Fantasy Picks ~ Loudon
Race Recap and Results
“Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart”
Six of our nine competitors finished in the top 10 this week, with five finishing in the top five. Even with the strong performance, none picked race winner Martin Truex Jr. Truex Jr. who backed up his win here last year. The 78 put on an impressive display, leading 174 of the 267 laps, which was 22 laps more than he led here last year.
David had the top pick with a third place finish, to go from the Daytona “outhouse” (39th) to near penthouse (3rd). Unfortunately, under the NASCAR “count by onesies” as PattyKay has called the current point system it is hard to pick up ground. Berra finished fourth, with Frank, Vivian and PattyKay picking up fifth place points. J. L. finished ninth to round out our top ten finishers.
For the second week, we saw no change in position in our standings although Berra picked up a point on our points leader Frank to tighten that differential to three points.
Let’s take a look at the full rundown of the “Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart” results-
“Foxwoods Resort Casino 301”
The New England one mile flat track has of late been a Toyota track, with that make winning eight of the last eleven races here. Matt Kenseth was almost automatic here, accounted for three of those wins, with 7 top 5’s and 9 top 10’s in the last 10 races. But Matt is not with Toyota any longer. That’s the bad news. The good news is there are still some pretty good drivers in the Toyota brand who are strong here. Kyle Busch (2 wins), Martin Truex, Jr. (0 wins, 5 top 10’s), and Denny Hamlin (1 win, 4 top 10’s) are three of the next four top finishers here over the last 10 races.. Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson are the highest ranked non-Toyota finishers in the last five seasons.
Will our winners come from this group or maybe some earlier winners like Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer or Kasey Kahne? Or maybe a non-winner like Kyle Larson?
The Loudon track has been cut down to a single, regular season race this season. Will that factor into how the teams approach this race?
Let’s see what our group thinks about how this week’s race is going to play out...
PattyKay Lilley And now it's on to New Hampshire, "My favorite track" said no one ever! If they'd seen fit to put some banking on that oval, it might have been a fun track. BUT--- it remains platter flat and some drivers think it's even a bit negatively inclined. No doubt about it, the "Big Three" all boast great records there. Matt Kenseth owned the track for quite a while, but I don't think he's racing this one. That being the case, I'll be riding with #18, Rowdy Busch this week. He's the current short-track King according to my complex rating system.
OK, back from a relaxing, didn't-think-a-lot-about-racing weekend at the coast, here you go:
I hate to pick the obvious choice, because that's too easy, but here it goes: Truex is hot and over the last three years, he led the most laps at Loudon twice and more than 100 laps the third race without winning, so he's due. Could he have an off week? Sure, but so could anybody else. I'm going with Jersey Martin.
Toyota has more wins recently at this track. That would put either Truex or KyBusch in the running for the reaching the checkers first. The Penske Fords seem to be lagging a tad although Ryan Blaney did well at Kentucky. Most of the SHR Fords are still showing good so far this season. Chevy still seems to be having trouble keeping up. Hard to make a decision about which way to go. So first I have to choose a brand, then a driver and that is putting me in an eeny, meeny, miny, mo situation. Aha, Ford with Bad Brad in the #2 will park in V.L.
J. L. Steele
It continues to come down to the same names every week, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex, Jr. Last week I week I went with Harvick...and lost. This week I'll go with Truex...so watch me lose again. So be it.
Well, let’s see here, is Loudon even in the US? LOL, oh yeah, way up north of the Mason Dixson line... let’s go with a hometown boy (sorta kinda) in Martin Truex for the win.
Will we see a winner outside the trio on the roll? Shorter flatter track this week should maybe benefit someone like Jimmie Johnson but has he got the MoJo to get a win? And what about Hamlin or Brad K.? Sorry to say but don't think so. I think we'll see one of the top 3 again. I, like most us want to see Kevin Harvick win the championship! But my pick this week goes again out to #18 Kyle Busch-he'll win back to back Loudon Races!!
I'm probably flat wrong again, but I predict that Good Kyle will drive that 42 car flat out all afternoon and flatten the competition.
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.
I’m going to kick myself for doing this but I’m going to go with the fastest guy on pit road-Denny Hamlin. Hoping he will remember that you go fast on the track and slow down on pit road, not vice versa. Put me down for the 11.
You’ve seen our picks-now make yours below!