Fantasy NASCAR rankings: Auto Club 400

by Brian Polking on March 24, 2012 @ 16:12:08 PDT

 


Matt Kenseth

Outside of Denny Hamlin winning at Phoenix, Joe Gibbs Racing has had a rather quiet start to the 2012 season. That could change Sunday at Auto Club Speedway. Hamlin will start from the pole and be joined on the front row by teammate Kyle Busch. Not to mention the fact that Joey Logano qualified eighth, putting all three JGR cars in the top 10. Roush Fenway Racing has been the team to beat thus far, and Michael Waltrip Racing has surprisingly carried the banner for Toyota. If JGR is going to reassert itself as the juggernaut it was from 2008-2010, it needs to build on its stellar effort in qualifying.

Of course, there are plenty of other strong options for fantasy owners starting near the front of the field Sunday. The ageless wonder Mark Martin qualified third, and former ACS winner and current point leader Greg Biffle will roll off fourth. Defending race winner Kevin Harvick will also start up front after qualifying seventh. Harvick is a particularly intriguing option because he tends to be a horrible qualifier. On the rare occasions he does start up front, he usually delivers big-time results.

Rounding out the top 10 during qualifying were Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson, and the two superstars should be on the short list of favorites for fantasy owners. Stewart won at ACS in the fall of 2010, and he has a 7.2 average finish at the track since becoming an owner/driver for Stewart-Haas Racing. Meanwhile, Johnson is a five-time winner at the track and has finished third or better in eight of his last nine starts. Stewart and Johnson finished first and second at the first trip to a larger oval this season, and the two drivers that have combined to win the last seven series titles could be back at the front of the field when the checkered flag waves this weekend.

Rk
Driver
Car No.
Make Sponsor Team
Starting Pos
1
Jimmie Johnson
48
Chevrolet Lowe's Home Improvement Hendrick Motorsports
10
2
Matt Kenseth
17
Ford Best Buy Roush Fenway Racing
15
3
Tony Stewart
14
Chevrolet Office Depot Stewart-Haas Racing
9
4
Kevin Harvick
29
Chevrolet Budweiser Richard Childress Racing
7
5
Denny Hamlin
11
Toyota FedEx Joe Gibbs Racing
1
6
Carl Edwards
99
Ford Subway Roush Fenway Racing
12
7
Clint Bowyer
15
Toyota 5 Hour Energy Michael Waltrip Racing
11
8
Ryan Newman
39
Chevrolet U.S. Army Stewart-Haas Racing
6
9
Kyle Busch
18
Toyota M&M's Joe Gibbs Racing
2
10
Mark Martin
55
Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine Michael Waltrip Racing
3
11
Brad Keselowski
2
Dodge Miller Lite Penske Championship Racing
17
12
Greg Biffle
16
Ford 3M Roush Fenway Racing
4
13
Jeff Gordon
24
Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger Hendrick Motorsports
21
14
Joey Logano
20
Toyota Home Depot Joe Gibbs Racing
8
15
Martin Truex Jr.
56
Toyota NAPA Auto Parts Michael Waltrip Racing
13
16
Kasey Kahne
5
Chevrolet Farmers Insurance Hendrick Motorsports
5
17
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
88
Chevrolet Mountain Dew AMP Energy Hendrick Motorsports
14
18
A.J. Allmendinger
22
Dodge Shell/Pennzoil Penske Championship Racing
25
19
Paul Menard
27
Chevrolet Menard's Richard Childress Racing
27
20
Kurt Busch
51
Chevrolet Tag Heuer Phoenix Racing
23
21
Jeff Burton
31
Chevrolet Caterpillar Richard Childress Racing
19
22
Jamie McMurray
1
Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing
16
23
Juan Pablo Montoya
42
Chevrolet Clorox Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing
24
24
Aric Almirola
43
Ford Medallion Financial Richard Petty Motorsports
28
25
Marcos Ambrose
9
Ford Stanley Black & Decker Richard Petty Motorsports
29
26
David Reutimann
10
Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing Tommy Baldwin Racing
18
27
Regan Smith
78
Chevrolet Furniture Row Furniture Row Racing
22
28
Landon Cassill
83
Toyota Burger King BK Racing
31
29
Bobby Labonte
47
Toyota Kingsford JTG Daugherty Racing
26
30
Casey Mears
13
Ford GEICO Germain Racing
33
31
Brendan Gaughan
33
Chevrolet South Point Casino Richard Childress Racing
37
32
David Ragan
34
Ford Scorpion Truck Bed Liners Front Row Motorsports
38
33
Travis Kvapil
93
Toyota Burger King BK Racing
40
34
David Gilliland
38
Ford MHP Front Row Motorsports
41
35
Ken Schrader
32
Ford 1 Less Than 2 FAS Lane Racing
42
36
Dave Blaney
36
Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing Tommy Baldwin Racing
34
37
Mike Bliss
19
Toyota Humphrey Smith Racing Humphrey Smith Racing
39
38
Scott Riggs
23
Chevrolet North Texas Pipe R3 Motorsports
35
39
David Stremme
30
Toyota Inception Motorsports Inception Motorsports
20
40
J.J. Yeley
49
Toyota American Israel Racing American Israel Racing
36
41
Josh Wise
26
Ford 1-800LoanMart Front Row Motorsports
30
42
Michael McDowell
98
Ford Curb Records Phil Parsons Racing
32
43
Reed Sorenson
74
Chevrolet Turn One Racing Turn One Racing
43
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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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