Fantasy NASCAR rankings: TUMS Fast Relief 500

by Brian Polking on October 27, 2012 @ 16:31:59 PDT

 


Brad Keselowski
Heading into this weekend's race at Martinsville Speedway, it was no secret that Jimmie Johnson was the frontrunner. After all, he is a six-time winner at the track and averages a top-five finish. While his reputation already preceded him, Johnson left little doubt that he is going to be the man to beat Sunday when he went out and won the pole. Four of his six victories at the half-mile oval have come after he qualified in the top 10, and the last time Johnson won the fall race at the track, he started on the pole. All the numbers point to a big day for Johnson, and while the rest of the field has to be worried, fantasy owners shouldn't hesitate to add the five-time champ to their rosters.

Of course, fantasy owners have a few other strong options to choose from that are starting near the front of the field. Denny Hamlin, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart are all starting 11th or better, and all three have had their share of success at Martinsville, as well. In fact, Hamlin leads all drivers with four wins at the track since the start of the 2008 season, and he has finished sixth or better in 11 of his last 12 starts. Gordon is a seven-time Martinsville winner in his career, and in his last 15 starts at the track, he is 13 top-five finishes. Meanwhile, Stewart is the defending winner of this weekend's race and a three-time winner at the track overall.

While Johnson, Hamlin, Gordon and Stewart have been the masters of Martinsville recently, there are a couple intriguing sleeper options starting in the top 10, starting with Jeff Burton. While the veteran certainly hasn't done much in 2012, he has finished in the top 10 in the last two fall races at Martinsville. After qualifying fourth, Burton might be able to keep the streak alive. Aric Almirola is the other potential sleeper. He qualified 10th, and he finished eighth at Martinsville earlier this year. The fact that he has had two of his best cars of the season the past two races doesn't hurt his value either. Burton and Almirola are on the complete opposite end of the spectrum in terms of experience, but both could deliver surprise results this weekend.

One big name missing from the top of the leaderboard during qualifying was championship leader Brad Keselowski. He qualified a dismal 32nd, and while poor qualifying efforts are nothing new for the point leader, this was a bad performance even by his standards. Not to mention the fact that since the start of the 2003 season, there hasn't been a single race winner to start outside the top 20. Keselowski has never finished in the top five at Martinsville, and he could have a tough time changing that this weekend.

Rk
Driver
Car No.
Make Sponsor Team
Starting Pos
1
Jimmie Johnson
48
Chevrolet Lowe's Home Improvement Hendrick Motorsports
1
2
Jeff Gordon
24
Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger Hendrick Motorsports
11
3
Denny Hamlin
11
Toyota FedEx Joe Gibbs Racing
5
4
Clint Bowyer
15
Toyota 5 Hour Energy Michael Waltrip Racing
8
5
Kyle Busch
18
Toyota M&M's Joe Gibbs Racing
3
6
Matt Kenseth
17
Ford Best Buy Roush Fenway Racing
6
7
Tony Stewart
14
Chevrolet Office Depot Stewart-Haas Racing
7
8
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
88
Chevrolet Mountain Dew AMP Energy Hendrick Motorsports
20
9
Brad Keselowski
2
Dodge Miller Lite Penske Championship Racing
32
10
Brian Vickers
55
Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine Michael Waltrip Racing
2
11
Martin Truex Jr.
56
Toyota NAPA Auto Parts Michael Waltrip Racing
12
12
Kevin Harvick
29
Chevrolet Budweiser Richard Childress Racing
13
13
Ryan Newman
39
Chevrolet U.S. Army Stewart-Haas Racing
18
14
Paul Menard
27
Chevrolet Menard's Richard Childress Racing
9
15
Kasey Kahne
5
Chevrolet Farmers Insurance Hendrick Motorsports
15
16
Joey Logano
20
Toyota Home Depot Joe Gibbs Racing
14
17
Carl Edwards
99
Ford Subway Roush Fenway Racing
23
18
Greg Biffle
16
Ford 3M Roush Fenway Racing
30
19
Aric Almirola
43
Ford Medallion Financial Richard Petty Motorsports
10
20
Juan Pablo Montoya
42
Chevrolet Clorox Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing
25
21
Jeff Burton
31
Chevrolet Caterpillar Richard Childress Racing
4
22
A.J. Allmendinger
51
Chevrolet Tag Heuer Phoenix Racing
26
23
Marcos Ambrose
9
Ford Stanley Black & Decker Richard Petty Motorsports
33
24
Jamie McMurray
1
Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing
24
25
Sam Hornish Jr.
22
Dodge Shell/Pennzoil Penske Championship Racing
27
26
Kurt Busch
78
Chevrolet Furniture Row Furniture Row Racing
19
27
Bobby Labonte
47
Toyota Kingsford JTG Daugherty Racing
17
28
David Ragan
34
Ford 8-Hour Alert Front Row Motorsports
16
29
Travis Kvapil
93
Toyota Burger King BK Racing
41
30
Casey Mears
13
Ford GEICO Germain Racing
22
31
Landon Cassill
83
Toyota Burger King BK Racing
34
32
David Reutimann
10
Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing Tommy Baldwin Racing
29
33
David Gilliland
38
Ford MHP Front Row Motorsports
36
34
Dave Blaney
36
Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing Tommy Baldwin Racing
37
35
David Stremme
30
Toyota Inception Motorsports Inception Motorsports
40
36
Ken Schrader
32
Ford C&J Energy FAS Lane Racing
28
37
Scott Riggs
23
Chevrolet North Texas Pipe R3 Motorsports
35
38
Stephen Leicht
33
Chevrolet LittleJoesAutos.com Richard Childress Racing
42
39
Scott Speed
95
Chevrolet TBD Leavine Family Racing
43
40
Michael McDowell
98
Ford Curb Records Phil Parsons Racing
21
41
Reed Sorenson
91
Toyota Aquaria USA Humphrey Smith Racing
39
42
Josh Wise
26
Ford MDS Transport Front Row Motorsports
31
43
Joe Nemechek
87
Toyota AM/FM Energy NEMCO Motorsports
38

 

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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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