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Horsepower Fantasy Racing: Picks for the Ford EcoBoost 400

It all began in February, on a rather cool afternoon.  A new sponsor, a new format, and a new outlook each week on how a race was run.  It went from a straight shot from green to checkered, to a three-stage setup, with the final stage almost being the feature at a local dirt track.

It produced a new way of getting points, and making the Playoffs.  It meant new ideas on when to make the big move, and who could figure out the best way to win.

It meant a regular season champion got an additional bonus to the playoffs, and even the way the seeding of drivers is determined gets a change.

Fast forward through 35 races, the one thing that never changed was where the finale would be held, nor how the champion was determined.  There is no more using Playoff Points to see where one lands.  Wins mean nothing at this moment.  The final race of the year, it means a heads-up race with the best and first to the line is the champion.  There is no other way to find out who is the best except letting the drivers determine it themselves, on the track, where it should be.

That is what Ford Championship Weekend is all about.

Welcome to the season finale at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, where it will be Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick doing battle to determine the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup champion.

It also means the finale for the League in 2017.  Four participants, three of which have been here for a very long time, are ready to see who among them will be champion.  It’s a first-to-the-line battle for them as well, but is there a chance a couple will have the same thought process.

The championship contenders are in capitals, while everyone else just wants bragging rights.  Here they are, the final picks for 2017.  The picks the League feels will be victorious in Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400:

 

MISAN AKUYA:  Kyle Busch

Busch has been the only person that has truly kept up with Martin Truex Jr all season long.  If not for that early season bad luck, he might have just as many, if not more wins that Truex.

Calm, cool, and collected, Busch I ready to win his sixth race of the season enroute to his second championship.

Rob Blount:  Martin Truex Jr.

No reason given.

BILLY FELLIN:  Denny Hamlin

Not a driver in the Championship 4, but Hamlin is really, really good at Homestead.   Two wins, four top-five’s, eight top-10’s and an average finish of 10th. Only driver with a better average finish is Kyle Larson, but those Hendrick engines have been going poof lately.

Dalton Hastings:  Kurt Busch

No reason given.

ASHLEY HOBBS:  Kyle Larson

This is a difficult one, because all four Playoff drivers are going to bring their A+ game; and I have used them all. However, this driver needs a stroke of good luck to come his way; and I think it is time for Kyle Larson to turn things around and spoil the fun of the Championship Four.

Ashley Hull:  NO PICK

Deadline passed with no pick submitted.

Ashley McCubbin:  NO PICK

Deadline passed with no pick submitted.

Klarissa Mitchell:  NO PICK

Deadline passed with no pick submitted.

Dustin Parks:  Dale Earnhardt Jr.

It’s hard not to.  This is it, the final ride for Junior.  He’s back in his old colors one last time, and he’s full of emotion.  The checkered flag on Sunday means the end of a career.  Why not, Driver 88 for victory.

Patti Rodisch:  Dale Earnhardt Jr.

One final time!

SAL SIGALA JR:  Martin Truex Jr.

No reason given.

Rob Tiongson:  Kyle Larson

While it’s been a rough stretch as the summer became the fall, look for Larson to bounce back in style with a victory this Sunday!

Penny Whitecotton:  Kevin Harvick

Championship time!!

 

Playoff Standings following Phoenix:

Sal Sigala Jr. (5000) Kevin Harvick finished 5th – [5]

Ashley Hobbs (5000) Kevin Harvick finished 5th – [6]

Misan Akuya (5000) Brad Keselowski finished 16th – [6]

Billy Fellin (5000) Kevin Harvick finished 5th – [4]

Rob Blount (2356) Joey Logano finished 12th – [3]

Ashley Hull (2350) Ryan Newman finished 20th – [5]

Patti Rodisch (2330) Chase Elliott finished 2nd – [2]

Penny Whitecotton (2327) Kevin Harvick finished 5th – [2]

Rob Tiongson (2293) Kevin Harvick finished 5th – [4]

Ashley McCubbin (2261) NO PICK SENT – [1]

Dustin Parks (2245) Jimmie Johnson finished 39th – [2]

Dalton Hastings (2221) Jimmie Johnson finished 39th – [1]

Klarissa Mitchell (2148) NO PICK SENT – [0]

 

FINAL REMARK:  With all the Championship contenders in the league picking different drivers, it officially will be the first one to the line for the championship.  Points from Stage 3 will be how the champion is decided, just like in the real championship.

 

Summary of Picks:

Dale Earnhardt Jr-2

Kyle Larson-2

Martin Truex Jr-2

Kurt Busch-1

Kyle Busch-1

Denny Hamlin-1

Kevin Harvick-1

About Dustin Parks

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