The Cup series celebrates July 4th at a new spot with Road America being added to the schedule this year. A track that has not been very hyped as a new edition, but honestly might end up being the best road course race of the year. This track always produces some interesting races.

This is another spot where drivers are all somewhat equaled out in terms of experience because not many drivers have had a chance to race here. Most drivers that have raced at Road America are a few years removed from their start. 

There are two teams I’m watching heading into this race. Hendrick Motorsports because all their drivers are good on road courses and have been badass fast all year. I also want to keep an eye on Team Penske, Brad Keselowksi, and Ryan Blaney specifically. Brad and Ryan had a bit of news coming out this week; Brad leaving for RFR became official and Blaney’s crew chief Todd Gordon announcing his retirement in 2022. 

Both have a bit of motivation and great experience at Road America. Brad with a 4th and Blaney a 2nd place finish in their only starts. I would pick either of them to win this race, but truly I must go with Hendrick if I’m being honest with myself.

Favorite: Chase Elliott

Winning at COTA this year is already a good tell of how good Elliott will be a new road course added to the schedule. In two starts at Road America, he finished 4th in each. Elliott on a road course is nearly a guaranteed top five, but Elliott on a road course he has an experience advantage over most of the field, can’t bet against him.

I was curious if Hendrick was going to simmer down on their speed after rumors circulated that NASCAR had caught them messing with the noses of their cars. We know they’ve found some extra speed, I thought it might be possible that NASCAR would scare them, but all four cars still looked scary at Pocono.

Dark Horse: Austin Cindric

Whenever you have a driver step up into a part-time ride you usually don’t expect them to challenge for wins. Austin Cindric changed that mentality because he went out at COTA and led the race, almost looking like a car to beat for a period.

Cindirc won this race last season in Xfinity and is continuing to look like a guy that will challenge Elliott for his road course king crown in 2022. There might be a chance he gets a head start on that this weekend.

Fantasy:

High-End Picks:

  1. Kyle Larson: $10,500
  2. Chase Elliott: $10,600
  3. Ryan Blaney: $9,200
  4. Martin Truex Jr.: $10,300
  5. Kyle Busch: $10,100

Mid-Tier Picks: 

  1. Brad Keselowski: $8,500
  2. Austin Cindric: $8,300
  3. Ross Chastain: $7,900
  4. Alex Bowman: $8,100
  5. Christopher Bell: $8,000

Low-End Picks:

  1. Daniel Suarez: $6,500
  2. Chase Briscoe: $6,700
  3. Bubba Wallace: $6,000
  4. Erik Jones: $6,600
  5. Ty Dillon: $5,700

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