A.J. Allmendinger, Richard Petty Motorsports

by KFFL Staff on January 19, 2011 @ 18:24:00 PDT

 


A.J. Allmendinger | No. 43 Best Buy Ford | Richard Petty Motorsports

A.J. Allmendinger

In just his second full season in the Cup Series, Allmendinger put himself on the fast track to stardom. Consistent top-20 finishes led to a 19th-place finish in the standings and earned him a contract extension with Richard Petty Motorsports. He enters the 2011 season as RPM's No. 1 driver, and he should have a legitimate shot at finishing in the top 15.

Allmendinger logged a career-high eight top-10s and a career-best 17.8 average finish last season. More importantly, he emerged as a reliable sleeper option for fantasy owners, notching 26 top-20 finishes. He even flirted with a victory at Dover until a cut tire dropped him to a 10th-place finish. In short, he went from a fantasy afterthought to a regular addition to rosters.

Aside from the perks of being RPM's No. 1 driver, another year of experience should improve his numbers in 2011. He posted a 15.9 average finish at the intermediate tracks last season, and he has been a top-15 driver at road courses throughout his career. The combination is tough to find, especially outside of the elite drivers in the sport.

Fantasy owners should consider him an elite third-round pick in drafts with the potential of being a top-15 scorer. Allmendinger will have serious value in all fantasy formats. He has already been a consistent top-15 driver at Atlanta, Chicagoland, Indianapolis and Kansas; he has been a top-10 driver at Watkins Glen and Homestead. Expect a few more tracks to be added to that list this season.

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