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Horsepower Fantasy Racing: Picks for the Gander Outdoors 400

When NASCAR entered the unknown at Charlotte with a new track, a new attitude, and a lot of uncertainty.  The track was the beast it was built up to be, and it came down to one corner to determine who made it in, and who was left standing on the outside of the Playoffs.

It truly was a monster of a track, one that reduced the title field from 16 down to 12, and reset everyone for the second round.

Under normal circumstances, the original “monster” of a track would settle the field for the Round of 12.  Instead, for this year, the monster welcomes everyone a week later than his normal feeding.  An appetizer of tires, a main course of motor oil and sheet metal, and a very satisfying dessert of axle grease await Miles this weekend, as Dover is ready to take on the competition, while the competition hopes to control the “Monster Mile” on the way to victory.

What does the round of 12 mean for the Playoffs…a reset.

Teams get their playoff points added back in, and seeded based on that accomplishment.  Those that were eliminated, sadly took off the green decals and now must race to spoil the party, which is not always a bad thing.

The reset also means new standings in the League, and a reset of the rules.  One participant is out, and is free to choose whomever they desire.

But, the other eight are still required to follow one specific guideline:  different drivers for different tracks.  The three picks made the previous round are off limits, and now the challenge is to make the right choice, for the right venue, at the right time.  The one rule that also still applies, win at any point in this round, and it’s an automatic move into the semi-finals.

Here’s a look at the drivers the League went with for the Gander Outdoors 400:
NOTE-Those in caps are still eligible in this round.

 

MISAN AKUYA:  Clint Bowyer

He’s yet to win here in Cup.  But was second in the spring.

Rob Blount:  Kevin Harvick

No reason given.

BILLY FELLIN:  Martin Truex Jr.

Since 2014 when Truex hopped in the 78, he hasn’t finished worse than 11th at Dover.  His last four races against Miles?  Fourth, fourth, third, first.  Done deal.

ASHLEY HOBBS:  Kyle Busch

No reason given.

DUSTIN PARKS:  Jimmie Johnson

With his title hopes done, he’s got nothing left to lose.  He’s already losing his 16-year sponsor when the year closes, he’s got no wins this season…why not throw caution to the wind.  I mean, any notes for this track from this year mean nothing next year with the new rules package, so he’s a man on a mission.  Seven-time finally gets to be a first-time winner in 2018.

TRISHA RODISCH:  Jimmie Johnson

No reason given.

SAL SIGALA JR:  Clint Bowyer

No reason given.

ROB TIONGSON:  Jimmie Johnson

​It’s a big gamble considering that this driver was eliminated from the Playoffs last Sunday. However, Johnson looks like a man seeking redemption and Dover’s his playground. Going for the 48 and hoping this gambit pays off.

PENNY WHITECOTTON:  Clint Bowyer

No reason given.

 

Playoff Standings after Charlotte:

Penny Whitecotton – 3056 – Chase Elliott finished 6th (7) 56

Billy Fellin – 3036 – Jimmie Johnson finished 8th (5) 36

Trisha Rodisch – 3034 – Martin Truex Jr. finished 14th (6) 34

Ashley Hobbs – 3026 – Chase Elliott finished 6th (5) 26

Misan Akuya – 3023 – Jamie McMurray finished 2nd (4) 23

Sal Sigala Jr. – 3023 – Chase Elliott finished 6th (4) 23

Rob Tiongson – 3022 – Chase Elliott finished 6th (4) 22

Dustin Parks – 3015 – A.J. Allmendinger finished 7th (2) 15

Rob Blount – 2096 – Jamie McMurray finished 2nd (2)

 

Summary of Picks:

Clint Bowyer-3

Jimmie Johnson-3

Kyle Busch-1

Kevin Harvick-1

Martin Truex Jr-1

About Dustin Parks

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