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Horsepower Fantasy Racing: Picks for the Coke Zero 400

There’s a calming feeling of knowing one is back home where they belong.  It’s comforting with familiar surroundings, recognizable decor, irreplaceable memories, and relaxing thoughts.  When one is away for a while, that feeling of being gone makes coming back that much more enjoyable.

NASCAR is no different.  When the season starts, it’s a run of 16 different places across the country to compete at, different cities, tracks, and fan bases all get the experience of fast cars, and loud engines.

It’s now the time of year where places that have already gotten one fill of racing, now get a second helping.  The first place that will get a chance to see the stars of the sport once again is the same fan base that got the first taste of Monster Energy being the title sponsor.  Although it is not officially the halfway point of 2017, coming back to the beach is a signal that the season is already drawing closer to the end, and closer to the playoffs.

It’s back to Daytona this weekend, a weekend to celebrate over 200 years of independence, freedom, life and love.  Fireworks, patriotism, and cookouts headline the celebration, and somewhere in there are 160 laps of pure speed, tense maneuvers, and a chance to celebrate victory at the “World’s Center of Speed.”

That’s at least what the participants want this week.  Let’s see who they want to celebrate in victory lane, the first time of the year on NBC, in the Coke Zero 400:


Misan Akuya:  Jamie McMurray

Two wins at Daytona including one Daytona 500.  Looking for that win to secure his third straight playoff

Rob Blount:  Martin Truex Jr.

No reason given.

Billy Fellin:  Chase Elliott

No reason given.

Dalton Hastings:  Jimmie Johnson

No reason given.

Ashley Hobbs:  Clint Bowyer

He’s been knocking on the door for a while now this season, and he is one of the best restrictor plate racers.

Ashley Hull:  Dale Earnhardt Jr.

No reason given.

Ashley McCubbin:  Jamie McMurray

I’ll take a Big Mac with my Coca-Cola please, as Jamie McMurray is set for a good night on Saturday.

Klarissa Mitchell:  Jamie McMurray

No reason given.

Dustin Parks:  Dale Earnhardt Jr.

It’s quite possibly his final time at this place.  So many memories to go through.  The 2001 celebration to lift the spirits of the sport, then 2004 being able to hoist the big trophy.  There’s 2009 when he took the No. 3 back to victory one last time.  His 2014 Daytona 500 win as well.  There’s his Clash win in 2008, Xfinity wins in 2002, 2003 and 2004.  All moments that brought about so many emotions to the sport.  Now, he has one final opportunity as a full-time driver to step into victory lane.  This place is part of him, just like he’s part of Daytona.  It’s time to seal the deal.

Patti Rodisch:  Dale Earnhardt Jr.

No reason given.

Sal Sigala Jr:  Brad Keselowski

No reason given.

Rob Tiongson:  Clint Bowyer

He just seems like a man on a mission and when I interviewed him at Michigan, he expressed total optimism and excitement with the direction of his 14 team.

Penny Whitecotton:  Kevin Harvick

No reason given.


Standings following Sonoma:

Rob Tiongson (558) A.J. Allmendinger finished 35th – [2] 7

Ashley Hobbs (541) Clint Bowyer finished 2nd – [2] 13

Misan Akuya (537) Jamie McMurray finished 10th – [2] 15

Penny Whitecotton (519) Kevin Harvick WON – [1] 6

Ashley Hull (515) Kyle Busch finished 5th – [2] 12

Billy Fellin (509) Kyle Busch finished 5th – [2] 9

Patti Rodisch (498) Clint Bowyer finished 2nd – [2] 14

Rob Blount (495) Clint Bowyer finished 2nd – [0] 3

Sal Sigala Jr. (476) Kyle Busch finished 5th – [1] 9

Dalton Hastings (454) NO PICK SENT – [0] 3

Ashley McCubbin (449) Denny Hamlin finished 4th – [0] 4

Klarissa Mitchell (449) Jamie McMurray finished 10th – [0] 0

Dustin Parks (448) A.J. Allmendinger finished 35th – [1] 8


Summary of Picks:

Dale Earnhardt Jr-3

Jamie McMurray-3

Clint Bowyer-2

Chase Elliott-1

Kevin Harvick-1

Jimmie Johnson-1

Brad Keselowski-1

Martin Truex Jr-1

About Dustin Parks

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