Fantasy NASCAR Rankings: Toyota Owners 400

by Brian Polking on April 27, 2013 @ 09:54:22 PDT

 


Kyle Busch
Heading into this weekend's track activities at Richmond International Raceway, Kyle Busch and Clint Bowyer sat first and second in the driver rankings. After qualifying and a pair of practice sessions at the track Friday, the two are still sitting first and second. Solid practice times and top-10 efforts in qualifying for both drivers merely solidified their statuses as elite fantasy options this weekend. After all, Busch owns a series-leading 5.4 average finish at Richmond has won the spring race four years in a row. Meanwhile, Bowyer won the fall race at the track last year and has finished 12th or better in 12 of his 14 starts. Not to mention the fact that he has finished in the top 10 in all eight short track events since joining Michael Waltrip Racing. Add it all up, and fantasy owners should try to make room for both drivers on their rosters.

While Busch and Bowyer held serve, Jeff Gordon actually jumped into the top five in the driver rankings. The two-time Richmond winner posted the fastest lap in Happy Hour and followed it up with a third-place run in qualifying. More importantly, Gordon has been dialed in at the short track recently. In his last 12 starts at Richmond, he has logged nine top-10s and six top-five finishes. Throw in the fact that he has finished third or better in four of his last seven starts at the track, and his upside is easy to see.

Two other drivers that moved up into the top 10 in the final rankings were Brian Vickers and Mark Martin. Both drivers will start in the top 10 Saturday, and Vickers qualified on the outside of the front row. Meanwhile, Vickers has been solid at short tracks lately, posting a 9.0 average finish in his last six starts. The fact that he is subbing for Denny Hamlin and will get to drive for a Joe Gibbs Racing team that has been excellent at Richmond only enhances his value. Martin on the other hand enters Saturday's race with seven top-10s in his last 10 Richmond starts, including three straight. Fantasy owners looking for a safe, reliable option to bolster their rosters should definitely consider the veteran.

Owners looking for more of a sleeper pick may want take a chance on Juan Pablo Montoya. With a 26.4 average finish in 2013, there is some serious risk involved, but he did vault solidly into the top 20 after cracking the top 10 in both practices and delivering a sixth-place effort in qualifying. It is also worth noting that Montoya has managed to finish in the top 20 in six of his last seven starts at Richmond so he isn't a stranger to posting decent numbers at the track.

Last but not least, Greg Biffle headlines the list of big names to avoid, and he plummeted outside the top 20 in the final rankings after a forgettable Friday at Richmond. After ranking outside the top 10 in both practices, Biffle qualified a dismal 33rd. To top it off, he has managed just a single top-10 finish in his last 12 starts at Richmond so it's not like there is much incentive to overlook the concerning practice speeds and poor starting spot.

Rk
Driver
Car No.
Make Sponsor Team
Starting Pos
1
Kyle Busch
18
Toyota M&M's Joe Gibbs Racing
8
2
Clint Bowyer
15
Toyota 5 Hour Energy Michael Waltrip Racing
5
3
Kasey Kahne
5
Chevrolet Farmers Insurance Hendrick Motorsports
4
4
Matt Kenseth
20
Toyota Dollar General Joe Gibbs Racing
1
5
Jeff Gordon
24
Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger Hendrick Motorsports
3
6
Carl Edwards
99
Ford Fastenal Roush Fenway Racing
28
7
Brian Vickers
11
Toyota FedEx Joe Gibbs Racing
2
8
Brad Keselowski
2
Ford Miller Lite Penske Championship Racing
23
9
Jimmie Johnson
48
Chevrolet Lowe's Home Improvement Hendrick Motorsports
26
10
Mark Martin
55
Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine Michael Waltrip Racing
10
11
Kevin Harvick
29
Chevrolet Budweiser Richard Childress Racing
17
12
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
88
Chevrolet Diet Mountain Dew Hendrick Motorsports
19
13
Tony Stewart
14
Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops Stewart-Haas Racing
21
14
Ryan Newman
39
Chevrolet Quicken Loans Stewart-Haas Racing
15
15
Joey Logano
22
Ford Shell/Pennzoil Penske Championship Racing
7
16
Juan Pablo Montoya
42
Chevrolet Target Earnhardt Ganassi Racing
6
17
A.J. Allmendinger
51
Chevrolet Guy Roofing Phoenix Racing
24
18
Martin Truex Jr.
56
Toyota NAPA Auto Parts Michael Waltrip Racing
9
19
Kurt Busch
78
Chevrolet Furniture Row Furniture Row Racing
14
20
Jeff Burton
31
Chevrolet Caterpillar Richard Childress Racing
16
21
Greg Biffle
16
Ford 3M Roush Fenway Racing
33
22
Marcos Ambrose
9
Ford Stanley Black & Decker Richard Petty Motorsports
11
23
Jamie McMurray
1
Chevrolet McDonald's Earnhardt Ganassi Racing
13
24
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
17
Ford Best Buy Roush Fenway Racing
12
25
Paul Menard
27
Chevrolet Menard's Richard Childress Racing
29
26
Aric Almirola
43
Ford Smithfield Richard Petty Motorsports
34
27
Bobby Labonte
47
Toyota Kroger JTG Daugherty Racing
32
28
Danica Patrick
10
Chevrolet GoDaddy.com Stewart-Haas Racing
30
29
David Ragan
34
Ford Detail Doctor Front Row Motorsports
20
30
Landon Cassill
33
Chevrolet Honey Nut Cheerios Richard Childress Racing
31
31
Casey Mears
13
Ford GEICO Germain Racing
40
32
Dave Blaney
7
Chevrolet Florida Lottery Tommy Baldwin Racing
18
33
David Gilliland
38
Ford Love's Travel Stops Front Row Motorsports
37
34
Timmy Hill
32
Ford C & J Energy Services FAS Lane Racing
42
35
David Reutimann
83
Toyota Burger King BK Racing
22
36
Travis Kvapil
93
Toyota Burger King BK Racing
36
37
J.J. Yeley
36
Chevrolet Golden Corral Tommy Baldwin Racing
39
38
David Stremme
30
Toyota Swan Racing Swan Racing
25
39
Mike Bliss
19
Toyota Plinker Tactical Humphrey Smith Racing
38
40
Josh Wise
35
Ford Blockbuster.com Front Row Motorsports
27
41
Joe Nemechek
87
Toyota AM FM Energy NEMCO-JRR Motorsports
41
42
Michael McDowell
98
Ford Ambient Edge HVAC Phil Parsons Racing
35
43
Brian Keselowski
52
Toyota TBA Brian Keselowski Motorsports
43

 

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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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