This week, NASCAR heads down to Talladega. This is one of the biggest wild card races of the year. Not only will it be a different package, but it will be the driver’s first time racing with this package. This wouldn’t be a big deal but since there’s no practice the first couple laps in a big pack could get dicey. The package will slow the cars down in an attempt to keep cars from flipping as Ryan Newman did at Daytona.
Typically, I’ll give you my dominator, mid-range, and value drivers. This week my picks will be a little different. I’ll just be giving you my top four drivers. Talladega is all about finding those guys that will miss the wrecks. Place differential is also key. The best lineup will likely not use up all of the available salary. Now let’s jump into my top drivers for this slate.
Ryan Blaney ($10,100 DK and $12,000 FD)
Blaney is starting to become one of the better Superspeedway racers. He won at Talladega last fall. Blaney also finished second at Daytona earlier this year. He has been very consistent this year and has six top threes. Blaney got the best draw out of the top 12 drivers. He will be starting 12th so he will still have a shot at place differential points. Look for Blaney to pick up another top-three finish and be in contention for the win.
Erik Jones ($7,000 DK and $8,800 FD)
If you look at Jones track record at Talladega you’ll see a lot of bad finishes. However, he still runs well at Superspeedways. He won the Clash at Daytona earlier this year. He also got his first NASCAR Cup Series victory at Daytona back in 2018. Jones has had a bit of bad luck this year and that’s why his salary seems to be low every week. However, Talladega is all about avoiding the wrecks, and if Jones can do that, he will be a great value driver.
Austin Dillon ($5,800 DK and $8,800 FD)
Dillon is very solid at Talladega. He doesn’t have a win but he has some good finishes. Last year at Talladega’s two races he finished sixth and 14th. He has even shown that he can win at Superspeedways with his Daytona 500 victory in 2018. He also has 10 top 10 finishes at Superspeedways since 2013. Dillon is underpriced and with Childress cars picking it up Dillon could be a dark horse to win.
Michael McDowell ($6,300 DK and $4,500 FD)
McDowell is one of the best value drivers every week. He constantly puts together top 25 runs. So far this year he only has one finish worse than 25th. He also has six top 17 finishes. He will be starting 26th and coming off a top-five in his last race at Talladega. Look for McDowell to crack the top 15 this week and put together another strong Superspeedway finish.
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