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Horsepower Fantasy Racing: Picks for the GEICO 500

Some tracks when they are built, or even reconfigured, they become a place both drivers and fans love to come experience.  Bristol went from being just about 30,000 fans in a small bleacher to a massive coliseum with grandstands at every point.  Atlanta has become a fan favorite with speed, and bigger corners since 1997.

It’s not often when a track is built where even the drivers feel they aren’t safe.

Even today, the teams strap in and know that so much of the racing is not in their hands, but in the trust in their fellow competitors.  When this track was built, the drivers didn’t trust it, and decided they weren’t going to race it.  The first, and only, boycott of a race on record.  In 1987, the racing changed even more when one car flew up into the fence, tearing it down like wrapping paper on a gift.  Speeds had to be reduced somehow, and a piece of steel with four holes cut in the center, going below the carburetor, did just that.

Restrictor plate racing:  a necessary evil, and at the 2.66-mile beast that is Talladega, it is an evil that is respected, but scary all the same.

All the writers know this, because picking a victory at Talladega is tough, as literally there are 40 drivers that as long as they are in the draft, they can pull off a victory.  In the vast history of this monster, we’ve seen a beloved driver take the checkered flag while not one caution flag waved, finishing the fastest 500-mile race in under two hours, and then there’s a last-lap wreck to send a car into the catch fence, providing a first-time winner with a low-budget team.

Cars have been four-wide at the line, with victory at the narrowest of margins, and a legend came to the front in only three laps to claim his final victory before leaving this sport far too soon.

Now, all these creative minds in the League are ready to decide who will survive Sunday’s action.  Here are their picks for the GEICO 500:

 

Misan Akuya:  Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Amelia lives!

Rob Blount:  Dale Earnhardt Jr.

No reason given.

Mary Jo Buchanan:  Matt Kenseth

I fear it too. I’m going with Kenseth to finally get the monkey off his back.

Stephen Conley:  Ryan Blaney

Rookie time at Talladega.  Wood Brothers to victory lane.

Billy Fellin:  Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Dude is just money at ‘Dega. Plus, he’s bringing his favorite car. Win-win for me.

Ashley Hobbs:  Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Can go with almost anyone.

Ashley Hull:  Dale Earnhardt Jr.

No reason given.

Kara Martin:  Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Duh!

Ashley McCubbin:  Kevin Harvick

No reason given.

Klarissa Mitchell:  Jamie McMurray

No reason given.

Dustin Parks:  Kevin Harvick

Since this past week has been my birthday week I began thinking back to when I was at this track on that specific day.  It was then when the race saw 88 lead changes, more than any other race at Talladega or any track for that matter.  Harvick ended up with the final pass in the tri-oval for the victory.  So I’m going with the No. 4 to be P1 at the end of the day.

Patti Rodisch:  Dale Earnhardt Jr.

No reason given.

Sal Sigala Jr:  Dale Earnhardt Jr.

No reason given.

Rob Tiongson:  Dale Earnhardt Jr.

I’m pretty sure this guy’s the overwhelming favorite to be first on May 1st at Talladega.  And I’m pretty sure I’m not the first person to pick him for the race on Sunday.

 

Standings after Richmond:

Ashley McCubbin (338) Kyle Busch finished 2nd – 2

Sal Sigala Jr. (301) Kyle Busch finished 2nd – 1

Dustin Parks (296) Tony Stewart finished 19th – 1

Ashley Hull (279) Joey Logano finished 8th – 5

Patti Rodisch (279) Kyle Busch finished 2nd – 2

Kara Martin (267) Kyle Busch finished 2nd – 1

Billy Fellin (256) Kyle Busch finished 2nd – 1

Rob Blount (253) Kevin Harvick finished 5th – 2

Misan Akuya (252) Tony Stewart finished 19th – 2

Mary Jo Buchanan (243) Martin Truex Jr. finished 9th – 1

Rob Tiongson (242) Kurt Busch finished 10th – 2

Ashley Hobbs (231) Kyle Busch finished 2nd – 1

Klarissa Mitchell (216) Joey Logano finished 8th – 1

Stephen Conley (151) Kurt Busch finished 10th – 0

 

Summary of Picks:

Dale Earnhardt Jr.-9

Kevin Harvick-2

Ryan Blaney-1

Matt Kenseth-1

Jamie McMurray-1

About Dustin Parks

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