Although only two drivers have won the Brickyard 400 from the pole, a strong qualifying
run is still an important first step in reaching Victory Lane. Only three of the
18 Cup races at Indianapolis have been won by a driver starting outside the top
20, and half of the races have been won from a top-five starting spot. The 2.5-mile
track is a notoriously difficult place to pass at, and having good track position
from the drop of the green is a huge plus.
With that in mind, fantasy owners have to strongly consider loading up on the
Joe Gibbs Racing drivers this weekend.
JGR driver Denny
Hamlin grabbed the pole for the race in dominating fashion, while his teammates
Joey Logano and Kyle Busch qualified
third and seventh. All three drivers have had their moments at Indianapolis,
and while Busch has been the most-consistent of the group, Hamlin may have the
best chance of winning Sunday. Twelve of his 19 career wins have come at flat
tracks, and he will try to add Indy to that list this weekend.
The other organization to keep an eye on is Roush
Fenway Racing. Carl Edwards
and his new crew chief led the way, qualifying on the outside of the front row.
His teammate Greg Biffle joined
him in the top five, and Matt Kenseth
rounded out the top 10. Edwards and Kenseth have both finished as high as second
at Indianapolis, and Biffle is the only driver to finish in the top 10 in all
four races at the track with the Car of Tomorrow. Throw in the fact that Biffle
and Kenseth have spent most of the year leading the points, and an RFR
driver could end the stranglehold that Chevrolet has had on Victory Lane at
Other drivers starting in the top 10 worth considering are Hendrick
Motorsports teammates Jeff Gordon
and Jimmie Johnson, along with
defending race winner Paul Menard. Gordon leads all drivers with four wins and
10 top-five finishes at Indianapolis, and Johnson ranks second all-time with
three wins. Even though Menard won last year's race with fuel strategy, he can't
be ruled out. He finished in the top 15 in 2010 prior to winning last year,
and he rolls off eighth Sunday.
Fantasy owners looking for some sleeper options this weekend might want to
turn to the Earnhardt-Ganassi
Racing duo of Juan Pablo
Montoya and Jamie McMurray.
Sure, the two have been disappointing most of the year, but both qualified 16th
or better for Sunday's race and have a history of success. In addition to his
win in 2010, McMurray has five top-10s in nine starts at the track, including
three finishes of sixth or better in his last four starts. Meanwhile, Montoya
has finished as high as second at Indy and has led more than 200 laps in the
last three races combined.
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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