I hope everyone out there is reading this with more cash in their wallet after last weekend at Dover. To say it was a great week would be a massive understatement. I nailed on EVERY pick for DraftKings and finished inside the top 50 in massive entries I was in. First selection was Kyle Larson who had arguably the best car going in, he stood up front, recorded fastest laps and won the race. Jimmie Johnson was my dark horse win pick and while he didn’t win, he ran inside the top 10 all day and finished 6th returning major value at that price. Denny Hamlin led for basically the first half of the race and accumulated points all day, paired with his 5th place finish that was a great points day.
Alex Bowman another guy I targeted in all of my builds paired with Larson & Johnson, went from 12th to 3rd continuing his grind it out playoff performance. Harvick finished 4th, DiBi was a steal finishing inside the top 10, Suarez finished 14th and ran inside the top 15 most of the day and the deep value picks all paid off with Hemric finish +10 spots in 21st and Preece finished 19th. Austin Dillon also finished 18th. Not a single bad pick.
While the Dover performance was an all-timer, it will be hard for anyone to predict anything at Talladega this weekend. The true wildcard race, the 1000bulbs.com 500 will make or break a lot of teams in the final 12 and we could see a first-time winner at Dega, as is often the case. Time to get to it.
In the first race at Talladega under this new rules and aero package, Chase Elliott picked up the win leading 45 laps with teammate Alex Bowman as the runner-up. After the DNF last week, they come to Talladega desperately searching for another win. Elliott’s average finish of 14.00 is third best among active drivers and he has 3 top 10’s in 7 starts. That first race saw 6 Chevys finish top 10 with Elliott, Bowman, Preece, Hemric, Busch and Gaughan.
Other guys to consider? Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano have 8 combined wins at Talladega throughout their career and all the Penske cars are a threat to get up front and lead laps. Logano needs a big weekend after losing a ton of points last weekend at Dover with the parts failure before the race. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won at Talladega before and is often a risky pick due to how aggressive he is on these tracks, but if that car is out front in clean air, he’s as good of a bet as anyone to win on Sunday. David Ragan won his first career race at Talladega and now makes his final start there full-time in the cup series. If he can avoid the big one, he knows how to race at this track and get to the front when it counts.
Talladega DraftKings Picks
Kyle Busch ($10,900): I am keeping it real simple this week. It’s all about place differential. Minimize your risk, and maximize upside on a wild plate track. Busch starts 26th and ran top 10 earlier this year.
Denny Hamlin ($10,300): Hamlin did not qualify yesterday and starts dead last, 40th as a result. That’s easy money for the guy that won the Daytona 500. He needs to be in EVERY lineup.
Kurt Busch ($8,800): Kurt may not be in the playoffs any longer, but he’s a great plate racer. Starting 24th and with 2 top 10’s this season, he’s a rock solid pick.
Matt DiBenedetto ($7,900): The Toyota’s will work together getting to the front. Remember how good DiBi looked at Daytona? Yeah, I’ll take some of that this weekend with DiBi starting 31st.
Value Plays: Ryan Preece ($6,000), Daniel Hemric ($6,400), Corey Lajoie ($5,500) all start 29th or lower.
Talladega Winner Prediction
Brad Keselowski has gone a while without a win, and this weekend might be the perfect opportunity. I’m not going to build him into any lineups starting top 10, but he’s good at plate tracks and I could see that fast car winning this race.