Fantasy NASCAR rankings: Lenox Industrial Tools 301

by Brian Polking on July 14, 2012 @ 12:48:06 PDT

 


Tony Stewart
For fantasy owners, the starting lineup for Sunday's Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway can be considered a gift from the racing gods. The entire top 10 is loaded with drivers that have had plenty of success at the 1.0-mile oval, giving fantasy owners plenty of strong options to choose from. The only hard part will be deciding which drivers to start and which ones to leave off their rosters, but that isn't a terrible problem to have.

Kyle Busch got things started by grabbing his first pole of the year, and Kasey Kahne joined him on the front row. Busch is a former winner at Loudon, and he has finished 11th or better in five of his last six starts at the track. Kahne has finished in the top 15 in his last three starts at NHMS, including a sixth-place run last July. Kahne will also be making his first start at New Hampshire for a Hendrick Motorsports organization that has always run well at the track.

The options just get better from there. Former NHMS winner Denny Hamlin qualified third and has finished third or better in three of his last five starts at the track. Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top five, and while Truex has five top-10s in his last 10 New Hampshire starts, Bowyer is a two-time winner at the track. Bowyer was also leading on the final lap last fall before running out of fuel and handing the win to Tony Stewart.

Speaking of the defending champ, Stewart is one of the strong options starting in the back half of the top 10. "Smoke" is a three-time winner at New Hampshire, and he finished second and first in the two races at the track last season. Stewart's teammate and defending race winner Ryan Newman will start sixth Sunday, and like his boss, Newman is a three-time winner, as well. Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. made sure all four HMS drivers will be starting up front. Gordon and Johnson have the two-best average finishes at New Hampshire in the past 10 races, while Junior has the seventh-best average finish during the same stretch.

While owners should be thankful for all the talent starting up front, let's not forget about a sleeper option. After qualifying in the top 15, Brian Vickers looks like the best pick this weekend. He will be making his fourth start of the year for Michael Waltrip Racing in Sunday's race, and he has finished in the top five in two of his three previous starts. Vickers also finished fifth in the fall race at the track last year.

Rk
Driver
Car No.
Make Sponsor Team
Starting Pos
1
Jimmie Johnson
48
Chevrolet Lowe's Home Improvement Hendrick Motorsports
7
2
Jeff Gordon
24
Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger Hendrick Motorsports
8
3
Denny Hamlin
11
Toyota FedEx Joe Gibbs Racing
3
4
Clint Bowyer
15
Toyota 5 Hour Energy Michael Waltrip Racing
5
5
Tony Stewart
14
Chevrolet Office Depot Stewart-Haas Racing
10
5
Kyle Busch
18
Toyota M&M's Joe Gibbs Racing
1
7
Kasey Kahne
5
Chevrolet Farmers Insurance Hendrick Motorsports
2
8
Ryan Newman
39
Chevrolet U.S. Army Stewart-Haas Racing
6
9
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
88
Chevrolet Mountain Dew AMP Energy Hendrick Motorsports
9
10
Kevin Harvick
29
Chevrolet Budweiser Richard Childress Racing
12
11
Martin Truex Jr.
56
Toyota NAPA Auto Parts Michael Waltrip Racing
4
12
Brad Keselowski
2
Dodge Miller Lite Penske Championship Racing
22
13
Greg Biffle
16
Ford 3M Roush Fenway Racing
11
14
Matt Kenseth
17
Ford Best Buy Roush Fenway Racing
27
15
Carl Edwards
99
Ford Subway Roush Fenway Racing
21
16
Joey Logano
20
Toyota Home Depot Joe Gibbs Racing
16
17
Brian Vickers
55
Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine Michael Waltrip Racing
15
18
Jeff Burton
31
Chevrolet Caterpillar Richard Childress Racing
25
19
Kurt Busch
51
Chevrolet Tag Heuer Phoenix Racing
14
20
Marcos Ambrose
9
Ford Stanley Black & Decker Richard Petty Motorsports
20
21
Paul Menard
27
Chevrolet Menard's Richard Childress Racing
13
22
Jamie McMurray
1
Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing
28
23
Sam Hornish Jr.
22
Dodge Shell/Pennzoil Penske Championship Racing
24
24
Regan Smith
78
Chevrolet Furniture Row Furniture Row Racing
17
25
Juan Pablo Montoya
42
Chevrolet Clorox Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing
31
26
Aric Almirola
43
Ford Medallion Financial Richard Petty Motorsports
23
27
Bobby Labonte
47
Toyota Kingsford JTG Daugherty Racing
18
28
David Ragan
34
Ford 8-Hour Alert Front Row Motorsports
19
29
David Reutimann
10
Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing Tommy Baldwin Racing
26
30
Casey Mears
13
Ford GEICO Germain Racing
33
31
David Gilliland
38
Ford MHP Front Row Motorsports
39
32
J.J. Yeley
49
Toyota Jay Robinson Inc. America Israel Racing
38
33
Landon Cassill
83
Toyota Burger King BK Racing
29
34
Dave Blaney
36
Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing Tommy Baldwin Racing
35
35
Travis Kvapil
93
Toyota Burger King BK Racing
30
36
Ken Schrader
32
Ford C&J Energy FAS Lane Racing
37
37
David Stremme
30
Toyota Inception Motorsports Inception Motorsports
40
38
Kelly Bires
79
Ford Team Kyle Go Green Racing
42
39
Scott Riggs
23
Chevrolet North Texas Pipe R3 Motorsports
41
40
Stephen Leicht
33
Chevrolet American Ethanol Richard Childress Racing
43
41
Josh Wise
26
Ford MDS Transport Front Row Motorsports
32
42
Joe Nemechek
87
Toyota AM FM Energy Wood Stoves NEMCO Motorsports
34
43
Michael McDowell
98
Ford Curb Records Phil Parsons Racing
36

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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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