Fantasy Picks ~ Talladega 2
Race Recap and Results
"Gander Outdoors 400"
Chase Elliott brought it home last week at the Monster Mile and Mitch got the 40 points for the winning pick. It was good to see the #9 in Victory Lane again this year. Hopefully, management won’t do anything to take away his well-earned Thunder like they did after Watkins Glen.
It was a pretty good week as we had five pickers in the 10. The Dover race for our pickers looked like the old plate races where cars would pair up. Frank and Berra both went with the #78, so they maintained their interval. PattyKay and Vivian both went with Happy which didn’t change their interval, But that combo is making up ground on the lead pack as PattyKay is bearing down on Berra. The only position change was Vicq’s pick of 18 allowed him move past J. L. with the #48.
Here’s a look at this week’s Dover results.
The Traveling Circus roars off to race #31. Only five more to go. It’s everyone’s favorite race-Talladega! (NOT!). I’ve been told, the name “Talladega” is derived from a Muscogee (Creek) Native American word meaning “crap shoot." – indicating the Native Americans had great foresight into what would take place on this ground in the future.
This race is always a Good News/Bad News affair. The good news is this is the last restrictor plate race at the 2.66 Mile Superspeedway. The bad news is next year it will be tapered spacers. Can’t wait.
This race is always such a Talladega there is little point in really going into much discussion about who is stout here and who isn’t. If a driver is on the track and they can keep their nose clean for 188 laps and stay in the lead pack, they have a possibility for a strong finish.
So rather than spending time looking at history (because that goes out the window before the pack gets to turn one on the first lap) and stats (because past performance may not be indicative of future results) let’s go right into this week’s picks and see how our group thinks the wreck... I mean race will play out.
Every year, we come to this big ugly track twice, and on both occasions I groan and reluctantly sentence some poor driver to a spot in the "Big One." I knew before looking at the stats, who I'd be riding with, and the stats only solidified my thinking. Though he's never won at Talladega, there is a driver always overlooked, that has great stats, when he misses the "Big One." The Fords have the speed needed for this one, and my guy drives one of them. I'll be riding shotgun this week with #41, Kurt Busch.
Getting tired of having my guy wrecked out at the end through no fault of his own, so here we go to the place where you actually expect that. Good grief. Oh, well…
I don't gamble. I don't know when to hold 'em, fold 'em, walk away or run. My picks here show that I'm also especially bad at letting a bet ride: I've now picked Martin Truex two weeks in a row and looked like a winner, only to have a drunk knock over the roulette wheel just as my number was coming. And now we've got the Talladega freak show, where the only sane bet is to change which sport you follow until we get to Kansas. Wish we got a bye occasionally like an NFL team, but nooooo . . . we have to pick someone. So here goes: Truex has wrecked here three races in a row and he's been wrecked at Charlotte and Dover. His luck is worse than my gambling skills, so I'm taking the perverse approach and going with the #78 for the third straight week - we're both due. (Could Barney put a mattress on either side of the car? That might help.)
Talladega is always a crap shoot, as most of us know. No matter who has won in the past, that does not mean they are a favorite to win next time. Joey Logano has won 3 of the last 6, and Brad has won 2 of the last 8. Does that mean one of them will win? Not necessarily, but then Ford has won 7 of the last 8. Can they continue their dominance? Remains to be seen, and that makes this one an eeny, meeny, miny, moe for me. So - my Moe is gonna be that #4 Ford driven by my old standby, Kevin "Happy" Harvick. Go get 'em, Kevin!!!
J. L. Steele
Last week I went with a seven time champion who was a week removed from a near win. That was worth nothing as Jimmie Johnson finished next to last. Why not go in the other direction for Talladega and pick someone who's never won? We all know that as long as drivers can avoid the trouble which will come, it can be anyone's race to win at the end. Talladega also has a history of giving us first time winners.
That's part of why I'm going with Matt DiBenedetto. He and the GoFas team have shown they know how to run on superspeedways. He was running fourth and making a move for third at Daytona in February when he was caught up in Kurt Busch's accident. He also has one of the best spotters in the business guiding him in David Pepper.
A long shot? Yes but what a story it would be from a place know for giving us great stories.
On a roll, and since the 2 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!
Talladega this week and the last of the Super Speedway crap-shoots this year! The only good with these races is that sometimes the underdog Wins one! Last week we got to hear the siren from Dawsonville I would have guessed it would be this weekend but one never knows. It's ‘Dega so anything could happen and sometimes even will!!!
So what will we see this week? A mix of strategy amongst team I think. Some may play it safe and try to stay out of harm’s way and some going for it depending on where they are at in points! Last time we were here I had Brad K. to win but that didn't end up to well so I don't know why I was thinking he would win but now I'm not too sure!
I’m sure Harvick is mad again this week after his pit crew messed up last week so maybe if they can avoid disaster this week he may miss out of the carnage and walk away with another one!!! Kyle Busch said it best when he said it was a 50 - 50 chance of him winning or wrecking. Winner then, OK they say the lightning never strikes twice in the same place so I’ll go with #2 Brad K. and hope ‘Dega doesn’t do either!
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.
I think I’m going to stick with Joey Logano one more time. One more time. Hopefully it won’t be one time too many!
You’ve seen our ‘Dega picks-tell us who you think will avoid the “Big One(s) and win the final restrictor plate race here!