When the series visited Charlotte Motor Speedway in May, Kasey Kahne
won his fourth career race at the 1.5-mile track after starting seventh. In all four of his wins at Charlotte, Kahne has started in the top 10, and it isn't an uncommon trend. Seven of the last 10 races at the track have been won by drivers starting seventh or better, and four winners have started on the front row during the stretch. The correlation has been even more predominant in the fall race at Charlotte with nine of the last 10 winner qualifying in the top 10.
The trend is good news for Greg Biffle, who steamrolled his way to the pole in record breaking fashion. While he has been somewhat up and down at Charlotte throughout his career, he has been reliable as of late. Biffle has four straight top-15s at the track, including a strong fourth-place showing earlier this year. Starting up front, Biffle could be on his way to another top-five performance Saturday night.
Other big names starting in the top 10 that fantasy owners will want to target include Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin and Kasey Kahne. Johnson is a six-time winner at the track, and his 10.7 average finish is the second best among active drivers. Meanwhile, Kahne's four wins at Charlotte since 2006 are the most in the series. Busch and Hamlin have yet to win at Charlotte, but that could change this weekend. Hamlin has four straight top-10s at the track, including a second-place effort in May. Busch, on the other hand, has nine top-10s in his last 10 Charlotte starts, including six finishes of third or better. Last but not least, Kenseth has seven straight top-15s at Charlotte and is the defending winner of this weekend's race.
Owners looking for a sleeper pick may want to grab Joey Logano. He qualified 12th for Saturday's race, and in seven career starts at Charlotte, he has six top-15 finishes. Logano also has four top-10s during the stretch, and his 10.3 average finish leads all active drivers. He could definitely provide a top-15 finish this weekend and maybe even more.
Although qualifying wasn't necessarily kind to Ricky Stenhouse Jr. or Regan Smith, owners should also add those drivers to the list of potential sleepers. Stenhouse finished 11th in his only career start at Charlotte, and he finished a solid 12th in his start at Dover a couple of weeks ago. Meanwhile, Smith was the beneficiary of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s unfortunate concussion, and he will get to pilot the No. 88 for Hendrick Motorsports for at least the next two weeks. In five starts at Charlotte, Smith has four top-20 finishes, and he will easily be behind the wheel of the best equipment he has ever had at the Cup level. A top-15 isn't out of the question for either driver.
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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