Fantasy NASCAR rankings: Hollywood Casino 400

by Brian Polking on October 20, 2012 @ 16:52:09 PDT

 


Jimmie Johnson
Nobody was quite sure what to expect during qualifying at Kansas Speedway. The 1.5-mile track's repaved surface was a potential curveball for all of the drivers, including the title contenders. However, it was business as usual for a majority of the drivers, starting with pole-sitter Kasey Kahne. Kahne leads all drivers with an 8.7 average starting position, and he backed up those numbers by shattering the track record in qualifying. After finishing second at Kansas last fall on the old pavement, Kahne could definitely make a run at a win on the new surface. After all, he has won more races at 1.5-mile tracks than any other type.

Veteran Mark Martin will also start on the front row, and like Kahne, starting up front is nothing new for Martin. In fact, he leads all drivers with four poles in 2012, and his 9.4 average finish is the third best in the series. Don't be surprised if he parlays the strong qualifying effort into a solid run Sunday. Martin finished 10th at Kansas last fall, and in 2005, he crashed the Chase party by picking up a win at the track.

As for the championship frontrunners, Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin all qualified ninth or better. Johnson is the defending winner of this weekend's race after winning at Kansas last fall, and Hamlin won at the track earlier this year. Meanwhile, Bowyer is coming off a win last weekend at Charlotte and has finished as high as second at his home-state track. All three should be able to continue their solid performance in the Chase, and fantasy owners shouldn't hesitate to add them to their rosters this weekend.

Points leader Brad Keselowski, on the other hand, didn't fare so well in qualifying. He will roll off 25th Sunday, but fantasy owners shouldn't hit the panic button. For starters, he hasn't been a great qualifier all year, managing just a 16.1 average starting position. More importantly, he has compiled a 5.0 average finish in his last three starts at Kansas. One of those starts resulted in a win, and in that race, Keselowski started 25th. Don't let his mediocre effort in qualifying fool you, he is still worth a roster spot.

Owners looking for a sleeper pick may want to consider Aric Almirola. He finished an unspectacular 23rd in his Kansas debut earlier this year, but he has been enjoying a decent stretch of late. He has three straight finishes of 19th or better, including a 12th-place finish at Charlotte last weekend. Almirola qualified fifth for Sunday's race, and his recent performances suggest that he could deliver a top-20 finish and maybe a little more.

Rk
Driver
Car No.
Make Sponsor Team
Starting Pos
1
Jimmie Johnson
48
Chevrolet Lowe's Home Improvement Hendrick Motorsports
7
2
Denny Hamlin
11
Toyota FedEx Joe Gibbs Racing
9
3
Greg Biffle
16
Ford 3M Roush Fenway Racing
11
4
Kasey Kahne
5
Chevrolet Farmers Insurance Hendrick Motorsports
1
5
Brad Keselowski
2
Dodge Miller Lite Penske Championship Racing
25
6
Matt Kenseth
17
Ford Best Buy Roush Fenway Racing
12
7
Kyle Busch
18
Toyota M&M's Joe Gibbs Racing
4
8
Clint Bowyer
15
Toyota 5 Hour Energy Michael Waltrip Racing
3
9
Martin Truex Jr.
56
Toyota NAPA Auto Parts Michael Waltrip Racing
16
10
Mark Martin
55
Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine Michael Waltrip Racing
2
11
Kevin Harvick
29
Chevrolet Budweiser Richard Childress Racing
10
12
Jeff Gordon
24
Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger Hendrick Motorsports
19
13
Carl Edwards
99
Ford Subway Roush Fenway Racing
17
14
Tony Stewart
14
Chevrolet Office Depot Stewart-Haas Racing
33
15
Joey Logano
20
Toyota Home Depot Joe Gibbs Racing
8
16
Regan Smith
88
Chevrolet Mountain Dew AMP Energy Hendrick Motorsports
39
17
Sam Hornish Jr.
22
Dodge Shell/Pennzoil Penske Championship Racing
15
18
Ryan Newman
39
Chevrolet U.S. Army Stewart-Haas Racing
6
19
Aric Almirola
43
Ford Medallion Financial Richard Petty Motorsports
5
20
Paul Menard
27
Chevrolet Menard's Richard Childress Racing
14
21
Kurt Busch
78
Chevrolet Furniture Row Furniture Row Racing
29
22
A.J. Allmendinger
51
Chevrolet Tag Heuer Phoenix Racing
13
23
Jamie McMurray
1
Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing
21
24
Marcos Ambrose
9
Ford Stanley Black & Decker Richard Petty Motorsports
18
25
Jeff Burton
31
Chevrolet Caterpillar Richard Childress Racing
20
26
Juan Pablo Montoya
42
Chevrolet Clorox Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing
24
27
Trevor Bayne
21
Ford Motorcraft Wood Brothers Racing
32
28
Danica Patrick
10
Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing Tommy Baldwin Racing
40
29
Travis Kvapil
93
Toyota Burger King BK Racing
31
30
David Ragan
34
Ford 8-Hour Alert Front Row Motorsports
37
31
Landon Cassill
83
Toyota Burger King BK Racing
26
32
David Gilliland
38
Ford MHP Front Row Motorsports
38
33
Bobby Labonte
47
Toyota Kingsford JTG Daugherty Racing
22
34
Casey Mears
13
Ford GEICO Germain Racing
28
35
Dave Blaney
36
Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing Tommy Baldwin Racing
41
36
Joe Nemechek
87
Toyota AM/FM Energy NEMCO Motorsports
36
37
Timmy Hill
32
Ford C&J Energy FAS Lane Racing
42
38
Kelly Bires
79
Ford Bestway Disposal Go Green Racing
43
39
Mike Bliss
19
Toyota Plinker Tactical Humphrey Smith Racing
30
40
Scott Speed
95
Chevrolet North Texas Pipe Leavine Family Racing
35
41
Michael McDowell
98
Ford Curb Records Phil Parsons Racing
23
42
Reed Sorenson
91
Toyota Aquaria USA Humphrey Smith Racing
34
43
J.J. Yeley
37
Ford MaxQMotorsports.com Max Q Motorsports
27

 

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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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