Fantasy NASCAR Practice Recap: Quicken Loans 400

by Brian Polking on June 15, 2013 @ 15:06:34 PDT

 


Momentum has been building for Kurt Busch and his Furniture Row Racing team the past few weeks, and after four straight top-15s, something special could be on tap at Michigan Sunday. Following a second-place effort in qualifying Friday, Busch topped the charts in both practices at the track Saturday. He is also a two-time winner at Michigan, and Sunday's Quicken Loans 400 could mark his best chance to win a race since joining the No. 78 team. At the very least, Busch seems primed for a strong showing this weekend.

Pole-sitter Carl Edwards showed plenty of muscle in practice Saturday, as well. He cracked the top five in both sessions and had the second-fastest lap in the first practice. More importantly, Edwards is a two-time winner at MIS, and his 8.2 average finish is the best among active drivers. In fact, Edwards has finished outside the top 12 just twice in 17 starts at the track and has finished seventh or better 12 times. Owners will be hard pressed to find a safer option this weekend.

Kasey Kahne

Owners willing to sacrifice a little bit of consistency for a chance at a win may want to consider Kasey Kahne. After ranking sixth on the charts in the first practice, he jumped to second in Happy Hour. He also posted the best 10-lap average speed in both sessions. Meanwhile, Kahne is a former winner at MIS and has three second-place finishes among his seven top-five efforts so he is no stranger to finishing near the front at the track. Granted, he has also had some bad runs over the years, but his upside is tough to ignore.

Kahne's Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson was also impressive in practice, and even though Michigan is one of the few tracks where the five-time champ has never won, he still deserves heavy consideration from fantasy owners. Johnson ranked third and fourth in the two sessions Saturday, and he posted the second-best 10-lap average speed in both practices. Not to mention the fact that Johnson has led the most laps at Michigan on multiple occasions only to come out on the losing end up fuel mileage, and he has two top-five finishes in his last three starts at the track. Johnson is still an excellent option this weekend, and it is only a matter of time before he gets to victory lane.

While Johnson has never won at Michigan, Mark Martin has accomplished feat five times in his career. He also cracked the top five in both practices Saturday so win No. 6 at the track could come as soon as this weekend. Keep in mind that Martin led the most laps at the track last August before oil put down by a lap car ruined his afternoon, and in 2011 he finished fourth and ninth in two starts at MIS. At the very least, he should be able to provide owners with a solid finish this weekend, and given his practice times, Martin also offers top-five potential. The veteran is definitely worth making room for on fantasy rosters.

Another driver with a history of success at Michigan that delivered in practice was Greg Biffle. He ranked seventh and ninth in the two sessions Saturday, and his overall numbers at the track speak for themselves. He finished fourth and first in his two starts at MIS in 2012, and he is a three-time winner at the track for his career. Biffle has also scored the second-most points in the series in the last four races at 2.0-mile tracks so fantasy owners can feel free to consider him a top-five option this weekend.

With his recent results at Michigan and his practice times Saturday, defending series champ Brad Keselowski is a borderline top-five fantasy option, as well. He has a 6.0 average finish in his last three starts at the track, including a pair of top-three efforts. Meanwhile, he ranked 11th and 10th in the two practice sessions and was very happy with the feel of his car when he was interviewed prior to Happy Hour.

Last but not least, fantasy owners looking for a sleeper option this weekend may want to consider Paul Menard. After a fourth-place effort in qualifying Friday, he posted the fourth-fastest lap in the first practice Saturday and was seventh in Happy Hour. Granted, his 22.1 average finish at MIS isn't exactly encouraging, but both of his top-10s at the track have come in the last four races. Throw in the practice times, and a top-15 finish isn't unreasonable, and a top-10 isn't out of the question.

Happy Hour Speeds (sorted by Best Lap)

Rk
Car
Driver
Team
Best Time
Best Lap
Laps
1
78
Furniture Row/Sealy Chevrolet
36.480
197.368
33
2
5
Farmers Insurance Chevrolet
36.536
197.066
46
3
55
Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota
36.721
196.073
33
4
48
Lowe's Chevrolet
36.756
195.886
35
5
99
Fastenal Ford
36.787
195.721
22
6
20
Home Depot Husky Toyota
36.817
195.562
19
7
27
Menards/CertainTeed Chevrolet
36.867
195.297
27
8
18
M&M's Toyota
36.884
195.207
34
9
16
3M/Give Kids a Smile Ford
36.888
195.185
30
10
2
Miller Lite Ford
36.896
195.143
21
11
1
McDonald's Chevrolet
36.906
195.090
29
12
15
5-hour Energy Toyota
36.908
195.080
30
13
33
American Ethanol Chevrolet
36.934
194.942
31
14
56
NAPA Auto Parts Toyota
36.936
194.932
23
15
29
Budweiser Chevrolet
36.938
194.921
27
16
31
Caterpillar Chevrolet
36.977
194.716
37
17
42
Target Chevrolet
36.991
194.642
24
18
88
National Guard/Man of Steel Chevrolet
37.007
194.558
27
19
11
FedEx Express Toyota
37.025
194.463
24
20
22
Shell Pennzoil Ford
37.035
194.411
27
21
24
Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet
37.037
194.400
32
22
17
Zest Ford
37.085
194.149
28
23
43
Eckrich Ford
37.096
194.091
22
24
21
Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford
37.104
194.049
30
25
14
Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet
37.123
193.950
31
26
51
Phoenix Construction Services Chevrolet
37.183
193.637
20
27
13
GEICO Ford
37.213
193.481
21
28
10
GoDaddy Chevrolet
37.253
193.273
38
29
38
Long John Silver's Ford
37.273
193.169
24
30
9
Stanley Ford
37.290
193.081
32
31
7
SANY Chevrolet
37.305
193.004
18
32
39
Quicken Loans Chevrolet
37.347
192.787
20
33
83
Burger King/Dr.Pepper Toyota
37.383
192.601
15
34
93
Burger King/Dr.Pepper Toyota
37.401
192.508
23
35
34
Taco Bell Ford
37.455
192.231
23
36
47
Charter Toyota
37.487
192.067
9
37
36
Chevrolet
37.525
191.872
29
38
19
Plinker Tactical Toyota
37.817
190.391
3
39
32
Federated Auto Parts Ford
38.089
189.031
17
40
87
Belle Tire Toyota
38.471
187.154
9
41
30
Widow Wax Toyota
38.883
185.171
3

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

Rk
Car
Driver
From Lap
To Lap
Avg. Speed
1
5
5
14
196.046
2
48
20
29
194.704
3
55
17
26
193.502
4
31
26
35
192.112
5
24
1
10
192.104
6
17
19
28
189.955

Second Practice Speeds (sorted by Best Lap)

Rk
Car
Driver
Make
Sponsor
Best Lap
Best Time
Laps
1
78
Chevrolet
Furniture Row/Sealy
200.955
35.829
16
2
99
Ford
Fastenal
199.595
36.073
22
3
48
Chevrolet
Lowe's
199.584
36.075
36
4
27
Chevrolet
Menards/CertainTeed
198.933
36.193
24
5
55
Toyota
Aaron's Dream Machine
198.818
36.214
24
6
5
Chevrolet
Farmers Insurance
198.747
36.227
29
7
16
Ford
3M/Give Kids a Smile
198.725
36.231
25
8
11
Toyota
FedEx Express
198.511
36.270
16
9
29
Chevrolet
Budweiser
198.440
36.283
23
10
43
Ford
Eckrich
198.435
36.284
26
11
2
Ford
Miller Lite
198.358
36.298
20
12
15
Toyota
5-hour Energy
198.243
36.319
24
13
24
Chevrolet
Drive to End Hunger
198.183
36.330
20
14
88
Chevrolet
National Guard/Man of Steel
198.091
36.347
26
15
42
Chevrolet
Target
198.025
36.359
17
16
20
Toyota
Home Depot Husky
197.987
36.366
29
17
14
Chevrolet
Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1
197.819
36.397
32
18
56
Toyota
NAPA Auto Parts
197.742
36.411
17
19
17
Ford
Zest
197.607
36.436
23
20
31
Chevrolet
Caterpillar
197.520
36.452
24
21
9
Ford
Stanley
197.379
36.478
19
22
18
Toyota
M&M's
197.331
36.487
27
23
33
Chevrolet
American Ethanol
197.217
36.508
30
24
1
Chevrolet
McDonald's
196.947
36.558
21
25
51
Chevrolet
Phoenix Construction Services
196.716
36.601
25
26
47
Toyota
Charter
196.668
36.610
25
27
22
Ford
Shell Pennzoil
196.533
36.635
18
28
98
Ford
196.201
36.697
14
29
39
Chevrolet
Quicken Loans
196.057
36.724
21
30
34
Ford
Taco Bell
196.030
36.729
18
31
13
Ford
GEICO
196.020
36.731
22
32
7
Chevrolet
SANY
195.668
36.797
13
33
38
Ford
Long John Silver's
195.652
36.800
16
34
21
Ford
Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center
195.344
36.858
16
35
83
Toyota
Burger King/Dr.Pepper
195.228
36.880
19
36
30
Toyota
Widow Wax
195.059
36.912
19
37
36
Chevrolet
TBD
194.668
36.986
15
38
10
Chevrolet
GoDaddy
194.274
37.061
21
39
93
Toyota
Burger King/Dr.Pepper
194.101
37.094
15
40
35
Ford
MDS Transport
193.237
37.260
11
41
32
Ford
Federated Auto Parts
192.072
37.486
21
42
19
Toyota
Plinker Tactical
191.944
37.511
3
43
87
Toyota
Belle Tire
187.818
38.335
4

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

Rk
Car
Driver
From Lap
To Lap
Avg. Speed
1
5
3
12
197.383
2
48
1
10
196.863
3
24
1
10
196.343
4
15
1
10
196.312
5
17
3
12
195.948
6
99
1
10
195.830
7
51
1
10
195.666
8
18
1
10
195.529
9
33
2
11
195.504
10
39
1
10
195.405
11
36
3
12
193.829
12
88
3
12
193.047

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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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