Fantasy NASCAR Rankings: Sylvania 300

by Brian Polking on September 21, 2013 @ 13:13:38 PDT

 


Brad Keselowski
Don't neglect Keselowski

Heading into the weekend, Jeff Gordon was already second in the driver rankings thanks to one of the most consistent records at New Hampshire of any driver. After qualifying third and turning solid laps in practice Saturday, the veteran slides into the No. 1 spot in the final rankings for Sunday's Sylvania 300. Keep in mind that in the last 10 races at New Hampshire, Gordon's 7.5 average finish is the best in the series. Meanwhile, he has finished in the top 15 in his last 16 starts at the track and has four straight top-10s. Fantasy owners won't find a safer pick this weekend.

Gordon's teammates Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne claim the next two spots in the final driver rankings, giving Hendrick Motorsports a clean sweep of the top three. Both drivers were stout in practice Saturday, and Kahne also qualified on the outside of the front row. Meanwhile, Johnson is a three-time winner at New Hampshire, and he has 16 top-10s in 23 starts at the track, including three straight finishes of seventh or better. Kahne, on the other hand, has posted a 5.7 average finish at New Hampshire since joining Hendrick Motorsports in 2012, picking up his first win at the track during the stretch.

While they don't land in the top five of the final rankings, Kurt Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. do vault into the top 10. Busch qualified fourth and was one of the more impressive drivers - he was also fast in practice Saturday. He is a three-time winner at the New Hampshire track. Meanwhile, Junior followed a mediocre qualifying effort with a strong showing in practice Saturday. He has also finished in the top 15 in six of his last seven starts at New Hampshire, including three straight.

Outside of the top 10, Denny Hamlin remains the driver with the most upside. He qualified a respectable 14th, and he was solid in practice Saturday. Hamlin also has one of the more impressive resumes at New Hampshire, including a series-leading 8.8 average finish at the track. Hamlin also has five top-three finishes in his last eight starts at New Hampshire, and while he has been absolutely horrible for the past few weeks, his upside is undeniable. For fantasy owners that need to take some risks to gain ground in their leagues, he is the perfect option this weekend.

Another non-Chaser that is worth a look this weekend is Brad Keselowski. Like Hamlin, he just missed the top 10 in the final rankings, but he did follow a lackluster qualifying effort with top-10 times in both practices Saturday. Keselowski has also reeled off four straight finishes of sixth or better at New Hampshire.

As for sleeper picks, Paul Menard may be the way to go. While he has never finished in the top 10 at New Hampshire, he does sneak into the top 20 in the final rankings thanks to a seventh-place effort in qualifying and solid practice times. He has also cracked the top 20 in his last four starts at the track, including a career-best 12th-place run last September. At the very least, Menard seems poised to extend his streak of top-20 finishes at New Hampshire, and a top-15 isn't out of the question.

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

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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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