Fantasy Picks ~ Las Vegas 1
Week’s Recap and Results
Folds of Honor Quick Trip 500
The first race of the 2019 season with the new “package” resulted in an interesting round of picks for the 1.5 mile aged asphalt track. The bulk of our fantasy racers lined up into two camps - Kelly, Berra, J. L. and PattyKay were all aboard the Happy Harvick train, while Frank, Vivian and Vicq were riding the Double Deuce of Joey Logano. Hal, Will and David all went solo.
Hal’s pick of Brad Keselowski looked pretty touch and go and Brad fought a stomach virus all weekend. But when the laps were run and the Checkered Flag fell, Brad overcame the big three and the aero package to deliver 40 valuable points to Hal. Harvick was strong mid-race but couldn’t get to the front to challenge at the end, coming across in 4th. Will with Chris Buescher was the only other fantasy racer in the top 10.
When the points were tallied we saw no change in our top four as Kelly remains atop the leaderboard. Hal’s win sent him skyrocketing up the leaderboard while the lower half of the field shuffled to gain position.
Enough talk, let’s see what our Fantasy Standings look like after Week Two at Atlanta.
Pennzoil 400 Presented by Jiffy Lube
Week Three starts Cup’s Western Swing as the next three races will be held on the left side of the Mississippi River. This will see another change in the “package.” This one is the “Ultra”, which has the engine choked by the smallest tapered spacer and the car having the most aerodynamic encumbrances. How that will all factor in is again anyone’s guess!
Traditional wisdom would lean toward previous race winners like Kevin Harvick (2 wins and defending race winner) or Brad Keselowski (3 wins, including last season’s fall race). Other winners here include Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch with one win each. Jimmie Johnson leads all drivers here with four wins, but none in the last decade here. Other drivers who have had strong showings include Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin-all names we have seen up front in our first two races.
Will history play a role this week or will the aero package shake things up enough to put a new face in Victory Lane? Let’s see what our ten Fantasy Racers think about the Pennzoil 400.
And off we go on our “Western Swing”, which sounds more like square dancing than racing, doesn’t it? First up is Las Vegas. Round up the usual suspects and give ‘em yet another new “package.” It’s early and I’m not last, so I think I’ll stay with a Ford this week… but a different one. This time I’ll ride with Brad K. in the #2. He was pretty convincing at Atlanta. Las Vegas is nothing like Atlanta, but it’s a track where his finishes are the best. Go Brad!
Vegas will tell us more about this year than Daytona and Atlanta combined, but what those two races told me is that Kyle Larson has his act together this year but needs some luck, which wasn't in his cards the last two weeks. I think the 4-leaf clover says #42 in the city where luck is usually bad - unless you own a casino. Stay away from the slots, Kyle, and maybe there'll be a little luck left for Sunday. I think there will be.
Seems like Fords have won most of the races at Las Vegas the past few years. I think perhaps Ford will maintain that lead so I am going with #4, Kevin "Happy" Harvick to be in Victory Lane. It is time for him to hoist that trophy!
So here we go Vegas and package number three!! We may need something to keep track of all the different kind of packages! Atlanta was an OK race but Atlanta is a stand out so not to jump to any conclusions just yet about the "new" packages. But one thing that strikes me is Larson leading the field and when put in back in traffic he couldn't do anything! Another is HMS still behind and the trend we see there makes me think of the down fall of RFR a bit!
So what about this week? Who to win?? If the NASCAR gods had it their way we'll be hearing the siren in Dawsonville again this weekend or maybe a SHR Win. I don't have any clear idea this warm (43 F ) and grey Wednesday morning here in the middle of Sweden! So I’ll go with my first feeling that it is time for a SHR Win and #14 Clint Bowyer is the man to do it!
more cards, dealer.
I'm standing on hard eighteen -
Kyle Busch wins at home.
I'm betting another new face will be in Victory Lane on Sunday. I'm predicting that Martin Truex Jr will be coming out on top in his first win with his new #19 Toyota.
I think I'll ride that horse 1 more time. So here's hoping Brad is still sick. 2nd win for the #2.
I'm going with Kyle Larson, 42 this weekend. I think he figured this thing out!
J. L. Steele
Las Vegas will be the first track where the new aero package will be used in its entirety. In my mind, the biggest factor it might change (notice I said might) is take away the advantage Kevin Harvick had last year on mile and a half tracks. The other big name that's usually in the mix when the NASCAR circus hits this place is Kyle Busch.
Kyle, however, isn't the only Busch to hail from Vegas. I think Kurt Busch picks up his first win of 2019 and his first for Chip Ganassi Racing. He showed a lot of bold moves last week in Atlanta. Although the full rules package wasn't in place last week, he seemed confident in what he could do with the car. This weekend he takes it a step further and gets the checkers.
Well, we could have gone all season without a finish like that. I felt Penske was ready to win at Atlanta and I was right... I just picked the poorest finisher out of that stable. But I saw some good stuff out of the lad in the #12 car. I’ll give him another go this week. Ryan, you owe me!
a wrap for this week’s picks for the Pennzoil 400 Presented by Jiffy Lube from
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