Fantasy NASCAR: Polking's Picks for Charlotte

by Brian Polking on May 22, 2014 @ 10:03:56 PDT

 

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Kasey Kahne, NASCAR

It hasn't been the best stretch for my fantasy racing teams lately, but I finally stopped the bleeding in a big way at Kansas Speedway a couple of weeks ago. I built most of my lineups around Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano, and both drivers led a lot of laps and delivered top-five finishes. Meanwhile, my main sleeper pick, Aric Almirola, came through with an eighth-place finish. To top off the banner week, I picked race winner Jeff Gordon as my NASCAR.com Streak to the Finish driver. Hopefully, my big day at Kansas is the start of a much-needed hot streak.

Of course, keeping the momentum going is going to be easier said than done at a challenging race like the Coca-Cola 600. Overall, I'll be relying on the recent results at Charlotte Motor Speedway as well as results from the three previous races held at 1.5-mile ovals in 2014. In addition, I will be particularly aggressive in my Fox Fantasy Auto Racing league. With just two races remaining in the first half of the regular season, I will soon have my full allotment of starts back for every driver in the Fox game. In the meantime, I want to make sure that I don't leave any starts on the table from the top drivers.

One other storyline worth following for fantasy purposes this weekend is the status of Kurt Busch. He is going to be attempting to run the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in the same day, and while the fatigue factor is certainly a concern, the bigger issue is whether or not Busch can even make it from Indianapolis to Charlotte in time for the start of the Coca-Cola 600. If Busch happens to be running late, Parker Kligerman will fill in for him, which means Kligerman will receive the fantasy points. If you are willing to keep tabs on Busch's status up until the green flag, Kligerman could end up being a sneaky C-List option in Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Auto Racing and a bargain pick in NASCAR.com Fantasy Live.

Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Auto Racing

Kasey Kahne (A): A driver's finishing position is what matters most in this format, and no driver has been better in the last five races at Charlotte than Kahne. He leads all drivers with a 3.4 average finish in that span, tallying a series-leading 211 points. Overall, Kahne is a four-time winner at Charlotte and a three-time winner of the Coca-Cola 600.

Joey Logano (B): Logano offers a blend of reliability and upside that I just can't pass up in this format. Not only does he lead all active drivers with a 10.4 average finish at Charlotte, but his 3.0 average finish and 130 points scored at 1.5-mile tracks are both the best in the series.

Jamie McMurray (B): Since McMurray is a former two-time winner at Charlotte, I was already considering gambling on his upside. After he won the All-Star Race at the track last weekend, I like his chances of contending for another win at Charlotte.

Trevor Bayne (C): He has improved his finishing position in all four of his starts at Charlotte, finishing a career-best 16th in last year's Coca-Cola 600. At the very least, Bayne should be able to deliver a top-20 finish while allowing me to save a start from one of the series regular in this tier.

NASCAR and FOX games next....

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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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