Fantasy NASCAR practice recap: Lenox Industrial Tools 301

by Brian Polking on July 14, 2012 @ 13:10:45 PDT

 


Denny Hamlin has been makings headlines in recent weeks, but most of the talk has been about his bothersome back. After posting the fastest lap in the opening practice session Saturday at New Hampshire, it looks like Hamlin has a chance to get people talking about his performance on the track for a change. A win Sunday would certainly push his injury to the backburner for at least a few days, and Hamlin just might have what it takes to get to Victory Lane. He is a former winner at New Hampshire, and he has finished outside the top 15 only once at the track. He has also finished third or better in three of his last five starts. Bad back or not, Hamlin needs to be in fantasy lineups this weekend.

Jeff Gordon

Another driver owners need to strongly consider is Jeff Gordon. He ranked second to Hamlin in the opening session, and no driver has been more consistent at New Hampshire in recent years. Gordon's 7.1 average finish in the last 10 races at the track is the best in the series. He has finished in the top 15 in every start during the stretch, and Gordon has collected six finishes of sixth or better, including three second-place runs.

Martin Truex Jr., Aric Almirola and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top five, and Bowyer is the top option for fantasy owners to target. He is a two-time winner at New Hampshire, and he was on his way to a third win at the track last fall before running out of fuel while leading on the final lap. Truex could make a solid addition to fantasy rosters, as well. He has finished in the top 10 in five of his last 10 starts at the track, posting a respectable 14.1 average finish during the stretch. Almirola, on the other hand, is a bit of a gamble. He hasn' t made a start at New Hampshire in two years, and he has failed to crack the top 15 in his three career starts at the track.

Hamlin and Gordon were also cracked the top five in terms of 10-lap average speeds, with Hamlin leading the way. Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch ranked second and third, and Matt Kenseth rounded things out. Kahne and Busch, in particular, both deserve a look from owners this weekend. Kahne finished sixth at New Hampshire last July and should have a shot at a career-best run at the track now that he is driving for Hendrick Motorsports. Meanwhile, Busch is a former winner at NHMS and has finished 11th or better in five of his last six starts at the track. Kenseth, on the other hand, could disappoint. He has failed to crack the top 15 in seven of his last eight starts at New Hampshire, and he has gone 12 races without a top-five finish at the track.

In Happy Hour, Hamlin remained on top, posting the fastest lap yet again. His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate ranked second on the charts, setting up what could be a big day for the organization. Joey Logano also cracked the top 10 in the final session, and like his two more famous teammates, he is a former winner at New Hampshire, as well.

Brad Keselowski, Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top five, and while Bowyer and Johnson have excellent track records at New Hampshire, Keselowski is a bit more of a risk. After three mediocre finishes at the track, Keselowski exploded for a second-place run last fall. It remains to be seen if his performance last September was a fluke, but given his fast times in practice, he definitely has some potential. That being said, Johnson and Bowyer both have multiple wins at New Hampshire and are the safer options for fantasy owners.

Hamlin completed a clean sweep of the Saturday practices, posting the best 10-lap average speed in the final session. Keselowski, Johnson and Bowyer again joined him in the top five, and Kahne was the lone newcomer to the group. As with the first practice of the afternoon, many of the drivers that have traditionally performed well at New Hampshire rose to the top of the charts.

Fantasy owners looking for some sleeper options should consider Brian Vickers or Jeff Burton. Vickers cracked the top 10 in terms of fastest lap and 10-lap average speed in both practice sessions Saturday. He also finished fifth at New Hampshire last fall and has two top-fives in three starts with Michael Waltrip Racing this year. Meanwhile, Burton ranked 10th and 12th in the two practice sessions, and he has finished 16th or better in his last five starts at NHMS and has finished worse than 16th only twice in his last 16 starts at the track. Vickers has the more upside of the two, but Burton should be good for a top-15 for those owners looking to play it a bit more conservative.

Happy Hour Speeds (sorted by Best Lap)

Rk
Car
Driver
Make
Sponsor
Best Lap
Best Time
Laps
1
11
Toyota
FedEx Office
131.383
28.990
39
2
18
Toyota
Interstate Batteries
131.243
29.021
34
3
2
Dodge
Miller Lite
130.936
29.089
51
4
15
Toyota
5-hour Energy
130.837
29.111
54
5
48
Chevrolet
Lowe's
130.743
29.132
32
6
55
Toyota
MyClassicGarage.com/Aaron's
130.698
29.142
51
7
56
Toyota
NAPA Batteries
130.693
29.143
44
8
5
Chevrolet
HendrickCars.com
130.653
29.152
40
9
20
Toyota
Dollar General
130.479
29.191
40
10
99
Ford
Fastenal/Lenox
130.479
29.191
34
11
29
Chevrolet
Budweiser Folds of Honor
130.456
29.196
41
12
31
Chevrolet
Wheaties
130.421
29.204
41
13
24
Chevrolet
Pepsi Max
130.421
29.204
45
14
16
Ford
3M
130.380
29.213
31
15
39
Chevrolet
Aspen Dental
130.371
29.215
41
16
22
Dodge
Shell/Pennzoil-AAA
130.331
29.224
40
17
43
Ford
U.S. Air Force
130.318
29.227
39
18
17
Ford
NESN
130.305
29.230
55
19
14
Chevrolet
Mobil 1
130.242
29.244
51
20
9
Ford
DEWALT
130.233
29.246
44
21
88
Chevrolet
National Guard 'An American Salute'/Diet Mountain Dew
130.193
29.255
47
22
27
Chevrolet
Quaker State/Menards
130.122
29.271
41
23
78
Chevrolet
Furniture Row/Farm American
130.095
29.277
38
24
51
Chevrolet
Phoenix Construction Services
130.073
29.282
43
25
42
Chevrolet
Target
129.984
29.302
41
26
1
Chevrolet
Bass Pro Shops/NRA Museum
129.829
29.337
36
27
34
Ford
MHP/8 Hour Alert
129.776
29.349
40
28
93
Toyota
Burger King/Dr Pepper
129.763
29.352
45
29
47
Toyota
Kingsford
129.727
29.360
31
30
83
Toyota
Burger King/Dr Pepper
129.340
29.448
36
31
13
Ford
GEICO
129.064
29.511
17
32
10
Chevrolet
CarportEmpire.com/TMone.com Call Centers in America
129.003
29.525
27
33
79
Ford
Team Kyle/Bestway Disposal
128.937
29.540
7
34
38
Ford
Glory Foods
128.745
29.584
30
35
36
Chevrolet
Golden Corral
128.715
29.591
8
36
87
Toyota
AM/FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves
128.684
29.598
8
37
26
Ford
MDS Transport
128.667
29.602
18
38
30
Toyota
Stock Car Steel and Aluminum
128.519
29.636
13
39
98
Ford
128.498
29.641
16
40
23
Chevrolet
North Texas Pipe
128.342
29.677
30
41
33
Chevrolet
Little Joes Autos.com
128.251
29.698
33
42
32
Ford
Federated Auto Parts
128.160
29.719
31
43
49
Toyota
-
-
-

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

Rk
Car
Driver
From Lap
To Lap
Avg. Speed
1
11
26
35
130.290
2
2
2
11
130.142
3
5
7
16
130.082
4
48
2
11
130.070
5
15
2
11
130.042
6
18
2
1
129.914
7
55
2
11
129.725
8
39
2
11
129.623
9
17
39
48
129.442
10
29
23
32
129.426
11
20
29
38
129.366
12
31
5
14
129.300
13
56
15
24
129.273
14
78
1
10
129.142
15
14
37
46
129.076
16
27
26
35
129.073
17
51
28
37
128.978
18
1
25
34
128.863
19
34
1
10
128.716
20
42
3
12
128.636
21
93
1
10
128.526
22
83
24
33
127.965
23
98
1
10
127.379
24
23
1
10
127.078

Second Practice Speeds (sorted by Best Lap)

Rk
Car
Driver
Make
Sponsor
Best Lap
Best Time
Laps
1
11
Toyota
FedEx Office
131.479
28.969
32
2
24
Chevrolet
Pepsi Max
131.370
28.993
36
3
56
Toyota
NAPA Batteries
131.193
29.032
31
4
43
Ford
U.S. Air Force
131.094
29.054
24
5
15
Toyota
5-hour Energy
131.004
29.074
34
6
5
Chevrolet
HendrickCars.com
130.927
29.091
38
7
48
Chevrolet
Lowe's
130.909
29.095
26
8
18
Toyota
Interstate Batteries
130.909
29.095
32
9
55
Toyota
MyClassicGarage.com/Aaron's
130.878
29.102
39
10
31
Chevrolet
Wheaties
130.756
29.129
23
11
27
Chevrolet
Quaker State/Menards
130.662
29.150
35
12
2
Dodge
Miller Lite
130.644
29.154
48
13
42
Chevrolet
Target
130.640
29.155
22
14
39
Chevrolet
Aspen Dental
130.608
29.162
49
15
29
Chevrolet
Budweiser Folds of Honor
130.581
29.168
28
16
98
Ford
130.528
29.180
7
17
88
Chevrolet
National Guard 'An American Salute'/Diet Mountain Dew
130.514
29.183
35
18
16
Ford
3M
130.483
29.190
22
19
17
Ford
NESN
130.447
29.198
36
20
14
Chevrolet
Mobil 1
130.447
29.198
30
21
20
Toyota
Dollar General
130.389
29.211
35
22
1
Chevrolet
Bass Pro Shops/NRA Museum
130.340
29.222
28
23
23
Chevrolet
North Texas Pipe
130.336
29.223
10
24
9
Ford
DEWALT
130.144
29.266
31
25
34
Ford
MHP/8 Hour Alert
129.953
29.309
26
26
47
Toyota
Kingsford
129.896
29.322
36
27
99
Ford
Fastenal/Lenox
129.865
29.329
18
28
78
Chevrolet
Furniture Row/Farm American
129.829
29.337
27
29
51
Chevrolet
Phoenix Construction Services
129.811
29.341
19
30
22
Dodge
Shell/Pennzoil-AAA
129.701
29.366
30
31
93
Toyota
Burger King/Dr Pepper
129.595
29.390
33
32
30
Toyota
Stock Car Steel and Aluminum
129.393
29.436
7
33
36
Chevrolet
Golden Corral
129.283
29.461
9
34
10
Chevrolet
CarportEmpire.com/TMone.com Call Centers in America
129.138
29.494
18
35
13
Ford
GEICO
129.134
29.495
21
36
38
Ford
Glory Foods
128.998
29.526
18
37
26
Ford
MDS Transport
128.906
29.547
14
38
49
Toyota
128.598
29.618
4
39
83
Toyota
Burger King/Dr Pepper
128.350
29.675
23
40
87
Toyota
AM/FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves
128.057
29.743
9
41
32
Ford
Federated Auto Parts
127.684
29.830
30
42
33
Chevrolet
Little Joes Autos.com
127.321
29.915
17
43
79
Ford
Team Kyle/Bestway Disposal
-
-
-

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

Rk
Car
Driver
From Lap
To Lap
Avg. Speed
1
11
23
32
130.172
2
5
1
10
130.108
3
18
2
11
130.072
4
24
25
34
129.974
5
17
3
12
129.889
6
29
18
27
129.801
7
39
23
32
129.620
8
55
1
10
129.601
9
88
2
11
129.591
10
2
4
13
129.591
11
27
21
30
129.233
12
14
1
10
129.112
13
47
21
30
128.956
14
20
2
11
128.815
15
22
19
28
195.944

 

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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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