We’ve already had one exciting draft with the NFL creating dreams come true for 253 players.
Now, we’re about to go down another type of draft, one that has equal possibilities for something to go horribly wrong.
Yes, it’s Talladega week! The racing close and The Big One could strike at any moment. It can cause not just total havoc on the Sprint Cup season but also on your Daily Fantasy Sports week as well. Here’s what you need to know heading into Sunday’s event…
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Race: Geico 500
Track: Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega, AL (2.66 miles)
Laps: 188 (500 miles)
TV: Sunday, 1 PM EST, FOX
Active Winners: Dale Earnhardt Jr (3, defending champion), Jimmie Johnson (2), Brad Keselowski (2), Denny Hamlin (1), David Ragan (1), Kevin Harvick (1), Kyle Busch (1)
Talladega may be the longest track in terms of length on the circuit, but its breakneck speeds make the laps zip by. In fact, the cars used to go so fast at Talladega that NASCAR instituted the use of restrictor plates, which keep the cars nice and bunched up on the track and ensure that almost every driver has a chance to win. Drivers sometimes get their first wins on restrictor-plate tracks, like Brad Keselowski, whose win in the 2012 race was his first victory. With that in mind, here are three drivers who could potentially pull off the same stunt as well as three sets you may want to avoid Genius Zone.
THREE TO START
Chase Elliot (Starting on the pole)–
Elliot gets better each and every week that goes by. Just a few weeks, I was watching him masterfully run Bristol, making fast and furious passes that made me go, “Wait…didn’t Jeff Gordon retire?” Elliot has not made a start at Talladega but has already shown he has the speed and the type of car to win by capturing the pole. Elliot also won the pole for the Daytona 500, where he ran with the leader for a good portion of the early going before getting caught up in an accident.
Austin Dillon (Starting 2nd)-
Starting in the front row next to Elliot will be Dillon, who enjoys his most successful stint in the Cup Series to date. For this first time, he proves that he is truly worthy of driving the #3 car but just needs a win at the highest level to fully prove his doubters wrong. What better week to that than on the week of Dale Earnhardt’s 65th birthday? Dillon has struggled on the Cup level at ‘Dega, but in the Xfinity Series, he had an average finish of 10th in 3 starts and a couple of Top 10’s in as many starts in the Truck Series.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Starting 6th)-
Now granted, it’s a very, very small sample size. But the all-time highest average finish at Talladega belongs to none other than Danica’s boyfriend. Stenhouse has 3 Top 10’s in 5 Talladega starts, posting an average finish of just over 12th. This time, he’s armed with something he’s never had at Talladega…a good start. Before this week, Stenhouse’s average starting spot at the superspeedway was 23rd. However, at each start, he has improved his position every time. Stenhouse has likewise posted better numbers in the early going, so his first career win would be a nice momentum boost.
THREE TO PARK
Kyle Busch (Starting 17th)
–If anyone can make me eat these words, it’s Kyle Busch himself, but…his track record (no pun intended) at Talladega leaves much to be desired.