After winning the pole for Sunday's Cup Series race at Martinsville, Kasey Kahne will lead the field to the green for the second time in 2012. However, starting up front hasn't been the issue for Kahne during his miserable debut season with Hendrick Motorsports. In fact, he has qualified in the top 10 in his last five races, but sits 28th in points and has yet to register a top-10 finish. History says Kahne should have a big advantage starting at the front, but until he can deliver decent results on race day, there is no reason for fantasy owners to give him a roster spot.
Besides, the second and third-place qualifiers for Sunday's race are the real fantasy gems. Kevin Harvick will join Kahne on the front row, continuing his strong of unusually strong qualifying efforts. More importantly, Harvick is the defending winner of this weekend's race, and he has three straight finishes of fourth or better at Martinsville. Meanwhile, Denny Hamlin will roll of third looking to add to his four career victories at the track. Hamlin has won three of the last five races at Martinsville, and he has a 6.5 average finish for his career.
Owners browsing the top 10 qualifiers for potential sleeper options can take their pick of Brian Vickers or Joey Logano. Vickers qualified sixth in his second start with Michael Waltrip Racing, and after his top-five effort at Bristol a couple of weeks ago, a top-10 run Sunday definitely seems possible. Logano will start 10th, and with a 13.8 average finish at Martinsville and four top-15 finishes in his last five starts at the track, he looks like a safe bet to deliver a solid finish Sunday.
Not surprisingly, the Roush Fenway Racing drivers struggled in qualifying. The organization has never been great at Martinsville, and Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards will all start outside the top 20. Fantasy owners are better served saving all three RFR drivers for a different week.
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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