Fantasy NASCAR rankings: Kobalt Tools 400

by Brian Polking on March 10, 2012 @ 16:16:45 PDT

 


Tony Stewart

After opening his Hendrick Motorsports career with back-to-back wrecks, Kasey Kahne enters Sunday's race at Las Vegas in an early hole. He took the first step to digging his way out by grabbing the pole for the Kobalt Tools 400 in record fashion. For Kahne, starting up front at a 1.5-mile track like Vegas is a good sign. Six of his 12 career Cup wins have come at 1.5-mile tracks, and five of his wins have come from the pole.

Of course, Kahne will have plenty of tough competition starting near the front. Although he will have to drop to the rear of the field after a wreck in practice, Nevada native and former Vegas winner Kyle Busch qualified on the front row and is still a threat to charge to the front. Fresh off a near win at Phoenix, Kevin Harvick will start third. Dropping back a bit further, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart qualified sixth and seventh. Johnson will be in a backup car, as well, but he also leads all drivers with four wins at Vegas and a 10.6 average finish. Stewart has finished seventh and second in his last two starts at the track, and he led the most laps at Vegas last year. Not to mention the fact that Stewart has won three of the last five Cup races at 1.5-mile tracks.

Fantasy owners looking to ride the hot hand in Vegas should consider Greg Biffle and Joey Logano. Both drivers qualified in the top 10, and both have posted top-10 finishes in the first two races of 2012. Other potential sleepers include Mark Martin and Marcos Ambrose, who will both start in the top 15. Martin has opened the year with back-to-back top-10 finishes, and Ambrose finished fourth at Vegas one year ago.

Surprisingly, the big name to avoid could be Carl Edwards. The defending winner of this weekend's race qualified outside the top 20. More importantly, he had a rather lackluster performance at Phoenix last weekend. It's early, but the preseason favorite to win the title may have a little work to do.

Rk
Driver
Car No.
Make Sponsor Team
Starting Pos
1
Kevin Harvick
29
Chevrolet Budweiser Richard Childress Racing
3
2
Tony Stewart
14
Chevrolet Office Depot Stewart-Haas Racing
7
3
Matt Kenseth
17
Ford Best Buy Roush Fenway Racing
11
4
Carl Edwards
99
Ford Subway Roush Fenway Racing
21
5
Greg Biffle
16
Ford 3M Roush Fenway Racing
9
6
Kyle Busch
18
Toyota M&M's Joe Gibbs Racing
2
7
Jimmie Johnson
48
Chevrolet Lowe's Home Improvement Hendrick Motorsports
6
8
Denny Hamlin
11
Toyota FedEx Joe Gibbs Racing
17
9
Jeff Gordon
24
Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger Hendrick Motorsports
16
10
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
88
Chevrolet Mountain Dew AMP Energy Hendrick Motorsports
4
11
Kasey Kahne
5
Chevrolet Farmers Insurance Hendrick Motorsports
1
12
Marcos Ambrose
9
Ford Stanley Black & Decker Richard Petty Motorsports
15
13
Brad Keselowski
2
Dodge Miller Lite Penske Championship Racing
20
14
Joey Logano
20
Toyota Home Depot Joe Gibbs Racing
8
15
Mark Martin
55
Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine Michael Waltrip Racing
13
16
Clint Bowyer
15
Toyota 5 Hour Energy Michael Waltrip Racing
5
17
Martin Truex Jr.
56
Toyota NAPA Auto Parts Michael Waltrip Racing
10
18
Jeff Burton
31
Chevrolet Caterpillar Richard Childress Racing
22
19
Kurt Busch
51
Chevrolet Tag Heuer Phoenix Racing
12
20
Ryan Newman
39
Chevrolet U.S. Army Stewart-Haas Racing
18
21
Aric Almirola
43
Ford Smithfield Helping Hungry Homes Richard Petty Motorsports
27
22
Paul Menard
27
Chevrolet Menard's Richard Childress Racing
26
23
A.J. Allmendinger
22
Dodge Shell/Pennzoil Penske Championship Racing
14
24
Regan Smith
78
Chevrolet Furniture Row Furniture Row Racing
28
25
Trevor Bayne
21
Ford Motorcraft Wood Brothers Racing
25
26
Jamie McMurray
1
Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing
19
27
Juan Pablo Montoya
42
Chevrolet Clorox Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing
29
28
David Reutimann
10
Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing Tommy Baldwin Racing
31
29
Bobby Labonte
47
Toyota Kingsford JTG Daugherty Racing
24
30
David Ragan
34
Ford Scorpion Truck Bed Liners Front Row Motorsports
35
31
Casey Mears
13
Ford GEICO Germain Racing
32
32
Brendan Gaughan
33
Chevrolet South Point Casino Richard Childress Racing
23
33
Dave Blaney
36
Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing Tommy Baldwin Racing
38
34
David Gilliland
38
Ford MHP Front Row Motorsports
34
35
Landon Cassill
83
Toyota Burger King BK Racing
30
36
Ken Schrader
32
Ford Federated Auto Parts FAS Lane Racing
41
37
Timmy Hill
37
Ford Poynt.com Max Q Motorsports
42
38
Travis Kvapil
93
Toyota Burger King BK Racing
37
39
J.J. Yeley
49
Toyota American Israel Racing American Israel Racing
36
40
Josh Wise
26
Ford MDS Trucking Front Row Motorsports
33
41
Michael McDowell
98
Ford TBA Phil Parsons Racing
39
42
David Stremme
30
Toyota TBA Inception Motorsports
43
43
Joe Nemechek
87
Toyota AM-FM Energy NEMCO Motorsports
40
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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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