NASCAR Fantasy Racing Preview: Pennsylvania 500
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.July 29, 2009 10:00 am UTC 1 Comment
Greetings On Pit Row readers.
Fresh off an unexpected finish at Indianapolis, we shift to Pocono Raceway - a unique triangle that features three turns, each modeled after different tracks. Since each of the three turns are so different, Pocono has drawn comparisons to a road course. Turn Two, “The Tunnel Turn”, is banked nine degrees and modeled after the turns at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Like Indianapolis, Pocono has also been proven as a place that has been difficult to make passes. In the June race, of the drivers who qualified in the top-16 only four finished worse than 16th; two were due to mechanical issues (Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin). Also, half of the field finished within five spots of their original starting position.
I will be among the media covering Sunday’s race! I’m hoping to squeak out a blog entry or two in addition to sending out updates over Twitter. Follow me on Twitter – http://twitter.com/ericmcclung
Oh, props to rambler14 who called Mark Martin’s top-five finish at Indianapolis. I also goofed up on this week’s show; I said Tony Stewart won the pole in the June race at Pocono when in fact the starting grid was set due to points after rain canceled qualifying.
Here’s an explanation of the highlighted text in the rankings.
- Y! A/B/C – The top options in the Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing game by driver list.
- Strong qualifier – History of winning poles or qualifying inside the top-five.
- Good qualifier – History of qualifying inside the top-10.
- Value play - Good recent history at this week’s track. Drivers to consider as low-rent salary cap options or alternative options in allocation formats.
- Risky play - Good overall history at this week’s track but poor recent finishes.
Good luck this week and please leave your comments below! Download a printer-friendly version here.
- Tony Stewart… Won from the pole in June but started from the rear, runner-up last year. Last eight races this season: 3.1 average finish. Y!-B1
- Carl Edwards… Won last year, runner-up in June and led the most laps (103). Led an average of 78 laps in both races. Y!-A1
- Jimmie Johnson… Strong qualifier. Last five races: 4.0 average start. Last four races: 5.3 average finish. Has led at least 30 laps in three straight. Last eight races this season: 6.75 average finish. Y!-A2
- Jeff Gordon… Last six races: one victory, four top-fives, five top-10 finishes. Y!-A3
- Denny Hamlin… Risky play. Last two races: finished 38th and 23rd. Prior five races: 2.8 average finish, two victories, led an average of 60 laps. Y!-B2
- Juan Pablo Montoya… Career best eighth-place finish in June, average finish of 9.0 in the six races since. Y!-B3
- Mark Martin… Good qualifier. Last five races: 10.6 average finish but finishing worse than he starts: 6/09- 12th/19th, 8/08- second/eighth, 6/08- third/10th. Y!-A4
- Kurt Busch… Last two races: finished 37th and 38th. Prior six races: average finish of 5.0; two victories, runner-up twice. Y!-B4
- David Reutimann… Career-best start (13th) and finish (third) in June. Y!-B5
- Ryan Newman… Risky play. Started and finished fifth in June. Average finish of 18.2 in the six races since, only one top-10 finish. Y!-B6
- Kasey Kahne… Finishes where he starts: 6/09- 14th/15th, 8/08- seventh/seventh, 6/08- first/first. Y!-B7
- Matt Kenseth… Last four races: average of 3.0 laps led, average finish of 12.0.
- Greg Biffle… Last three races: average of 3.3 laps led, average finish of 13.0. Only two top-10 finishes in 13 career starts.
- Kyle Busch… Last top-10 finish: 6/07, average finish of 28.25 in the four races since, one DNF.
- Clint Bowyer… Seven career starts, two of his three top-10 finishes have come in August: 8/07- eighth, 8/08- sixth.
- Marcos Ambrose… Strong value play. Started 20th and finished sixth in June, first career start at Pocono. Y!-C1
- Joey Logano… Strong value play. Started and finished 23rd in June, first career start at Pocono. Won the ARCA series race. Y!-B8
- Jeff Burton… Last seven races: average finish of 11.0, four top-10 finishes.
- Jamie McMurray… Weak value play. Led an average of 1.5 laps in the last two races, 11.0 average finish. Finished 20th or worse in the prior four races.
- Casey Mears… Weak value play. Last three races, finishing and starting better: 6/09- 14th/21th, 8/08- 22nd/33rd, 6/08- 26th/34th
- AJ Allmendinger… Started and finished 30th in June, finished 19th and 12th in ’08. Y!-C2
- Brian Vickers… Last five races: 23.0 average finish. Only one career finish better than 20th, runner-up 6/08.
- Dale Earnhardt Jr…. Last four races, finishing and starting worse: 6/09- 27th/18th, 8/08- 12th/12th, 6/08- fourth/seventh, 8/07- won the pole, finished runner-up.
- Sam Hornish Jr…. Long shot value play. Career best 10th-place finish in June, finished 26th and 42nd in ’08. Y!-C3
- Martin Truex Jr…. Long shot value play. Seven career starts: average start and finish each 15.6.
- Kevin Harvick… Started and finished 24th in June, breaking a streak of eight races of finishes 17th or better.
- Bobby Labonte… Started and finished 28th in June, finished 33rd and 11th in ’08. Y!-C4
- Elliott Sadler… Last three races: 28.6 average finish, led eight laps in two.
- Reed Sorenson… Career best 20th-place finish in June, only start in seven attempts which he gained track position.
- David Ragan… Finished 26th in June, finished fifth and 24th in ’08.
- Joe Nemechek… DNFs in two straight races, 22.5 average finish in four previous starts.
- Paul Menard… DNF last August, average finish of 27.0 in four other career starts.
- David Gilliland… DNF in June, 30.8 average finish in four other career starts.
- Michael Waltrip… Finished 17th in June, best finish since ’05.
- Robby Gordon… Last three races: 34.6 average finish.
- David Stremme… Finished a career-worst 34th in June.
- John Andretti… Started and finished 35th in June, first start at Pocono since ’03.
- Scott Speed… Finished 32nd in June, first career start at Pocono.
- Patrick Carpentier… DNF in June, finished 32nd in ‘08.
- Tony Raines… Did not start in June, 16.5 average finish in two previous August starts.
- Dave Blaney… DNF in June, 24.3 average finish in three previous starts.
- Sterling Marlin… DNF in June, first start at Pocono since ’07.
- Mike Wallace… Did not start in June, no Pocono starts since ’05.
- Derrike Cope… Did not start in June, no Pocono starts since ’03.