Last weekend at Pocono, fantasy owners got a lesson on the importance of track position. In clean air, drivers like Denny Hamlin seemed next to unstoppable, but once in traffic, they couldn't make any progress toward the front. Passing will be just as difficult this weekend at Watkins Glen, making the qualifying results and pit strategy even more important.
Looking at the starting grid, fantasy owners have to be salivating at the names starting in the top 10. Pole-sitter Kyle Busch is a former winner at The Glen, and he has finished in the top 10 in his last five starts at the track. A.J. Allmendinger will start on the outside of the front row, coming off a fourth-place finish at the track last season. Road course ace Marcos Ambrose starts third, and he enters the race with a series-best 2.7 average finish at The Glen.
The solid options continue outside of the top three qualifiers. Defending race winner Juan Pablo Montoya qualified fifth, and five-time track winner Tony Stewart rolls off seventh in search of his seventh top-two finish in his last eight starts at The Glen. Carl Edwards starts eighth, and he has finished in the top 10 in five straight starts, including back-to-back top-five finishes. Even ninth-place qualifier Martin Truex Jr. has some sleeper value, having posted three top-15 finishes in his last four starts at Watkins Glen.
Granted, big names like Kurt Busch and Jeff Gordon are looking further back as well and can't be written off. However, fantasy owners can build a very strong roster without looking very far down the starting grid. Given the importance of track position, they might want to consider the strategy.
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.
Don't miss these great reports....