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Horsepower Fantasy Racing: Picks for the Federated Auto Parts 400

It comes down to the final run to the finish.  Every season it seems as though when the quest to make a run at the title is on the line, things can either go great, go wrong, or sometimes go a little bonkers.

It was just four years ago when the field for the title run was set, but then a few days later was reset.  And even then when the playoffs began, they were reset for a third time.  All because one organization decided to do all it could to help a fellow driver, rather than focus on the race at hand.

Needless to say things have changed, and the quest to even make it into the playoffs has become a race all it’s own.

This year has seen races where it came down to the last lap, or just dominating performances that are too much to overcome.  Twice now a win has meant nothing, because it then became one that didn’t count towards the championship.  For one driver, it means the only way in is to enter victory lane.

The place to do so is the track that since the playoffs began has hosted the final regular season race.  This year, however, it is the final time that Richmond plays host to the regular season finale, as in 2018 the playoff field will be determined at Indianapolis.

But, there is still a race to be run, and a victory to be obtained before the playoff field is set.  All the participants are ready to go, and each are ready to get their position for the 2017 playoffs.  Here is who they decided will hold the trophy at the end of the final regular season event, the Federated Auto Parts 400:

 

Misan Akuya:  Kyle Busch

What a way to enter his bid for a second championship with another win?  With four wins at RIR, Kyle Busch has to be looked at as one of, if not the favorite to win Saturday night.

Rob Blount:  Joey Logano

I’ve lost a lot of points picking the 22 to turn it around almost weekly. He hasn’t. But it’s his last chance. So here we go again.

Billy Fellin:  Joey Logano

No reason given.

Dalton Hastings:  Jimmie Johnson

No reason given.

Ashley Hobbs:  Martin Truex Jr.

Gotta go with consistency here.

Ashley Hull:  Joey Logano

No reason given.

Ashley McCubbin:  NO PICK

Deadline passed with no pick submitted.

Klarissa Mitchell:  Denny Hamlin

No reason given.

Dustin Parks:  Clint Bowyer

I’m gambling a bit here with this pick, but the main talk has been about Joey Logano returning to this track where he got his win, then had it encumbered.  He’s in a must-win, but so is Bowyer, despite being in better position.  So rather than go the direction of the No. 22, I’ll go the opposite way and take Bowyer.  He’s a two-time winner here, so it’s not a long shot that he could steal the thunder away.

Patti Rodisch:  Martin Truex Jr.

No reason given.

Sal Sigala Jr:  Martin Truex Jr.

No reason given.

Rob Tiongson:  Jamie McMurray

What the heck? Might as well!

Penny Whitecotton:  Kevin Harvick

No reason given.

 

AUTHOR NOTE:  Myself, and all the participants in the Horsepower League, are thinking about those that first have been devastated by what Hurricane Harvey has done to the Houston area, and surrounding cities.  We all cannot fathom what you are enduring, but we all are here to help in whatever way we can.  And we are also thinking about everyone that is located in Florida and along the eastern coast as Hurricane Irma rumbles in the southern Atlantic, and prepares to head northward.

To anyone that is in Florida, heed the warnings and please evacuate.  A home and property can be replaced, but a human life cannot.  As reported on RACER.com and multiple other sources, both Atlanta Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway are opening up their campgrounds for evacuees to use as shelter free of cost.

Please be safe, and if you can, donate to the Red Cross and any Harvey relief efforts, along with what is likely to be another massive relief effort for Irma.  God bless you all.

 

Standings following Darlington:

Ashley Hobbs (840) Kyle Larson finished 14th – [4] 28

Misan Akuya (834) Jamie McMurray finished 10th – [6] 22

Rob Tiongson (834) Martin Truex Jr. finished 8th – [3] 14

Penny Whitecotton (796) Kevin Harvick finished 9th – [1] 6

Sal Sigala Jr. (789) Martin Truex Jr. finished 8th – [3] 29

Ashley Hull (771) Martin Truex Jr. finished 8th – [3] 22

Patti Rodisch (725) Jimmie Johnson finished 12th – [2] 15

Dustin Parks (684) Martin Truex Jr. finished 8th – [1] 10

Klarissa Mitchell (680) Jamie McMurray finished 10th – [0] 0

Billy Fellin (674) Kurt Busch finished 3rd – [3] 15

Rob Blount (665) Kyle Larson finished 14th – [2] 14

Ashley McCubbin (652) NO PICK SENT – [1] 10

Dalton Hastings (633) Kurt Busch finished 3rd – [0] 5

 

Summary of Picks:

Joey Logano-3

Martin Truex Jr-3

Clint Bowyer-1

Kyle Busch-1

Denny Hamlin-1

Kevin Harvick-1

Jimmie Johnson-1

Jamie McMurray-1

About Dustin Parks

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