NASCAR DFS YellaWood 500

NASCAR DFS YellaWood 500

by October 2, 2020 0 comments

After more than 16 years, Kurt Busch‘s dream of winning at his home track of Las Vegas came to fruition on Sunday. Fittingly came with a bit of lady luck considering the circumstances. It all stemmed from a late-race caution for track debris during a green flag pit stop, which would leave Busch as the lone playoff competitor still on the lead lap.

On the final three-lap restart, Busch would get a pretty sizable jump on Matt Dibenedetto for the lead position. Ryan Blaney would try his best to give DiBenedetto a proper boost but would be hampered by Alex Bowman. Denny Hamlin would move up on Dibenedetto’s outside, and both drivers continued to battle it out for the second place position. The No. 21 driver quickly gained the upper hand on Hamlin, however, he wouldn’t have quite enough to give Busch that one final challenge for the win. Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., and Bowman would round out the top five.

Busch can now feel comfortable in the realization that he will get to advance into the round of 12, while many of his compatriots still scramble to qualify. We now turn the page on Las Vegas and move onto Talladega, Alabama for the second of three races before the round of eight. Talladega Superspeedway is over two and a half miles in length, which ranks as the longest oval track in NASCAR. The fabled track is almost certain to offer at the very least one late wreck, that is bound to shake up the playoff points as they conclude next week.

Hamlin won the pole for this Sunday and will start opposite last weekend’s victor Busch. So without further ado, let’s delve into the driver options for this upcoming Cup Series event. Below we have high salary, mid-range, and value play selections. Best of luck to everyone with your lineups this weekend.

High Salary

Chase Elliott (11,800 FD | 10,500 DK)

While his attempt back in June was a forgettable 38th place finish, it was only a season ago that he racked up both a win and eighth-place run at this tricky Superspeedway. Looking at the playoff situation coming into Talladega, Elliot currently sits 10 points above the cut-off, leaving him no room for error. A solid performance is going to be crucial here on Sunday as he attempts to keep the wolves at bay.

If Elliott finds himself some strong draft partnerships from the Chevy camp, he should be able to keep himself upfront with opportunities to bag numerous laps led. Consider that he’s led laps in each of the last three visits, and also finished with nine stage points during June’s race. Elliott will start off the line in the 10th position, so it also leaves a little leeway to gain a few extra points through place differential.

Brad Keselowski (11,200 FD | 9,900 DK)

The current King of Talladega, Keselowski tops all playoff drivers with five series wins at the track. Joey Logano follows behind a distant second with three victories. He has not had a solid bout of recent results here that is certainly true. However, given his solid consistency throughout this season, coupled with his overall track success, you should feel self-assured with the No. 2 driver.

He should be a solid bet to pick up points through laps led and fastest lap. Slated to start opposite teammate Logano, this should help increase Keselowski’s chances of advancing to the front early. Keep in mind that Keselowski has led at least 20 laps or more in six of the last nine Talladega attempts. While Keselowski sits third in the playoff standings, he is still only 16 points above the cutoff line. A hard fought finish this weekend could go a long way towards pushing him through to the round of eight.

Mid-Range

Aric Almirola (10,700 FD | 8,500 DK)

Almirola is arguably the hottest cup driver when it comes to performing at Talladega. Consider that over the last nine attempts here, Almirola has not finished outside the top nine in any of them. In fact, over the past seven visits, Almirola leads all series drivers in both top fives and top 10’s. Now with Almirola currently 27 points below the cutoff line heading into Talladega, this is his best opportunity to eat away at a large chunk of that playoff deficit. For a track as unforgivable as this Superspeedway has proven to be, he can offer you some relative comfort given the steadfast consistency. Keep in mind that Almirola has just one pair of DNF’s in 21 visits here, with his first one coming back in 2007.

Value Play

Ty Dillon (6,000 FD | 6,800 DK)

When you delve into Dillon’s cup tenure at Talladega, it’s actually rather impressive. Keep in mind that over Dillon’s seven races at this Superspeedway, he has finished outside the top 15 on just the one occasion, proving himself to be a crafty little drafter when given the help. In fact, during his last Dega event back in June, Dillon finished 12th after having started out in the 33rd position. Slated to start in the 28th position, Dillon can potentially offer you around a dozen or more points through place differential. If he can earn himself a top 15 place finish, that’s a steal given the price tag.

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