Fantasy NASCAR practice recap: Sylvania 300

by Brian Polking on September 22, 2012 @ 16:27:40 PDT

 


Although his weekend at New Hampshire didn't get off to a great start, it appears Denny Hamlin could be heading for a big finish. He will start 32nd after his crew forget to put the correct air pressures in for qualifying, but in the first practice Saturday, Hamlin jumped to the top of the charts. Hamlin leads all active drivers with an 8.5 average finish, and he has finished third or better in three of his last four starts at New Hampshire. Not to mention that he gave away a win in the July race at the track after a miscue between he and his crew chief cost him a ton of track position. Hamlin had the best car in July, and it appears he could have the car to beat once again. Don't be worried about his poor qualifying effort. Hamlin should be coming to the front, and he is still worthy of a roster spot this weekend.

Denny Hamlin

Hamlin's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Joey Logano ranked second in the session, and he could make a solid sleeper option this weekend. He actually won at New Hampshire in 2009, and he has finished 14th or better in three straight starts at the track. Logano has 10.7 average finish in those three starts, and he could be a sneaky source for a top-15 and maybe even a top-10 this Sunday.

Jimmie Johnson, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch rounded out the top five, and a strong case can be made for all three drivers to be added to fantasy rosters. Johnson is a three-time winner at New Hampshire, and he has eight top-10s in his last 10 starts at the track. Meanwhile, Truex has an 11.7 average finish in his last three starts at the track, and Busch has finished 11th or better in five of his last seven New Hampshire starts. Johnson is the obvious top dog of the bunch, but Truex and Busch are capable of delivering top-10 finishes, as well.

In terms of 10-lap average speeds, pole-sitter Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer led the way, and both should be among the better options for fantasy owners. After all, Gordon has reeled off 14 straight top-15 finishes at New Hampshire and has finished sixth or better four times in his last five starts at the track. Bowyer, on the other hand, has won the fall race at New Hampshire twice and finished third at the track in July. He also ran out of fuel while leading on the final lap at New Hampshire last September. Expect big performances from both drivers.

Not much changed in Happy Hour as the JGR duo of Hamlin and Logano once again topped the charts. Kyle Busch and Truex also cracked the top five for the second practice in a row. The lone newcomer was Brian Vickers, but he is one driver fantasy owners definitely to consider. As far as sleeper options go, he is probably the best. He finished in the top 15 at New Hampshire earlier this year, and he finished fifth at the track last fall. Vickers already has three top-five finishes in six starts with Michael Waltrip Racing in 2012, and he has a ton of potential this weekend.

Hamlin continued his dominance on longer runs, posting the top 10-lap average speed in the final session. His two JGR teammates and Bowyer weren't far behind. Overall, no driver was as impressive during the practices as Hamlin. Whether it is a short run or a long run, the No. 11 Toyota appears to be dialed in.

Another big name that didn't crack the top five in either practice that could still deliver strong results is Tony Stewart. After qualifying third Friday, he cracked the top 10 in both practices Saturday. “Smoke” is a three-time winner at New Hampshire and the defending winner of this weekend's race. He also owns the top driver rating at the track, and anything other than a top-five effort this weekend would be surprising.

On the flip side, Kasey Kahne is one heavy hitter that fantasy owners may want to be cautious about. Although he won at New Hampshire earlier this year, he never seemed to get his car handling the way he wanted in practice and failed to crack the top 10 in either session. As well as he has been running lately, Kahne could still end up in the top 10 Sunday. That being said, he doesn't seem to have a car capable of pulling off a season sweep.

Happy Hour Speeds (sorted by Best Lap)

Rk
Car
Driver
Make
Sponsor
Best Lap
Best Time
Laps
1
11
Toyota
FedEx Freight
132.053
28.843
36
2
20
Toyota
The Home Depot
131.683
28.924
38
3
55
Toyota
Freightliner/Jet Edge
131.551
28.953
35
4
18
Toyota
M&M's
131.207
29.029
44
5
56
Toyota
NAPA Auto Parts
131.157
29.040
39
6
16
Ford
3M/GE Appliances
131.098
29.053
34
7
15
Toyota
5-hour Energy
130.986
29.078
39
8
14
Chevrolet
Mobil 1/Office Depot
130.977
29.080
40
9
88
Chevrolet
AMP Energy/Diet Mtn. Dew/National Guard
130.959
29.084
38
10
48
Chevrolet
Lowe's
130.959
29.084
32
11
29
Chevrolet
Budweiser
130.959
29.084
45
12
39
Chevrolet
Aspen Dental
130.936
29.089
52
13
31
Chevrolet
Wheaties
130.878
29.102
45
14
17
Ford
Zest
130.810
29.117
28
15
24
Chevrolet
Drive to End Hunger
130.770
29.126
31
16
47
Toyota
Bush's Baked Beans
130.743
29.132
33
17
2
Dodge
Miller Lite
130.586
29.167
44
18
27
Chevrolet
Sylvania/Menards
130.577
29.169
34
19
5
Chevrolet
Farmers Insurance
130.564
29.172
26
20
99
Ford
Aflac
130.559
29.173
31
21
43
Ford
Trim Fit
130.488
29.189
31
22
42
Chevrolet
Energizer
130.425
29.203
26
23
78
Chevrolet
Furniture Row/Farm American
130.358
29.218
39
24
51
Chevrolet
Phoenix Construction
130.336
29.223
35
25
1
Chevrolet
LiftMaster
130.313
29.228
32
26
34
Ford
Shriner's Hospital for Children
130.206
29.252
29
27
98
Ford
129.927
29.315
7
28
22
Dodge
Shell/Pennzoil
129.847
29.333
28
29
93
Toyota
Burger King/Dr Pepper
129.750
29.355
33
30
9
Ford
Stanley
129.679
29.371
32
31
83
Toyota
Burger King/Dr Pepper
129.577
29.394
45
32
91
Chevrolet
Plinker Tactical
129.511
29.409
13
33
13
Ford
GEICO
129.340
29.448
23
34
95
Ford
Jordan Truck Sales
129.261
29.466
28
35
10
Chevrolet
128.981
29.530
23
36
37
Chevrolet
MaxQworkforce.com
128.976
29.531
13
37
30
Toyota
128.954
29.536
1
38
38
Ford
Taco Bell
128.493
29.642
29
39
87
Toyota
AM/FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves
128.122
29.728
6
40
33
Chevrolet
Little Joes Autos.com
128.001
29.756
19
41
79
Ford
BBI/Bestway
127.954
29.767
7
42
32
Ford
North Country Ford
127.769
29.810
37
43
36
Chevrolet
125.699
30.301
2

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

Rk
Car
Driver
From Lap
To Lap
Avg. Speed
1
11
3
12
130.879
2
18
1
10
130.454
3
15
3
12
130.306
4
20
1
10
130.295
5
17
2
11
130.152
6
2
2
11
130.147
7
39
2
11
130.103
8
27
2
11
129.921
9
48
20
29
129.718
10
24
19
28
129.715
11
78
1
10
129.598
12
14
31
40
129.574
13
47
1
10
129.477
14
31
34
43
129.301
15
55
33
42
129.258
16
43
22
31
129.081
17
51
12
21
129.070
18
34
2
11
128.917
19
9
22
31
128.858
20
83
35
44
128.718
21
95
2
11
128.214
22
42
1
10
128.169
23
32
12
21
125.211

Second Practice Speeds (sorted by Best Lap)

Rk
Car
Driver
Make
Sponsor
Best Lap
Best Time
Laps
1
11
Toyota
FedEx Freight
131.656
28.930
45
2
20
Toyota
The Home Depot
131.442
28.977
47
3
48
Chevrolet
Lowe's
131.370
28.993
42
4
56
Toyota
NAPA Auto Parts
131.338
29.000
31
5
18
Toyota
M&M's
131.266
29.016
42
6
55
Toyota
Freightliner/Jet Edge
131.207
29.029
33
7
15
Toyota
5-hour Energy
131.198
29.031
45
8
29
Chevrolet
Budweiser
131.175
29.036
47
9
24
Chevrolet
Drive to End Hunger
131.152
29.041
42
10
27
Chevrolet
Sylvania/Menards
130.932
29.090
44
11
14
Chevrolet
Mobil 1/Office Depot
130.932
29.090
41
12
39
Chevrolet
Aspen Dental
130.783
29.123
51
13
5
Chevrolet
Farmers Insurance
130.752
29.130
28
14
2
Dodge
Miller Lite
130.738
29.133
34
15
16
Ford
3M/GE Appliances
130.734
29.134
35
16
31
Chevrolet
Wheaties
130.725
29.136
35
17
88
Chevrolet
AMP Energy/Diet Mtn. Dew/National Guard
130.653
29.152
46
18
78
Chevrolet
Furniture Row/Farm American
130.505
29.185
31
19
99
Ford
Aflac
130.331
29.224
30
20
43
Ford
Trim Fit
130.269
29.238
48
21
98
Ford
130.251
29.242
9
22
1
Chevrolet
LiftMaster
130.180
29.258
36
23
17
Ford
Zest
130.135
29.268
36
24
22
Dodge
Shell/Pennzoil
130.131
29.269
51
25
47
Toyota
Bush's Baked Beans
130.095
29.277
28
26
42
Chevrolet
Energizer
130.095
29.277
36
27
51
Chevrolet
Phoenix Construction
130.055
29.286
33
28
9
Ford
Stanley
129.847
29.333
37
29
34
Ford
Shriner's Hospital for Children
129.582
29.393
37
30
83
Toyota
Burger King/Dr Pepper
129.507
29.410
42
31
95
Ford
Jordan Truck Sales
129.459
29.421
17
32
13
Ford
GEICO
128.954
29.536
18
33
87
Toyota
AM/FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves
128.589
29.620
7
34
38
Ford
Taco Bell
128.550
29.629
73
35
91
Chevrolet
Plinker Tactical
128.376
29.669
11
36
93
Toyota
Burger King/Dr Pepper
128.316
29.683
44
37
10
Chevrolet
128.290
29.689
21
38
37
Chevrolet
MaxQworkforce.com
128.273
29.693
10
39
79
Ford
BBI/Bestway
127.945
29.769
6
40
30
Toyota
127.907
29.778
7
41
33
Chevrolet
Little Joes Autos.com
127.342
29.910
4
42
32
Ford
North Country Ford
127.329
29.913
49
43
36
Chevrolet
124.292
30.644
2

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

Rk
Car
Driver
From Lap
To Lap
Avg. Speed
1
24
27
36
130.373
2
15
28
37
130.135
3
20
31
40
130.079
4
27
31
40
130.024
5
29
37
46
130.014
6
56
3
12
129.995
7
39
34
43
129.830
8
31
25
34
129.752
9
2
25
34
129.581
10
22
22
31
129.424
11
18
6
15
129.406
12
9
28
37
129.051
13
43
5
14
128.734
14
48
4
13
127.998
15
34
2
11
127.788
16
1
3
12
127.771
17
93
30
39
126.969
18
38
2
11
126.916
19
14
1
10
126.109
20
17
1
10
124.926
21
32
2
11
123.490

 

Facebook Twitter Google +

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.

Don't miss these great reports....


What do you think? Sound off!



Recent KFFL releases