Fantasy NASCAR practice recap: Sylvania 300

by Brian Polking on September 24, 2011 @ 16:25:58 PDT

 


Jimmie Johnson

After running out of gas last weekend at Chicagoland, five-time defending champ Jimmie Johnson finds himself in an early hole in the 2011 Chase. As if anyone thought Johnson would go down without a fight, he topped the charts in the first practice session at New Hampshire Saturday just to make sure. The three-time track winner is no stranger to coming from behind to win titles, and there is a good chance his charge back to the top could begin Sunday.

Jeff Burton ranked second on the charts, and despite his miserable 2011 season, he deserves some consideration from fantasy owners. After all, he is a four-time winner at NHMS. His Richard Childress Racing teammate and current point leader Kevin Harvick was third. After narrowly missing the title a year ago, Harvick seems poised to make another serious run. With two top-five finishes in his last three starts at New Hampshire, owners should have no problem backing Harvick this weekend.

Greg Biffle and Jeff Gordon rounded out the top five in the opening session, and while both drivers are former winners at New Hampshire, Gordon is the smarter fantasy play. After all, he has 12 straight finishes inside the top 15 at the track, and he has been dialed in at the flat tracks this season. Gordon has already won races at Phoenix and Pocono, and he had the dominant car at Indianapolis as well. Anything less than a top-five finish from the No. 24 bunch would be a disappointment.

In terms of 10-lap average speeds, Burton continued to prove that he is a serious contender by topping the charts. Again, this takes some serious trust on the part of fantasy owners given all Burton's struggles this year. However, his strong history of success bodes well. He could make a nice sleeper play and allow owners willing to gamble a bit to gain some ground on the competition.

Gordon ranked second in terms of 10-lap average speed, leading a charge of Chasers. He was followed by Kyle Busch, last weekend's winner Tony Stewart, and Kasey Kahne. Both Busch and Stewart are former winners at the track, and Stewart finished second to his teammate Ryan Newman at NHMS earlier this year. Coming off his win at Chicagoland, Stewart makes a nice momentum play, especially considering his record at New Hampshire. Meanwhile, Kahne joins Burton as a potential sleeper because he is starting on the front and had a solid showing at NHMS in July.

In Happy Hour, David Stremme stole the show, topping the charts in surprise fashion. Normally, a fast lap from a driver outside the top 35 in points would be chalked up to qualifying trim. However, qualifying was held Friday, which means Stremme was fast in race trim. He is the ultimate boom or bust play this weekend, but with all the first-time winners in 2011, it's tough to write him off completely.

Hendrick Motorsports teammates Gordon and Johnson continued to impress, ranking second and third in the final session. Burton and Kyle Busch did the same, rounding out the top five. Pole-sitter Ryan Newman ranked sixth in Happy Hour, and after winning at New Hampshire from the pole earlier this season, a season sweep can't be ruled out for the three-time track winner.

Familiar faces topped the charts in terms of 10-lap average speeds in the final session with Johnson and Newman leading the way. Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne ranked third and fourth, with Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounding out the top five. As the newcomer to the group, Junior could warrant a spot on fantasy rosters. He has been a consistent top-15 driver at New Hampshire, and if the race happens to come down to fuel mileage, Junior has proven all year he can stretch his fuel as well as anyone.

One big name that owners may want to avoid this weekend is Denny Hamlin. Despite solid practice times and incredible numbers at New Hampshire, mechanical problems could be in store for Hamlin. He reported during Happy Hour that his transmission was acting weird. His team is going to inspect it prior to Sunday's race, but with all the engine trouble experienced by Joe Gibbs Racing this year, it wouldn't be surprised to see Hamlin have a transmission failure.

Happy Hour Speeds (sorted by Avg. Speed)

Rk indicates Best Lap standing

Rk
Car
Driver
Team
Best Lap
Best Time
Avg. Speed
Laps
11
88
Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet
129.931
29.314
129.040
53
13
33
Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet
129.909
29.319
128.992
35
2
24
DuPont Chevrolet
130.416
29.205
128.948
39
4
31
Caterpillar Chevrolet
130.309
29.229
128.850
51
12
5
GoDaddy.com Chevrolet
129.931
29.314
128.837
51
3
48
Lowe's Chevrolet
130.336
29.223
128.821
48
18
56
NAPA Auto Parts Toyota
129.741
29.357
128.754
36
7
4
Red Bull Toyota
130.060
29.285
128.715
56
10
27
Sylvania/Menards Chevrolet
129.975
29.304
128.704
38
9
29
Budweiser Chevrolet
129.984
29.302
128.650
38
5
18
M&M's Toyota
130.269
29.238
128.627
46
8
16
Ford40MPG.com Ford
130.042
29.289
128.593
39
19
99
Scotts Winterguard Ford
129.710
29.364
128.552
35
6
39
Haas Automation Chevrolet
130.126
29.270
128.456
49
16
78
Furniture Row Chevrolet
129.767
29.351
128.426
41
21
1
AXE Cool Metal Chevrolet
129.644
29.379
128.411
42
15
11
FedEx Ground Toyota
129.772
29.350
128.382
47
22
22
Shell Pennzoil Dodge
129.644
29.379
128.374
45
26
42
Degree Men Chevrolet
129.542
29.402
128.319
29
17
43
Best Buy Ford
129.741
29.357
128.315
45
28
14
Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet
129.450
29.423
128.291
56
27
83
Red Bull Toyota
129.454
29.422
128.279
42
24
6
UPS Ford
129.595
29.390
128.252
47
23
47
Bush's Baked Beans Toyota
129.630
29.382
128.249
45
31
7
SPEED Energy Dodge
129.261
29.466
128.181
8
14
20
The Home Depot Toyota
129.878
29.326
128.132
50
29
9
DeWalt Ford
129.353
29.445
128.100
43
34
66
HP Racing Toyota
128.898
29.549
128.080
12
30
17
Affliction Clothing Ford
129.300
29.457
128.052
46
25
00
Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota
129.569
29.396
128.043
35
20
2
Miller Lite Dodge
129.688
29.369
128.030
39
37
55
128.715
29.591
128.017
10
33
36
Golden Corral/HOF Richie Evans Chevrolet
128.898
29.549
127.974
35
32
46
Red Line Oil Ford
129.099
29.503
127.455
13
38
37
128.702
29.594
127.430
9
43
13
GEICO Toyota
128.079
29.738
127.370
13
39
51
PhoenixCnstrctn/ThankATchrToday Chevrolet
128.580
29.622
127.290
51
42
38
Long John Silver's Ford
128.139
29.724
127.135
32
1
30
130.644
29.154
127.132
11
35
34
128.867
29.556
127.016
28
41
32
Street King Ford
128.139
29.724
126.879
36
36
87
AM FM Energy Toyota
128.798
29.572
126.449
20
40
71
Interstate Moving Services Ford
128.467
29.648
126.301
43

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

Rk
Car
Driver
From Lap
To Lap
Avg. Speed
1
48
32
41
129.489
2
39
33
42
129.396
3
18
1
10
129.375
4
4
38
47
129.298
5
88
25
34
129.232
6
5
32
41
129.182
7
33
3
12
129.180
8
43
28
37
129.065
9
16
14
23
129.052
10
29
2
11
129.033
11
27
27
36
129.028
12
22
2
11
128.980
13
24
5
14
128.969
14
11
30
39
128.853
15
1
26
35
128.826
16
9
28
37
128.825
17
47
30
39
128.813
18
14
38
47
128.740
19
31
15
24
128.670
20
99
26
35
128.627
21
2
22
31
128.580
22
20
1
10
128.576
23
00
2
11
128.466
24
17
1
10
128.363
25
36
1
10
128.279
26
6
38
47
128.146
27
78
30
39
128.115
28
51
2
11
128.105
29
42
17
26
128.079
30
13
1
10
127.423
31
71
34
43
127.215
32
34
3
12
127.024

Second Practice Speeds (sorted by Avg. Speed)

Rk indicates Best Lap standing

Rk
Car
Driver
Team
Best Lap
Best Time
Avg. Speed
Laps
23
42
Degree Men Chevrolet
129.441
29.425
129.079
21
14
4
Red Bull Toyota
129.750
29.355
129.037
31
5
24
DuPont Chevrolet
130.006
29.297
128.981
34
4
16
Ford40MPG.com Ford
130.109
29.274
128.968
24
12
5
GoDaddy.com Chevrolet
129.781
29.348
128.938
29
40
32
Street King Ford
128.165
29.718
128.933
25
3
29
Budweiser Chevrolet
130.149
29.265
128.873
33
13
88
Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet
129.754
29.354
128.777
33
7
18
M&M's Toyota
129.962
29.307
128.771
27
22
11
FedEx Ground Toyota
129.472
29.418
128.705
32
30
55
128.719
29.590
128.684
17
15
27
Sylvania/Menards Chevrolet
129.745
29.356
128.656
30
42
38
Long John Silver's Ford
127.885
29.783
128.641
27
29
47
Bush's Baked Beans Toyota
128.828
29.565
128.535
42
17
22
Shell Pennzoil Dodge
129.648
29.378
128.513
46
11
14
Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet
129.900
29.321
128.478
43
18
2
Miller Lite Dodge
129.617
29.385
128.451
37
9
39
Haas Automation Chevrolet
129.918
29.317
128.443
32
41
30
128.010
29.754
128.438
9
19
20
The Home Depot Toyota
129.577
29.394
128.365
31
25
83
Red Bull Toyota
129.384
29.438
128.365
44
20
6
UPS Ford
129.555
29.399
128.321
38
8
78
Furniture Row Chevrolet
129.958
29.308
128.269
36
24
1
AXE Cool Metal Chevrolet
129.388
29.437
128.262
32
37
34
128.255
29.697
128.238
25
26
99
Scotts Winterguard Ford
129.173
29.486
128.091
39
27
46
Red Line Oil Ford
128.989
29.528
127.921
9
28
17
Affliction Clothing Ford
128.976
29.531
127.579
22
32
9
DeWalt Ford
128.602
29.617
127.506
35
38
51
PhoenixCnstrctn/ThankATchrToday Chevrolet
128.178
29.715
127.490
34
35
0
Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota
128.476
29.646
127.384
31
36
87
AM FM Energy Toyota
128.420
29.659
127.328
6
33
7
SPEED Energy Dodge
128.550
29.629
127.319
5
34
13
GEICO Toyota
128.519
29.636
127.183
17
2
31
Caterpillar Chevrolet
130.180
29.258
127.161
38
21
56
NAPA Auto Parts Toyota
129.551
29.400
127.094
24
39
66
HP Racing Toyota
128.169
29.717
126.924
23
1
48
Lowe's Chevrolet
130.198
29.254
126.868
41
31
37
128.719
29.590
126.847
8
16
36
Golden Corral/HOF Richie Evans Chev
129.666
29.374
126.719
27
6
33
Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet
129.975
29.304
126.696
23
10
43
Best Buy Ford
129.905
29.320
125.816
37
43
71
Interstate Moving Services Ford
124.989
30.473
123.933
12

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

Rk
Car
Driver
From Lap
To Lap
Avg. Speed
1
31
2
11
129.576
2
24
12
21
129.088
3
18
14
23
129.006
4
14
2
11
129.002
5
4
1
10
128.988
6
48
2
11
128.975
7
27
18
27
128.816
8
11
1
10
128.717
9
22
35
44
128.691
10
39
1
10
128.662
11
36
1
10
128.617
12
83
3
12
128.458
13
6
2
11
128.448
14
1
1
10
128.309
15
2
2
11
128.257
16
47
2
11
128.112
17
9
26
35
127.988
18
00
2
11
127.523
19
51
3
12
127.200
20
66
1
10
127.086

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

Car
Driver
Team
Average Speed
Total Laps
24
DuPont Chevrolet
128.963
73
88
Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet
128.939
86
5
GoDaddy.com Chevrolet
128.874
80
4
Red Bull Toyota
128.830
87
029
Budweiser Chevrolet
128.754
71
16
Ford40MPG.com Ford
128.736
63
27
Sylvania/Menards Chevrolet
128.683
68
18
M&M's Toyota
128.680
73
42
Degree Men Chevrolet
128.638
50
11
FedEx Ground Toyota
128.513
79
39
Haas Automation Chevrolet
128.451
81
22
Shell Pennzoil Dodge
128.444
91
55
128.437
27
47
Bush's Baked Beans Toyota
128.387
87
14
Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet
128.372
99
78
Furniture Row Chevrolet
128.353
77
1
AXE Cool Metal Chevrolet
128.347
74
83
Red Bull Toyota
128.323
86
99
Scotts Winterguard Ford
128.309
74
6
UPS Ford
128.283
85
2
Miller Lite Dodge
128.235
76
20
The Home Depot Toyota
128.221
81
31
Caterpillar Chevrolet
128.129
89
56
NAPA Auto Parts Toyota
128.090
60
33
Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet
128.082
58
48
Lowe's Chevrolet
127.921
89
17
Affliction Clothing Ford
127.899
68
7
SPEED Energy Dodge
127.849
13
9
DeWalt Ford
127.833
78
38
Long John Silver's Ford
127.824
59
00
Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota
127.733
66
32
Street King Ford
127.721
61
30
127.720
20
46
Red Line Oil Ford
127.646
22
34
127.592
53
36
Golden Corral/HOF Richie Evans Chevrolet
127.427
62
51
PhoenixCnstrctn/ThankATchrToday Chevrolet
127.370
85
66
HP Racing Toyota
127.320
35
13
GEICO Toyota
127.264
30
43
Best Buy Ford
127.187
82
37
127.156
17
87
AM FM Energy Toyota
126.652
26
71
Interstate Moving Services Ford
125.784
55
Facebook Twitter Google +

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.

Don't miss these great reports....


What do you think? Sound off!



Recent KFFL releases