The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series travels to Concord, North Carolina this week for the Bank of America 500. The race can be seen Saturday night at 6:45 p.m. ET on NBC. Be sure to test your fantasy NASCAR skills in the Yahoo Fantasy Auto Racing game.
Qualifying is set for Thursday night this week. Fantasy lineups must be submitted by 2 a.m. ET on Thursday. Do not forget to make changes to your lineup before the lockdown period at Charlotte.
The opening round of the Chase did not lack excitement and the round of 12 should be no different. This round begins with two races at the 1.5-mile tracks (Charlotte and Kansas) and ends with the most unpredictable race of the Chase (Talladega). Drivers will want to pile up as many points as possible at the intermediate tracks to give them room for a mistake at the Superspeedway.
The best way to select your fantasy team this week is to look at the data from the races on the tracks larger than 1-mile and less than 2-miles in length. There have been eight races on these intermediate tracks (Atlanta, Las Vegas, Texas, Kansas, Charlotte, Kentucky, Darlington and Chicago). Here are the drivers with the best stats on these tracks in 2016…
Average Finishing Position in 8 Intermediate Races
|Wins||Top 5s||Top 10s||Laps Led||Avg. Finish|
|Martin Truex Jr.||3||3||6||845||
When you decide which drivers to use in the race, be sure to look at the average speeds from Happy Hour Practice. I will have these times posted on my Fantasy NASCAR Tips Page on Facebook Friday.
Here are my picks for the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte…
Yahoo Group A Picks
Kevin Harvick (4)
Harvick has not won on a 1.5-mile track this season, but he has been the most consistent performer. The No. 4 team has finished runner-up in three of the seven races (Kansas, Charlotte and Darlington). Harvick has a series-best driver rating and a series-best average finishing position in the last five races at Charlotte. He has finished four of the last five races at the track in the top two. This is a great track for Harvick and he should easily finish in the top five Saturday night.
Jimmie Johnson (7)
Johnson has a series-best seven wins at Charlotte. He finished third in the Coca-Cola 600 and the No. 48 team is running much better now than they were in the spring. Johnson had the car to beat in the last race on a 1.5-mile track (Chicago). He qualified eighth and led a series-high 118 laps. Johnson has had one of the fastest cars in all of the Chase races this season. The No. 48 team should have a good chance to get to Victory Lane this week.
Other good choices: Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth
Yahoo Group B Picks
Martin Truex Jr. (2)
Truex Jr. had one of the most dominating performances in the history of NASCAR in the last race at Charlotte. He won the pole and led 393 of the 400 laps. Truex had a perfect driver rating of 150 in the race. The No. 78 team announced last weekend that they will be bringing back the same car this week. This car also won the race at Chicago three weeks ago. Truex is the class of the field this week and my pick to go to Victory Lane.
Carl Edwards (2)
I am not sure if I will use Edwards in the race Saturday night, but I want to make sure I have him on the team for qualifying points. Edwards has a series-high six poles this season, including one at a 1.5-mile track (Texas). Edwards has finished half of the races on intermediate tracks in the top 11 so he does have value Saturday night. My advice is to select him for your team and see how he performs in Happy Hour Practice on Friday.
Kasey Kahne (7)
Kahne has caught fire recently and now the series heads to one of his best tracks. He has finished the last seven races in the top 15, including four races in the top 10. Kahne has 17 career wins in the Sprint Cup Series and four of them came at Charlotte. He has the eighth-best average finishing position on the 1.5-mile tracks this season. I expect the No. 5 team to finish in the top 10 Saturday night.
Austin Dillon (3)
Most people did not expect Dillon to make it out of the first round of the Chase but his consistency paid off. Dillon has been one of the better drivers on the 1.5-mile tracks this season. His worst finish on these tracks is 19th. Dillon has the same average finishing position on these tracks as Carl Edwards. In May he qualified 28th and finished 12th in the Coca-Cola 600. I expect him to qualify better but finish the same this week.
Other good choices: Ryan Newman and Jamie McMurray
Yahoo Group C Picks
Chase Elliott (2)
The deeper the season gets the more I am starting to believe that Elliott has a legitimist chance of advancing to the final four at Homestead. He ran well in the first round of the Chase (finished 3rd at Chicago, 13th at New Hampshire and 3rd Dover). Elliott is running as well now as he has all season. It might be wise to use him this week regardless of how your other Group C drivers performs in practice.
Alex Bowman (8)
Bowman will once again be driving the No. 88 car for Dale Earnhardt Jr. Bowman has performed well this season when given a chance. He has four starts in the car and finished two of them inside the top 15. His best performance came in the last race on a 1.5-mile track at Chicago. He qualified 17th and finished 10th. Bowman should finish in the top 15 again Saturday night.
Other Good Choices: Ryan Blaney
If you need any further advice with your team, look for me on Twitter @MrFantasyNASCAR
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