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ISM Connect 300

Horsepower Fantasy Racing Picks for the ISM Connect 300

One thing about the Playoffs, and dating back to when it was called the Chase, the early races often determine who are the drivers to expect at the end of the season to battle for a championship.  It was clear in 2011 that Tony Stewart’s fast start to the final 10 races showed that he was the one driver that everyone needed to watch.

That became crystal clear at Martinsville when his closest contender, Carl Edwards, heard him say in victory lane, “He better be worried.”

Go back two years earlier when it appeared that Clint Bowyer suddenly had his championship hopes in his eyes.  Later that day, they disappeared because of a penalty, one that ultimately cost him the opportunity to win a championship.  Meanwhile, the emergence of another led to a record-breaking title that continued a streak no driver expected in this era.

Now, with the format of stages, extra incentives, and knowing that a season of work now counts, the drivers expected to compete for the title are consistently the ones being discussed.

They have the magic to win, and NASCAR is at a track where magic will occur.  The “Magic Mile” welcomes the NASCAR playoffs and look to either move another contender automatically into the second round, or see someone steal away some of the magic for themselves.

The participants are ready as well, but they have their own unique task.  Unlike last week, the baker’s dozen must have a new driver that they must choose for victory.  Those that make it to the final event will have 10 different drivers for 10 different tracks.

But that is still another eight weeks out.  Week two is about to get under way, so here’s the new picks for Sunday’s ISM Connect 300:


Misan Akuya:  Kevin Harvick

Harvick is going to be strategic during this year’s edition of the playoffs.  Sure, Truex is the guy to beat.  But, with three wins at New Hampshire, I’m sure that Harvick can steal another one.

Rob Blount:  Kyle Busch

Pretty certain he wasn’t my pick last week.

Billy Fellin:  Clint Bowyer

Since I’m already in, gotta save my drivers in the playoffs picks for later. Bowyer is decent at NH.

Dalton Hastings:  Kyle Busch

No reason given.

Ashley Hobbs:  Brad Keselowski

A stellar average finish of 8.57 in his 7 races in the Fall race at NHMS, lets see how Keselowski does this time around.

Ashley Hull:  Kyle Busch

No reason given.

Ashley McCubbin:  Denny Hamlin

No reason given.

Klarissa Mitchell:  Jamie McMurray

No reason given.

Dustin Parks:  Denny Hamlin

Honestly this is a tough one to pick, but one thing I know is that the Toyota teams are extremely strong no matter what the track.  I would go with Truex, but I’m keeping him saved for another week.  Especially with me right on the cusp of being on the outside of the title hunt, I need to save the strong guys for their strong places.  Hamlin is certainly strong at this place, so I’m trusting he will get things done.

Patti Rodisch:  Jimmie Johnson

No reason given.

Sal Sigala Jr:  Kyle Larson

No reason given.

Rob Tiongson:  Matt Kenseth

This driver’s goal in the playoffs is to simply finish races. Matt Kenseth will do more than that by winning at Loudon this Sunday.

Penny Whitecotton:  Martin Truex Jr.

No reason given.


Playoff Standings after Chicagoland (Round 1):

Misan Akuya (2080) Kyle Larson finished 5th – [6] 0 38

Ashley Hobbs (2077) Chase Elliott finished 2nd – [4] 0 30

Ashley Hull (2067) Denny Hamlin finished 4th – [3] 22

Billy Fellin (2064) Martin Truex Jr WON – [4] 1 20*

Sal Sigala Jr. (2059) Jimmie Johnson finished 8th – [3] 0 30

Patti Rodisch (2058) Kyle Larson finished 5th – [2] 0 16

Penny Whitecotton (2058) Kevin Harvick finished 3rd – [1] 0 6

Rob Blount (2054) Brad Keselowski finished 6th – [2] 0 14

Klarissa Mitchell (2045) Denny Hamlin finished 4th – [0] 0 0

Dustin Parks (2044) Matt Kenseth finished 9th – [1] 0 10

Ashley McCubbin (2042) Kyle Busch finished 15th – [1] 0 11

Rob Tiongson (2040) Ryan Blaney finished 11th – [3] 0 14

Dalton Hastings (2034) Jimmie Johnson finished 8th – [0] 0 5

*Already locked into second round.


Summary of Picks:

Kyle Busch-3

Denny Hamlin-2

Clint Bowyer-1

Kevin Harvick-1

Jimmie Johnson-1

Matt Kenseth-1

Brad Keselowski-1

Kyle Larson-1

Jamie McMurray-1

Martin Truex Jr-1

About Dustin Parks

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