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ADAM ANSELL'S TOP 25 FOR BRISTOL
1. Kyle Busch: In 12 starts at Bristol Motor Speedway, Busch has four wins, six Top Fives and nine Top 10s with an Average Finish of 9.3. He led 283 of 500 laps in his August 2010 win. He's led at least one lap in nine of his last 10 starts at the site, including totals of 415 (2008) and 378 (2009). Busch's Average Start in his last four events at Bristol is 22.8, so Fantasy owners should completely ignore qualifying considering Busch has three wins and four Top 10s in that span. Since the inception of Loop Data in 2005, Busch leads all competitors in Driver Rating (106.0), Laps Led (1,218) Fastest Laps Run (481) and Average Green Flag Speed (114.469 mph) and ranks he fourth in Average Running Position (12.5). He should be in any and all lineups this Sunday.
Kurt Busch">2. Kurt Busch: In 20 starts at the site, Busch has five wins, six Top Fives, 12 Top 10s and one pole with an Average Finish of 13th. He's led laps in just one of his last six starts at the site, though; it was an impressive 278 laps in the March 2010 event. His five wins came between 2002-06. His Average Finish since his last victory at the site is 14.3 (nine starts), with one Top Five and four Top 10s. Through three events this season, Busch has one Top Five and three Top 10s with an Average Finish of 7.3. Busch ranks fifth in DR (95.9) and in ARP (12.7). Fantasy owners should feel comfortable rolling with Busch in all formats.
3. Carl Edwards: In 13 starts at the track, Edwards has two wins, three Top Fives, five Top 10s and one pole with an Average Finish of 13.3. He's led at least 16 laps in just three of his 13 starts, but he's arguably the hottest Cup driver right now. Dating back to last season, Edwards has three wins plus a second-place finish in his last five starts. He's started inside the Top Four on the grid three times at the site, including second in the August 2010 event. He hasn't finished worse than 16th at Bristol since 2006. Edwards ranks ninth in DR (89.4) and 10th in ARP (14.3). Start him with confidence in all formats.
4. Jimmie Johnson: In 18 starts at Bristol, Johnson has one win (2010), four Top Fives, nine Top 10s and two poles. He's led at least 84 laps in each of his last four starts at Bristol. He's started inside the Top Four in three of his last four starts at the site. Johnson gets a bad rap there because it took him so long to collect a win at Bristol (16 starts), but now that the monkey is off his back he's racing pressure free. Johnson ranks 13th in DR (87.4) and 12th in ARP (14.8). Fantasy owners employing the "save Johnson starts" strategy are advised to do so this Sunday.
5. Jeff Gordon: In 36 starts at the site, Gordon has five wins, 14 Top Fives, 20 Top 10s and five poles with an Average Finish of 11.7. Though he's led a total of just three laps spread over two races in his last six starts at Bristol, he's led at least one lap in 26 events overall. He's started inside the Top Four on the grid 20 times, including a streak of eight straight times from 2002-05. He ranks third in DR (98.7) and leads all competitors in ARP (9.5) and Laps in the Top 15 (81.5 percent). He's a safe start and will come at a solid value in Tiered/Grouping formats.
6. Mark Martin: In 44 starts at the site, Martin has two wins, 16 Top Fives, 23 Top 10s and nine poles with an Average Finish of 13.2. He's led at least one lap in three of his last four starts at the site. Martin has started inside the Top Four on the grid 17 times, including four straight poles from 1995-95. He also won the pole twice in the 2009 Bristol events. Martin ranks 13th in DR (87.4) and 11th in ARP (14.6). He doesn't provide much value in the Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing B List, but Fantasy owners can trust his experience and track record.
7. Greg Biffle: In 16 Bristol starts, Biffle has six Top Fives and 10 Top 10s with an Average Finish of 10.8. He has two Top Fives and three Top 10s in his last three starts at the site with an Average Finish of 5.3. Biffle's led at least 76 laps in two of his last three runs at the short-track. In addition, he's started inside the Top Four on the grid in two of his last four appearances at Bristol. Biffle ranks second in DR (99.5) and third in ARP (11.5). Fantasy owners looking for value, look no further - he's the ultimate risk-reward start this weekend.
8. Tony Stewart: In 24 starts at the site, Stewart has one win (2001), six Top Fives, eight Top 10s and one pole. He's led at least one lap in each of his past two Bristol starts, and finished in second-place in the March 2010 event. Stewart's Average Finish in three events this season is 7.3. Smoke ranks sixth in DR (93.8) and eighth in ARP (14.2). After finishing second at Las Vegas two weeks ago, he said "second-place sucks". The subtext, of course, being anything short of the Checkered Flag is a failure. That attitude is what Fantasy hopes and dreams are made of.
9. Matt Kenseth: In 22 starts at the site, Kenseth has two wins (2005, 2006), eight Top Fives, 14 Top 10s and one pole. In the four events from 2005-06, he led at least 50 laps in each event, including 415 of 500 (won from the pole) in August 2005. In the eight subsequent events, Kenseth hasn't led a single lap, though; he has recorded one Top Five and five Top 10s in that span. Kenseth ranks fourth in DR (97.7) and second in ARP (11.0). Since making the move from the Yahoo! B List (2010) to the A List (2011), Kenseth's value has plummeted. He'll make for a solid start, but there are far better options on the A List.
10. David Reutimann: In six starts at the site, Reutimann has one Top Five (second in August 2010). He led 25 laps in the August 2010 event. Reutimann's Average Finish prior to last summer's second-place finish was 22.4, not very inspiring. But he's the kind of driver that gets better with each run. Also, short-track racing is in the Reutimann family blood. He ranks 16th in DR (86.0) and 18th in ARP (16.1). Reutimann is a great sleeper option and will come at an awesome value in Tiered/Grouping formats.
11. Denny Hamlin: In 10 Bristol starts, Hamlin has three Top Fives and five Top 10s with an Average Finish of 14.6. 91.8 DR.
12. Kevin Harvick: In 20 starts at the site, Harvick has one win (2005), nine Top Fives and 11 Top 10s with an Average Finish of 12.3. 89.8 DR.
13. Jeff Burton: In 34 starts at Bristol, Burton has one win (2008), eight Top Fives and 14 Top 10s with an Average Finish of 17.9. 87.5 DR.
14. Dale Earnhardt Jr.: In 22 starts at the site, Junior has one win (2004), seven Top Fives and 12 Top 10s with an Average Finish of 11.5. 88.7 DR.
15. Ryan Newman: In 18 Bristol starts, Newman has one Top Five and 10 Top 10s with an Average Finish of 17.6. 93.8 DR.
16. Clint Bowyer: 82.3 DR.
17. Juan Pablo Montoya: 80.2.
18. Kasey Kahne: 85.5.
19. Martin Truex Jr.: 73.6.
20. Marcos Ambrose: 86.9.
21. Joey Logano
22. Jamie McMurray
23. A.J. Allmendinger
24. Paul Menard
25. Brad Keselowski
Adam was a 2010 Fantasy Sports Writers Awards Association nominee for Racing Writer of the Year. You can e-mail him at email@example.com and follow him @RotoExpertsAA.
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