Another one of these long-winded race titles; the official NASCAR Cup Series race in Wisconsin this holiday weekend is the Kwik Trip 250 presented by JOCKEY Made in America at Road America. Whew. That’s a mouthful. It’s another road course for the drivers to navigate, and they’ve only been here once before, which makes things exciting for all.
Last year the Road Course King, Chase Elliott, did what everyone expected him to do: win. This year, I expect much of the same, though there may be others who get up near that top spot and give him a run. While qualifying and pit selection is always in play, there are plenty of drivers who started near the rear last year and got up near that top thanks to strategy and perseverance. The fourth of July weekend is sure to bring fun to the track—let’s all say a silent prayer that we don’t face another screwy rain delay.
Brilliant – These expert fantasy picks for NASCAR have the best shot at a win this weekend
Finish last time around: First
You don’t set a fantasy lineup at a NASCAR road course without including Chase Elliott. In the last three years, the number 9 has the most road course wins, laps led, top fives, and top tens. Though he won last weekend, that doesn’t mean he won’t go two in a row. Just watch him.
Finish last time around: Fifth
Denny Hamlin isn’t exactly a shoo-in for the win, but there’s a good chance he could be, depending on where he qualifies. I will say, though, that he’s pretty good on road courses, with seven top fives and eight top tens since 2019. He ran great last week in Nashville, so keep him on your radar for Road America. If nothing else, you’re probably gonna get a top-five.
Finish last time around: 16th
In his road course races since 2019, Kyle Larson has three wins, five top fives, and seven top tens. Larson leads 15% of the laps at road courses, which is pretty impressive; only Chase has more. I know that this year is nothing like last year, but I think that the number 5 has a few wins left in there somewhere. Maybe this week.
Bold – Here’s my NASCAR fantasy advice on this week’s sleeper picks
Finish last time around: Fourth
Kurt Busch has had three top fives and six top tens in road course racing since 2019. Seems he has a knack for finding his way up near the front to finish well. Kurt has been a great fit for 23XI, and a smart fantasy pick for points when he’s not getting wrecked.
Finish last time around: 15th
Joey Logano has been up and down this season, but for some reason, I have a feeling this week might be an “up.” He does have four top-five and seven top-ten finishes at road courses in recent years so he’s likely to give you a nice placement when all is said and done.
Finish last time around: 20th
This guy is always good for a top-five or ten finish, and even a stage point or two, at pretty much any kind of track, especially this season. He has four top-five and nine top ten road course finishes since 2019, so that gives me some confidence in his abilities. He might win, he might not, but I can pretty much count on Ryan Blaney for a solid road course performance every time.
Bonkers – Stay away from these drivers in your NASCAR fantasy racing lineup this week
Finish last time around: 33rd
William Byron had the pole, led 15 laps, then fell back to finish in 33rd place at this race last season. It seems like the luck of the 24 is nowhere to be found in recent weeks. Keep him in the pits for Road America.
Finish last time around: 27th
The planets would have to align, and all Hendrick and Gibbs drivers would need to get taken out in a gigantic wreck, in order for Kevin Harvick to take the trophy at Road America. That is to say, the number 4 has seen better days, and on a NASCAR road course he’s only seen once, it’s best to leave him out of your fantasy lineup.
Finish last time around: 17th
I have no reason to honestly believe in my heart that Cole Custer is a bonkers pick for Road America, except for the fact that he has been ice cold all season. This is not a track where he’s suddenly going to open up and go wild, so why take the chance in picking him? Logic prevails.