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Horsepower Fantasy Racing: Picks for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400

It is finally here.  The first 26 races would get 13 different drivers an automatic bid to compete for a championship, with a couple having to overcome heavy odds in order to make it there.

The field has drivers who have been there before, some who have been able to say they are champions, a driver who has not missed one Chase since it began, and a few newcomers who are getting a taste of the title hunt for the first time.  There are favorites, long shots, and some surprises just as well that are in competition for a title.

Now, the championship battle officially begins.

It is the first round of 16 drivers, the time to see who is really challenging for a championship, and it begins at a familiar place for many seasons.  In a town that is more known for men like Walter Peyton, Sammy Sosa, Mike Ditka, and of course Michael Jordan, the Chicagoland Speedway has provided a place for NASCAR to begin its quest to determine the 2016 champion.

It is also another chance for the Nickelodeon folks to come on board to sponsor a race.  Last season when they sponsored Kansas, letting a sponge become the big star, and being used for so many different social media posts.  It was one of the more fun races.

Now, they get another opportunity, as they are letting the four masked crime fighters, who happen to be big fans of pizza and have become a cult icon for many years, take over the lead.

The writers are ready to battle themselves, as their Chase also begins now.  The rules have changed, as those that are in the Chase the entire distance are required to do 10 different picks over 10 races, hoping to take the big checkered flag in the season finale.

Now, let’s see who they expect to say “cowabunga” at the end of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400:

 

Misan Akuya:  Kyle Busch

This was a tough one to pick.  Since you can only pick a driver once you have to choose wisely.  I am going with Kyle Busch.  Safe to say that a JGR/FRR car is going to be at the front.

Rob Blount:  Kyle Larson

No reason given.

Mary Jo Buchanan:  Brad Keselowski

No reason given.

Billy Fellin:  Kyle Larson

Larson’s last three finishes prior to the Chase beginning: first, third, second.  Larson’s last two (and only) finishes at Chicagoland: third, seventh.  See where I’m going here? I’ll take the 42. Cowabunga! (TMNT for life.)

Ashley Hobbs:  Brad Keselowski

No reason given.

Ashley Hull:  Denny Hamlin

No reason given.

Ashley McCubbin:  Matt Kenseth

No reason given.

Klarissa Mitchell:  Denny Hamlin

No reason given.

Dustin Parks:  Matt Kenseth

Honestly this is one of the harder tracks to actually pick for.  Since the race is named after a turtle, any of the four big Toyota teammates at Gibbs could be picked to win here.  But, I want to save a couple of them for later in the year as needed, so I’m gonna go with the former winner here of Kenseth.  Besides, he was forced to sit out two Chase races last season, so he is wanting to get a full season in and get his first Chase title.

Patti Rodisch:  Jamie McMurray

No reason given.

Sal Sigala Jr:  Matt Kenseth

No reason given.

Rob Tiongson:  Brad Keselowski

This driver knows his way around Chicagoland Speedway and if he’s going to make a statement for this year’s Chase, it’s going to be in grand fashion on Sunday. Watch for Keselowski, a two-time winner at this venue, take another victory in “The Windy City.”

 

Challenger Round after Richmond:

Ashley Hull (2024) Kyle Busch finished 9th – 8 [0]

Rob Blount (2012) Kyle Busch finished 9th – 4 [0]

Misan Akuya (2012) Denny Hamlin WON – 4 [0]

Patti Rodisch (2009) Kevin Harvick finished 5th – 3 [0]

Billy Fellin (2009) Denny Hamlin WON – 3 [0]

Mary Jo Buchanan (2009) Joey Logano finished 10th – 3 [0]

Sal Sigala Jr. (2006) Kevin Harvick finished 5th – 2 [0]

Ashley McCubbin (2006) Kevin Harvick finished 5th – 2 [0]

Rob Tiongson (2006) Carl Edwards finished 32nd – 2 [0]

Ashley Hobbs (2006) Kevin Harvick finished 5th – 2 [0]

Dustin Parks (2003) Carl Edwards finished 32nd – 1 [0]

Klarissa Mitchell (2003) Jamie McMurray finished 7th – 1 [0]

 

Final Remarks:  We all in the Fantasy League would like to send out our sympathies and prayers to Robby Gordon, former NASCAR driver and current racer/creator of the Speed Energy Stadium Off-Road Series, on the loss of his father and stepmother.  He is currently competing at the Sand Sports Super Show in Costa Mesa, California, and we wish him the best as the days pass.

 

Summary of Picks:

Matt Kenseth-3

Brad Keselowski-3

Denny Hamlin-2

Kyle Larson-2

Kyle Busch-1

Jamie McMurray-1

About Dustin Parks

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