The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series marches on, as we go from the wildly unpredictable Talladega last weekend to the Charlotte ROVAL this weekend. Typically, road course races don’t have a lot of major issues, but that has a changed a little bit this year if you look back at the events at the Indy Road Course, Circuit of the Americas, and even the Daytona Road Course. Still, it’s hard to predict if anything is going to happen, but if nothing does, Sunday’s race should be pretty cut and dry–a.k.a. we know who is good at the road courses.

*Please note: the picks and suggestions below are my opinions and strategy for the Slingshot Fantasy Auto Contest. These are not meant to sway your thinking in any way, but rather give you insight into the drivers I am most likely to pick on race day.*

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Slingshot Fantasy Auto Contest Picks for the Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte

The Safe

Chase Elliott ($12,500) – Remember last weekend at Talladega where I mentioned Denny Hamlin is head and shoulders above everyone else when it comes to that track type? That’s the case with Chase Elliott at road courses as well. It’s pretty much borderline ridiculous how good Chase is at this track type, and the fact that he starts 8th this weekend and has a little bit of place differential upside makes him a slam dunk Slingshot NASCAR Fantasy pick. Elliott has only finished worse than 4th at a road course once in his last ten starts at this track type, and he’s won five of those ten races.

Kyle Larson ($12,400) – This really isn’t the week to go against the favorites, at least in my opinion. Kyle Larson’s move to Hendrick Motorsports this year has catapulted him into the “Elite” category of road course racers, and he’s tied with Chase Elliott with two wins at this track type in 2021 (at Sonoma and Watkins Glen). Here at the Charlotte ROVAL, Larson has only made one career start, and he finished 13th, but don’t forget that he had some issues in that race after winning the first Stage. Larson starts 10th on Sunday so there’s some place differential potential there as well; my only concern this weekend would be whether or not this #5 team “plays it safe” to make sure nothing catastrophic happens to their Championship hopes.

AJ Allmendinger ($12,200) – If you don’t pick AJ Allmendinger in the Slingshot Fantasy Auto Contest, you’re probably hoping he wrecks, because a driver of his caliber starting back in 33rd is like a dream come true with this NASCAR Fantasy game. Allmendinger has ran four road course races this year in the #16 Chevrolet for Kaulig Racing and has finished 7th or better in three of them (including a win at the Indy Road Course). Here at the Charlotte ROVAL specifically, The Dinger finished 7th here back in 2018 with JTG Daugherty, and he’s 2-for-2 when it comes to wins here in the Xfinity Series. He’s a safe Slingshot pick this weekend with great upside.

The Risky

Kyle Busch ($11,600) – Rowdy is an interesting NASCAR Fantasy play this weekend. He starts 9th, so there’s a little bit of place differential upside there, and he’s a really good road course racer. Plus, there’s the whole Playoff narrative as well: he’s right there on the cut line, so he can’t afford a bad race. But, man, the rovals have not been kind to Kyle Busch. Here at the Charlotte ROVAL, Rowdy has finished 32nd, 37th, and 30th in three starts, and at the Daytona Road Course he has finished 37th and 35th. However, looking at this season, in road course races where he didn’t have issues–Sonoma, Road America, Watkins Glen–Kyle Busch has top 5 results in each. This #18 Toyota should be fast on Sunday but with Busch’s track record on the rovals it definitely heightens the risk.

Alex Bowman ($10,600) – Alex Bowman is in a must-win situation if he wants to keep his Championship hopes alive, and I’m not sure I want that type of mentality for my Slingshot fantasy lineup. Yes, there’s obviously upside there, but when teams are desperate, more often than not it doesn’t work out. Still, in three career starts here at the Charlotte ROVAL, Bowman has finished 4th, 2nd, and 8th, and he has three top 10s in the six road course races ran this season. He’s one of those drivers that I won’t be surprised either way on Sunday (good run or bad run) but I’m probably going to look elsewhere in fantasy.

Christopher Bell ($10,000) – We know that Christopher Bell has race-winning upside at road courses. He won the Daytona Road Course race earlier this year and also finished 2nd at Road America. Plus, if you remember back to the Watkins Glen race, Bell was challenging for the race lead when the whole incident happened with Kyle Larson. The #20 Toyota ended up finishing 7th that day. This weekend, CBell starts up in 4th, so he really doesn’t have any place differential upside, but he should be able to get 10-15 Stage points to make up for that. He’s a pretty risky pick but could be a great value play at $10,000 in the Slingshot Fantasy Auto Contest.

The Winner

“Race Winner” Pick = Chase Elliott – He’s just too good at this track type, and he’s kind of close to the cutoff line in the Playoffs. I’d be surprised if Chase Elliott doesn’t win this race at the Charlotte ROVAL on Sunday.

As someone who has always been obsessed with numbers, Fantasy NASCAR has been the perfect fit with me. I pride myself on the quality of my analysis for each race, and am glad that I have been able to help others along the way. I've been a serious Fantasy NASCAR player for over 10 years now, and I'm just getting started.