Rights & Lefts? Road racing in Sonoma

As I review my pre-race fantasy predictions, I realize I am at my perennial crossroads when it comes to road-racing: do you go with strong road-racing skills or strong equipment or both? Right now, I’m thinking both.

My huge dilemma right now is choosing between two very decent road-racers with almost exact records: Clint Bowyer with an average finish of 11.2 and Juan Pablo Montoya with an impressive 9.0. Normally this would be a non-brainer, you go with Juan, former Indy 500 champion and Formula 1 racer extraordinaire. The man knows how to turn left and right, save fuel and pass in the corners. However, track position is key here and Juan hasn’t had a stellar season. Juan starts in 12 and Clint starts in 6th. Hmm.

I’m thinking Juan is a very low risk. He has to get a win to even be in contention for the Chase, so he edges out Clint in the more motivated category. OK. Juan it is; I think ….

Curious where I started my fantasy pick pondering? Check out this week’s NASCAR Fantasy Fusion column. Click Here.

Enjoy the race, and those rare left and right turn combinations!

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Martinsville: Hot dogs and game changers for the Chase?

I love short tracks. There’s never a dull moment and there are so many variables – tires, pit stall selection, brakes and engines. With little time on the track this weekend I’m sure that the famous Martinsville hot dog will not be the only thing fans will be cheering for. This race will make or break some Chasers. Will Jimmie Johnson finally show what he’s got or will we see the demise of the 5-time dynasty? Will Dale Jr. rise to the occasion or will Jeff Gordon and Denny Hamlin?

Here are my fantasy picks: Denny Hamlin; Brad Keselowski;Juan Pablo Montoya; and Bobby Labonte.

Enjoy the race!

Will it be the shifty or the miserly at Pocono?

Talk about weird tracks. Pocono takes the cake with its 3 turns. Add to that the fact that NASCAR has said that shifting is cool and encouraged and we could have a wild one today. I’m thinking the winning combination is going to be a strong car that’s good on the long runs with a driver that has good road race and open wheel experience. And of course, it would be good not to run out of gas at the end. Oh did I mention the weather is iffy?!

Yikes, so let’s just factor in a smart crew chief balancing his savvy and gambling skills!

So I’m thinking: Denny Hamlin; Tony Stewart; Carl Edwards or open wheelers like Marcos Ambrose or Juan Pablo could be sitting pretty.

Hold on tight and enjoy the race!!

Lady in Black takes no prisoners

Darlington Raceway is often referred to as NASCAR’s original super speedway. Racing there is punishing. Not only do you have to keep up with the track, but also keep your car in one piece although most will be sporting at least one Darlington stripe by the race’s end. Oh, did I mention it is basically a four-hour race?!  Strong engine shops with patient drivers have a better chance of doing well here although it is basically anything goes. You can do everything right and just get caught up in a wreck and your night is over.

Who knows what will happen between Montoya and Newman tonight. Should be fast and interesting whatever happens. Picking a fantasy team is just a nightmare for this race so I look for drivers who can persevere that have hardy engines. I check over past DNFs on the track and just hope for the best.

So I’m thinking: Denny Hamlin; Ryan Newman; Mark Martin; and David Ragan.

Enjoy the race!

Anger management & making switches smooth the trick at Talladega today?

lt seems like the track that’s always eaten up cars and impatient drivers offers a new, equally wild option with the two-car draft. Here’s what Dale and Juan Pablo had to say about it: Dale,  Juan Pablo.  Clint had a funny comment about his strategy being trying not to wreck!

Should be an interesting day at the track and hopefully less chaotic than the Nationwide race.

Crossing my fingers and toes: here are my picks: Kevin Harvick; Clint Bowyer; Dale Earnhardt, Jr.; and David Ragan.


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