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Austin Dillon
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
NBC Sports Predictor

NASCAR Pick 'Em: Ally 400

by Dan Beaver
Updated On: June 23, 2022, 1:25 pm ET

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There were several inaugural races last year and Nashville Superspeedway was arguably one of the most anticipated. It’s difficult to think of any market in the Southeast as being underserved and Bristol Motor Speedway is just up the road, but Nashville was a hotbed for stock car racing for so long, only to lose their place in line when the “Modern Era” eviscerated short tracks and eventually dropped Fairgrounds Raceway. The addition of a speedway finally brought the Cup series back and last year featured one of the most competitive races on the pre-NextGen era.

For more data on stage points earned in 2022, be sure to read “Stage Presence”.

When NASCAR implemented stage racing in 2017, they changed how drivers and teams approached each weekend. With race points on the line and a playoff bonus point for winning stages, drivers must decide if it is worth racing hard to win the stage, or if they want to employ some other strategy.

The free-to-play NASCAR Pick ‘Em game is simple to play, but with equally matched drivers in each stage, it’s not always easy to determine who will lead their group. Each week, players pick one of four drivers to finish best in Stage 1, Stage 2, and when the checkers wave.

Participants can compete for weekly cash prizes, with a $10,000 jackpot available for any participants who earn a perfect score. There will also be at least $1,000 awarded each week in guaranteed cash and prizes, even if there is no player with a perfect score.

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Best Finish, Stage 1

Matchup: William Byron, Austin Dillon, Martin Truex Jr., Bubba Wallace

Keys: Byron and Truex would seem to be at the top of this list because they are the drivers with the most points so far in 2022. Both have won three stages so far and they are practically tied for the number of times they earned points, but Byron’s 120 is notably better than Truex’s 106.

Edge: Dillon. With that in mind, we are going off piste and giving the nod to Dillon because he finished in the points in both Nashville stages last year and is solid on rough-surfaced tracks.


Best Finish, Stage 2

Matchup: Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Daniel Suarez

Keys: Elliott has earned 19 more stage points through the first 16 races than Blaney, but Blaney has one more stage win. That could be important if he makes the playoffs, but with only four positions open for drivers high in the points, he must have a win on his mind this week and will sacrifice the stages if needed to set up for the finale.

Edge: Busch. He has not had a dominant season by any stretch, but with 99 stage points to his credit, Busch ranks eighth on the chart below. As with Dillon in Stage 1, the tiebreaker in our mind is how he performed in this race last year and he is the only driver in this group who scored points in both 2021 stages.

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Best Finish, Final Stage

Matchup: Ross Chastain, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano

Keys: This matchup contains last year’s winner, Larson, as well second-place Chastain. Logano finished 10th in the 2021 Ally 400 and Hamlin was a distant 21st. Unfortunately, Logano and Hamlin have done very little to recommend them in the first 16 races of this season so we will consider the obvious picks.

Edge: Chastain. His runner-up finish last year was the first time we really got a look at Chastain’s potential. He is living up to it in 2022 with a pair of wins and near-weekly contention for top-10s. Unless something happens on track or in the pits, he will contend for the win.


Top-three, Race Results

Elliott is the only driver to sweep the top five in the first two rough-surfaced races this year and his Dover Motor Speedway win is hard to overlook. Behind him, we’ll take Chastain and Larson based on their Nashville performance last year.

Segment Points and Wins, 2022

Driver

Segment
Points

Segment
Wins

Segments
earning
points

Chase Elliott

136

3

21

Joey Logano

131

2

23

Ross Chastain

120

3

18

William Byron

120

3

17

Ryan Blaney

117

4

20

Kyle Larson

116

2

20

Martin Truex Jr.

106

3

16

Kyle Busch

99

1

16

Christopher Bell

88

 

16

Tyler Reddick

75

2

13

Denny Hamlin

62

2

12

Daniel Suarez

59

2

9

Chase Briscoe

59

1

9

Erik Jones

58

 

12

Aric Almirola

58

 

11

Alex Bowman

57

1

11

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

43

 

11

Kurt Busch

38

2

8

Kevin Harvick

38

 

10

Austin Cindric

37

1

10

Bubba Wallace

35

1

9

Austin Dillon

27

 

7

Brad Keselowski

26

 

6

Cole Custer

26

 

5

Chris Buescher

20

 

5

Harrison Burton

18

 

5

Todd Gilliland

14

 

3

Justin Haley

12

 

2

Ty Dillon

9

 

1

Michael McDowell

6

 

2

Josh Bilicki

4

 

1

Cody Ware

1

 

1

 

Segment Points and Wins, Nashville

Driver

Segment
Points

Segment
Wins

Segments
earning
points

Kyle Larson

19

1

2

Austin Dillon

15

 

2

Kyle Busch

13

 

2

Kurt Busch

11

1

2

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

9

 

2

Chase Briscoe

8

 

1

Daniel Suarez

8

 

1

William Byron

7

 

1

Denny Hamlin

6

 

2

Brad Keselowski

4

 

1

Aric Almirola

3

 

1

Joey Logano

3

 

1

Kevin Harvick

2

 

1

Matt DiBenedetto

2

 

1

 

NASCAR Predictor:
2022 Goodyear 400 [Darlington 1]
Drydene 400 [Dover]
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Dan Beaver

Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 20 years with a little help from his >650,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.