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Fantasy NASCAR Practice Recap: AdvoCare 500

By Brian Polking

Back in 2005, Carl Edwards went to victory lane at Atlanta Motor Speedway to earn his first-ever Cup Series win. He hasn't really slowed down at the track since, and he was up to his old tricks during practice Saturday. Edwards topped the charts in the opening sessions, and he turned the third-fastest lap in Happy Hour. He also posted the best 10-lap average speed in the final practice. Edwards is a three-time winner at AMS overall, and in 15 starts, he has finished seventh or better 10 times. Regardless of the format, he is well worth a roster spot.

Kyle Busch

Owners will also want to make room on their rosters for Jimmie Johnson. After ranking sixth in the opening practice at Atlanta Saturday, he jumped to the top of the charts in Happy Hour. He also ranked second and third, respectively, in terms of 10-lap average speeds in the two sessions. In 21 career starts at AMS, Johnson has finished third or better 10 times, including three wins. He appears well on his way to another excellent finish this weekend.

Johnson's Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne also looks like a safe bet to deliver an excellent finish. He cracked the top five in both practice sessions Saturday, and he turned the fifth-best 10-lap average speed in Happy Hour. Meanwhile, Kahne is a two-time winner at AMS, and seven of his 16 Cup wins have come at 1.5-mile tracks.

Another driver with a history success at Atlanta and similar tracks is Matt Kenseth, and he lived up to his reputation in practice Saturday. He ranked fifth and sixth in the two practice sessions and posted the sixth-best 10-lap average speed in Happy Hour. Kenseth also owns a series-leading 7.4 average finish in the last 10 races at Atlanta, and he has already won three races at 1.5-mile tracks this year. He might just be the safest pick available this weekend.

While he doesn't have the greatest track record at Atlanta, Joey Logano did show plenty of muscle in practice Saturday. He turned the 11th-fastest lap in the opening session, and he jumped to seventh on the charts in Happy Hour. Granted, he has never cracked the top 15 in six previous starts at AMS, but in the five races leading up to Sunday night's event. Logano has scored the most points of any driver in the series. Don't be surprised if he keeps the momentum going this weekend.

Clint Bowyer is another driver that has been average at best at AMS yet deserves consideration this weekend. He has never finished in the top five at the track and has finished outside the top 20 in four of his last five starts, but he ranked fourth and second in the two practice sessions Saturday, and he also posted the second-best 10-lap average speed in Happy Hour. His poor history at Atlanta is concerning, but owners willing to gamble a bit and trust the practice times could end up with a top-five option.

Dipping into the sleepers, Juan Pablo Montoya stands out as the top option. He logged the sixth-fastest lap in the first practice Saturday, and moved up to fourth on the charts in Happy Hour. Perhaps more importantly for Montoya, he has four top-15s in his last five starts at the track, including a pair of third-place finishes. He has also been running well the last few weeks, and based on the practice times, he could continue to deliver for fantasy owners this weekend.

Rookie Ricky Stenhouse Jr. could also make a solid sleeper play this weekend. He cracked the top 20 in both practice sessions Saturday, ranking 12th in the opening practice. He will also start on the pole for the first time in his career after posting the best lap in qualifying Friday. Stenhouse has been up and down all year and has yet to finish in the top 10. However, a top-15 finish isn't out of the question this weekend.

Happy Hour Speeds (sorted by Best Lap)

Rk
Car
Driver Team
Best Time
Best Lap
Laps
1
48
Jimmie Johnson Lowe's Dover White Chevrolet
29.735
186.447
38
2
15
Clint Bowyer RKMotorsCharlotte.com Toyota
29.799
186.047
31
3
99
Carl Edwards SUBWAY Ford
29.820
185.915
29
4
42
Juan Pablo Montoya Target Chevrolet
29.842
185.778
24
5
5
Kasey Kahne Farmers Insurance Chevrolet
29.970
184.985
32
6
20
Matt Kenseth Husky / Home Depot Toyota
30.000
184.800
33
7
22
Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford
30.107
184.143
27
8
78
Kurt Busch Furniture Row / Beautyrest Chevrolet
30.148
183.893
25
9
9
Marcos Ambrose DeWalt Ford
30.149
183.887
23
10
2
Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Ford
30.199
183.582
29
11
56
Martin Truex Jr. NAPA Auto Parts Toyota
30.275
183.121
28
12
17
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Best Buy Ford
30.308
182.922
19
13
43
Aric Almirola Smithfield Ford
30.310
182.910
34
14
27
Paul Menard MOEN / Menards Chevrolet
30.328
182.801
27
15
14
Mark Martin Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet
30.336
182.753
26
16
16
Greg Biffle 3M Ford
30.371
182.543
25
17
31
Jeff Burton Caterpillar Chevrolet
30.412
182.296
29
18
18
Kyle Busch M&M's Toyota
30.427
182.207
28
19
88
Dale Earnhardt Jr. National Guard / Race2Achieve.org Chevrolet
30.499
181.776
30
20
55
Brian Vickers Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota
30.513
181.693
24
21
11
Denny Hamlin SportClips Toyota
30.521
181.645
22
22
24
Jeff Gordon Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet
30.533
181.574
39
23
29
Kevin Harvick Jimmy John's Chevrolet
30.558
181.425
28
24
47
A.J. Allmendinger Scott Products Toyota
30.580
181.295
22
25
39
Ryan Newman Aspen Dental Chevrolet
30.655
180.851
37
26
1
Jamie McMurray E-Z-Go Chevrolet
30.660
180.822
22
27
33
Austin Dillon AdvoCare Chevrolet
30.670
180.763
33
28
51
Mike Bliss Phoenix Construction Chevrolet
30.739
180.357
23
29
38
David Gilliland Long John Silver's Ford
30.741
180.345
20
30
13
Casey Mears Geico Ford
30.809
179.947
17
31
83
David Reutimann Burger King / Dr Pepper Toyota
30.871
179.586
27
32
93
Travis Kvapil Burger King / Dr Pepper Toyota
30.974
178.989
22
33
30
David Stremme Swan Energy / Berry's Toyota
31.049
178.556
20
34
7
Dave Blaney SANY Chevrolet
31.073
178.419
20
35
34
David Ragan RaceTrac Hot Boiled Peanuts by Peanut Patch
31.087
178.338
17
36
98
Michael McDowell Phil Parsons Racing Ford
31.101
178.258
5
37
10
Danica Patrick GoDaddy Chevrolet
31.132
178.080
18
38
35
Josh Wise MDS Transport Ford
31.177
177.823
1
39
40
Landon Cassill Hillman Racing Chevrolet
31.433
176.375
12
40
95
Scott Speed Leavine Family Racing Ford
31.642
175.210
14
41
36
J.J. Yeley United Mining Equipment Chevrolet
31.692
174.934
18
42
32
Timmy Hill U.S. Chrome Ford
31.833
174.159
20
43
87
Joe Nemechek NEMCO Motorsports Toyota
32.041
173.028
3

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

Rk
Car
Driver
From Lap
To Lap
Avg. Speed
1
99
Carl Edwards
1
10
179.527
2
15
Clint Bowyer
1
10
179.020
3
48
Jimmie Johnson
1
10
179.018
4
56
Martin Truex Jr.
1
10
178.712
5
5
Kasey Kahne
1
10
178.579
6
20
Matt Kenseth
1
10
178.400
7
11
Denny Hamlin
1
10
178.368
8
24
Jeff Gordon
1
10
178.341
9
1
Jamie McMurray
1
10
178.099
10
14
Mark Martin
1
10
178.069
11
27
Paul Menard
1
10
177.663
12
29
Kevin Harvick
9
18
177.652
13
39
Ryan Newman
1
10
177.642
14
38
David Gilliland
1
10
177.177
15
22
Joey Logano
11
20
176.968
16
88
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
1
10
176.486
17
33
Austin Dillon
7
16
176.371
18
42
Juan Pablo Montoya
15
24
175.794
19
43
Aric Almirola
1
10
175.783
20
2
Brad Keselowski
15
24
175.778
21
9
Marcos Ambrose
12
21
175.750
22
83
David Reutimann
1
10
175.352
23
7
Dave Blaney
1
10
175.285
24
78
Kurt Busch
14
23
174.677
25
32
Timmy Hill
1
10
171.930

Second Practice Speeds (sorted by Best Lap)

Rk
Car
Driver Team
Best Time
Best Lap
Laps
1
99
Carl Edwards SUBWAY Ford
30.224
183.430
36
2
5
Kasey Kahne Farmers Insurance Chevrolet
30.230
183.394
27
3
2
Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Ford
30.290
183.031
45
4
15
Clint Bowyer RKMotorsCharlotte.com Toyota
30.313
182.892
28
5
20
Matt Kenseth Husky / Home Depot Toyota
30.412
182.296
24
6
48
Jimmie Johnson Lowe's Dover White Chevrolet
30.426
182.213
32
7
18
Kyle Busch M&M's Toyota
30.446
182.093
44
8
42
Juan Pablo Montoya Target Chevrolet
30.462
181.997
35
9
29
Kevin Harvick Jimmy John's Chevrolet
30.466
181.973
25
10
16
Greg Biffle 3M Ford
30.473
181.932
38
11
22
Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford
30.517
181.669
24
12
27
Paul Menard MOEN / Menards Chevrolet
30.529
181.598
25
13
14
Mark Martin Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevrolet
30.533
181.574
26
14
31
Jeff Burton Caterpillar Chevrolet
30.597
181.194
33
15
24
Jeff Gordon Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet
30.629
181.005
44
16
78
Kurt Busch Furniture Row / Beautyrest Chevrolet
30.650
180.881
38
17
17
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Best Buy Ford
30.721
180.463
28
18
1
Jamie McMurray E-Z-Go Chevrolet
30.732
180.398
31
19
43
Aric Almirola Smithfield Ford
30.734
180.387
32
20
9
Marcos Ambrose DeWalt Ford
30.744
180.328
43
21
39
Ryan Newman Aspen Dental Chevrolet
30.792
180.047
42
22
88
Dale Earnhardt Jr. National Guard / Race2Achieve.org Chevrolet
30.832
179.813
37
23
47
A.J. Allmendinger Scott Products Toyota
30.866
179.615
30
24
55
Brian Vickers Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota
30.904
179.394
28
25
11
Denny Hamlin SportClips Toyota
30.909
179.365
21
26
56
Martin Truex Jr. NAPA Auto Parts Toyota
30.951
179.122
31
27
33
Austin Dillon AdvoCare Chevrolet
31.058
178.505
26
28
51
Mike Bliss Phoenix Construction Chevrolet
31.121
178.143
31
29
13
Casey Mears Geico Ford
31.162
177.909
16
30
34
David Ragan RaceTracHotBoiledPeanutsbyPeanutPatch Ford
31.225
177.550
30
31
30
David Stremme Swan Energy / Berry's Toyota
31.535
175.805
33
32
38
David Gilliland Long John Silver's Ford
31.571
175.604
30
33
10
Danica Patrick GoDaddy Chevrolet
31.654
175.144
22
34
83
David Reutimann Burger King / Dr Pepper Toyota
31.697
174.906
27
35
93
Travis Kvapil Burger King / Dr Pepper Toyota
31.730
174.724
19
36
7
Dave Blaney SANY Chevrolet
31.890
173.848
25
37
40
Landon Cassill Hillman Racing Chevrolet
31.903
173.777
25
38
95
Scott Speed Leavine Family Racing Ford
31.949
173.527
6
39
32
Timmy Hill U.S. Chrome Ford
32.263
171.838
27

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

Rk
Car
Driver
From Lap
To Lap
Avg. Speed
1
29
Kevin Harvick
1
10
176.789
2
48
Jimmie Johnson
1
10
176.776
3
18
Kyle Busch
1
10
176.327
4
11
Denny Hamlin
1
10
176.281
5
24
Jeff Gordon
1
10
176.011
6
43
Aric Almirola
1
10
175.393
7
99
Carl Edwards
20
29
175.224
8
17
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
1
10
175.200
9
9
Marcos Ambrose
1
10
175.081
10
2
Brad Keselowski
26
35
174.899
11
39
Ryan Newman
27
36
174.094
12
78
Kurt Busch
29
38
173.564
13
1
Jamie McMurray
8
17
173.440
14
55
Brian Vickers
14
23
173.200
15
31
Jeff Burton
7
16
172.649
16
51
Mike Bliss
17
26
172.554
17
5
Kasey Kahne
13
22
172.171
18
15
Clint Bowyer
9
18
172.056
19
20
Matt Kenseth
8
17
172.043
20
47
A.J. Allmendinger
21
30
171.931
21
88
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
8
17
171.921
22
34
David Ragan
16
25
171.785
23
38
David Gilliland
6
15
171.481
24
14
Mark Martin
17
26
169.958


 


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