Chase Briscoe is sizzling hot at the moment, having just won his second race in the past three weeks this past Saturday at Pocono. It’s also a huge bounce back result after finishing 18th the week prior at Talladega Superspeedway. Briscoe and Ross Chastain traded the lead in those last two laps, however, it was Briscoe that eventually gained the upper hand on Chastain. Briscoe would beat out the runner-up by just over a second. Chastain did not go away empty handed either after he won the $100,000 Dash for Cash grand prize. It was awarded to the highest finisher among four eligible drivers.
We now move on from the quaint Pocono Hills and head out to the infamous Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It’s a track that is host to three of the biggest events of the Motorsport racing calendar, with the Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400, and Pennzoil 150 each held here on a yearly basis. Legendary drivers such as Mario Andretti, Bill Elliott, and Rick Mears have each gone to victory lane here at this race course.
This world famous track is brimming with a rich history, built in 1909 it is uniquely the only purpose-built banked oval racing circuit after Brooklands. With Brooklands having closed in 1939, it has the distinction of being the only one left of it’s kind. Known for being one of the largest sports venues on the planet, it is said to be over 1,000 acres in size. Truly a sight to behold.
It was announced that NASCAR will allow for teams to have two practice sessions on Friday. So without further ado, let’s delve into the driver options for this upcoming Xfinity series event. I’ve broken down the selections between high salary and midrange. Best of luck to everyone with their lineups.
Noah Gragson (9,800 DK)
Gragson comes off a 22nd place finish last week at Pocono, his first finish outside the top 11th since the second race of the season back at Fontana. With that sort of impeccable consistency in mind, Gragson should able to have a swift bounce back performance this upcoming week at Indianapolis. As the series standings are now, Gragson is just three points shy of Briscoe.
Looking at his race history as far as the Brickyard goes, Gragson has the one single Xfinity event under his belt. It was a third-place finish last September, not a huge sample size but still a strong performance nonetheless. Gragson has shown enough consistency over the past season, in which he should give you plenty of confidence if you decide to select him as your team’s dominator for this weekend.
Riley Herbst (9,000 DK)
Herbst isn’t a name you get overtly excited about selecting, however, we are looking for solid plays and recently Herbst has been a bit of a dark horse so to speak. In three of the past four races, Herbst has finished within the top 10. With the recent surge, he has now worked himself up to 11th in the Xfinity standings and trails Ryan Sieg by just seven points. In three of the last five series events at the Brickyard, Joe Gibbs Racing has gone to victory lane.
Herbst will be making his first trip to the famed track this Saturday, so this is new territory for the young Gibbs driver. While he might be considered a risk given his lack of experience at the Brickyard, it should not curtail you from giving Herbst a look this weekend. Herbst is slated to start the race in the 23rd spot and could pickup around a dozen or more bonus points through place differential.
Alex Labbe (8,900 DK)
With this being a road course, I need to add at least one ringer for this event and Labbe certainly fits the bill. Although Labbe does have just the one finish of 19th here at the Brickyard last season, he does have a number of strong runs at road courses. At Mid-Ohio and Charlotte Roval, for example, he has produced best finishes of ninth and sixth respectively. Labbe has gotten his season back on track, following a three-race rough patch. Two weeks ago at Talladega, he would earn himself a top nine, and just this week previous finished 17th at Pocono.
Brandon Jones (8,500 DK)
Since 2017, Indianapolis Speedway has been his second-best track statistically, accumulating an average finish of 8.33. So while he has taken a bit of bad turn these past two tries, Jones has been fantastic at the Brickyard and this could be the remedy he needs. He had been running great up until two weeks ago at Talladega, in which Jones would go on a four-race streak of top eight or better.
Jones is currently eighth overall in the Xfinity standings, trailing Justin Allgaier by just 10 points. A great run at the Brickyard could help Jones leapfrog Allgaier, as well as possibly gain him some serious ground on both Justin Haley and or Harrison Burton should they perhaps manage to falter. Slated to start in third position, Jones will be a strong candidate to gain bonus points through numerous laps led.
Questions and comments?
Hit us up on the Socials:
Check out our Facebook Group where you can read and post articles at The Scorecrow
Reddit Group where everyone can post without fear of being banned at The Scorecrow
Follow Dale Money on Twitter @packerd_00
Main Image Credit:Embed from Getty Images