Fantasy NASCAR practice recap: Jeff Byrd 500 presented by Food City

by Brian Polking on March 19, 2011 @ 15:26:23 PDT

 


The Cup Series teams werenít the only ones experimenting during the practices at Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday. Goodyear brought a new tire compound for the teams to test. Drivers were on the normal tires for the first session of the afternoon, but each team received one set of the new tires during Happy Hour.

In the opening session, the red hot Tony Stewart set the pace with a lap of 124.889 mph. He was followed by David Reutimann, Mark Martin, Jamie McMurray and Kurt Busch. Looking at the top-five, fantasy owners will find plenty of serviceable options.

Carl Edwards

Both Stewart and Reutimann had second-place finishes at Bristol last season, and Stewart is enjoying his best start to a season in his decorated career. Busch is a strong option as well. He is a five-time winner at the track, and he led the most laps in the March race one year ago. Even McMurray has shown promise in recent starts. His last three finishes at Bristol have been 11th, eighth and third.

Martin topped the charts in terms of 10-lap average speeds, and he was followed by McMurray. Neither driver has the greatest record at the track, but in the first session, they were two strongest cars. Ryan Newman, David Ragan and Joey Logano rounded out the top-five.

Newman is the driver that should get the most attention out of the group. He has four finishes of seventh or better in his last five Bristol starts, and he enters this weekendís race with back-to-back races. Logano is the biggest red flag in the group. He has yet to finish inside the top-15 in four starts at the track.

Martin continued to establish himself as a favorite in Happy Hour, topping the charts with a lap of 124.018 mph. He was followed by Brian Vickers, Denny Hamlin, Logano and Stewart.

Despite the solid practice times, Vickers joins Logano as a potentially risky play. Past results from both drivers are far from encouraging. If fantasy owners want take a chance on them, picking only one of the two this weekend is probably the best option. Their numbers are just arenít strong enough to trust two spots on your lineup to them.

Hamlin posted the best 10-lap average speed in the final session, and his teammate Logano ranked second. Paul Menard, Stewart and Juan Pablo Montoya rounded out the top-five.

Menard and Montoya deserve consideration considering the hot start to the year for both drivers. Based on past results, Montoya is the better option of the two. Hamlin could be a surprise threat as well. After having a miserable year at Bristol in 2010, he appears to have his feel for the track again. From 2008 to 2009, he reeled of four straight finishes if sixth or better at the track.

The biggest surprise of the afternoon was the poor showing from Kyle Busch. He has won three of the last four races at the track and owns the best driver rating at the track among active drivers. However, he was unable to crack the top-20 in either session. He has shown in the past that he can salvage top-10s at the track with almost any car, but owners will probably not want to use him in any fantasy league that limits the number of times you can use a driver. 

Happy Hour Speeds (sorted by Avg. Speed)

Rk indicates Best Lap standing

Rk
Car
Driver Team
Best Lap
Best Time
Avg. Speed
Laps
15
46
J.J. Yeley Red Line Chevy
122.678
15.641
120.570
15
23
48
Jimmie Johnson Lowe's / Kobalt Tools Chevy
122.294
15.690
120.410
53
3
11
Denny Hamlin FedEx Express Toyota
123.475
15.540
119.696
68
12
2
Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Dodge
122.953
15.606
119.611
64
8
56
Martin Truex Jr. NAPA Auto Parts Toyota
123.134
15.583
119.519
57
5
14
Tony Stewart Office Depot / Mobil 1 Chevy
123.237
15.570
119.257
66
14
17
Matt Kenseth Crown Royal Black Ford
122.685
15.640
119.219
42
16
34
David Gilliland TMone / Taco Bell Ford
122.631
15.647
119.086
47
19
88
Dale Earnhardt Jr. National Guard / AMP Energy Chevy
122.443
15.671
119.002
59
18
29
Kevin Harvick Budweiser Chevy
122.568
15.655
118.986
40
4
20
Joey Logano The Home Depot Toyota
123.245
15.569
118.919
80
11
39
Ryan Newman Tornados Chevy
123.016
15.598
118.908
88
13
00
David Reutimann Aaron's Toyota
122.811
15.624
118.901
70
21
47
Bobby Labonte Bush's Baked Beans Toyota
122.365
15.681
118.779
59
10
22
Kurt Busch Shell / Pennzoil Dodge
123.055
15.593
118.683
80
31
4
Kasey Kahne Red Bull Toyota
120.248
15.957
118.543
46
7
24
Jeff Gordon Pepsi MAX Chevy
123.142
15.582
118.407
65
9
27
Paul Menard CertainTeed / Menards Chevy
123.126
15.584
118.405
52
2
83
Brian Vickers Red Bull Toyota
123.523
15.534
118.292
79
27
37
Tony Raines Front Row Motorsports Ford
120.786
15.886
118.273
30
1
5
Mark Martin GoDaddy.com Chevy
124.018
15.472
118.246
56
24
18
Kyle Busch M&M's Toyota
121.976
15.731
118.243
85
6
42
Juan Pablo Montoya Target Chevy
123.221
15.572
118.153
50
36
6
David Ragan UPS Ford
119.447
16.064
117.977
62
17
33
Clint Bowyer BB&T Chevy
122.615
15.649
117.962
39
33
99
Carl Edwards Scotts Ford
119.918
16.001
117.712
37
29
1
Jamie McMurray Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats Chevy
120.392
15.938
117.665
57
34
9
Marcos Ambrose DeWALT Ford
119.910
16.002
117.588
64
28
7
Robby Gordon Speed Energy / Food City Dodge
120.763
15.889
117.579
31
32
78
Regan Smith Furniture Row Racing Chevy
120.000
15.990
117.545
55
26
31
Jeff Burton Caterpillar Chevy
120.984
15.860
117.537
61
25
36
Dave Blaney Accell Construction Chevy
121.898
15.741
117.459
38
37
43
A.J. Allmendinger Best Buy Ford
119.425
16.067
117.272
46
30
16
Greg Biffle 3M Ford
120.293
15.951
117.211
68
22
13
Casey Mears GEICO Toyota
122.333
15.685
116.668
29
20
21
Trevor Bayne Motorcraft / Quick Lane Ford
122.419
15.674
116.627
83
39
60
Landon Cassill Big Red Toyota
118.357
16.212
116.545
36
40
38
Travis Kvapil Long John Silver's Ford
117.812
16.287
116.134
40
38
71
Andy Lally Eco-Fuel Saver Chevy
119.291
16.085
115.542
62
41
66
Michael McDowell HP Racing LLC Toyota
117.329
16.354
115.366
22
42
09
Bill Elliott Thank a Teacher / Security Benefits Chevy
117.293
16.359
114.399
57
35
92
Dennis Setzer K-Automotive Dodge
119.529
16.053
113.803
25
x
87
Joe Nemechek NEMCO Motorsports Toyota
0
0
0
0

10-Lap Average Speeds (must run 10 consecutive laps) 

Rk
Car
Driver
From Lap
To Lap
Avg. Speed
1
11
Denny Hamlin
1
10
122.237
2
20
Joey Logano
3
12
122.111
3
27
Paul Menard
2
11
121.905
4
14
Tony Stewart
3
12
121.837
5
42
Juan Pablo Montoya
2
11
121.658
6
48
Jimmie Johnson
4
13
121.631
7
22
Kurt Busch
1
10
121.563
8
00
David Reutimann
8
17
121.536
9
39
Ryan Newman
1
10
121.535
10
34
David Gilliland
1
10
121.439
11
2
Brad Keselowski
3
12
121.355
12
47
Bobby Labonte
11
20
121.148
13
18
Kyle Busch
11
20
120.665
14
31
Jeff Burton
43
52
118.430
15
1
Jamie McMurray
34
43
118.115
16
78
Regan Smith
21
30
117.902
17
24
Jeff Gordon
44
53
117.618
18
4
Kasey Kahne
37
46
117.451
19
21
Trevor Bayne
46
55
117.324
20
99
Carl Edwards
26
35
117.143
21
56
Martin Truex Jr.
48
57
117.074
22
60
Landon Cassill
9
18
116.977
23
43
A.J. Allmendinger
35
44
116.724
24
38
Travis Kvapil
32
41
115.361
25
71
Andy Lally
43
52
115.269
26
09
Bill Elliott
48
57
114.065

Second Practice Speeds (sorted by Avg. Speed)

Rk indicates Best Lap standing 

Rk
Car
Driver Team
Best Lap
Best Time
Avg. Speed
Laps
12
29
Kevin Harvick Budweiser Chevy
124.074
15.465
122.778
30
17
99
Carl Edwards Scotts Ford
123.841
15.494
122.747
23
6
31
Jeff Burton Caterpillar Chevy
124.283
15.439
122.635
47
20
56
Martin Truex Jr. NAPA Auto Parts Toyota
123.634
15.520
122.396
31
19
78
Regan Smith Furniture Row Racing Chevy
123.722
15.509
122.369
32
2
00
David Reutimann Aaron's Toyota
124.678
15.390
122.347
49
24
33
Clint Bowyer BB&T Chevy
123.190
15.576
122.317
33
7
6
David Ragan UPS Ford
124.242
15.444
122.226
56
21
20
Joey Logano The Home Depot Toyota
123.459
15.542
122.212
49
9
16
Greg Biffle 3M Ford
124.138
15.457
122.192
42
13
48
Jimmie Johnson Lowe's / Kobalt Tools Chevy
124.066
15.466
122.101
42
11
39
Ryan Newman Tornados Chevy
124.090
15.463
122.070
46
28
9
Marcos Ambrose DeWALT Ford
123.095
15.588
122.064
47
3
5
Mark Martin GoDaddy.com Chevy
124.638
15.395
122.031
35
27
24
Jeff Gordon Pepsi MAX Chevy
123.118
15.585
122.012
32
1
14
Tony Stewart Office Depot / Mobil 1 Chevy
124.889
15.364
121.970
45
8
17
Matt Kenseth Crown Royal Black Ford
124.170
15.453
121.923
28
18
42
Juan Pablo Montoya Target Chevy
123.810
15.498
121.857
44
5
22
Kurt Busch Shell / Pennzoil Dodge
124.452
15.418
121.844
59
23
47
Bobby Labonte Bush's Baked Beans Toyota
123.340
15.557
121.795
56
16
2
Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Dodge
123.849
15.493
121.761
48
4
1
Jamie McMurray Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats Chevy
124.460
15.417
121.679
52
26
18
Kyle Busch M&M's Toyota
123.142
15.582
121.667
60
15
4
Kasey Kahne Red Bull Toyota
123.897
15.487
121.580
36
30
34
David Gilliland TMone / Taco Bell Ford
123.016
15.598
121.558
25
25
21
Trevor Bayne Motorcraft / Quick Lane Ford
123.150
15.581
121.542
43
10
11
Denny Hamlin FedEx Express Toyota
124.106
15.461
121.540
55
22
88
Dale Earnhardt Jr. National Guard / AMP Energy Chevy
123.388
15.551
121.421
40
14
27
Paul Menard CertainTeed / Menards Chevy
123.970
15.478
121.388
34
31
43
A.J. Allmendinger Best Buy Ford
122.662
15.643
121.368
46
34
13
Casey Mears GEICO Toyota
122.232
15.698
121.279
31
29
83
Brian Vickers Red Bull Toyota
123.063
15.592
121.249
47
32
7
Robby Gordon Speed Energy / Food City Dodge
122.521
15.661
121.233
19
35
60
Landon Cassill Big Red Toyota
121.914
15.739
120.818
25
37
66
Michael McDowell HP Racing LLC Toyota
121.343
15.813
120.612
25
33
38
Travis Kvapil Long John Silver's Ford
122.255
15.695
120.438
24
42
46
J.J. Yeley Red Line Chevy
120.687
15.899
120.195
9
36
36
Dave Blaney Accell Construction Chevy
121.489
15.794
120.192
18
40
37
Tony Raines Front Row Motorsports Ford
120.892
15.872
120.069
16
38
09
Bill Elliott Thank a Teacher / Security Benefits Chevy
121.022
15.855
118.745
34
39
71
Andy Lally Eco-Fuel Saver Chevy
120.923
15.868
118.268
48
41
87
Joe Nemechek NEMCO Motorsports Toyota
120.786
15.886
115.498
8
x
92
Dennis Setzer Dodge
0
0
0
0

10-Lap Average Speeds (must run 10 consecutive laps) 

Rk
Car
Driver
From Lap
To Lap
Avg. Speed
1
5
2
11
123.248
2
1
2
11
123.155
3
39
1
10
123.121
4
6
1
10
123.091
5
20
2
11
122.924
6
11
2
11
122.901
7
2
1
10
122.864
8
42
1
10
122.858
9
78
1
10
122.776
10
00
29
38
122.770
11
9
1
10
122.738
12
14
19
28
122.734
13
47
26
35
122.530
14
18
1
10
122.527
15
22
27
36
122.411
16
33
18
27
122.396
17
31
38
47
122.157
18
48
20
29
122.145
19
16
13
22
121.938
20
83
25
34
121.653
21
21
1
10
121.642
22
13
2
11
121.576
23
71
1
10
120.160
24
09
2
11
119.393

Combined Average Speeds (weighted by # of laps run in each session)

Car
Driver Team
Average Speed
Total Laps
48
Jimmie Johnson Lowe's / Kobalt Tools Chevy
121.158
95
29
Kevin Harvick Budweiser Chevy
120.611
70
56
Martin Truex Jr. NAPA Auto Parts Toyota
120.532
88
2
Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Dodge
120.532
112
11
Denny Hamlin FedEx Express Toyota
120.521
123
46
J.J. Yeley Red Line Chevy
120.429
24
14
Tony Stewart Office Depot / Mobil 1 Chevy
120.357
111
00
David Reutimann Aaron's Toyota
120.320
119
17
Matt Kenseth Crown Royal Black Ford
120.301
70
47
Bobby Labonte Bush's Baked Beans Toyota
120.248
115
20
Joey Logano The Home Depot Toyota
120.170
129
22
Kurt Busch Shell / Pennzoil Dodge
120.025
139
6
David Ragan UPS Ford
119.993
118
39
Ryan Newman Tornados Chevy
119.993
134
88
Dale Earnhardt Jr. National Guard / AMP Energy Chevy
119.979
99
33
Clint Bowyer BB&T Chevy
119.958
72
34
David Gilliland TMone / Taco Bell Ford
119.944
72
42
Juan Pablo Montoya Target Chevy
119.887
94
4
Kasey Kahne Red Bull Toyota
119.876
82
31
Jeff Burton Caterpillar Chevy
119.756
108
5
Mark Martin GoDaddy.com Chevy
119.702
91
18
Kyle Busch M&M's Toyota
119.660
145
99
Carl Edwards Scotts Ford
119.642
60
24
Jeff Gordon Pepsi MAX Chevy
119.596
97
27
Paul Menard CertainTeed / Menards Chevy
119.584
86
1
Jamie McMurray Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats Chevy
119.580
109
9
Marcos Ambrose DeWALT Ford
119.483
111
83
Brian Vickers Red Bull Toyota
119.395
126
43
A.J. Allmendinger Best Buy Ford
119.320
92
78
Regan Smith Furniture Row Racing Chevy
119.319
87
16
Greg Biffle 3M Ford
119.113
110
13
Casey Mears GEICO Toyota
119.050
60
7
Robby Gordon Speed Energy / Food City Dodge
118.968
50
37
Tony Raines Front Row Motorsports Ford
118.898
46
36
Dave Blaney Accell Construction Chevy
118.337
56
21
Trevor Bayne Motorcraft / Quick Lane Ford
118.304
126
60
Landon Cassill Big Red Toyota
118.296
61
66
Michael McDowell HP Racing LLC Toyota
118.156
47
38
Travis Kvapil Long John Silver's Ford
117.748
64
71
Andy Lally Eco-Fuel Saver Chevy
116.732
110
09
Bill Elliott Thank a Teacher / Security Benefits Chevy
116.023
91
87
Joe Nemechek NEMCO Motorsports Toyota
115.498
8
92
Dennis Setzer Dodge
113.803
25
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About Brian Polking

Racing has been part of Brian's life ever since he can remember, and he spent his childhood at dirt tracks throughout Ohio and Kentucky watching his father race. NASCAR naturally became his favorite sport, and he has been following the Cup, Nationwide and Truck Series for most of his life. Brian majored in journalism and economics at Ohio State University and becoming a sports writer has always been his dream. Although he has covered everything from minor league baseball to the NCAA tournament, his passion has always been NASCAR. Brian has served as a NASCAR writer for a variety of sites, eventually becoming head editor of the NASCAR section for Fanball.com. His knowledge of NASCAR comes from his life-long love of racing, and he tries to add a personal touch to every article he writes. Brian is always up for talking NASCAR with anyone that wants to. Brian joined KFFL's team in 2011.

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