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NSCS: Fantasy Fast Track – Talladega, 10/7/12

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By: DJ DeSpain

Fantasy Fast Track picks are styled on Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Auto Racing. Fantasy pool styles vary so adjust your picks accordingly to your league rules.

It’s time for the wildcard of the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship, Talladega Superspeedway. For most races at this 2.66 mile restrictor-place track, it’s not who’s the fastest but who’s left over to finish! Adding to the uncertainty, which driver will try to stay out front ahead of the wreckers, or hang in the back to wait for the wreckers to clear?

Group A

Brad Keselowski – Since June 30th at Kentucky, Keselowski has racked up 12 top-10 finishes in the last 13 races. 8 of those top-10′s are top-5 finishes, including 3 wins, 2 of which in the last 3 Chase races. It’s no wonder he’s sitting at the top of the leaderboard. Going back to the spring
race, he won that race too.

Bench Pick: Jeff Gordon – Gordon will be one of those drivers who will try to get up in the front to stay ahead of the wreckers. Let’s hope that’s works out better for him this time around, as he won the pole here back in the spring, but he finished 33rd after getting caught up in a Big One at lap 143.

Group B

Clint Bowyer – Bowyer has had some good runs of late at Talladega. He started 2nd in the ’10 fall and finished 1st in a photo-finish over Harvick. Last spring, it wasn’t as close a finish but Bowyer pulled it off in 2nd behind Johnson, then he turned in another win for that year’s fall race. Finally, this spring he started back in 24th, and survived a green-white checker finish to come in 6th.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Junior was on a roll at Talladega at the early part of the 1st decade, including 4 consecutive wins that started in the fall of 2001. However, since 2005 he’s been on a slump with his best showing of a 2nd place in the spring of ’09. The good news is that Junior has led laps in all but 2 races since his Cup career started in 2000, which helps put him in 2nd spot of the driver ratings at Talladega.

Bench Pick: Greg Biffle – Unfortunately, Biffle hasn’t made the most of his Chase expectations, mostly his, since the start of the Chase. He’s all the way down in 11th spot. Time to put him on the bench, and use him for the qualifying bonus points.

Bench Pick: Kasey Kahne – Kahne started 4th in the spring race, and finished 5th. So expect him to be an advocate of get to the front, stay in the front, and stay in the finish. I’ll take a chance on him at least getting to the front, too risky otherwise given his average finish of 20.8 in 17 starts.

Group C

Trevor Bayne – Bayne’s last 2 finishes is pretty good for a Group C when coming to the 188-lap demo derby that is Talladega Superspeedway. He finished 15th last fall from a 4th-place start, and 8th in the spring race from an 11th-place start.

Bench Pick: Aric Almirola – No surprise here picking Almirola for the bench pick, he picked up the 4th starting spot in the spring, and finished a respectable 12th.

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