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ADAM ANSELL'S TOP 25 FOR O'REILLY
1. Kyle Busch: To the delight to Fantasy owners, O'Reilly Raceway Park was a late addition to Busch's partial schedule. He's been otherworldly this season in Nationwide Series competition, winning seven of 15 races, boosting him up to second on the all-time Series wins list with 37, just 11 behind Mark Martin. In five starts at the site, Busch has two wins (2004, 2008) and three Top Fives. He became the youngest ORP winner in 2004 (19 years, three months, five days), but perhaps his most impressive outing at ORP was last year's event in which he started 41st, and proceeded to lead 32 laps en route to a second-place finish. Since the inception of Loop Data in 2005, Busch ranks seventh in Driver Rating (108.9) and 14th in Average Running Position (11.8). With a winning percentage just under.500 for\ the season, Busch is the favorite in nearly any race he competes in.
2. Carl Edwards: Despite incredible results down the final stretch the past two seasons, Edwards finished second in the final standings both times. This season, it appears he won't let his impressive performances go to waste. Last week at Gateway, Edwards wrecked points-leader Brad Keselowski on the final lap for the win, and had no regrets about it. "I just couldn't let him take it from me. I had to do what I had to do," Edwards said after the race. Over the previous two races, Edwards had shaved Keselowski's seemingly insurmountable lead of 257-points down to an attainable 168. That was until Wednesday afternoon, when NASCAR docked Edwards 60-points for "actions detrimental to stock car racing/aggressive driving," and placed him on probation until December 31. In six starts at ORP, Edwards has one win (2009), two Top Fives and three Top 10s. Edwards won last year starting 42nd on the grid. He ranks 10th in DR (102.6) and 19th in ARP (14.1). He leads all drivers in Fastest Laps Run (64)
and ranks second in Laps in the Top 15 (625).
3. Brad Keselowski: Keselowski wasn't docked any points, but he was also placed on probation until December 31. He ended up finishing 14th at Gateway, but only because his wrecked car was dragged across the finish line. In three starts at ORP, Keselowski has one Top Five and two Top 10s. He finished fourth in last year's event. He ranks 17th in DR (93.0) and 13th in ARP (11.5). With both Edwards and Keselowski on probation, any more run-ins will most likely result in suspension. Expect clean racing the rest of the way, and Keselowski to get back in the business of racking up Top Fives this weekend at ORP.
4. Reed Sorenson: Sorenson failed to lead a lap last week at Gateway, but still managed to cash in a second-place finish. He'll return to ORP this weekend for the first time since 2006. In three starts at the site, he has two Top Fives and one pole (2005). He has an Average Start of fourth and an Average Finish of fifth. He ranks fourth in DR (123.6) and third in ARP (3.8). He is second with a Fastest Green Flag Speed of 103.677 mph. Sorenson is inching his way towards the Nationwide Series elite, and is a must-start in all formats, especially Elimination if you haven't used him yet.
5. Jason Leffler: In seven starts at ORP, Leffler has one win (2007), three Top Fives, four Top 10s and one pole (2000). He has an Average Start of ninth. Take away his 41st-place DNF in 1999 and his Average Finish is eighth. He ranks 10th in the Nationwide Series standings, and will move up to at least ninth after this week with Joey Logano sitting this one out. He ranks 13th in DR (96.3) and 12th in ARP (11.5). The poor Loop Data might cause owners to look elsewhere in Tiered/Grouping formats. Ignore it. Results are king and Leffler produces, making him an excellent value start in all formats this weekend.
6. Colin Braun: It's been a tumultuous year for Braun. He finished outside the Top 30 in six of the first eight races of 2010, knocking the No. 16 Ford outside the Top 30 in owners points. That meant he lost his guaranteed spot in the field, and had to qualify each week on speed. Matt Kenseth and Brian Ickler then replaced him for five races. Braun has got the message. Over his last six starts, he has three Top 10s and an Average Finish of 11th. In 2008, his only start at the site, he started from the pole and finished in second. He ranks second in DR (124.9) and leads all drivers in ARP (2.1). Braun is the ultimate value start in all formats this week.
7. Clint Bowyer: With just three Top 10s in seven starts this season, Bowyer has been anything but a model of consistency. The good news is that he has back-to-back Top 10s in his last two races, and managed to lead 17 laps at Daytona, his first time leading all season. He's been all over the map in his four starts at ORP with just one Top Five (2005), where he started eighth, finished second and led 40 laps. Outside of that, he has an Average Finish of 25th. He ranks 15th in DR (96.1) and 26th in ARP (17.3). He's ninth in Laps in the Top 15 (407) and 11th in Fastest Green Flag Speed (103.038 mph). Bowyer is a medium-risk-high-reward start in Elimination formats at ORP.
8. Trevor Bayne: Bayne captured his first pole, led his first laps (19) and earned his second Top Five (third-place) of the season last week at Gateway. His first came at New Hampshire in the form of a fifth-place finish. ORP marks Bayne's 35th-career Nationwide Start, the equivalent of one full season. In his lone start at the site last season, Bayne started from the pole, finished seventh and led 34 laps. Bayne ranks 11th in the Nationwide Series standings and is 48-points behind 10th-place. He ranks eighth in DR (106.3) and sixth in ARP (7.5) at the site. The youngster has gone under the radar in this column for most of the season. From here on out, he'll get the respect he deserves.
9. Ron Hornaday Jr.: In his only other start this season at Road America, Hornaday started 11th and finished 12th. In nine starts at ORP, Hornaday has one win (2000), two Top Fives and five Top 10s. In his last four starts, he has an Average Start of fourth. He's led at least four laps in five of his nine starts at ORP. He ranks 14th in DR (96.2) and 10th in ARP (9.9). He provides a decent value in Elimination formats.
10. Paul Menard: In four starts at ORP, Menard has three Top 10s. No laps led, no poles, nothing fancy, just solid finishes. That's been Menard's bread and butter all season, and the main reason he sits sixth in the Nationwide Series standings. He has two Top Fives and nine Top 10s this season, but has led laps in just one race (Talladega). He ranks 16th in DR (94.6) and 17th in ARP (12.0). Menard's consistency makes him a solid start in all formats.
11. Aric Amirola: Captured the pole in the 2007 event, finishing sixth with 87 laps led. 99.1 DR.
12. Justin Allgaier: Started 25th and finished 21st in his lone start at ORP. 72.5 DR.
13. Matt Dibenedetto: One Top 10 in three 2010 Nationwide Series starts. DR: N/A.
14. Brian Scott: One Top Five and two Top 10s in his past two Nationwide Series starts. DR: N/A.
15. Jason Keller: Two wins (1995, 1999), seven Top Fives, nine Top 10s and one pole (1999) in 16 starts at the site; Average Finish of 19th last four starts. 85.7 DR.
16. Mike Bliss: 90.9 DR.
17. Steve Wallace: 80.9.
18. Kenny Wallace: 77.6.
19. Tony Raines: 72.5.
20. Johnny Sauter: 59.8.
21. Brendan Gaughan
22. Brian Keselowski
23. Michael McDowell
24. Michael Annett
25. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
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