Fantasy NASCAR rankings: AAA 400

by Brian Polking on September 29, 2012 @ 18:34:28 PDT

 


Jimmie Johnson
Last weekend at New Hampshire, Denny Hamlin overcame a horrible qualifying effort, powering his way to Victory Lane after starting 32nd. That being said, the chances of a driver repeating the feat this weekend at Dover are slim. Three of the last four winners at the "Monster Mile" have started on the front row, and eight of the last nine winners have started eighth or better. Since the start of the 2001 season, only two races at the track have been won by a driver starting outside the top 20, and only one driver in the Dover's 37-year history has ever won after qualifying outside the top 30.

Of course, Hamlin won't have to worry about charging to the front if he wants to win at Dover because he claimed the pole for Sunday's race. Coming into the Chase, the Monster Mile figured to be the biggest hurdle between Hamlin and a potential championship. After all, he has a 20.5 average finish at the track and has finished outside the top 15 in his last three starts. However, his pole-winning lap followed an excellent pair of practices, and it appears that Hamlin has a strong car. Considering he has won three of the last five races overall, it is tough to justify benching him despite his poor history at Dover.

Other big names starting in the top five include Hamlin's teammate Kyle Busch, along with Michael Waltrip Racing teammates Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr. With four finishes of sixth or better in his last five starts at Dover and two career wins at the track, Busch has an excellent chance of becoming the first non-Chaser to win during this year's playoffs. Meanwhile, Bowyer and Truex both finished in the top 10 at Dover in June, and considering they have been near the top of the speed charts all weekend, a repeat performance could be on tap for both drivers.

Fantasy owners won't want to forget seven-time Dover winner and pre-race favorite Jimmie Johnson, who will be lurking in 11th when the green flag waves. However, those looking for sleepers should consider Sam Hornish Jr. or Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Hornish qualified fourth and will be driving for the same No. 22 team that won this race last season with Kurt Busch behind the wheel. Stenhouse, on the other hand, could make some noise in just his second Cup start of the season. He is the defending Nationwide Series champ, and he will be driving for a Roush Fenway Racing organization that has enjoyed a ton of success at Dover. After qualifying 17th, Stenhouse could be a sneaky source for a top-15 finish Sunday.

Rk
Driver
Car No.
Make Sponsor Team
Starting Pos
1
Jimmie Johnson
48
Chevrolet Lowe's Home Improvement Hendrick Motorsports
11
2
Kyle Busch
18
Toyota M&M's Joe Gibbs Racing
5
3
Clint Bowyer
15
Toyota 5 Hour Energy Michael Waltrip Racing
2
4
Kasey Kahne
5
Chevrolet Farmers Insurance Hendrick Motorsports
9
5
Denny Hamlin
11
Toyota FedEx Joe Gibbs Racing
1
6
Brad Keselowski
2
Dodge Miller Lite Penske Championship Racing
10
7
Martin Truex Jr.
56
Toyota NAPA Auto Parts Michael Waltrip Racing
3
8
Kevin Harvick
29
Chevrolet Budweiser Richard Childress Racing
14
9
Matt Kenseth
17
Ford Best Buy Roush Fenway Racing
12
10
Jeff Gordon
24
Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger Hendrick Motorsports
7
11
Greg Biffle
16
Ford 3M Roush Fenway Racing
6
12
Carl Edwards
99
Ford Subway Roush Fenway Racing
15
13
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
88
Chevrolet Mountain Dew AMP Energy Hendrick Motorsports
25
14
Joey Logano
20
Toyota Home Depot Joe Gibbs Racing
13
15
Mark Martin
55
Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine Michael Waltrip Racing
26
16
Ryan Newman
39
Chevrolet U.S. Army Stewart-Haas Racing
8
17
Marcos Ambrose
9
Ford Stanley Black & Decker Richard Petty Motorsports
27
18
Tony Stewart
14
Chevrolet Office Depot Stewart-Haas Racing
24
19
Sam Hornish Jr.
22
Dodge Shell/Pennzoil Penske Championship Racing
4
20
Aric Almirola
43
Ford Medallion Financial Richard Petty Motorsports
21
21
Paul Menard
27
Chevrolet Menard's Richard Childress Racing
19
22
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
6
Ford Cargill/Safeway Roush Fenway Racing
17
23
Jamie McMurray
1
Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing
20
24
Kurt Busch
51
Chevrolet Tag Heuer Phoenix Racing
28
25
Jeff Burton
31
Chevrolet Caterpillar Richard Childress Racing
39
26
Juan Pablo Montoya
42
Chevrolet Clorox Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing
35
27
Regan Smith
78
Chevrolet Furniture Row Furniture Row Racing
18
28
David Ragan
34
Ford 8-Hour Alert Front Row Motorsports
42
29
Bobby Labonte
47
Toyota Kingsford JTG Daugherty Racing
16
30
Travis Kvapil
93
Toyota Burger King BK Racing
33
31
Danica Patrick
10
Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing Tommy Baldwin Racing
38
32
Casey Mears
13
Ford GEICO Germain Racing
30
33
Landon Cassill
83
Toyota Burger King BK Racing
22
34
David Gilliland
38
Ford MHP Front Row Motorsports
43
35
J.J. Yeley
36
Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing Tommy Baldwin Racing
40
36
Scott Riggs
23
Chevrolet North Texas Pipe R3 Motorsports
36
37
David Stremme
30
Toyota Inception Motorsports Inception Motorsports
31
38
T.J. Bell
32
Ford C&J Energy FAS Lane Racing
41
39
Reed Sorenson
91
Toyota Plinker Tactical Humphrey Smith Racing
29
40
Michael McDowell
98
Ford Phil Parsons Racing Phil Parsons Racing
32
41
Scott Speed
95
Ford Jordan Truck Sales Leavine Family Racing
34
42
Josh Wise
26
Ford MDS Transport Front Row Motorsports
23
43
Joe Nemechek
87
Toyota AM FM Energy NEMCO Motorsports
37

 

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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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