One week after the fan favorite night race at Bristol, the Sprint Cup Series heads to what could easily be considered one of the least favorite races on the schedule -- the Labor Day race, which is now at the Auto Club Speedway in California. Whether you are a fan of the schedule change or a diehard purist who can't stomach spending Labor Day watching a race at any other track than Darlington, if you're a fantasy owner, you have to put that aside and put your best team out on the track.
Just two races remain before the Chase field is set after Richmond. With only two drivers locked into the postseason, each lap will be important for those other 10 drivers still looking to stake their claim to a spot in the Chase. While those 10 drivers will certainly be putting it all on the line, there are still ones that stand out from the others and there are drivers outside the top 12 who warrant a look when making your picks this week.
So without further ado, let's take a look at the favorites, sleepers and longshots heading into Sunday night's Pepsi 500.
Last week's longshots really paid off with top-10 finishes for both
"California has been one of our better tracks throughout our time in the Nationwide Series and in the Cup Series, so it's definitely a track I look forward to racing. The track is just a real big, wide track. You get a little bit of everything there. You get a lot of speed, especially now in the new cars because they have less drag, so you really go fast down the straightaways. It's got some pretty big corners where you can run around the bottom or you can run up high and you're always kind of searching for a groove, so the racing is always a lot of fun."
For the third straight week, the Cup series will run under the lights. This time it will be at Richmond International Raceway with the final slots in the Chase up for grabs.