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Fantasy NASCAR Recommendations for 2011 Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway

Posted by chadmusselman on April 11, 2011

Talladega is the largest speedway on the NASCAR circuit at 2.67 miles.  Drivers can go from first place to 25th place in the matter of a half lap.  Because of this it makes it extra difficult to predict who will finish in the top ten and really makes it possible for anyone to have a good or bad day.  Only three chasers from last season are in the top 10 of average finish position at Talladega, and six of last year’s chasers have won a race here.  The best average finish at this track is 13.3 and owned by Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano.  Not the guys you would have expected, right?  Juan Montoya has the fifth best average finish with 14.8.  You never know who will have the good luck at Talladega

This Week’s Recommendations:

Chaser: Kevin Harvick
Harvick is my main pick this week for two reasons.  One – He’s been on fire lately winning two of the last three races.  He has earned the nickname of “The Closer” now because of his late race passes to take the lead.  If there’s any place that a late race pass will win it, it’s Talladega.  Two – Harvick is pretty good at Talladega.  He did win here last spring, so he knows how to do it.  In his career he has the one win, 5 top five and 9 top ten finishes in 20 races.  Ride the hot streak and let Kevin Harvick collect points for you Fantasy NASCAR team.

Alternate Chaser: Kurt Busch
Like Harvick, Kurt Busch has had a solid start to the season and performs well at Talladega.  In 20 careeer races Busch has collected 13 top ten finishes and 6 in the top five.  He doesn’t have a win at the track yet, but it’s obvious he has the machinery and skill to get it done.  For the season so far Busch is 5th in points after gathering his 5th top ten finish last week.  Kurt Busch is a NASCAR champion, why wouldn’t he be able to get you some big points for your team this week?

Dale Earnhardt Jr.
If a man has five wins at a track in only 22 career races you have to have him on your Fantasy NASCAR team don’t you?  Earnhardt has done exactly that.  He has also finished in the top five 8 times and top ten 11 times in those 22 races.  Maybe Earnhardt will prove me wrong and 2011 really will be his year.  He’s off to a great start sitting 6th in the points chase after 7 races.  Talladega is definitely a track that he can break his long winless streak at.

Juan Montoya
Believe me, I’m surprised to be recommending Montoya too, but look at the numbers.  He has done well here in his career and especially last year when he finished 3rd in both of the races.  In eight career races he has 3 to five finishes, and an average finish of 14.8; good enough for 5th best among active drivers.  Montoya may be best known for his road racing in Indy Car and F1, but he’s quietly becoming a really good superspeedway racer as well.

Dark Horse:  Brad Keselowski
This one came down to Keselowski and Joey Logano.  I gave Keselowski the edge since he won here in 2009.  In four career races Keselowski has 3 top ten finishes with the one win.  As noted above, his 13.3 average finish is best among active drivers.  Quite honestly it’s been a pretty bad year for Keselowski not scoring a top ten finish in the first 7 races, and having a 15th place finish in Phoenix be his best of the season.  Keselowski doesn’t have a shot at making the chase, but if he wants to be in the top 20 in points he needs to score some better  finishes.  His first step to doing that could be this weekend at Talladega.

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