NASCAR Picks: Dover

Pick-A-Winner

Well my sure fire pick last week of Jimmy Johnson back fired and knocked me down out of my almost Top 10 average down to 11.92. To see all my picks and averages for the season, CLICK HERE

This week I’m going with a bit of a dark horse, the man who swept both Nationwide races last year at Dover, I’m going with Joey Logano.

Yahoo Fantasy Sports Picks

It’s down to the wire for the spring segment! While I didn’t do as well as I had hoped last week at Charlotte, with Jimmy Johnson finishing 22nd, Jamie McMurray finishing 19th, and Casey Mears finishing 23rd. Kurt Busch’ 3rd place run was my only saving grace. I did end up moving up to 2nd place in my small league, just 131 points out of 1st. While I’d love to pull of the spring segment win, I’ll be happy with second because I’m more worried about the overall win.

This week for my A driver I’m once again going with Jimmie Johnson, on my B team is my race winning pick of Joey Logano and Kyle Busch. On my C team I’m giving the start to Rickey Stenhouse Jr.  On the bench I’ve got Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, and Danica Patrick.

NASCAR Picks: Talladega

Pick-A-Winner

Getting better all the time! My pick of Clint Bowyer brought it home second for me Saturday night in Richmond. Improving my average finish to 12.11. To see all my picks for the year, CLICK HERE.

This week I’m going with Matt Kenseth to bring it home. He was super fast at Daytona and would have probably won there had it not been for a blown motor. But of course with Restrictor plate racing you never really know what is going to happen!

 

Yahoo Fantasy Picks

We’ve already went over my A driver last week, Clint Bowyer came home a strong second, but after that I didn’t have much to brag about. My b list drivers Mark Martin and Kyle Busch finished 38th and 24th. My c list driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished 16th.

In my small league I’m a solid 5th place with 1st place and the Spring Segment win still in reach. In my big league I’m 24th, better than last, but a long way from 1st!

This week I’ve got a good feeling, but with plate racing you just never know!

Like I said above my pick to win is Matt Kenseth so he is my A-list driver.

My B team starters are going to be Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kurt Busch. Dale Jr is a must start on the plate tracks. The way Kurt has been running up front if he can stay clean till the end there is no reason why he couldn’t come home with a top five or in victory lane.

I had made plans to start Danica Patrick as my C driver, but I’m going to give Micheal Waltrip the nod instead. While I’m not sure I will use the start I’ve saved with Danica anywhere else, I just feel more confident with Waltrip, after all he was one Tony Stewart bone head move away from winning the fall race at Talladega.

On back up I’ve got Jeff Gordon on A-list, Kyle Busch and Greg Biffle on B-list, and Trevor Bayne on the C-list.

 

NASCAR Picks: Texas

Pick-A-Winner

Okay so my sure fire bet of Mark Martin last week started to blow up on my early in practice and continued through qualifying. While I was tempted to pull him from my Yahoo list of starters I held the course since I had picked him to win the race.  He ended up giving me a 10th place finish, moving my season average to 14.8, hey at least its going in the right direction!

To see all my picks for the year, CLICK HERE

This week I’m going to go back to the driver that started me off in this whole at Daytona, I’m going to pick Matt Kenseth to win at Texas. He won here before in 2011 and the Gibbs cars have always been pretty strong at Texas. Matt’s still been running up front and I think its his week to shake the demons and get back into victory lane again.

Yahoo Fantasy Sports Picks

I had a solid week at Martinsville, Gordon got me a 3rd place finish, Martin got me a 10th place. I was let down by Dale Jr who ended up 24th as well as Ricky Stenhouse Jr who finished 25th. Guess I should have started Danica!

But this is another week and another shot at redemption.

A driver- Matt Kenseth, see above for reasons

B drivers- Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards- both have ran good here, the Roush cars have always ran strong here, its a good place to use a start for both of them.

C driver-  Ricky Stenhouse Jr.- I know he’s gonna have a good car, I think he has a solid shot at a top 15 here.

On the bench- A, Jimmie Johnson; B, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch; C, Danica Patrick

Restrictor Plates Are Off: Bristol Version 6.0 Excites

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Restrictor Plates Are Off: Bristol Version 6.0 Excites

By: Jeff Southard

Bristol Baby

I don’t know about you, but I thought the Bristol race on Sunday was one of the most exciting I’ve seen in a while. I think last summers grinding of the top groove along with the Gen-6 race car has really made for some good racing. It wasn’t the Bristol of old, but it was still exciting, plenty of passing, a little bumping, it was a good race. Defiantly the best race of the season thus far.

I’m running a little late this week on my column so I’m going to skip the meat of it and go straight to my Yahoo Fantasy Picks and Pick-A-Winner for the week.

Pick-A-Winner

Martin Truex Jr. really let me down last week with a 12th place finish, but hey it could have been worse! It does improve my average finish to 19.25, top twenty baby! We are moving on up! To see all my picks thus far CLICK HERE. This week I am going with Dale Earnhardt Jr. He’s off to a strong start in 2013 and needs a win. He is always good at California and Michigan, I think he’s got this one in the bag!

Yahoo Fantasy Picks

I had a mixed week last week, With Keselowski and Kyle Busch coming home 3rd and 2nd I was feeling good, but mix that in with Truex Jr’s 12th place run and Reutimann’s 39th place finish and it wasn’t a winning week for me in either one of my leagues. But anyway on to California!

A. Matt Kenseth- I went back and fourth between him and Jimmy Johnson on this one but I settled on Kenseth, he’s hot and on a roll right now, if he can avoid trouble he might just find victory lane!

B. Dale Earnhardt Jr. & Joey Logano- Junior is my race winner pick and Logano has a lot of fire after last week so look for him to run good as well.

C. Casey Mears- What better time than to pick Mears? Home track and he had an awesome qualifying run. Originally I had Stenhouse penciled in but he looked off in qualifying so I figured the veteran Mears was the safer bet. Hopefully he can at least bring home a 20th or so place run for me!

 

Restrictor Plates Are Off: NASCAR Fines Steal The Show In Vegas

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Restrictor Plates Are Off: NASCAR Fines Steal The Show In Vegas

By: Jeff Southard

(Photo Credit: AP Photo)

There should have been a lot of story lines that came out of the Las Vegas race. Like the record number of passes, Matt Kenseth’s first win for Joe Gibbs, etc, etc. But thanks to NASCAR’s bone head move(more on it in a minute) to fine Denny Hamlin for expressing his thoughts on the Gen-6 race car all the above mentioned headlines took a back seat. But lets talk about it for a minute, congrats to Matt Kenseth and the #20 team for getting their first win of 2013. The last laps of the Las Vegas race were very exciting. The cars were loose and the drivers were up on the wheel. Kenseth stayed out on older tires for track position and it payed off big with a race win. It appears that the Gen-6 put just a little bit of control back in the drivers hands and it made for some great racing. I for once am actually excited about the next mile and a half race!

Bone Head Move Of The Week:

Maybe even bone head move of the century on the part of NASCAR! I know its been beaten into a pulp over the past week and a half so I won’t go into it very much but NASCAR’s move to penalize Denny Hamlin over comments he made about the Gen 6 race car are absurd! Had they not fined him the comments would have died down and went away. Now they have been played back thousands of times and will be over the remainder of they ear. At a time in our sport when the drivers are finally starting to have some character again NASCAR has castrated their voice. A driver would be insane to say how he feels now if its bad or negative. Heck what Hamlin said wasn’t even out of line! And it was the truth! But in the end NASCAR will always get their way, they always do, just ask Curtis Turner.

The Flat Tire Award

I’m giving this one to NASCAR too, for officially letting the air out of the Gen-6 race cars momentum!

The Hard Charger Award

Brad Keselowski, quietly off to about as good of start as you can get without winning a race. 3 races, 3 top fives, all with a new manufacture and a new race car. I guess its safe to say Bad Brad isn’t a flash in the pan after all!

Pick-A-Winner

Well at least my pick last week with Carl Edwards made me look I had some sort of a clue, his 5th place finish has improved my season average to 21.6. To see all my picks for the year thus far CLICK HERE.

This week I’m going some what on a limb but with someone I have a good feeling about, I’m picking Martin Truex Jr.. He along with all the MWR cars ran strong at Bristol last season, I think this might be his chance to break out and put the Napa Toyota in victory lane.

Yahoo Fantasy Sports Picks

This was a rebound week for me on Yahoo as well, with Carl finishing 5th, Jimmie 6th and Mark Martin and Austin Dillon 14th and 21st respectively I at least stopped the bleeding. I’m 8th out of 11 in one league and 16th out of 48 in my other league.

This week is a bit of a wild card, you just never know what is going to happen at Bristol, but I feel pretty confident in my picks!

A. Brad Keselowski- He’s been golden at Bristol and before him Kurt Busch and Rusty Wallace had no problems taking the #2 car to victory lane for Roger Penske. Brad has been strong thus far this season, I think he’s a no brainer to start on Sunday.

B. Martin Truex Jr.- I picked him to win earlier, so I gotta pick him hear. There aren’t a ton of tracks I plan on using him at this year so I have no problem getting a start out of the way.

B. Kyle Busch- I hate to give away two Kyle Busch starts this early in the season but he’s good at Bristol, he’s been on a roll this year, and with Toyota’s engine problems seemingly out of the way he should be a thread on Sunday.

C. David Reutimann- David has always ran decent at Bristol, including  a second place finish back in 2010. He finished 21st for Tommy Baldwin last year in the spring race. He’s also a strong qualifier with 4 top ten starts in his career at Bristol.

Restrictor Plates Are Off: The Single File 500 Still Excites, Danica Delivers, And The Fence-Of-Tomorrow

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Restrictor Plates Are Off:The Single File 500 Still Excites, Danica Delivers, Fence-Of-Tomorrow

By: Jeff Southard

The Single File 500 Still Excites

After watching the Sprint Unlimited I promised myself I would hold off judgement on the Gen-6 race car, the pack was two small, people were just getting a feel for the car, give it time. Well after 500 plus miles the Gen-6 still sucks on the plate track just as bad as I thought it did. Hopefully NASCAR will make a few changes before the next plate race. No one could pass anyone. I wasn’t a fan of the two car tandem but this isn’t the pack racing I wanted back either. Pack racing is two and three wide, this was a single car train. At least with the two car tandem there was passing. I’m not going to completely throw the car under the bus though, I know it will take time to perfect. The race was what it was, in the end of the day, it was still full of excitement and story lines. Even though the on track racing may not have been perfect it was still exciting and light years away from being boring!  With the huge crash taking out several contenders early, the trio of Toyota cars having mechanical troubles, and all the Danica-mania it was still an exciting 500 miles.

Danica Delivers

Its hard not to be impressed with the job Danica Patrick did. She ran top ten pretty much all day long and was around at the end. There wasn’t much passing to be done and even less with the lack of help Danica was getting. But hopefully the more experience she gets the more the other drivers will stop treating her like a female and start treating her like another driver. Her performance today was smooth and error free. It reminds me a lot of her Indy 500 runs. Danica runs her own race and doesn’t let whats going on around her effect her. If she can get faster at the tracks she isn’t as good at she could prove to be a very consistent Cup racer.

Fence-Of-Tomorrow

I’m not going to go a lot into reviewing the crash in the Nationwide race on Saturday. I posted a few pictures that can be saw by CLICKING HERE. What I do want to talk about is the cry for change. Now don’t get me wrong, it was a horrible accident and my thoughts and prayers go out to those effected. We are very lucky it wasn’t worse. I’ve heard people suggest via twitter,  radio and various other sources over the past 48 hours everything from bullet proof glass walls to tearing down grand stands and moving them backwards and building them up higher. I think everyone needs to take a deep breath and calm down before they start changing things. The catch fence for the most part did its job 100%. It caught the engine and half the suspension. It kept the car on the track. It was just a fluke deal that one piece of the suspension flew into the stands. That is part of racing, no one ever claimed that sitting in the stands was 100% safe. I’ve dodged my fair share of hoods and body parts at drag racing events over the years. I almost had a street stock fly into my lap several years ago at a 1/4 mile dirt track. Its is just the chance you take. I bring up the street stock to disprove those who say we need to slow the cars down. Freak accidents can happen at any speed.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting we sit by the way side and hope it doesn’t happen again. But I don’t think immediate change is needed either. If someone can come up with a safer idea for a catch fence that doesn’t obstruct the view of the fans then I’m all for it. But until then what we have works pretty well. Hopefully until then the “perfect storm” that we saw on Saturday won’t happen again!

Bone Head Move Of The Week

Rapper 50-cent made Erin Andrews Daytona 500 experience super awkward, just watch.

http://sports.yahoo.com/video/awkward-scene-rapper-231211816.html

Not to mention his odd tweet “Damn, I don’t see no black people lol”

Debuting this week to go along with our Bone Head award the “Flat Tire” award and the “Hard Charger” award. The flat tire will be given to the driver with the worst performance of the weekend. The hard charger will be given to the best performance of the weekend, not necessarily the race winner, just an inspiring performance.

The Flat Tire Award

Carl Edwards: I lost count at four or five torn up race cars this weekend. But even when he wasn’t wrecking he wasn’t doing much. He was running in the back of the Sprint Unlimited and the back of the Daytona 500 when he got into trouble. Hopefully this isn’t a sign of how Edwards plans to turn his season around from his 2012 woes or its going to be a long year for the #99 fans.

The Hard Charger Award

Micheal McDowell and J.J. Yeley: Both drivers started at the back of the field, 38 and 41st. Both drivers are driving for underfunded teams. But most importantly both drivers brought it home in the top ten and netted huge pay days to help them race another day!

Pick-A-Winner

For the biggest part of the day I thought sure my pick Matt Kenseth was going to pull it out for me but that all went up in smoke 3/4’s of the way through.

For Phoenix this weekend I’m going with Kyle Busch. He ran strong there in the fall and will no doubt be up on the wheel after blowing a motor in Daytona.

Yahoo Fantasy Sports Picks

Even with Matt Kenseth blowing up in Daytona I still managed to tie for 1st on one of my leagues and finish 2nd in the other. My picks off Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Greg Biffle, and Danica Patrick scored me 292 points.

Here are my picks for Phoenix this week!

A. Kevin Harvick

B. Kurt Busch & Kyle Busch

C. Danica Patrick