Fantasy NASCAR practice recap: STP 400

by Brian Polking on April 21, 2012 @ 11:00:37 PDT

 


It has been an uncharacteristically slow start to the season for Kyle Busch, and on paper, a trip to a Kansas track where he has just one top-10 finish and no top-five finishes doesn't seem like a light at the end of the tunnel. However, Busch got his weekend off to a strong start, topping the charts in the opening practice and giving hope to fantasy owners that he can finally get his season headed in the right direction.

Carl Edwards

Carl Edwards isn't exactly having a bad year, but as a preseason title favorite, he isn't quite living up to expectations. He can change that this weekend with a win, and after posting the second-fastest lap in the first practice at Kansas, he could be on his way to a statement victory. Edwards has five straight top-10 finishes at the track, including three straight finishes of sixth or better.

Hendrick Motorsports teammates Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr. both cracked the top five in the session, along with Landon Cassill. Junior finished a career-best second at Kansas last June, and Kahne did the same in the fall event. After the strong showing from HMS at last weekend's 1.5-mile track in Texas, Junior and Kahne could be headed for top-10 finishes once again at Kansas. Meanwhile, Cassill could make a decent sleeper option. He finished a career-best 17th at Kansas last fall.

Busch also led the way in terms of 10-lap average speeds in the first session, and although only nine drivers ran at least 10 consecutive laps, fantasy owners should pay close attention to the top three. Busch was joined by Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon, and both drivers have been stout at Kansas. Stewart and Gordon are both two-time winners at the track, and while Stewart has made the 1.5-mile tracks his personal playground of late, Gordon has five top-five finishes in his last six starts at Kansas.

In Happy Hour, Jimmie Johnson picked up where his teammates left off, posting the fastest lap. Johnson is the defending winner of the fall event at Kansas and has two wins at the track overall. He also had six straight top-10 finishes at Kansas and has finished second at both 1.5-mile tracks this season. Fantasy owners should expect another elite performance this weekend.

Michael Waltrip Racing teammates Mark Martin and Martin Truex Jr. ranked second and third on the charts in the final session. Both drivers finished in the top six last weekend at Texas, and both have been strong all year. Martin is a former winner at Kansas and has a much better record than Truex, and as a result, he is a safer fantasy play. That being said, Truex is having such a strong start to the year that he can't be ruled out.

Point leader Greg Biffle and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five, and Biffle is definitely the driver owners want to target out of the two. He leads all drivers with an 8.3 average finish at Kansas and has finished 12th or better in 10 straight starts at the track. Biffle also has six finishes of third or better at the track, including two wins. Coming off a win last weekend at Texas, he is basically a must play this weekend.

In terms of 10-lap average speeds, a lot of familiar names appeared atop the charts. Kahne led the way, and Martin, Edwards and Johnson also cracked the top five. Matt Kenseth also cracked the top five, and he is a driver fantasy owners should pay attention to. He has finished seventh or better in three straight starts at Kansas and has been a strong option at 1.5-mile tracks throughout his career.

One big name that owners might want to avoid is Clint Bowyer. The Kansas native didn't crack the top 10 in any of the practice sessions Friday, and he has just one top-10 finish in his last five starts at the track. Bowyer is a Kansas native, and he always seems to put a little too much pressure on himself at his home track. It has definitely had a negative impact on the normally consistent Bowyer, and owners should probably steer clear of him this weekend.

Happy Hour Speeds (sorted by Best Lap)

Rk
Car
Driver
Make
Sponsor
Best Lap
Best Time
Laps
1
48
Chevrolet
Little Joes Autos
30.865
174.955
55
2
55
Toyota
Aaron's Dream Machine
30.978
174.317
46
3
56
Toyota
NAPA Auto Parts
31.070
173.801
46
4
16
Ford
3M Novec 1230
31.158
173.310
36
5
11
Toyota
FedEx Ground
31.234
172.889
40
6
2
Dodge
Miller Lite
31.241
172.850
46
7
12
Dodge
SKF
31.268
172.701
21
8
22
Dodge
AAA
31.281
172.629
45
9
17
Ford
Ford EcoBoost
31.340
172.304
37
10
29
Chevrolet
Rheem
31.349
172.254
43
11
15
Toyota
5-hour Energy
31.381
172.079
28
12
99
Ford
Aflac
31.398
171.985
35
13
14
Chevrolet
Office Depot/Mobil 1
31.409
171.925
43
14
31
Chevrolet
McDonald's
31.472
171.581
54
15
10
Chevrolet
Accell Construction
31.476
171.559
28
16
27
Chevrolet
Zecol/Menards
31.496
171.450
48
17
1
Chevrolet
JPO Absorbents
31.534
171.244
47
18
88
Chevrolet
Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard
31.539
171.217
30
19
9
Ford
Dewalt
31.553
171.141
31
20
43
Ford
STP
31.593
170.924
34
21
47
Toyota
Reese Towpower/Highland
31.608
170.843
12
22
98
Ford
Curb Records
31.627
170.740
5
23
51
Chevrolet
Phoenix Construction Services
31.629
170.729
54
24
5
Chevrolet
Farmers Insurance
31.630
170.724
35
25
39
Chevrolet
Haas Automation
31.655
170.589
78
26
30
Toyota
31.666
170.530
8
27
42
Chevrolet
Target
31.684
170.433
34
28
20
Toyota
The Home Depot
31.756
170.047
58
29
13
Ford
GEICO
31.780
169.918
23
30
26
Ford
Morristown Driver's Service
31.817
169.721
10
31
34
Ford
Barrett-Jackson
31.831
169.646
30
32
18
Toyota
M&M's
31.846
169.566
77
33
19
Toyota
31.857
169.507
8
34
78
Chevrolet
Furniture Row/Farm American
31.860
169.492
60
35
49
Toyota
Lowe's "Chevrolet Mountain Green"
31.863
169.476
4
36
83
Toyota
BK Strawberry Banana Smoothie/Dr Pepper
31.944
169.046
52
37
24
Chevrolet
Caterpillar
31.950
169.014
54
38
87
Toyota
AMFMEnergy.com/Pellet & Wood Stoves
31.972
168.898
10
39
93
Toyota
BK Tropical Mango Smoothie/Dr Pepper
32.032
168.581
44
40
23
Chevrolet
North Texas Pipe
32.050
168.487
14
41
74
Chevrolet
32.082
168.319
9
42
79
Ford
BBI Waste Industries/Bestway Disposal
32.087
168.292
16
43
32
Ford
32.104
168.203
21
44
38
Ford
32.179
167.811
34
45
33
Chevrolet
Drive to End Hunger
32.260
167.390
11
46
36
Chevrolet
32.369
166.826
34

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

Rk
Car
Driver
From Lap
To Lap
Avg. Speed
1
5
1
10
168.565
2
55
32
41
168.272
3
99
1
10
168.240
4
17
1
10
168.165
5
48
39
48
167.916
6
56
21
30
167.644
7
29
32
41
167.643
8
18
58
67
167.585
9
27
1
10
167.573
10
20
37
46
167.377
11
24
1
10
167.362
12
88
9
18
167.260
13
39
68
77
167.182
14
2
5
14
167.121
15
22
29
38
167.042
16
31
39
48
166.872
17
1
29
38
166.819
18
78
26
35
166.591
19
83
42
51
166.477
20
15
15
24
166.290
21
38
1
10
166.011
22
43
17
26
165.960
23
51
45
54
165.814
24
93
30
39
165.294

First Practice Speeds (sorted by Best Lap)

Rk
Car
Driver
Make
Sponsor
Best Lap
Best Time
Laps
1
18
Toyota
M&M's
173.728
31.083
29
2
99
Ford
Aflac
172.900
31.232
38
3
5
Chevrolet
Farmers Insurance
172.546
31.296
26
4
83
Toyota
BK Strawberry Banana Smoothie/Dr Pepper
172.469
31.310
8
5
88
Chevrolet
Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard
172.276
31.345
42
6
39
Chevrolet
Haas Automation
172.271
31.346
29
7
14
Chevrolet
Office Depot/Mobil 1
172.249
31.350
41
8
22
Dodge
AAA
172.062
31.384
39
9
93
Toyota
BK Tropical Mango Smoothie/Dr Pepper
171.646
31.460
8
10
24
Chevrolet
Drive to End Hunger
171.439
31.498
14
11
27
Chevrolet
Zecol/Menards
171.309
31.522
36
12
1
Chevrolet
McDonald's
171.135
31.554
40
13
17
Ford
Ford EcoBoost
171.016
31.576
34
14
42
Chevrolet
Target
170.978
31.583
35
15
29
Chevrolet
Rheem
170.724
31.630
35
16
9
Ford
Dewalt
170.605
31.652
29
17
87
Toyota
AMFMEnergy.com/Pellet & Wood Stoves
170.406
31.689
7
18
78
Chevrolet
Furniture Row/Farm American
170.401
31.690
33
19
55
Toyota
Aaron's Dream Machine
170.299
31.709
25
20
38
Ford
170.223
31.723
21
21
2
Dodge
Miller Lite
170.068
31.752
35
22
23
Chevrolet
North Texas Pipe
169.982
31.768
8
23
36
Chevrolet
169.918
31.780
7
24
43
Ford
STP
169.875
31.788
28
25
15
Toyota
5-hour Energy
169.843
31.794
35
26
56
Toyota
NAPA Auto Parts
169.763
31.809
44
27
31
Chevrolet
Caterpillar
169.715
31.818
43
28
51
Chevrolet
Phoenix Construction Services
169.667
31.827
16
29
48
Chevrolet
Lowe's "Chevrolet Mountain Green"
169.625
31.835
33
30
16
Ford
3M Novec 1230
169.359
31.885
37
31
47
Toyota
Reese Towpower/Highland
169.221
31.911
24
32
11
Toyota
FedEx Ground
169.194
31.916
39
33
30
Toyota
169.141
31.926
5
34
13
Ford
GEICO
168.977
31.957
34
35
26
Ford
Morristown Driver's Service
168.951
31.962
8
36
19
Toyota
168.882
31.975
7
37
49
Toyota
JPO Absorbents
168.845
31.982
7
38
37
Chevrolet
39
12
Dodge
SKF
168.745
32.001
7
40
10
Chevrolet
Accell Construction
168.471
32.053
14
41
34
Ford
Barrett-Jackson
167.858
32.170
34
42
79
Ford
BBI Waste Industries/Bestway Disposal
167.749
32.191
20
43
32
Ford
167.603
32.219
11
44
33
Chevrolet
Little Joes Autos
167.593
32.221
33
45
98
Ford
Curb Records
167.348
32.268
7
46
20
Toyota
The Home Depot
-
-
-

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

Rk
Car
Driver
From Lap
To Lap
Avg. Speed
1
18
1
10
169.301
2
14
1
10
169.156
3
24
5
14
167.381
4
1
18
27
166.579
5
22
26
35
166.330
6
15
16
25
166.296
7
98
15
24
165.146
8
2
22
31
164.943
9
31
19
28
164.134
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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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