Vol. 3 – Coca Cola 600 – May 29, 2011
I am extremely excited for this week’s edition of Matty’s Picks, not only because I get to brag about my spot on pick in last week’s Sprint All-Star race, but because this Sunday is one of my favorite days out of the entire year.
I get the pleasure of waking up to the sounds of the Oswegatchie River flowing past my parents’ lake house each Memorial Day Sunday. This is a sound that is quickly drowned out by the high pitch whine of the Honda engines at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the 800-HP Stock Cars soon after dusk at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Yes, Memorial Day Sunday is a day that I look forward to each year. It truly marks the start of the summer racing season.
Let’s start with my picks from last week:
I had the duty of making five picks in total last week, two of which happened to be spot on. After having a bit of a shaky start to my week in the Sprint Showdown, I quickly rebounded with solid picks in the Sprint All-Star Race.
My Dark Horse pick for the Sprint Showdown was Brian Vickers. Vickers was running well until about 3/4th through the race when, contact with following a restart forced him to pit for new tires. Vickers finished right were he started in 10th place, giving me a Top-10 that won’t count for my ongoing competition with myself.
As for my winner pick in the Showdown, I thought I had made a solid pick in Martin Truex Jr, running in the Top-5 the entire first thirty laps. Contact with Paul Menard on lap 29 would put Truex outside of the Top-10, finishing his night in 13th.
I don’t think there was any question as to IF Dale Earnhardt Jr would make the All-Star Race, it was just a matter of HOW he would wind up with the start. My pick was that he would not race his way into the All-Star (Jr finished 5th in the Showdown), and would be voted into the All-Star Race via over 2.4 Million votes in the Sprint All-Star Fan Vote. Kudos to me.
For the Grand Finale of the night – the 2011 Sprint All-Star Race, I picked Mark Martin as my Dark Horse pick simply because he was (and still is) due for a win. Martin never really challenged for the win last week, and was finally put to the garage after contact with his teammate Jimmie Johnson on lap 94.
I did state in my column last week that fans would see a ‘Million Dollar Back Flip’ on Sunday night. I however did not state that fans would see absolute domination of the All Star race, followed by a failed pirouette on the infield grass, leading up to the Back Flip. Carl Edwards won three out of four segments bagging himself over 1.1 million dollars in the meantime. Kudos to me again.
Coke 600 Picks
After absolute domination last week on All-Star weekend, I will be going with the flow and picking two Roush Fenway Racing drivers this week.
Dark Horse Pick
David Ragan has been on the brink of winning his first real NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race all season. He will start his #6 Ford in the 8th spot Sunday Evening after a fantastic qualifying run last night. Ragan will carry momentum from his win in the Sprint Showdown last week into Sunday’s Coke 600. I think that Ragan will take advantage of the dominance that Roush Fenway has shown at Charlotte this year and run towards the front all night.
It’s a very good thing that there is no limit as to how many times I can pick the same driver in this column. I really do not know how anyone could bet against Carl Edwards this week. His dominance last week in the All-Star Race has convinced me to stay on his bandwagon and pick him again this week. Carl Edwards will join and elite club of drivers including; Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, Davey Allison, and Kasey Kahne, who have swept both races at Charlotte in the month of May. Edwards will have his chance to redeem himself after the failed burnout following the All-Star on Sunday.
100th Indianapolis 500
I get to dabble this week in the world of open wheel racing. I think that this year’s field for the Indy 500 may be the most competitive that fans have seen in years. This year, the race is wide open for any of the 33 drivers to take. I will pick a Ganassi Driver for this year’s race in Dario Franchitti. He won last year’s Indy 500, and has locked up a solid starting spot for Sunday in 9th and I think Dario will sip the milk once again on Sunday.
As always, you can send me you comments or help me make my picks for next week by email – email@example.com
Until next time….You Stay Classy NASCAR & INDY NATION!