Fantasy NASCAR Practice Recap: Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500

by Brian Polking on October 26, 2013 @ 13:22:55 PDT

 

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Kyle Busch may be a distant third in the championship battle, but he didn't look ready to wave the white flag during Cup Series practice at Martinsville Saturday. He turned in the second-fastest lap in the opening session to go along with the best 10-lap average speed, and in Happy Hour, he ran the fourth-fastest lap. Busch has also finished in the top five in four of his last six starts at Martinsville, including a second-place run last fall and a fifth-place effort earlier this year. Fantasy owners should consider him a definite top-five option and a contender for the win this weekend.

Another driver who appears to have a car capable of winning Sunday is Dale Earnhardt Jr. In fact, he may have been the most impressive driver in practice Saturday. After turning in the third-fastest lap and logging the fifth-best 10-lap average speed in the opening session, Junior topped the charts in both categories during final practice. Meanwhile, he has also logged seven top-15 finishes in his last 10 starts at Martinsville and has four finishes of seventh or better in his last six starts at the track. At worst, fantasy owners are probably going to get a top-10 run out of Junior, and it wouldn't be a shock to see him challenge for the win.

One driver who has done plenty of winning this year is Matt Kenseth, and he could be back in victory lane this weekend. After all, he turned in the fourth-fastest lap and posted the fourth-best 10-lap average speed in the first practice Saturday, and he ran the fifth-fastest lap and logged the third-best 10-lap average speed in Happy Hour. Granted, Martinsville has never been his best track, but Kenseth does have five top-15s in his last six starts at the track, including three straight. Don't be surprised if Kenseth notches his first Martinsville win Sunday, and he should be a top-five fantasy option regardless.

NASCAR driver Joey Logano
Logano has appealing boom

Clint Bowyer could also challenge for his first Martinsville win this weekend. After all, he was one of four drivers to crack the top five in both practice sessions Saturday. In fact, he turned in the second-fastest lap in Happy Hour, and he also had one of the five best 10-lap average speeds in both practices. The fast times are actually nothing new for Bowyer at Martinsville since he joined Michael Waltrip Racing. In three starts at the track with the organization, he has a 5.7 average finish, and he finished a career-best second at Martinsville earlier this year.

Of course, anyone who wants to win at Martinsville usually has to deal with Jimmie Johnson, and the eight-time track winner didn't exactly disappoint in practice Saturday. After turning in the eighth-fastest lap and logging the ninth-best 10-lap average speed in the first session, he ranked sixth on the charts in both categories in Happy Hour. Throw in his series-leading 5.3 average finish at Martinsville in 23 starts, and Johnson should be on fantasy rosters in every format this weekend.

Johnson's Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne also deserves consideration in just about every format. After turning in the seventh-fastest lap in the opening practice, he jumped to third on the charts in the final session. Kahne also logged the second-best 10-lap average speed in Happy Hour. Meanwhile, Kahne has been on a roll at Martinsville since joining HMS, finishing third at the track last fall and fourth earlier this year.

The only Hendrick Motorsports driver I haven't mentioned yet is Jeff Gordon, and the veteran wasn't too shabby during practice either, cracking the top 10 in both sessions. The seven-time Martinsville winner has been incredibly consistent at the track, and in the last 20 races, he has a 5.0 average finish and 18 top-10s. Look for Gordon to add another top-10 to that total this weekend, and he should make a rock-solid addition to fantasy rosters in all formats.

After a solid showing in practice, especially on longer runs, Brad Keselowski also looks like a safe option for fantasy owners this weekend. He turned in the 11th-fastest lap in the opening session and jumped to eighth on the charts in Happy Hour, and perhaps more importantly, he posted the second-best 10-lap average speed in the first practice and the fourth-best 10-lap average speed in the final session. Keselowski has quietly reeled off three straight top-10s at Martinsville, including back-to-back sixth-place finishes, and he should extend the streak this weekend.

For fantasy owners willing to gamble a bit, Joey Logano makes an intriguing option. He topped the charts in the first practice Saturday, and he cracked the top 10 in Happy Hour. Granted, he has finished outside the top 15 in four straight starts at Martinsville, but he has also finished as high as second at the track. Logano appears to have a fast car, and while there is some risk, the reward could be a top-10 finish or more.

In terms of sleeper options, Juan Pablo Montoya and Mark Martin are both worth considering. Montoya actually cracked the top 10 in both practice sessions Saturday, and Martin ranked in the top 15 in both sessions. With five top-10s in his last seven starts at Martinsville, Martin is definitely the safer choice. Montoya has been much more inconsistent, but he does have a couple of top-four finishes at the track since 2009, so he has plenty of upside to offer.

Happy Hour Speeds (sorted by Best Lap)

Rk
Car
Driver Make Sponsor
Best Lap
Best Time
Laps
1
88
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet National Guard
97.533
19.415
70
2
15
Clint Bowyer Toyota 5-hour Energy
97.133
19.495
54
3
5
Kasey Kahne Chevrolet Farmers Insurance
97.068
19.508
73
4
18
Kyle Busch Toyota M&M`s Halloween
97.038
19.514
52
5
20
Matt Kenseth Toyota Dollar General
97.033
19.515
52
6
48
Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe`s
97.023
19.517
65
7
42
Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet Target
96.869
19.548
49
8
2
Brad Keselowski Ford Miller Lite
96.741
19.574
65
9
22
Joey Logano Ford Shell Pennzoil
96.731
19.576
81
10
24
Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger
96.691
19.584
74
11
56
Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts
96.657
19.591
44
12
14
Mark Martin Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1
96.578
19.607
63
13
27
Paul Menard Chevrolet Menards / Turtle Wax
96.568
19.609
79
14
31
Jeff Burton Chevrolet Sleep Innovations / Dow
96.529
19.617
77
15
55
Elliott Sadler Toyota RK Motors Collector Car Auctions
96.504
19.622
76
16
39
Ryan Newman Chevrolet State Water Heaters
96.494
19.624
64
17
11
Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx One Rate
96.489
19.625
62
18
17
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford Driven for a Cause
96.455
19.632
54
19
99
Carl Edwards Ford Geek Squad
96.430
19.637
57
20
9
Marcos Ambrose Ford DeWalt
96.391
19.645
66
21
41
Aric Almirola Ford Maurice Petty Hall of Fame Inductee
96.337
19.656
45
22
13
Casey Mears Ford GEICO
96.220
19.680
52
23
40
Landon Cassill Chevrolet Moonshine Attitude Attire
96.176
19.689
35
24
16
Greg Biffle Ford 3M
96.176
19.689
52
25
29
Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Rheem
96.141
19.696
58
26
51
Kyle Larson Chevrolet Target
96.034
19.718
68
27
1
Jamie McMurray Chevrolet McDonald`s
96.005
19.724
51
28
78
Kurt Busch Chevrolet Furniture Row / Denver Mattress
95.932
19.739
60
29
10
Danica Patrick Chevrolet GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness
95.874
19.751
63
30
38
David Gilliland Ford Long John Silver`s
95.840
19.758
49
31
34
David Ragan Ford Taco Bell
95.752
19.776
65
32
98
Michael McDowell Ford Phil Parsons Racing
95.743
19.778
43
33
32
Ken Schrader Ford U.S. Chrome
95.690
19.789
28
34
30
Cole Whitt Toyota Widow Wax / Lean1
95.477
19.833
31
35
93
Travis Kvapil Toyota Burger King / Dr Pepper
95.415
19.846
58
36
83
David Reutimann Toyota Burger King / Dr Pepper
95.352
19.859
42
37
7
Dave Blaney Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing
95.343
19.861
37
38
95
Reed Sorenson Ford TBD
95.204
19.890
35
39
35
Josh Wise Ford MDS Transport
95.094
19.913
16
40
36
J.J. Yeley Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing
95.079
19.916
46
41
33
Tony Raines Chevrolet Little Joe's Autos
94.818
19.971
22
42
87
Joe Nemechek Toyota NEMCO - JRR
94.803
19.974
28

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

Rk
Car

Driver

From Lap
To Lap
Avg. Speed
1
88
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
3
12
96.791
2
5
Kasey Kahne
3
12
96.615
3
20
Matt Kenseth
3
12
96.569
4
2
Brad Keselowski
4
13
96.294
5
15
Clint Bowyer
38
47
96.251
6
48
Jimmie Johnson
37
46
96.247
7
22
Joey Logano
3
12
96.230
8
39
Ryan Newman
3
12
96.173
9
31
Jeff Burton
3
12
96.137
10
55
Elliott Sadler
3
12
96.024
11
24
Jeff Gordon
8
17
96.012
12
9
Marcos Ambrose
40
49
96.001
13
99
Carl Edwards
2
11
95.932
14
14
Mark Martin
3
12
95.906
15
18
Kyle Busch
7
16
95.891
16
27
Paul Menard
3
12
95.878
17
17
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
3
12
95.834
18
56
Martin Truex Jr.
23
32
95.729
19
78
Kurt Busch
3
12
95.620
20
1
Jamie McMurray
3
12
95.591
21
42
Juan Pablo Montoya
9
18
95.548
22
13
Casey Mears
2
11
95.436
23
43
Aric Almirola
20
29
95.428
24
29
Kevin Harvick
38
47
95.400
25
38
David Gilliland
3
12
95.397
26
16
Greg Biffle
39
48
95.340
27
32
Ken Schrader
3
12
95.312
28
10
Danica Patrick
40
49
95.297
29
51
Kyle Larson
36
45
95.282
30
40
Landon Cassill
11
20
95.231
31
11
Denny Hamlin
39
48
95.057
32
34
David Ragan
42
51
94.971
33
83
David Reutimann
2
11
94.872
34
98
Michael McDowell
4
13
94.857
35
95
Reed Sorenson
5
14
94.849
36
93
Travis Kvapil
38
47
93.768
37
36
J.J. Yeley
16
25
93.249
38
7
Dave Blaney
2
11
84.816

Second Practice Speeds (sorted by Best Lap)

Rk
Car
Driver Make Sponsor
Best Lap
Best Time
Laps
1
22
Joey Logano Ford Shell Pennzoil
97.468
19.428
47
2
18
Kyle Busch Toyota M&M`s Halloween
97.372
19.447
44
3
88
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet National Guard
97.337
19.454
69
4
20
Matt Kenseth Toyota Dollar General
97.287
19.464
57
5
15
Clint Bowyer Toyota 5-hour Energy
97.212
19.479
41
6
99
Carl Edwards Ford Geek Squad
97.133
19.495
48
7
5
Kasey Kahne Chevrolet Farmers Insurance
97.103
19.501
40
8
48
Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe`s
96.983
19.525
65
9
42
Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet Target
96.845
19.553
53
10
24
Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger
96.820
19.558
62
11
2
Brad Keselowski Ford Miller Lite
96.706
19.581
43
12
56
Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts
96.696
19.583
61
13
16
Greg Biffle Ford 3M
96.686
19.585
34
14
14
Mark Martin Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1
96.671
19.588
57
15
55
Elliott Sadler Toyota RK Motors Collector Car Auctions
96.489
19.625
67
16
27
Paul Menard Chevrolet Menards / Turtle Wax
96.460
19.631
49
17
78
Kurt Busch Chevrolet Furniture Row / Denver Mattress
96.445
19.634
59
18
39
Ryan Newman Chevrolet State Water Heaters
96.411
19.641
57
19
1
Jamie McMurray Chevrolet McDonald`s
96.313
19.661
52
20
51
Kyle Larson Chevrolet Target
96.298
19.664
57
21
30
Cole Whitt Toyota Widow Wax / Lean1
96.273
19.669
43
22
47
Bobby Labonte Toyota Clorox
96.249
19.674
29
23
31
Jeff Burton Chevrolet Sleep Innovations / Dow
96.156
19.693
62
24
17
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford Driven for a Cause
96.151
19.694
48
25
10
Danica Patrick Chevrolet GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness
96.146
19.695
51
26
41
Aric Almirola Ford Maurice Petty Hall of Fame Inductee
96.141
19.696
54
27
34
David Ragan Ford Taco Bell
96.117
19.701
48
28
11
Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx One Rate
96.097
19.705
65
29
9
Marcos Ambrose Ford DeWalt
96.083
19.708
51
30
29
Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Rheem
96.054
19.714
45
31
40
Landon Cassill Chevrolet Moonshine Attitude Attire
96.010
19.723
24
32
13
Casey Mears Ford GEICO
95.883
19.749
45
33
38
David Gilliland Ford Long John Silver`s
95.849
19.756
42
34
93
Travis Kvapil Toyota Burger King / Dr Pepper
95.791
19.768
39
35
83
David Reutimann Toyota Burger King / Dr Pepper
95.617
19.804
36
36
95
Reed Sorenson Ford TBD
95.492
19.830
10
37
32
Ken Schrader Ford U.S. Chrome
95.482
19.832
38
38
7
Dave Blaney Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing
95.429
19.843
36
39
87
Joe Nemechek Toyota NEMCO - JRR
95.189
19.893
24
40
35
Josh Wise Ford MDS Transport
95.170
19.897
13
41
33
Tony Raines Chevrolet Little Joe's Autos
94.519
20.034
10
42
36
J.J. Yeley Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing
94.129
20.117
8

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

Rk
Car

Driver

From Lap
To Lap
Avg. Speed
1
18
Kyle Busch
25
34
96.590
2
2
Brad Keselowski
3
12
96.244
3
15
Clint Bowyer
2
11
96.212
4
20
Matt Kenseth
37
46
96.055
5
88
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
10
19
95.965
6
14
Mark Martin
9
18
95.840
7
78
Kurt Busch
9
18
95.816
8
56
Martin Truex Jr.
11
20
95.769
9
48
Jimmie Johnson
51
60
95.614
10
47
Bobby Labonte
3
12
95.584
11
9
Marcos Ambrose
27
36
95.547
12
29
Kevin Harvick
26
35
95.532
13
39
Ryan Newman
40
49
95.449
14
43
Aric Almirola
41
50
95.439
15
1
Jamie McMurray
9
18
95.411
16
55
Elliott Sadler
2
11
95.399
17
11
Denny Hamlin
9
18
95.382
18
5
Kasey Kahne
27
36
95.346
19
51
Kyle Larson
3
12
95.337
20
31
Jeff Burton
45
54
95.295
21
34
David Ragan
3
12
95.281
22
24
Jeff Gordon
52
61
95.161
23
38
David Gililand
2
11
95.144
24
40
Landon Cassill
3
12
94.933
25
13
Casey Mears
1
10
94.928
26
93
Travis Kvapil
1
10
94.584
27
27
Paul Menard
29
38
94.542
28
30
Cole Whitt
9
18
94.205
29
83
David Reutimann
2
11
94.110
30
95
Reed Sorenson
1
10
93.845
31
32
Ken Schrader
10
19
93.187
32
33
Tony Raines
1
10
93.099
33
10
Danica Patrick
10
19
91.602

 

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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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