Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle400
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves to Chicagoland Speedway for the first race of the Chase for the Sprint Championship, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400. NASCAR Fantasy Cheat Sheet’s Brian Brown took a look at past performances, season trends, and spoke to team contacts to predict how the field should finish on Sunday.
When: Sunday, September 18, 2:46 p.m./et.
Weather: Sunny with a high around 77; wind out of the NW at 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is zero.
The Track: Chicagoland Speedway
Chicagoland is a 1.5-mile tri-oval. It has 18 degree banking on the corners with 11 degree banking on the front straightaway and five degree banking on the back straightaway. This is the first race of the Chase for the Sprint Championship and seventh race run on a 1.5 mile speedway this season. Joe Gibbs Racing has been terrific on 1.5 mile tracks in 2016 so any of the JGR drivers are worth using. Other interesting options this weekend are Martin Truex Jr., who gets his equipment from Joe Gibbs, Brad Keselowski, and Kevin Harvick.
Key to Race: QUICK OUT OF THE PITS
As is the key with most 1.5 mile tracks tire-wear and pit stops will be a key to Sunday's race. Look for the drivers with the best location of their pit stall to have a big advantage in the race. Harvick will be very fast this weekend, but it will be tough to beat Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards, and Matt Kenseth.
40 cars will attempt to qualify for 40 spots.
Fantasy Cheat Sheet:
No. 11 Denny Hamlin: Hamlin comes into Chicagoland in the midst of the hottest streak of his career. He has finished inside the top 10 the last eight races including two wins. He is a terrific choice to return to victory lane this weekend.
No. 2 Brad Keselowski: Keselowski won at Chicagoland in 2014 and 2012. He is a great choice.
No. 18 Kyle Busch: Busch has finished worse than 17th just twice in 11 career starts (including a 2008 win) at Chicagoland. He will have no problem finishing inside the top five this weekend.
No. 4 Kevin Harvick: Chicagoland is one of Harvick’s top tracks. He has two career wins and could easily make it three this weekend.
No. 22 Joey Logano: Logano has been hit-or-miss at Chicagoland, but he should be fast this trip to the track.
6 to 10
No. 20 Matt Kenseth: Kenseth has just one top 10 finish in the last four races of the 2016 campaign, but he will no doubt bring a fast car this weekend. We like his chances.
No. 19 Carl Edwards: Edwards has averaged an 11th place finish the past five races at Chicago. He will improve his average this trip to the track.
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson: Johnson has never won at Chicagoland, but he been very fast at the track. He will finish inside the top 10.
No. 41 Kurt Busch: Busch has eight top 10 finishes in 15 career starts at Chicagoland. He should have the No. 41 back inside the top 10 on Sunday.
No. 78 Martin Truex Jr.: Truex has been fast in eight of his nine career starts at Chicagoland. He is a good pick.
11 to 20
No. 24 Chase Elliott: Elliott makes his first career start at Chicagoland, but the rookie won’t have any trouble navigating the simple configuration. He will flirt with a top 10 finish this weekend.
No. 42 Kyle Larson: Larson has been awesome at Chicagoland so far in his career. He is a nice pick again.
No. 31 Ryan Newman: Newman has five top six finishes, including a win, in 14 career starts in Joliet. He will have a strong car again.
No. 14 Tony Stewart: Stewart has been terrific at Chicagoland during his career. This is a decent weekend to use Mr. Smoke.
No. 5 Kasey Kahne: Kahne missed the Chase for the Sprint Cup, but has cracked the top six in three of the past seven races at Chicagoland. He is not a bad third driver in deep leagues.
No. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Stenhouse has averaged a top 14 finish at Joliet in his career. He is a fine choice.
No. 3 Austin Dillon: Dillon has never cracked the top 15 at Chicagoland during his brief career. There are better weekends to use the No. 3.
No. 1 Jamie McMurray: McMurray has struggled in six of the last nine trips to Joliet. He is a “use-at-your-own-risk” driver.
No. 27 Paul Menard: Menard has averaged a 19th place finish at Chicagoland during the last half-decade. He isn’t anything but a third driver in fantasy leagues.
No. 47 A.J. Allmendinger: “Dinger” has been very fast at Chicago during his career. He is worth using as a third driver in very deep leagues.
21 to 30
No. 88 Alex Bowman
No. 34 Chris Buescher
No. 43 Aric Almirola
No. 16 Greg Biffle
No. 6 Trevor Bayne
No. 10 Danica Patrick
No. 13 Casey Mears
No. 95 Michael McDowell
No. 21 Ryan Blaney
No. 15 Clint Bowyer
No. 7 Regan Smith
No. 23 David Ragan
No. 83 Matt DiBenedetto
No. 55 Reed Sorenson
No. 44 Brian Scott
No. 46 Michael Annett
No. 38 Landon Cassill
No. 30 Josh Wise
No. 32 Joey Gase
No. 98 Cole Whitt
My NASCAR LIVE Team for this Week:
Race Winner: Denny Hamlin
My Yahoo! Fantasy NASCAR Team for this Week:
A. Denny Hamlin
B. Ryan Newman
B. Kyle Larson
C. Alex Bowman