Fantasy NASCAR Practice Recap: IRWIN Tools Night Race

by Brian Polking on August 23, 2013 @ 19:01:19 PDT

 


Bristol master Kyle Busch was up to his old tricks in practice Friday. After posting the fourth-fastest time in the opening session, he topped the charts in Happy Hour. Meanwhile, his 6.9 average finish in the last 10 races at the track is by far the best in the series, and his five wins at the track since 2007 are the most in the series. The bad news is that Busch crashed in qualifying and will start dead last in a backup car. Busch probably isn't the best play in survivor-type leagues, but he should still land somewhere in the top 10.

Kyle Busch

Other than Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon was the only driver to crack the top five in both practice sessions at Bristol Friday. In fact, he posted the third-fastest time in both practices. Gordon has also finished in the top 15 in five of his last seven starts at Bristol, and he has finished third in the last two August races at the track. A top-10 seems reasonable, and a top-five finish isn't out of the question for Gordon this weekend.

A top-five could also be on tap for Kurt Busch this weekend. He ranked sixth in the first practice session at Bristol Friday, and he jumped to second on the charts in Happy Hour. Busch is also a five-time winner at Bristol, and in his first start at the track earlier this year with Furniture Row Racing, he finished fourth. As well as he has been running in recent weeks, a win isn't out of the question.

Last weekend's winner Joey Logano appears to have a fast car once again. He posted the eighth-fastest time in the first practice at Bristol and climbed into the top five in the final session. Granted, his record at the track isn't great, but he has reeled off four straight top-20 finishes, including a top-10 finish at the track last August. Don't rule out another top-10 finish Saturday night.

Fellow Penske Championship Racing driver Brad Keselowski also deserves heavy consideration from fantasy owners. He cracked the top 15 in both practices Friday and posted the fifth-fastest lap in the opening session. More importantly, Keselowski has finished third or better in three of his last four starts at Bristol and has a pair of wins during the stretch.

Although it is a little risky, Juan Pablo Montoya was also one of the strongest drivers in practice Friday. He ranked sixth in the first session and moved up to fourth in Happy Hour. Although he has just three top-10s in 13 starts at Bristol, he has finished in the top 15 in two of his last three starts at the track. Owners willing to take the gamble could be rewarded with a top-10 finish.

Fantasy owners that want to play it a little safer should consider Clint Bowyer. He cracked the top 15 in both practices at Bristol Friday, and he has finished in the top 10 in all three starts at Bristol since joining Michael Waltrip Racing. In fact, he has finished in the top 10 in all nine of his short track starts with MWR. Expect the trend to continue this weekend.

Bowyer's teammate, Brian Vickers, should also be good for a top-10 finish this weekend. He cracked the top 15 in both practices Friday and posted a top-10 lap in the opening session. Meanwhile, Vickers has finished eighth or better in three starts at Bristol with Michael Waltrip Racing, including a fourth-place run last August.

Owners looking for a sleeper option this weekend may want to go with David Ragan. After all, he topped the charts in the first practice session at Bristol Friday. He also finished 21st in the first race at Bristol this year, and with a better car, a top-20 could be possible this weekend.

Happy Hour Speeds (sorted by Best Lap)

Rk
Car
Driver Make Sponsor
Best Lap
Best Time
Laps
1
18
Kyle Busch Toyota Doublemint
128.253
14.961
8
2
78
Kurt Busch Chevrolet Furniture Row/Sealy
128.099
14.979
5
3
24
Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Axalta Coating Systems
127.031
15.105
7
4
42
Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet Target
127.031
15.105
11
5
22
Joey Logano Ford Shell Pennzoil
126.922
15.118
37
6
20
Matt Kenseth Toyota Dollar General
126.787
15.134
8
7
39
Ryan Newman Chevrolet Quicken Loans
126.762
15.137
17
8
11
Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Ground
126.754
15.138
5
9
56
Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts
126.670
15.148
11
10
43
Aric Almirola Ford RainEater Wiper Blades
126.520
15.166
11
11
5
Kasey Kahne Chevrolet Farmers Insurance
126.495
15.169
11
12
15
Clint Bowyer Toyota 5-hour Energy
126.403
15.180
11
13
2
Brad Keselowski Ford Miler Lite
126.320
15.190
54
14
55
Brian Vickers Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine
126.287
15.194
8
15
99
Carl Edwards Ford Fastenal
126.212
15.203
24
16
9
Marcos Ambrose Ford Stanley
126.121
15.214
13
17
34
David Ragan Ford Peanut Patch Boiled Peanuts
125.972
15.232
49
18
38
David Gilliland Ford Dockside Logistics
125.972
15.232
33
19
29
Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Jimmy John's
125.955
15.234
7
20
1
Jamie McMurray Chevrolet McDonald's
125.947
15.235
24
21
51
Ryan Truex Chevrolet Seawatch
125.806
15.252
8
22
47
Bobby Labonte Toyota Bush's Beans
125.732
15.261
7
23
83
David Reutimann Toyota Burger King/Dr.Pepper
125.675
15.268
11
24
88
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Diet Mountain Dew
125.535
15.285
10
25
14
Mark Martin Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1
125.477
15.292
11
26
93
Travis Kvapil Toyota Burger King/Dr.Pepper
125.453
15.295
21
27
10
Danica Patrick Chevrolet GoDaddy
125.436
15.297
11
28
31
Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar
125.248
15.320
23
29
17
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford Nationwide Insurance
125.232
15.322
10
30
48
Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's Dover White
125.166
15.330
14
31
16
Greg Biffle Ford 3M/Bondo
125.150
15.332
10
32
30
David Stremme Toyota Swan Energy/Lean 1
125.109
15.337
30
33
13
Casey Mears Ford GEICO
125.068
15.342
27
34
7
Dave Blaney Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing
124.849
15.369
4
35
35
Josh Wise Ford Carson-Newman University
124.808
15.374
16
36
98
Michael McDowell Ford Victory Junction
124.630
15.396
7
37
27
Paul Menard Chevrolet Menards/Schrock
124.379
15.427
28
38
40
Landon Cassill Chevrolet Moon Shine Attitude Apparel
124.347
15.431
8
39
95
Scott Speed Ford Leavine Family Racing
123.794
15.500
7
40
87
Joe Nemechek Toyota Greer Roofing
123.300
15.562
9
41
36
J.J. Yeley Chevrolet United Mining Equipment
122.435
15.672
57
42
19
Mike Bliss Toyota Plinker Tactical
122.201
15.702
12
43
32
Ken Schrader Ford Federated Auto Parts
120.984
15.860
48
44
33
Tony Raines Chevrolet LittleJoesAutos.com
119.648
16.037
11

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

Rk
Car
Driver
From Lap
To Lap
Avg. Speed
1
2
Brad Keselowski
21
30
122.689
2
34
David Ragan
1
10
122.507
3
38
David Gilliland
6
15
122.467
4
27
Paul Menard
5
14
122.432
5
35
Josh Wise
4
13
122.022
6
36
J.J. Yeley
48
57
121.137
7
32
Ken Schrader
2
11
119.766

First Practice Speeds (sorted by Best Lap)

Rk
Car
Driver Make Sponsor
Best Lap
Best Time
Laps
1
34
David Ragan Ford Peanut Patch Boiled Peanuts
125.32
15.311
66
2
48
Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's Dover White
125.13
15.334
75
3
24
Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Axalta Coating Systems
124.92
15.36
97
4
18
Kyle Busch Toyota Doublemint
124.84
15.37
82
5
2
Brad Keselowski Ford Miler Lite
124.78
15.378
68
6
42
Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet Target
124.74
15.382
84
7
78
Kurt Busch Chevrolet Furniture Row/Sealy
124.72
15.385
105
8
22
Joey Logano Ford Shell Pennzoil
124.72
15.385
102
9
55
Brian Vickers Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine
124.59
15.401
85
10
13
Casey Mears Ford GEICO
124.55
15.406
73
11
11
Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Ground
124.38
15.427
100
12
16
Greg Biffle Ford 3M/Bondo
124.23
15.446
86
13
15
Clint Bowyer Toyota 5-hour Energy
124.12
15.459
91
14
35
Josh Wise Ford Carson-Newman University
124.09
15.463
64
15
40
Landon Cassill Chevrolet Moon Shine Attitude Apparel
124.07
15.466
23
16
56
Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts
123.99
15.475
96
17
38
David Gilliland Ford Dockside Logistics
123.99
15.475
63
18
43
Aric Almirola Ford RainEater Wiper Blades
123.99
15.476
95
19
88
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Diet Mountain Dew
123.86
15.492
115
20
99
Carl Edwards Ford Fastenal
123.81
15.498
68
21
29
Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Jimmy John's
123.72
15.509
75
22
14
Mark Martin Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1
123.7
15.512
117
23
5
Kasey Kahne Chevrolet Farmers Insurance
123.59
15.525
110
24
98
Michael McDowell Ford Victory Junction
123.55
15.53
7
25
47
Bobby Labonte Toyota Bush's Beans
123.51
15.536
85
26
9
Marcos Ambrose Ford Stanley
123.49
15.538
99
27
39
Ryan Newman Chevrolet Quicken Loans
123.48
15.54
85
28
20
Matt Kenseth Toyota Dollar General
123.48
15.54
80
29
27
Paul Menard Chevrolet Menards/Schrock
123.42
15.547
89
30
17
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford Nationwide Insurance
123.37
15.553
56
31
31
Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar
123.1
15.587
74
32
1
Jamie McMurray Chevrolet McDonald's
123.1
15.588
71
33
87
Joe Nemechek Toyota Greer Roofing
123.02
15.598
23
34
93
Travis Kvapil Toyota Burger King/Dr.Pepper
122.92
15.61
81
35
51
Ryan Truex Chevrolet Seawatch
122.88
15.615
87
36
7
Dave Blaney Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing
122.77
15.629
59
37
83
David Reutimann Toyota Burger King/Dr.Pepper
122.71
15.637
110
38
19
Mike Bliss Toyota Plinker Tactical
122.71
15.637
21
39
10
Danica Patrick Chevrolet GoDaddy
122.57
15.655
84
40
32
Ken Schrader Ford Federated Auto Parts
122.15
15.709
61
41
30
David Stremme Toyota Swan Energy/Lean 1
122.07
15.719
45
42
36
J.J. Yeley Chevrolet United Mining Equipment
121.67
15.77
64
43
33
Tony Raines Chevrolet LittleJoesAutos.com
119.37
16.074
22
44
95
Scott Speed Ford Leavine Family Racing
118.88
16.141
14

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

Rk
Car
Driver
From Lap
To Lap
Avg. Speed
1
56
Martin Truex Jr.
77
86
123.634
2
24
Jeff Gordon
83
92
123.376
3
18
Kyle Busch
73
82
122.969
4
78
Kurt Busch
64
73
122.789
5
15
Clint Bowyer
44
53
122.688
6
42
Juan Pablo Montoya
66
75
122.561
7
88
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
56
65
122.473
8
47
Bobby Labonte
50
59
122.432
9
31
Jeff Burton
53
62
122.370
10
27
Paul Menard
72
81
122.335
11
48
Jimmie Johnson
35
44
122.031
12
39
Ryan Newman
47
56
122.025
13
83
David Reutimann
80
89
121.964
14
14
Mark Martin
74
83
121.946
15
1
Jamie McMurray
45
54
121.858
16
9
Marcos Ambrose
46
55
121.675
17
10
Danica Patrick
46
55
121.523
18
5
Kasey Kahne
101
110
121.346
19
55
Brian Vickers
74
83
121.281
20
13
Casey Mears
1
10
121.232
21
29
Kevin Harvick
16
25
121.052
22
36
J.J. Yeley
30
39
120.886
23
38
David Gilliland
22
31
120.773
24
20
Matt Kenseth
70
79
120.767
25
51
Ryan Truex
71
80
120.270
26
93
Travis Kvapil
71
80
119.720

 

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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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