NASCAR Fantasy Racing Preview: Lenox Industrial Tools 301
by Eric McClung, Special To NASCAR news, fantasy racing advice and statistics On Pit Row
Follow @ericmcclung on Twitter for NASCAR, IndyCar, golf and various other fantasy sports picks.June 24, 2009 10:21 am UTC 6 Comments
Greetings On Pit Row readers,
Last week I got feedback from a reader that the Fantasy Racing Preview would be more useful if the drivers were ranked straight through, rather than split into the A/B/C list used by Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing. The Preview is still a work in progress and the aim is to inform all fantasy NASCAR players – regardless of format. That said, I’ve taken the feedback and I’ve ranked everyone on the entry list from No. 1 to No. 46 as a test run this week.
For Yahoo! players, the top-four A list drivers, top-eight B list drivers and top-four C list drivers will have Y! tags attached to them. Top qualifiers, for those chasing bonus points, and value plays, for those looking for low-rent salary cap options, will remain the same. Value plays are also geared for owners in allocation formats looking to save driver starts.
As I mentioned on Tuesday’s On Pit Row, starting position is huge at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. In the 28 races runs here, the winner has started 15th or better 21 times. Over the last three years (six races), two drivers have won from the pole. The other three winners qualified fourth, ninth and 11th. Kurt Busch won from the 26th position last year, but stayed out prior to rain showers and won a shortened race.
What do you think of the new format? Leave your comments below.
- Jimmie Johnson… Swept in ’03. Top-10s in six of the last seven, finished 15th or better in 13 of 14 career starts. Best average starting position of the last five years (10 starts): 7.9. Y! A-1
- Tony Stewart… Twenty career starts: 10 top-five finishes. Laps led in three starts in a row and seven of the last nine. Y! B-1
- Jeff Gordon… Laps led in 17 of 28 career starts. ’08- 11th, 14th. ’07- second, second. Last pole- ’04. Last win- ’98. Y! A-2
- Denny Hamlin… Six career starts: won in ’07, five top-10 finishes, never finished worse than 15th. Y! B-2
- Greg Biffle… 13 career starts: won the most recent race in September, three consecutive top-fives (7/05, 9/05, 7/06). Only top-10 in the other nine starts. Y! A-3
- Kyle Busch… Most recent pole winner. Laps led in four on eight career starts. ’08- 25th, 34th. ’07- 11th, fourth. Won 7/06. Y-4
- Matt Kenseth… No victories, but consistent. Top-10 finishes in 10 of the last 13 starts.
- Ryan Newman… Strong qualifier. Four poles but none since ’06. Laps led in 11 of 14 career starts. ’07- ninth, 10th. ’08- 15th, 36th. Y! B-3
- Kurt Busch… Good qualifier. Started inside the top-three (9/06, 7/07, 9/07) Defending champion of this race, swept in ’04 but poor finishes in between (19th or worse in five straight races). Y! B-4
- Carl Edwards… Finished third last September, only one top-10 in eight other starts.
- Mark Martin… No starts since ’06, two top-10s in the last 10 starts.
- Jeff Burton… Four career wins, none since ’00. Top-10 finishes in five of the last seven starts.
- Clint Bowyer… Six career starts: one top-10, a victory from the pole in 9/07- led 222 of 300 laps.
- Dale Earnhardt Jr…. Good qualifier. Started fourth and fifth last year. Laps led in four straight races but uneven finishes: ’07- fourth, 16th. ’08- 24th, fifth. Y! B-5
- Kasey Kahne… First five career starts: four top-10s. Next five starts: zero top-10s, finished 20th or worse three times. Y! B-6
- David Reutimann… Improvements in four straight career starts: ’07- 38th, 26th. ’08- 19th, 15th. Y! B-7
- Martin Truex Jr…. Strong value play. Six career starts: seventh or better in four straight. Y! B-8
- Casey Mears… Weak value play. Two top-10 finishes over the last three starts. Finished outside of the top-20 in eight of 12 career starts.
- Kevin Harvick… Laps led in eight of 16 career starts. Won from the pole 9/06.
- Bobby Labonte… Weak value play. ’08- 10th, 13th. Outside of top-20 in four of five races prior. Seven top-10s nine races from 8/98-9/02. Y! C-1
- Brian Vickers… Laps led in four of 10 career starts but only one top-10 finish (fifth in 9/06).
- Marcos Ambrose… Two Nationwide starts: ’07- 27th, ’08- 14th. Truck series: ’06- 23rd. Y! C-2
- Joey Logano… First career start in last year’s September race: started 40th, finished 32nd. Two ’07 wins in the East Series.
- Juan Pablo Montoya… Four career starts: 22.8 average finish, never finished better than 17th.
- Jamie McMurray… Eight straight starts without a top-10. ’07- 16th, 11th. ’08- 41st, 39th.
- Elliott Sadler… Career-best fifth-place finish last year but only five top-10 finishes in 20 career starts.
- Michael Waltrip… Finished second last year but 23rd or worse in three of the last four starts.
- David Ragan… Four career starts: 25.5 average finish, never finished better than 15th.
- Brad Keselowski… Long shot value play. One Nationwide start last year: 10th. Y! C-3
- AJ Allmendinger… Two DNFs in ’08. One start in ’07- 33rd. Truck series- ’06- 13th, ’07- 34th. Y! C-4
- Sam Hornish Jr…. First two career starts last year: 39th, 30th (34.5 average finish)
- Reed Sorenson… Started and finished sixth last year (his only top-10 in six career starts), finished 22nd in September.
- Paul Menard… Four career starts: 28.3 average finish, never finished better than 21st.
- Robby Gordon… Won in 11/01. Outside of the top-20 in eight of the last 11 races.
- Patrick Carpentier… Won the pole ’08. Finished 31st in both races last year.
- Dave Blaney… Won the pole in ’07. Four straight finishes of 29th or worse.
- Joe Nemechek… Won 9/99. Seven straight races of 20th or worse, three DNFs.
- David Stremme… Declining finishes in four straight career starts: ’06- 11th, 20th. ’07- 27th, 42nd.
- Regan Smith… Four career starts: 29.5 average finish, never finished better than 23rd.
- David Gilliland… Six career starts: 28.7 average finish, never finished better than 28th.
- John Andretti… No starts in ’08. One start in ’07- DNF.
- Scott Speed… No starts at New Hampshire.
- Mike Wallace… Ten career starts, none since ’05: 30.2 average finish.
- Tony Raines… Six career starts: 25.8 average finish, never finished better than 20th.
- Dexter Bean… No starts at New Hampshire.
- Ted Christopher… Six lifetime Cup starts, none since ’06, five at New Hampshire: all DNFs. Four Nationwide starts (’97-’00): two DNFs, 18th, 12th