2008 NASCAR Fantasy Preview: Auto Club Speedway II

Pepsi 500

And the beat goes on. Another boring race in California and another battle between Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards for the win this weekend.

My Pick To Win

I’m going to put my money on Carl to keep his momentum going and pull a little closer to Kyle as we near the Chase.

In 8 races at California Carl has finished worse than 6th only 1 time. Last year he finished 2nd in the spring and won the fall race here. The little bump that he gave to Kyle last week won’t affect the outcome of this race but it could do so somewhere in the future.

California Frontrunners

Kyle Busch got his first ever Cup win here in the fall of 2005 and has since run off 6 straight top 10 finishes at California. Once again Kyle will run towards the front of the pack the whole race and will be in a position to challenge Carl at the end of the race.

Jimmie Johnson beat Carl last spring here and then finished 2nd to him in the fall. He is about the only driver who can give a serious challenge to Carl and Kyle this weekend unless someone else shows up with a much better car then they have in the past.

Matt Kenseth is the next closest competition for this trio. Matt just doesn’t seem to have everything together at the end of the race right now. At least he isn’t as good as Carl and Kyle at the end of the races recently. Matt also has a string of 6 straight top 10 finishes at California including a pair of victories.

Kasey Kahne has done pretty well at California during his career with a win and 6 top 10 finishes in 9 starts there. I think Kasey will bounce back from last week’s woes and post a top 10 finish here once again and try to get back into the top 12 and a spot in the Chase.

Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin should both have good cars here this weekend and the Toyota power should help them on the long straight-aways at California. This should keep them in contention for top 10 finishes also.

Jeff Gordon is hit or miss at California and this year there are more misses than hits for his team. Jeff has 3 top 5 finishes in his last 4 starts at California and had a good run at Bristol last weekend. Have they been holding back a little bit heading into the Chase? I don’t think you can hold back as far as they have been.

Clint Bowyer and David Ragan are battling for the final Chase spot with 2 races to go with only 12 points separating these 2 drivers. Both have done okay at California but I give this week’s edge to Ragan because of the success of his teammates here. I can’t wait for Richmond!

Yahoo! Fantasy Picks

Group A

  • Carl Edwards (starter)
  • Jimmie Johnsn

Group B

  • Martin Truex Jr (starter)
  • Kyle Busch (starter)
  • Kasey Kahne
  • David Ragan

Group C

  • Brian Vickers (starter)
  • Paul Menard

Stay Away From

  • Bobby Labonte

Dark Horse

  • Brian Vickers, David Ragan