Fantasy NASCAR Rankings: AAA 400

by Brian Polking on September 28, 2013 @ 13:20:38 PDT

 


With seven career wins at Dover and a series-leading 5.7 average finish in the last 10 starts at the track, Jimmie Johnson was the easy pick for the top spot in the driver rankings to open the week. After qualifying in the top 10 and turning even faster laps in practice Saturday, he is an even easier choice for the top spot in the final set of rankings. Johnson lost a sure win at Dover in June when he was black-flagged for jumping the final restart.

NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Junior: quality Dover performer

While Johnson holds steady at No. 1, Matt Kenseth moves up into the No. 2 spot on the strength of a third-place effort in qualifying and a strong showing in Saturday's practices. Of course, the fact that he has won the first two races of the Chase and has seven top-five finishes in his last 10 starts at Dover doesn't hurt his value either. Even if he doesn't notch a record-setting third straight win to open the Chase, Kenseth should still be an elite option for fantasy owners this weekend.

The lone newcomer to the top five heading into Sunday's race is Brad Keselowski. He is also the defending winner of this weekend's event, and he finished fifth at Dover earlier this year. After qualifying sixth and consistently cracking the top 10 in practice Saturday, Keselowski seems more than capable of extending his streak of top-five finishes at Dover this weekend.

Outside the top five, Dale Earnhardt Jr. may be the driver to watch. After snagging the pole for Sunday's AAA 400, Junior vaults into the top 10 of the final driver rankings. He has never been dominant at Dover, but he is a former winner at the track. More importantly, Junior has finished 11th or better in three straight starts at Dover, including a top-10 run earlier this year. At the very least, he should be able to net fantasy owners another top-10 this weekend.

Looking outside the top 10, fantasy owners won't find a driver with more upside than Kurt Busch. He qualified a solid ninth for Sunday's race, and he was even better in practice Saturday. Granted, he hasn't been the most consistent performer at Dover, but he does have four top-five finishes in the last 10 races, including a win in the fall of 2011. During the same stretch, Busch has six top-15s at Dover, including a 12th-place run earlier this year. He offers top-five potential for those owners willing to sacrifice a bit of reliability.

In terms of sleepers, Juan Pablo Montoya and A.J. Allmendinger appear to be the top options. They qualified 13th and 17th, respectively, and both were solid in the practice sessions Saturday. With six finishes of 16th or better in his last eight starts at Dover, Allmendinger is definitely the safer pick. However, Montoya finished a career-best second at Dover earlier this year and was three laps away from going to Victory Lane. Needless to say, he has some upside.

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

 

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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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