Fantasy Picks: Who to pick and Who not to pick for the Darlington Raceway

From the Lone Star State to the Palmetto State as race number eight of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season will take place in Darlington, South Carolina at the historic Darlington Raceway.

The 1.366 egg-shaped oval was opened in 1950, and it consists of 25 degrees banking in turns 1 and 2 and 23 degrees of banking in turns 3 and 4.

Who To Pick 

Denny Hamlin – Hamlin is yet to cross the finish line first in 2014 but this weekend may change that because Hamlin enters the weekend with the best finishing average over the last two Darlington races, and he has the best overall finishing average the historic race track as he has one win, four top-fives, seven top-tens and has never finished outside the top-twenty in his eight career Darlington races.

Martin Truex Jr. -Truex may not award your team a fantastic finish this weekend because in eight prior Darlington races, he only has one top-five and three top-tens, but he has a good shot and bringing home a solid finish for your team because he has never finished outside the top-twenty in his Darlington Sprint Cup Series career.

Truex has finished 12th and 5th in the last two Darlington races.

Jimmie Johnson – it’s a tad bit surprising that the No. 48 team has yet to capture a victory so far this season, but they roll into another race weekend with a solid chance to do so as the six-time champion has rolled into the Darlington Raceway victory lane three times, chalked up eight top-fives and eleven top-tens and only finished outside the top-twenty in two of his fifteen prior Darlington Raceway races.

Johnson has an average finish of second over the last two Darlington Raceway races, and he enters Saturday night with an overall finishing average of eighth at the South Carolina race track.

Ryan Newman – Newman has run decent at each of the first seven races of the season, and another solid finish should be forthcoming from the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing team this weekend because in fifteen Darlington races Newman has seven top-fives, ten top-tens and eleven top-twenties to go along with 325 laps led.

Who Not To Pick 

Matt Kenseth – Pass on the Kenseth this weekend because the Joe Gibbs Racing driver has only two top-fives and nine top-ten finishes in twenty career Darlington races and in nine of those races he finished outside the top-twenty. This weekend would not be the weekend to risk an A pick like Kenseth.

Paul Menard – Menard brought home his third-straight top-ten finish of the season last weekend in Texas, but I would not recommend picking the Richard Childress Racing driver in this weekend’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 because in seven Darlington races, he has failed to finish in the top-ten, and he has only mustered three top-twenty finishes.

Kurt Busch – Kurt would be another A driver not to risk this weekend because in seventeen career Darlington races, he only has two top-fives and five top-ten finishes to show for. Busch has finishes of 14th, 21st and 27th in the last three Darlington races.

Kevin Harvick – It’s too risky to pick Kevin Harvick right now because he has finished worse than 36th in four of the first seven races this season and Darlington is not his greatest racing facility as in seventeen prior Darlington races, he only has three top-fives and six top-tens.



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