Well, this should be fun! Atomic Speedway in Chillicothe, Ohio is a super fast, racey 3/8th mile track and we should have a very stout field of national touring drivers and some bad fast locals. Given that we've lost three touring late model races this weekend, this might be the best race this week.
To get ready for a fun night of racing, here are my #FantasyDirt thoughts leading into tonights action.
Fastest Qualifiers to the front of the Heats. Head winners to the front of the Feature. Standard stuff.
Who to Watch:
Tyler Erb ($21,400): Terbo checks in as the 6th-highest salary tonight, behind BShep ($22,000), The Mailman ($21,900), Yung Money ($21,800), RTJ ($21,600), and the Winfield Warrior ($21,500). That's a pretty reasonable salary for a driver with a WoO Feature Win and LOLMDS podium finish at Atomic this year. Erb also comes into Atomic with a 2nd and 13th in XR Super Series competition and a 10th and a 3rd in LOLMDS competition last week. The up and down results do signify a bit of risk, but getting one of the potential favorites to win for salary outside the top five, represents solid risk to reward.
Bobby Pierce ($21,300): This is just a fanboy pick, honestly. The Smooth Operator hasn't run particularly well of late, with mechanical gremlins resulting in some tough finishes. After taking the weekend off, hopefully, the team has gotten things figured out. At some point though, Fantasy sports are about having fun. Wathcing Bobby Pierce race is fun. I like the guy, I like his merch, and I might just put him on my roster for those reasons alone.
Tyler Carpenter ($20,700): Jackson Braun put out the updated JB57 report today and I was surprised to see that Carpenter ranks 5th nationally in wins at 13. That one win less than BShep and Smokey and one more than Big Sexy. I'd say that is pretty good company. Moreover, Carpenter is no stranger to Atomic, either. Having recorded a 15th in LOLMDS action and a 2nd, 15th, and 5th in Valvoline Iron-Man action at the track in 2022. For the 11th highest-salaried driver, that's a solid resume. I like the potential return on investment here, especially so if Carpenter lays town a top 10 qualifying time.
Garrett Smith ($20,400): I don't have any stats to support this selection. Maybe it's another fan boy pick, I dunno. What I do know though, is that every time I've seen Smith race he's been very fast. Often qualifying well to extremely well and fairing well in heat racing. The Feature is usually where Smith runs into a bit of trouble, often finishing in the teens. There is some potential downside to taking Smith in your lineup, but for the 12th-highest salary the upside is significant.
Freddie Carpenter ($20,300): Another Carpenter, another driver with plenty of laps around Atomic. Freddie has an 18th with LOLMDS this year, along with a 10th and 15th with the Iron-Man series. On the season in 48 races, the K car has started 35 features with 7 wins, 19 top-5s, and 22 top-10s. A 27% non-qualifying rate is a cause for concern, however. So I'd be less inclined to lock Freddie into the lineup if his qualifying position starts him outside of a transfer position.
Rod Conley ($20,100) & RJ Conley ($19,800): Another pair of drivers with the same last name! These fellas also know Atomic well. Rod managed to secure a 16th on the second night of WoO action this year. Both RJ (17th) and Rod (19th) made the show with LOLMDS in March. In Iron-Man and local action at the track, these two have been quite impressive also. Rod has a 7th, 6th, 4th, 3rd, 5th, and 2nd (on 9/17). RJ sports a 4th, 14th, 3rd, and 3rd (on 9/17). For the 15th & 16th-highest salaries, I like the upside of top-10 run for one, or both, of these drivers.
Boom Briggs ($19,600): The Boomerang (still waiting for this one to catch on) has shown a little bit speed of late, having generally moved forward the last three WoO contests and finishing 9th, 13th, and 16th. Throw in a 5th place finish in last year's Castrol FloRacing Night in America stop at Atomic, and we have some solid upside for the 17th-highest salaried driver.
Steve Casebolt ($19,200): Another driver with plenty of 2022 laps around Atomic. Casebolt has a 14th & 13th in WoO action and a 24th with LOLMDS this year. In Iron-Man and weekly action, Casebolt has a 3rd, 6th, 2nd, and a 15th. For the 18th highest salary, Casebolt represents some nice value as he's run better than 17th twice with WoO alone. Add in his general familiarity and prowess at the track, and we've got a solid recipe for plus-value points.
Camaron Marlar ($19,000): Camaron had a solid, if a bit frustrating, weekend at Brownstown, having qualified for both features but failiing to finish the Night Before (On the Day Of) and failing to start the Jackson 100 after battling back from a tech failure earlier in the night. The competition won't get any easier tonight, but at least we know Camaron has a fighting chance to make the show. Additionally, Marlar has a pair of 5th place finishes in Iron-Man action from Atomic. The recent positive results with LOLMDS and success at Atomic, make Camaron a solid target should his qualifying position put him near the front of a heat race.
Driver's Not in DirtDraft, but Maybe in Attendance:
Josh Rice (N/A): I'd be a little surprised if Josh Rice didn't make it out to Atomic. Rice was incredibly fast this past weekend at the Jackson 100, notching a 2nd and 4th place finish. That alone, makes him worth keeping an eye on. His success at Atomic this year, makes him possibly the man to beat should he make it. Rice has a 2nd and a 7th against the World of Outlaws at Atomic, a 9th in LOLMDS action, and two wins, a 2nd, and a 17th (after starting 2nd) in weekly and Iron-Man competition at Atomic. If he's in attendance, his salary will be quite high but if it's outside the top-5 he's probably a must play.
Tristan Chamberlain (N/A): Chamberlain is another driver who had a solid Jackson 100 weekend, having managed a 14th and 16th. Chamberlain also has a 10th, 11th, 12th, 5th, and 11th in weekly and Iron-Man competition at Atomic. Should he make it, I'll be very likely to lock him into the lineup.