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ADAM ANSELL'S TOP 25 FOR GATEWAY
1. Carl Edwards: In seven starts at Gateway International Raceway, Edwards has three wins (2006, 2008 and July 2010), five Top Fives and six Top 10s. Take away his 38th-place DNF in 2002 at the site and Edwards has an Average Start of fourth plus an Average Finish of 2.5. He's led at least four laps in his last five GIR starts. Since the inception of Loop Data in 2005, Edwards ranks second in Driver Rating (124.8) and third in Average Running Position (4.4). With Kyle Busch sitting this one out, Edwards is a lock to finish second in the Series standings for the third consecutive season. Though he won't win the championship, he has performed at an elite level up to this point in the season, with two wins, 16 Top Fives, 23 Top 10s and three poles. He'll collect this third win of 2010 at Gateway.
2. Brad Keselowski: Keselowski won for the first time since August last week at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He officially finished 14th in the July event at the site, but if not for a cheap shot by Edwards on the final lap, Keselowski would have won. In that event he posted a 136.8 DR, 1.5 ARP and led 136 laps. In four starts at the site, Keselowski has one Top Five, two Top 10s and one pole (2009). He's led at least one lap in three of his four starts at the site. He ranks 11th in DR (100.5) and 14th in ARP (10.7). With Keselowski on probation, Fantasy owners can expect a clean race and plenty of bonus points. He's a Top Five lock this weekend.
3. Reed Sorenson: In six starts at Gateway, Sorenson has two wins (2005, 2007) and five Top Fives. He's finished in second place in his last two starts at the site. He's started second on the grid in four of his six Gateway starts. He ranks fourth in DR (120.1) and seventh in ARP (7.7). He ranks second in Laps in the Top 15 (1,026) and in Fastest Laps Run (129) at the site. In his last 10 Series starts, Sorenson has three Top Fives and six Top 10s. He's blossomed into a reliable every week Fantasy option, regardless of format. Given his history at Gateway and overall consistency, he's an elite start this weekend.
4. Brad Coleman: Coleman has performed admirably in five spot starts behind the wheel of the No. 18 Toyota this season. He has an Average Start of fifth, with three starts inside the Top Four. He's led at least two laps on two occasions with a pair of Top Fives and an Average Finish of 13th in limited duty this season. In four starts at the site, Coleman has one Top Five. He ranks 29th in DR (78.6) and 23rd in ARP (15.5). Coleman finished 30th in the July event at Gateway despite holding a 16.3 ARP and starting seventh in the grid. He'll do better this time around. Coleman is the elite Elimination format start of the week.
5. Trevor Bayne: In just his second start at Gateway in July, Bayne started from the pole, finished third, led 19 laps and posted a 116.8 DR with a 4.1 ARP. Overall, he ranks 20th in DR (86.8) and 21st in ARP (15.2). Bayne currently sits eighth in the Series standings, but will most likely leapfrog the idle Joey Logano for seventh. Gateway was the site where Bayne's run of three consecutive poles (ORP, Iowa) began. He's cooled off with just one Top Five and three Top 10s in the 10 events since Iowa, but remains a high-upside start on a weekly basis.
6. Paul Menard: Menard returned to Gateway in July after a three-year layoff, but showed no signs of rust in his fourth-place performance. In four starts at the site, he has two Top Fives. He ranks 14th in DR (96.7) and 16th in ARP (13.1). Though he's been consistent, as demonstrated by his sixth-place position in the Series standings, Menard hasn't come by Fantasy bonus points easily this season. He's led laps in just three events all year and has just one start inside the Top Four on the grid. Menard is a recommended start in all formats for league leaders looking to cruise to the Fantasy finish line.
7. Matt DiBenedetto: DiBenedetto has helmed the No. 20 JGR ride five times this season, collecting two Top 10s in the process. In his Gateway debut at the July event, he finished 29th but held an ARP of 15.4. He ranks 26th in DR (79.7) and 22nd in ARP (15.4). Logano and Denny Hamlin both rank inside the Top Three in DR and ARP, and have performed at an elite level at Gateway with the equipment DiBenedetto will be driving. His disappointing debut at the site will ensure lower ownership in Tiered/Grouping formats, making him an excellent value start this weekend.
8. Justin Allgaier: In two starts at the site, Allgaier has zero Tops 10s. His best Gateway finish is 11th, earned in the 2009 July event. He ranks 17th in DR (90.5) and 13th in ARP (10.3). He has one Top Five, four Top 10s and an Average Finish of seventh in his last four Series starts. Allgaier will comfortably cruise to a fourth-place finish in the Series standings, but not before padding his season stats with a Top 10 at Gateway. Allgaier is a safe start for Fantasy owners looking to hang onto a lead.
9. Jason Leffler: Leffler sits ninth in the Series standings, just six points behind Bayne. In eight starts at Gateway, Leffler has two Top Fives and three Top 10s. He ranks 18th in DR (89.3) and 17th in ARP (17.0). Leffler has been a solid Fantasy plug-in, recording one Top Five, four Top 10s and an Average Finish of 14th in his last eight Series starts. He's not a likely candidate to collect any bonus points via qualifying or laps led, but the added motivation of moving up in the standings is enough for Fantasy owners to start him in Tiered/Grouping formats.
10. Mike Bliss: Aside from a stretch from 2006-08 in which Bliss had an Average Finish of 33rd with three straight DNFs, he's been fairly solid at the site. His Average Finish minus the three DNFs is 13th although he has just one Top Five (2009) in seven starts. He ranks 28th in DR (78.8) and 33rd in ARP (19.4). He'll get back on track thanks to the weaker field and should record his second Top 10 finish in his last three Series starts. He's a medium-risk, medium-reward start in Tiered/Grouping formats.
11. Scott Wimmer: One Top Five, four Top 10s and one pole in seven starts at the site. 96.8 DR.
12. Tony Raines: One Top Five and three Top 10s in his last four starts at the site. 82.2 DR.
13. Steve Wallace: Finished fifth in the July event at the site. 68.2 DR.
14. Brendan Gaughan: He's slipped down to 11th in the Series standings and is 81 points out of 10th. 77.8 DR.
15. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Finished ninth in the July event at the site. 81.1 DR.
16. Brian Scott: 101.3 DR.
17. Jason Keller: 78.9.
18. Michael Annett: 83.5.
19. Ryan Truex: 78.4.
20. Kevin Hamlin: 65.2.
21. Brad Sweet
22. Jeremy Clements
23. Danica Patrick
24. Josh Wise
25. Michael McDowell
Wanna talk some track? E-mail Adam at firstname.lastname@example.org. Listen to RotoRacing and get up to speed on everything Fantasy NASCAR. Click here for upcoming show times.
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