Last week’s team: Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Brian Vickers and Aric Almirola
My plan to start drivers who would lead the most laps almost paid off for me at Martinsville. Jeff Gordon led 328 laps, which resulted in 164 bonus points. The caution with two laps left in the race ruined my day. Gordon spun out and then ran out of gas. This proves you have to be both lucky and good to win in Fantasy NASCAR.
This week, my strategy will be to select a lineup of drivers who will race up front most of the race and drivers who will come from the back to finish up front.
Since the Fantasy Live game rewards drivers who improve upon their starting position in the race, it will be important to have at least two drivers who start in the middle of the pack or further back and make their way to the front.
Unlike the Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing game, Fantasy Live allows players to change their drivers up to the start of the race. I will give my selections for my team now, but I suggest looking at where each driver qualifies in the race before setting your team.
My updated selections will be on my Fantasy NASCAR Tips Page on Facebook Saturday morning (The race is Saturday night this week).
Here are my picks for NASCAR Fantasy Live:
Tony Stewart $26.00
Tony Stewart has been so dominant at the intermediate tracks since the start of the Chase last season that it would be foolish not to have him on your team.
The last time the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series raced at Texas Motor Speedway, Stewart started the race in the fifth position, led 173 of the 334 laps and won the race.
If Stewart’s hot streak on intermediate tracks is not enough to convince you to select him for your team, his career results at Texas Motor Speedway should. In his 20 career starts at Texas Motor Speedway, Stewart has 11 top-10 finishes, led 727 laps, won one pole and two races. Stewart is the driver to beat Saturday night.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. $24.50
One of the most surprising parts of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is the fact that Dale Earnhardt Jr. is second in the point standings and it is not the biggest story of the year.
Usually, when the most popular driver in the sport is competing for the top spot in the point standings, the story dominates the headlines. I think it is good for Earnhardt that there are bigger stories in the sport right now.
It will not be long before Earnhardt breaks his winless streak. I would not be surprised if it happens Saturday night. Earnhardt has been very good in his career at Texas Motor Speedway.
In his 19 career starts at Texas Motor Speedway, Earnhardt has 10 top-10 finishes, led 448 laps and has won two poles and one race. Earnhardt should have no problem finishing in the top 10 Saturday night.
Carl Edwards $22.50
Carl Edwards is having a hangover from his disappointing second-place finish last year in the point standings. I am betting that the week off will help Edwards as much as any driver in the field.
Edwards is No. 11 in the point standings. While some drivers would be happy to be in position for a spot in the Chase, Edwards expects to be at the top of the point standings.
The one thing Edwards has going for him this week is that he has been good on the intermediate racetracks this season. Edwards has two top five finishes this year, and both of them came at intermediate racetracks.
Texas Motor Speedway is one of Edwards' best racetracks. In his 14 career starts at the racetrack, Edwards has six top-10 finishes, led 493 laps and won three races.
Edwards is one of my picks to start in the middle of the pack Saturday night and finish up front.
Clint Bowyer $19
Clint Bowyer is quietly putting together a solid season in 2012. Bowyer is No. 9 in the point standings and has finished half of the races in the top 10.
In this race last season, Bowyer finished second to Matt Kenseth.
Bowyer has been a good pick at the intermediate racetracks this year. He finished No. 6 at Las Vegas and No. 13 at Fontana. His finish at Fontana may have been better if the race had not shortened by the rain.
One of the reasons I am selecting Bowyer for my Fantasy Live team this week is because of his price. You will have a hard time finding a better driver for less than $19.
Trevor Bayne $7
I am taking a gamble with Trevor Bayne this week. I hated to sell Aric Almirola, but the Richard Petty Motorsports teams has been horrible on the intermediate racetracks this season.
Bayne has raced well when given the opportunity. I think he will perform well again this week.
Bayne has raced in three races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Texas Motor Speedway. He finished each of the races in the No. 17 position. For only $7, I will take a 17th-place finish from Bayne in Saturday night’s race.
Total budget: $99
Good luck this week!
If you need any further advice with your team, look for me on Twitter @HuskerMagic.
If you like Fantasy NASCAR, LIKE my Fantasy NASCAR Page on Facebook:
Chad’s Fantasy NASCAR Picks