Fantasy Picks ~ Richmond
Week’s Recap and Results
Food City 500
This season NASCAR decided to liven things up with changes to the race format. At Charlotte we will see the Traveling Circus race on the Roval-a combination Oval and Road Course. This week NASCAR partnered with the weather for an enhanced racing weekend at the half-mile high banks by combining endurance racing with dog sled racing as inclement weather forced the race that started on Sunday, January 105 to finish on Monday, January 106.
Sunday was lots of stop and go racing with Green-Yellow-Red for weather being the order of the day. Monday saw racing more like we’re used to as Kyle Busch’s late race tactics got him the lead and the win.
With the 18’s win, Berra Nordin pulled a bump and run and bolted into the lead in our Fantasy Race. PattyKay and Vivian rode the solid finish by Kevin Harvick to hang onto 3rd and 4th, while Frank used it to slide into 5, nipping Vicq at the line for a 1-point lead. Mitch and J. L. both picked Kurt Busch which maintained their 10-point gap. Tim looked like he had a good thing going with the 43, leading six laps, but faded toward the end. Unlike the Bristol weather, things are a-heating up.
The Bristol results are as follows-
Toyota Owners 400
It’s on to Richmond for some more short-track action on the ¾-mile oval. Last season we saw Joey Logano and Kyle Larson take the Checkers there. Unfortunately, Joey had trouble in the R&D inspection and had the win Encumbered, which started his long slide through the remainder of the 2017 season.
Will Kyle Larson make it two in a row at Richmond? Will Joey get a win here that will advance him to the Chase? Can Kyle Busch make it three races in a row? Can Kevin Harvick get back on the winning track? Is Jimmie Johnson’s strong run a preview of what is to come? Can Bubba Wallace, Chase Elliott or some of the other newbies get that first win here? Will Clint Bowyer make it through without an itchy elbow? These and many more are the questions being asked going into Richmond. Let’s see what our field of prognosticators think about the Toyota Owners 400.
Well, the 48 Hours of Bristol is now behind us... wind, rain, snow, sleet and hail. We had it all... and we had more loose wheels. I'm a believer. Time for this old lady to change horses. Kevin's luck has obviously taken a down-turn. At Richmond, I'll be sticking with a Ford, but this time a Penske Ford... the #22 driven by Joey Logano. This might be Shrub's favorite track, or so the TV talking heads informed me, but Logano drives it much better.
For 25 years I worked in the Infield Media Center at Richmond International Raceway and watched most of each Cup race on TV (with a little extra noise bleeding through the walls), but every year I'd try to get outside and pick a spot along the infield fence somewhere that I could watch a little bit (25-50 laps) of the race for real. Then it was back to work. One thing I noticed was which drivers tended to be running well when I watched them (early) but not so good later, when it counted. Denny Hamlin hasn't been the best at getting better as the race progresses, but he's been good, and this is his home track, and he's had lousy finishes the past two weeks, so he's due. The FedEx #11 is my pick this week.
Think I will go with whoever has the best chance to win this week. Thing is though, I don't know who that is at this time. So it is an eeny, meeny, miney, mo... Ah, what the heck - Kyle Larson for the win.
J. L. Steele
This is the week. Denny Hamlin or not, they're going to ring the siren in Dawsonville because Chase Elliott picks up career victory number one this weekend at Richmond.
I think it's time.... coming off a dismal finish today it's his time to shine, it will be my boy Chase Elliott drivin’ the 9!
Bristol was something else with the changing condition over the weekend. Not sure what to take away from that one!! I'm not sure what to say about the use of the "Trac bite." Seems to me it didn't like cold tires very well; maybe next time we'll see the inside line doing burnouts drag racing style before starts on cold tires ;-)
The big question going to Richmond… maybe can Kyle Busch make it 3 in a row or will Kevin Harvick have none of it? A smaller question is has "Jimmy seven times" found his lost momentum or did someone else picked it up?? AND could Kyle Larson put the race together all the way to the checkers???
I've got a feeling yesterday that #4 Kevin Harvick is going to win this weekend so I have to go with that and hope not to jinx him!!
Think I'll go outside my usual stable of faves and back Joey's play this week. He's been pretty strong the last month, and that yellow and red scheme on the #22 is far and away my favorite on any Cup car.
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.
Normally, I would go with Joey Logano at this track, but after last year’s Encumbered Win here I just can’t see a repeat being first to the line. So I’ll take go with teammate Ryan Blaney in the #12 for the win.
this week’s picks for the Food City 500 from Richmond.
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