, Jaimie, Truex, Jr., the good Kyle and Aric.
There are lots to choose from and lots of story lines as we set the stage for the season wrap-up this week. Let’s see who our racers believe will take Checkers and advance to the finals next week.
(Editor’s note: All picks were made this week before Black Wednesday came and messed with the points… again)
And then there were two! Going to change horses this week. NASCAR doesn't seem to love KyBu too much this year. Constant penalties are painful from this vantage point, and I'm sure from his as well. They might call this track ISM now, but it's still Phoenix and that means it's #4thewin🔥 Kevin Harvick!
OK, do you go with the guy who's hot or the one who's due? I'm not going with Truex again, and I don't think Harvick will dominate two weeks in a row. Would be cool to pick Eric Jones, but I'm going to play it as safe as you can with one of these and say Kyle Busch won't have two awful weeks in a row and will be the man at Phoenix.
I am going to stick with Harvick, #4 again this week and for the rest of the season.
J. L. Steele
Phoenix has become Kevin Harvick's personal playground over the past few years. Rationally, it's tough to pick against him at that track. Racing isn't always rational though, sometimes it's emotional.
Chase Elliott ran a great race there last November before losing the lead late to Matt Kenseth. He needs to win if he's going to advance to Homestead as part of the Championship 4. A win by Elliott would also knock either Kyle Busch or Martin Truex, Jr. out of that four. This has been his breakthrough year, with three wins. Sunday at Phoenix, Chase Elliott will pick up win number four and trust me, there will be all kinds of emotions across the board.
On a roll, and since the 3 win's that Chase has had, I have been over to Dawsonville talking with Gordon Pirkle at the Ga. Hall of Fame, AND with me going back over this weekend... it's #9 one more time showing what he really does have!
The end is near now and the NOD is soon to set in!! For this week I had a feeling at first that Kyle was going to win it but I think he just will ride along and not put himself at any risk! Last time here at Phoenix all 4 SHR cars were inside top 10 so my next feeling was that Clint is going to win so #14 Clint Boyer it is!
My contrarian strategy this year worked out about as well as Mikey's old #30 car did against the Bristol wall, so,,, for the final ten, I am picking Kyle Busch all the way, hopin' that either I won't see him making the big speech at Vegas, or that I'll claw my way out of the RFF crawl space. And I get to eat some M&Ms during the race without feelin' guilty...
My pick, every week, will be Bubba Wallace. My reasoning is my hope is that Richard Petty will have a successful year with his team and I'm supporting that hope every way I can.
Ryan Blaney did a good job for me last week until inspection time. Oh well. I’d like to stick with him but for some reason the 22 keeps calling me. Over the last five races here he is the only active driver to get five top 10s. I like the consistency. Unfortunately, the list of drivers he’s ticked off is almost that long, which may short-circuit the run... but we’ll take a chance.
You’ve seen our “Can-Am 500” picks - tell us who you think takes the Checkers on Sunday and punches their ticket to Homestead!
Watch NBCSN at 2:30 PM East Coast time to see how your picks finished.