OPR Staff and Fan Fantasy Picks for NNS and NSCS at Talladega Superspeedway

Photo Credit: Mike Holtsclaw

From some of the tightest quarters in motorsports to the biggest superspeedway of them all as both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series will be hitting up Talladega Superspeedway this weekend. For the ones making the picks, it’s time to throw the names in a basket and shake it up in hopes that they pick the driver that will get lucky in the draft this weekend.

Without further-ado, here are the picks that were cast as we welcome a couple new players into the mix once again.

 

Nationwide Series Picks

Managing Editor: Ashley McCubbin
Pick #1 – Regan Smith –
Smith always finds himself up front at the restrictor plate events and he won the race at Daytona. With a solid season under his belt so far, look for Smith to return to victory lane.
Pick #2 – Elliott Sadler – Sadler always seems to keep himself out of trouble and find himself up front at the Plate races. This weekend will be no different.
Pick #3 – Trevor Bayne – Bayne was oh so close to winning at Daytona in February and that isn’t the first time the Roush driver has put himself in position. Could he break the string of so-so runs and score a win? As a past Daytona 500 winner, I say maybe.

NASCAR Hometracks Journalist: Marshall Gabell
Pick #1 – Kasey Kahne – He’s back in the JR Motorsports No. 5 Chevrolet and everyone understands just how much Kahne wants that first Talladega triumph, and if he uses patience and his ‘cool as a cucumber’ moniker then he’ll be standing in victory lane on Saturday.
Pick #2 – Regan Smith – He just has a knack for getting to the front at the end of restrictor plate races – that will hold true this weekend, however, he’ll come up one position short.
Pick #3 – Sam Hornish Jr. – He needs to prove himself worthy of a ride, keeping the car clean and finishing high up in the standings will help him accomplish that – and what’s better equipment then the No. 54 Toyota in the Nationwide Series?

NASCAR Journalist: Tayler Stiles
Pick #1 – Regan Smith – After winning at Daytona earlier this year at Daytona, and after JR Motorsports have won half the races this season, expect this driver and team to be strong.
Pick #2 – Chase Elliot – A rookie at Talladega? Crazy, I know, but that’s what everyone thought at Darlington, and let’s take a moment to reflect on who won that race. Expect Chase Elliot to be strong.
Pick #3 – Kasey Kahne – …and for the trifecta, Kasey Kahne in the #5 car. After Kevin Harvick won in the car last week, everyone has high hopes for this team as well. Expect them to be somewhere close to the front at the end of the race.

NASCAR Journalist: Kreistina Blinova
Picks: Kasey Kahne, Regan Smith and Chase Elliott

Photographer: Ronald Costigan
Pick #1: Kasey Kahne –
So far this season, each of the JR Motorsports cars has finished in the top 10 in every race following Daytona. Kahne is going to keep that trend going this weekend as he will find his way to the front.
Pick #2: Chase Elliott – While Chase Elliott didn’t finish in the top 10 at Daytona, look for the young kid to put himself into position this time.
Pick #3: Elliott Sadler – Sadler always seems to keep himself out of trouble and find himself up front at the Plate races. This weekend will be no different.

Frontstretch.com Journalist: Justin Tucker
Picks: Kasey Kahne, Regan Smith and Chase Elliott

Fan #1: Terry Wagner
Picks: Trevor Bayne, Chase Elliott and James Buescher

Fan #2: Christina Cordner
Picks: Brian Scott, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney

Fan #3: Billy Stiles Jr.
Picks: Kasey Kahne, Regan Smith and Chase Elliott

Fan #4: Billy Zardo
Billy did not file his picks, so his Richmond picks were used for sake of keeping everybody in the game. For that reason, Zardo’s picks are Ty Dillon, Chase Elliott and Sam Hornish Jr.

Fan #5: Robert Hill
Picks: Trevor Bayne, Regan Smith and Sam Hornish Jr.

 

Sprint Cup Series Picks

Managing Editor: Ashley McCubbin
Pick #1 – Kevin Harvick –
Harvick is a furious good plate racer as who can forget the move that he put on McMurray to win at Dega? Certainly on a roll this year, Dega will one of the high-points of Harvick’s roller coaster season.
Pick #2 – Brad Keselowski – Keselowski seems to put himself up front in each plate race and no doubt has shown his talent behind the wheel in the past. Look for that to continue this weekend.
Pick #3 – Kyle Busch – Wild Thing is known for his wild moves on the restrictor plate tracks that have him upfront contending for the win. Look for a wild move from Busch to steal the glory.

NASCAR Hometracks Journalist: Marshall Gabell
Pick #1 – Michael Waltrip – Use imagery here…. “Waltrip comes out of turn four, the fields coming” – Mike Joy “OH MY GOD, COME ON MIKEY, YOU GOT THIS BUDDY” – Darrell Waltrip “CHECKERED FLAG, HE’S DONE IT, WALTRIP WINS, WALTRIP WINS,” – Joy You see, Waltrip loves these restrictor plate tracks and I think he wants this win, the final one, more than anything.
Pick #2 – Jamie McMurray –  McMurray’s always up at the front at Talladega, he’ll battle for the win, but at the end of the day, he’ll come across the line second.
Pick #3 – Ryan Truex – Sometimes you get that memorable story, and this weekend, if circumstances present themselves, Ryan Truex could come away with a race to remember.

NASCAR Journalist: Tayler Stiles
Pick #1 – Jimmie Johnson – Jimmie Johnson is an incredible driver with a slow start to the season. Last year alone, he was the first driver to be able to sweep the Daytona 500 and Talladega race. That’s not just luck. Expect to see Johnson to either go hard, or go up in smoke.
Pick #2 – Denny Hamlin – Hamlin was strong earlier this year at Daytona winning his Duel and the Sprint Shootout, and he finished second to Dale Earnhardt Jr in the Daytona 500. Looking for redemption after missing Fontana’s race earlier this year, expect Hamlin to be near the front.
Pick #3 – Matt Kenseth – Whenever two Gibbs racecars hook up at a plate race, they seem to be near the front. Despite the changes in the tandem racing this year, having a partner there when it counts, is important. Expect this Joe Gibbs driver to be there when it really matters.

NASCAR Journalist: Kreistina Blinova
Picks: Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Photographer: Ronald Costigan
Pick #1 – Jeff Gordon –
In each restrictor plate race, Gordon seems to always find his way to the front and challenge or the victory. This weekend should be no different as four-time needs a win badly.
Pick #2 – Jimmie Johnson – As the years have gone by, Johnson has continued to develop as a restrictor plate racer and this wekened should be no different as I expect him to run upfront wit his teammates
Pick #3 – Dale Earnhardt Jr. – There’s a reason why they once called Talladega a different name – Dale-A-Dega. Five wins including four win in a row. 2013 Daytona 500 Champion. Need I say more?

Frontstretch.com Journalist: Justin Tucker
Picks: Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Fan #1: Terry Wagner
Picks: Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch.

Fan #2: Christina Cordner
Picks: Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Fan #3: Billy Stiles Jr.
Picks: Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr., Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Fan #4: Billy Zardo
Billy did not file his picks, so his Richmond picks were used for sake of keeping everybody in the game. For that reason, Zardo’s picks are Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Kyle Busch

Fan #5: Robert Hill
Picks: Kevin Harvick, Paul Menard and David Ragan

 

Nationwide Series Points:

Those who missed the first three events received an automatic value that is 10 points minus the lowest scored participant.

  1. Ashley McCubbin – 259+131=390
  2. Tayler Stiles – 245+126=371
  3. Ronald Costigan – 237+131=368
  4. Terry Wagner – 226+131=357
  5. Christina Cordner – 226+123=349
  6. Billy Zardo – 233+113=346
  7. Billy Stiles Jr. – 219+126=345
  8. Marshall Gabell – 210+109=319
  9. Justin Tucker – 200+119=319 
  10. Kreistina Blinova and Robert Hill – 309
Name Race Participated Wins Top 5 Top 10
Marshall Gabell 3 0 4 8
Tayler Styles 3 2 6 9
Ashley McCubbin 3 3 8 9
Ronald Costigan 2 2 5 6
Terry Wagner 2 1 4 6
Christina Cordner 2 0 4 5
Billy Zardo 2 1 4 5
Billy Stiles Jr. 2 1 2 6
Justin Tucker 1 0 2 3

 

Sprint Cup Points
Note: 
Those who missed the first three events received an automatic value that is 10 points minus the lowest scored participant.

  1. Ashley McCubbin – 180+87=267
  2. Ronald Costigan – 174+93=267
  3. Terry Wagner – 168+88=256
  4. Tayler Stiles – 167+86=253
  5. Billy Stiles Jr. – 150+103=253
  6. Billy Zardo – 124+129=253
  7. Marshall Gabell – 169+83=252
  8. Christina Cordner – 140+87=227
  9. Justin Tucker – 114+87=201
  10. Kreistina Blinova and Robert Hill – 91 

Name Race Participated Wins Top 5 Top 10
Marshall Gabell 3 0 1 4
Tayler Styles 3 0 3 4
Ashley McCubbin 3 0 4 5
Ronald Costigan 2 0 3 4
Terry Wagner 2 0 2 4
Billy Zardo 2 1 3 4
Christina Cordner 2 0 2 3
Billy Stiles Jr. 2 0 3 4
Justin Tucker 1 0 1 1

 

Combined

Note: Those who missed the first three events received an automatic value that is 10 points minus the lowest scored participant.

  1. Ashley McCubbin – 439+131+87=657
  2. Ronald Costigan – 433+131+93=657
  3. Terry Wagner –416+131+88=635
  4. Tayler Stiles – 412+126+86=624
  5. Billy Zardo – 379+113+129=621
  6. Billy Stiles Jr. – 391+126+103=620
  7. Christina Cordner – 388+123+87=598
  8. Justin Tucker – 369+119+87=575
  9. Marshall Gabell – 379+109+83=571
  10. Kreistina Blinova and Robert Hill – 561 

Name Race Participated Wins Top 5 Top 10
Marshall Gabell 6 0 5 12
Tayler Styles 6 2 9 12
Ashley McCubbin 6 3 12 14
Ronald Costigan 4 2 8 10
Terry Wagner 4 1 6 10
Christina Cordner 4 0 6 8
Billy Zardo 4 2 7 9
Billy Stiles Jr. 4 1 6 10
Justin Tucker 2 0 3 4

 

PICKERS: Due to the odd start this year with people joining at different times, we will declare a CHAMPION at the end of May – basically titled the OnPitRoad.com Spring Fantasy Pick ‘Em Champion for each section and then reset the points to give everybody a clean slate to get after it.

 

Talladega Rules:

Each picker will be requested to send in three picks for the Nationwide Series with one of those picks being a Nationwide Series regular. Each picker is also requested to send in three picks for the Sprint Cup Series. They have to be sent in by May 1st at 11 p.m. EST to be counted.

If you haven’t played yet, you may still play and we will add you to the bottom of each standings – 10 points behind the person with the lowest amount of points.

All picks can be sent to ashleymccubbin@speedwaymedia.com.

About Ashley McCubbin 3102 Articles
Joining OnPitRoad.com mid-2013 season, Ashley McCubbin is now the Managing Editor and contributes to each racing division as needed. Since studying journalism at the University of Guelph-Humber, Ashley has published articles on a couple of different websites, while serving as a public relations representative for different short track teams. Born in North York, Ontario, Ashley currently lives in Bradford, Ontario and spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area. She has spent her entire life at the short track level, falling in love with the sport at the age of five. Beyond her love of short track racing, she also has grown an interest for both NASCAR and the IndyCar Racing Series. She also enjoys taking photos and working on websites, while playing a couple rounds of Candy Crush afterwards.

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