Fantasy NASCAR team preview: Richard Childress Racing

by Cory J. Bonini on January 28, 2009 @ 00:00:00 PDT


No. 29 Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet

Owner: Richard Childress
Driver: Kevin Harvick
Crew chief: Todd Berrier
Sprint Cup debut: 2001
Age: 33
Career Sprint Cup wins: 11
2008 Sprint Cup rank: 4

2009 fantasy outlook: Harvick is one of the most consistent drivers in NASCAR. He has finished fourth in the Sprint Cup standings twice in the past three years, and he has never finished worse than 23rd (2002, his second year). Harvick didn't win a race in 2008, but he has six in the prior seasons. In '08, he finished in the top 10 19 times, the second most in his career. View him as a strong No. 1 fantasy option.

No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet

Owner: Richard Childress
Driver: Jeff Burton
Crew chief: Scott Miller
Sprint Cup debut: 1993
Age: 41
Career Sprint Cup wins: 21
2008 Sprint Cup rank: 6

2009 fantasy outlook: Burton finished sixth in 2008, marking his third straight year with a finish in the top eight after five consecutive finishes of 10th or worse. His best Sprint Cup Series finish is third place in 2000. Burton has been remarkably consistent over the past three years. He has one win, one win and two wins, respectively. His top-five finishes are: seventh, ninth and seventh, respectively. Finally, Burton has finished in the top 10 no less than 18 times and no more than 20 times in this same span. In all, Burton is a No. 1 fantasy driver with mild risk.

No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet

Owner: Richard Childress
Driver: Clint Bowyer
Crew chief: Shane Wilson
Sprint Cup debut: 2005
Age: 29
Career Sprint Cup wins: 2
2008 Sprint Cup rank: 5

2009 fantasy outlook: A move from the No. 07 Jack Daniel's Chevrolet to the No. 33 ride is in store for Bowyer in 2009. His new crew chief is Shane Wilson, leaving Gil Martin with the No. 07 car. Two top-five finishes in the past two years has put Bowyer's name in the lights, but a switch in cars and crew chiefs could lead to a bit of a setback in '09. View him as a mid-to-low No. 1 fantasy option.

No. 07 Jack Daniel's Chevrolet

Owner: Richard Childress
Driver: Casey Mears
Crew chief: Gil Martin
Sprint Cup debut: 2003
Age: 30
Career Sprint Cup wins: 1
2008 Sprint Cup rank: 20

2009 fantasy outlook: Coming over from Hendrick Motorsports after a disappointing stay, Mears has never finished better than 15th in the Cup standings and regressed to a 20th-place finish in 2009. He is hoping a change of scenery will change his fortunes, and Richard Childress Racing is a strong team to move to. Mears could be a bit of a sleeper, but we also have reservations since he wasn't exactly a dynamo while at Hendrick, so temper your expectations if you see a potential breakout year. View him as a reasonable No. 3 driver.

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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