Fantasy NASCAR rankings: Finger Lakes 355 at the Glen

by Brian Polking on August 11, 2012 @ 12:33:35 PDT

 


Marcos Ambrose
After rain messed played havoc with the schedule at Watkins Glen International Friday, NASCAR squeezed in an extra practice session Saturday morning before qualifying. Former track winner Kyle Busch paced a session that didn't have too many surprises. Juan Pablo Montoya and Marcos Ambrose cracked the top five, as well, and the two drivers have combined to win the last two races at The Glen. Carl Edwards and Martin Truex Jr. also posted top-five laps, and while Edwards has six straight finishes of 12th or better at the road course, Truex has finished sixth or better in three of his last four starts. Four-time Watkins Glen winner Jeff Gordon had the sixth-fastest lap, and five-time winner Tony Stewart was 13th.From a fantasy standpoint, the extra session didn't raise any serious questions about any of the top options for Sunday's race.

When the cars took the track for qualifying, it was Montoya winning the pole for the second week in a row. In addition to his win at Watkins Glen in 2010, he has finished seventh or better in his last four starts at the track. Busch backed up his time in the extra practice by qualifying on the outside of the front row, and he will be looking for his seventh straight top-10 finish at Watkins Glen. Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski will start third and fourth as they try for their first win at The Glen. Ambrose rounded out the top five and heavy hitters Stewart and Gordon both qualified in the top 12, as well.

Montoya, Busch and the rest of guys starting up front have to be smiling because putting down a strong qualifying lap at Watkins Glen is crucial for any driver hoping to get to Victory Lane. After all, 25 of the 26 races at the track have been won by a driver starting in the top 15. Steve Park holds the record for the worst starting spot of a race winner, and he only started 18th in his victory at the track in 2000. The trend has been even more dramatic in recent years with seven of the last eight races being won by drivers starting seventh or better.

Fantasy owners looking for a sleeper pick this weekend may want to consider Sam Hornish Jr. He qualified 17th, and he finished 14th in his most-recent start at Watkins Glen. He also won the pole for the Nationwide race at The Glen and has past road course experience form his open-wheel days. Hornish appears to have a decent feel for the track, and the extra laps should only his chances of running well Sunday.

Rk
Driver
Car No.
Make Plinker Team
Starting Pos
1
Kyle Busch
18
Toyota M&M's Joe Gibbs Racing
2
2
Tony Stewart
14
Chevrolet Office Depot Stewart-Haas Racing
7
3
Juan Pablo Montoya
42
Chevrolet Clorox Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing
1
4
Marcos Ambrose
9
Ford Stanley Black & Decker Richard Petty Motorsports
5
5
Jimmie Johnson
48
Chevrolet Lowe's Home Improvement Hendrick Motorsports
3
6
Jeff Gordon
24
Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger Hendrick Motorsports
12
7
Clint Bowyer
15
Toyota 5 Hour Energy Michael Waltrip Racing
8
8
Brad Keselowski
2
Dodge Miller Lite Penske Championship Racing
4
9
Kevin Harvick
29
Chevrolet Budweiser Richard Childress Racing
19
10
Martin Truex Jr.
56
Toyota NAPA Auto Parts Michael Waltrip Racing
9
11
Carl Edwards
99
Ford Subway Roush Fenway Racing
18
12
Joey Logano
20
Toyota Home Depot Joe Gibbs Racing
14
13
Greg Biffle
16
Ford 3M Roush Fenway Racing
15
14
Denny Hamlin
11
Toyota FedEx Joe Gibbs Racing
23
15
Ryan Newman
39
Chevrolet U.S. Army Stewart-Haas Racing
6
16
Kasey Kahne
5
Chevrolet Farmers Insurance Hendrick Motorsports
20
17
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
88
Chevrolet Mountain Dew AMP Energy Hendrick Motorsports
16
18
Matt Kenseth
17
Ford Best Buy Roush Fenway Racing
24
19
Sam Hornish Jr.
22
Dodge Shell/Pennzoil Penske Championship Racing
17
20
Jamie McMurray
1
Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing
10
21
Kurt Busch
51
Chevrolet Tag Heuer Phoenix Racing
27
22
Brian Vickers
55
Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine Michael Waltrip Racing
33
23
Jeff Burton
31
Chevrolet Caterpillar Richard Childress Racing
28
24
Regan Smith
78
Chevrolet Furniture Row Furniture Row Racing
13
25
Paul Menard
27
Chevrolet Menard's Richard Childress Racing
22
26
Bobby Labonte
47
Toyota Kingsford JTG Daugherty Racing
26
27
Aric Almirola
43
Ford Medallion Financial Richard Petty Motorsports
29
28
Casey Mears
13
Ford GEICO Germain Racing
30
29
Boris Said
32
Ford C&J Energy FAS Lane Racing
25
30
David Ragan
34
Ford 8-Hour Alert Front Row Motorsports
32
31
David Gilliland
38
Ford MHP Front Row Motorsports
34
32
Michael McDowell
98
Ford TRAQM.com Phil Parsons Racing
11
33
Scott Speed
95
Ford TWD Leavine Family Racing
21
34
Landon Cassill
83
Toyota Burger King BK Racing
35
35
J.J. Yeley
10
Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing Tommy Baldwin Racing
37
36
Jason Leffler
49
Toyota American Israel Racing American Israel Racing
41
37
Dave Blaney
36
Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing Tommy Baldwin Racing
31
38
Travis Kvapil
93
Toyota Burger King BK Racing
43
39
Patrick Long
30
Toyota Inception Motorsports Inception Motorsports
42
40
Stephen Leicht
33
Chevrolet American Ethanol Richard Childress Racing
39
41
Josh Wise
26
Ford MDS Transport Front Row Motorsports
38
42
Chris Cook
19
Toyota Plinker Tactical Humphrey Smith Racing
40
43
Joe Nemechek
87
Toyota AM FM Energy NEMCO Motorsports
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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