Fantasy NASCAR Rankings: Federated Auto Parts 400

by Brian Polking on September 6, 2013 @ 17:03:55 PDT

 


Based on his track record alone, it was going to be tough for Kyle Busch to lose his spot atop the driver rankings for Saturday night's race at Richmond. After cracking the top three in both practice sessions and qualifying in the top 15, he easily hangs on to the No. 1 spot. After all, Busch already boasts a series-leading 6.5 average finish at Richmond to go along with four wins. He also has 12 top-five finishes in 17 starts at the track, including eight finishes of first or second. Throw in the fast times he has posted so far this weekend, and Busch deserves to be considered the top fantasy option in just about any format.

NASCAR driver Joey Logano
Logano tough to beat lately

While Busch retains his place in the final rankings, his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth slides up into the top three on the strength of an excellent showing in practice Friday. Of course, it also doesn't hurt that Kenseth finished fifth at Richmond last September and finished seventh while leading the most laps at the track in the spring event this year. He has a series-leading five wins under his belt in 2013 already, and don't be surprised if he adds to the total this weekend.

Another driver who climbs into the top five in the final rankings is Kasey Kahne. He posted some of the fastest laps during the practice sessions Friday, and he had arguably the most impressive car on longer runs. Kahne actually hasn't been the most consistent performer at Richmond throughout his career, but he does have three top-12 finishes in his last five starts at the track, including a pair of top-five runs. Kahne is also a former winner at RIR, so he offers plenty of upside.

Although he just misses the top five in the final rankings, Jeff Gordon does vault all the way to sixth after he and Busch were the only drivers to crack the top five in both practice sessions Friday. Gordon also qualified on the pole, and he has had a knack for being at his best in the September race at the track. He has compiled a 5.3 average finish in the last six starts in the event and has finished fourth or better four times during the stretch. Needless to say, a top-five finish isn't out of the question.

Rounding out the top 10 in the final rankings is Joey Logano, and despite just two top-10s in nine starts at Richmond, there is just too much to love about the guy this weekend. For one, he followed up solid practice times with an eighth-place run in qualifying. Meanwhile, he enters this weekend's race having scored 30 more points than any other driver in the series over the past six races. Throw in the fact that he finished a career-best third at Richmond in the spring event, and his mediocre record at the short track is worth overlooking.

Fantasy owners looking for a sleeper option this weekend may want to consider Mark Martin. Although he hasn't gotten off to a great start as Tony Stewart's replacement, Martin cracks the top 15 in the final rankings thanks in part to top-15 practice times and a top-15 qualifying effort. Meanwhile, Martin has three top-10s in his last four starts at Richmond, including a third-place effort last September, and he is driving for a No. 14 team that has four top-10s in its last five starts at the short track.

Rk
Driver
Car
No.
Make Sponsor Team
Start
Pos.
1
Kyle Busch
18
Toyota M&M's Joe Gibbs Racing
13
2
Clint Bowyer
15
Toyota 5 Hour Energy Michael Waltrip Racing
4
3
Matt Kenseth
20
Toyota Dollar General Joe Gibbs Racing
5
4
Kevin Harvick
29
Chevrolet Budweiser Richard Childress Racing
17
5
Kasey Kahne
5
Chevrolet Farmers Insurance Hendrick Motorsports
18
6
Jeff Gordon
24
Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger Hendrick Motorsports
1
7
Jimmie Johnson
48
Chevrolet Lowe's Home Improvement Hendrick Motorsports
10
8
Carl Edwards
99
Ford Fastenal Roush Fenway Racing
26
9
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
88
Chevrolet Time Warner Cable Hendrick Motorsports
14
10
Joey Logano
22
Ford Shell/Pennzoil Penske Championship Racing
8
11
Brad Keselowski
2
Ford Miller Lite Penske Championship Racing
3
12
Kurt Busch
78
Chevrolet Furniture Row Furniture Row Racing
2
13
Denny Hamlin
11
Toyota FedEx Joe Gibbs Racing
6
14
Ryan Newman
39
Chevrolet Quicken Loans Stewart-Haas Racing
24
15
Mark Martin
14
Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops Stewart-Haas Racing
16
16
Jeff Burton
31
Chevrolet Caterpillar Richard Childress Racing
19
17
Juan Pablo Montoya
42
Chevrolet Target Earnhardt Ganassi Racing
12
18
Brian Vickers
55
Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine Michael Waltrip Racing
20
19
Martin Truex Jr.
56
Toyota NAPA Auto Parts Michael Waltrip Racing
11
20
Greg Biffle
16
Ford 3M Roush Fenway Racing
9
21
A.J. Allmendinger
47
Toyota Bush's Beans JTG Daugherty Racing
34
22
Paul Menard
27
Chevrolet Menard's Richard Childress Racing
22
23
Marcos Ambrose
9
Ford Stanley Black & Decker Richard Petty Motorsports
32
24
Aric Almirola
43
Ford Smithfield Richard Petty Motorsports
15
25
Jamie McMurray
1
Chevrolet McDonald's Earnhardt Ganassi Racing
7
26
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
17
Ford Best Buy Roush Fenway Racing
21
27
David Ragan
34
Ford Taco Bell Front Row Motorsports
23
28
Landon Cassill
40
Chevrolet Moon Shine Attitude Attire Hillman Racing
28
29
Danica Patrick
10
Chevrolet GoDaddy.com Stewart-Haas Racing
36
30
Dave Blaney
7
Chevrolet GoPro Tommy Baldwin Racing
40
31
Casey Mears
13
Ford GEICO Germain Racing
25
32
Ryan Truex
51
Chevrolet Guy Roofing Phoenix Racing
38
33
David Gilliland
38
Ford Love's Travel Stops Front Row Motorsports
37
34
David Reutimann
83
Toyota Burger King BK Racing
35
35
Travis Kvapil
93
Toyota Burger King BK Racing
33
36
Tony Raines
33
Chevrolet Honey Nut Cheerios Richard Childress Racing
41
37
Ken Schrader
32
Ford Federated Auto Parts FAS Lane Racing
42
38
David Stremme
30
Toyota Swan Racing Swan Racing
29
39
J.J. Yeley
36
Chevrolet United Mining Equipment Tommy Baldwin Racing
43
40
Reed Sorenson
95
Ford Leavine Family Racing Leavine Family Racing
39
41
Josh Wise
35
Ford Blockbuster.com Front Row Motorsports
27
42
Michael McDowell
98
Ford Phil Parsons Racing Phil Parsons Racing
30
43
Joe Nemechek
87
Toyota AM FM Energy NEMCO-JRR Motorsports
31

 

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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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