Fantasy NASCAR practice recap: AdvoCare 500

by Brian Polking on November 10, 2012 @ 17:55:46 PDT

 


A good weekend keeps getting better for Kyle Busch. After winning the pole for Sunday's Cup race at Phoenix in record-setting fashion Friday, he topped the charts in the first of two Saturday practice sessions. The former Phoenix winner has been the best non-Chaser during the playoffs, scoring the fifth-most points of any driver and recording the second-most top-five finishes. Busch looks poised to stay hot this weekend in the desert, and he should definitely be considered among the favorites to win.

Kyle Busch

Of course, Busch wasn't the only heavy hitter to post a fast lap in Saturday's opening practice. His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin ranked second on the charts, and championship contender Brad Keselowski ranked fourth. Hamlin is going for the season sweep at Phoenix after winning at the track in March, and in 14 starts at the track, he has finished sixth or better seven times. Keselowski, on the other hand, finished a career-best fifth at Phoenix earlier this year and hasn't finished worse than 11th since the Chase began. The numbers are on Hamlin's side and the momentum is on Keselowski's. Fantasy owners can't really go wrong with either option.

Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano were the other two drivers to crack the top five, and both could make solid additions to fantasy rosters, as well. Truex has always been decent at Phoenix, and he finished seventh at the track earlier this year. Meanwhile, Logano has finished 11th or better in four of his last five starts at PIR, including a 10th-place run earlier this year. Both drivers have managed four top-10s in the first eight races of the Chase, and both are capable of sneaking into the top 15 and maybe even the top 10 again Sunday.

In terms of 10-lap average speeds, Busch again led the way. He was followed by Keselowski and Hamlin, and all three drivers separated themselves from the other 14 drivers that ran at least 10 consecutive laps in the practice. The performance only cemented each driver's place among the favorites for Sunday's race.

Busch finished off a clean sweep of the practice sessions in Happy Hour, topping the charts yet again. However, Kasey Kahne climbed to second on the charts, and he could be a factor Sunday. After all, he has finished sixth or better in two of his last three starts at Phoenix, and he is the defending winner of this weekend's race. Kahne was able to best Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards for the win amid their championship duel last fall, and he could do the same in 2012.

The other two newcomers to the top five in the final practice were Aric Almirola and Jeff Gordon. Gordon won at Phoenix just last season and has the third-best average finish at the track in the last 20 races. He should be in the mix for at least a top-10 this weekend. Meanwhile, Almirola could make a solid sleeper pick. He finished 12th at Phoenix in March, and he qualified in the top five for Sunday's race. Not to mention the fact that he has finished in the top 20 in five of the six races leading up to Phoenix, including three top-15 finishes in his last four starts.

In terms of 10-lap average speeds, the JGR duo of Busch and Hamlin were the class of the field. The teammates were the only drivers to crack 134 mph over their 10-lap span. There were a few other familiar faces near the top of the charts as Kahne, Truex and Keselowski also cracked the top five.

The obvious name missing from the top of the charts was Jimmie Johnson. The four-time Phoenix winner struggled in qualifying and was also unimpressive in Saturday's first session. However, he began to right the ship in Happy Hour, posting the 11th-fastest lap and the seventh-best 10-lap average speed. Despite the slow start, owners need to keep in mind that Johnson has never finished outside the top 15 in 18 career starts at Phoenix, and he has finished in the top five in 11 of his last 12 starts at the track. He was heading in the right direction in Happy Hour, and with a championship hanging in the balance, don't be surprised if Johnson marches into the top five before the checkered flag waves.

Happy Hour Speeds (sorted by Best Lap)

Rk
Car
Driver
Make
Sponosr
Best Lap
Best Time
Laps
1
18
Toyota
M&M's
135.252
26.617
51
2
5
Chevrolet
Farmers Insurance
135.166
26.634
54
3
20
Toyota
Dollar General
135.003
26.666
44
4
43
Ford
Farmland
134.958
26.675
46
5
24
Chevrolet
DuPont
134.912
26.684
43
6
56
Toyota
NAPA Auto Parts
134.796
26.707
40
7
15
Toyota
5-hour Energy
134.791
26.708
41
8
11
Toyota
FedEx Ground
134.766
26.713
49
9
2
Dodge
Miller Lite
134.549
26.756
50
10
78
Chevrolet
Furniture Row
134.519
26.762
38
11
48
Chevrolet
Lowe's/Kobalt Tools
134.459
26.774
43
12
88
Chevrolet
Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard
134.404
26.785
38
13
39
Chevrolet
Quicken Loans
134.404
26.785
45
14
83
Toyota
Burger King
134.374
26.791
43
15
14
Chevrolet
Mobil 1/Office Depot
134.328
26.800
43
16
16
Ford
Filtrete
134.228
26.820
46
17
55
Toyota
Aaron's Dream Machine
134.198
26.826
29
18
93
Toyota
Burger King
134.133
26.839
41
19
27
Chevrolet
Menards/Rheem
134.123
26.841
50
20
99
Ford
Fastenal
134.123
26.841
37
21
42
Chevrolet
Target
134.023
26.861
29
22
31
Chevrolet
Caterpillar
133.993
26.867
28
23
29
Chevrolet
Budweiser
133.964
26.873
21
24
22
Dodge
Shell/Pennzoil
133.943
26.877
32
25
51
Chevrolet
Phoenix Construction
133.784
26.909
38
26
9
Ford
Black & Decker
133.615
26.943
38
27
17
Ford
Ford EcoBoost
133.591
26.948
36
28
13
Ford
GEICO
133.531
26.960
35
29
10
Chevrolet
GoDaddy.com
133.230
27.021
39
30
38
Ford
Loan Mart
133.220
27.023
25
31
1
Chevrolet
Bass Pro Shops/Allstate
133.210
27.025
32
32
47
Toyota
Vektor Vodka
133.121
27.043
34
33
30
Toyota
132.988
27.070
21
34
34
Ford
CertainTeed/31-W Insulation
132.939
27.080
27
35
91
Toyota
Plinker Tactical/Value Place
132.582
27.153
11
36
98
Ford
132.504
27.169
20
37
19
Toyota
Plinker Tactical/Value Place
132.265
27.218
13
38
26
Ford
MDS Transport
132.149
27.242
11
39
36
Chevrolet
Accell Construction
132.096
27.253
29
40
87
Toyota
AM-FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves/aloft hotel tempe
132.008
27.271
9
41
33
Chevrolet
Little Joes Autos.com
131.608
27.354
19
42
144
Ford
No Label Watcher
131.569
27.362
11
43
32
Ford
U.S. Chrome/TMone
130.757
27.532
35

10-Lap Average Speeds (must run 10 consecutive laps)

Rk
Car
Driver
From Lap
To Lap
Avg. Speed
1
18
32
41
134.230
2
11
32
41
134.149
3
5
41
50
133.862
4
56
1
10
133.843
5
2
37
46
133.828
6
20
27
36
133.767
7
48
27
36
133.680
8
24
31
40
133.508
9
27
35
44
133.491
10
78
23
32
133.441
11
55
20
29
133.429
12
43
28
37
133.428
13
14
26
35
133.404
14
83
1
10
132.967
15
15
3
12
132.936
16
39
29
38
132.832
17
99
27
36
132.697
18
16
1
10
132.476
19
22
22
31
132.445
20
93
1
10
132.397
21
13
1
10
132.368
22
51
1
10
132.281
23
88
2
11
132.201
24
17
6
15
132.181
25
1
23
32
132.082
26
47
22
31
131.810

Second Practice Speeds (sorted by Best Lap)

Rk
Car
Driver
Make
Sponsor
Best Lap
Best Time
Laps
1
18
Toyota
M&M's
135.552
26.558
50
2
11
Toyota
FedEx Ground
134.983
26.670
37
3
56
Toyota
NAPA Auto Parts
134.907
26.685
34
4
2
Dodge
Miller Lite
134.892
26.688
37
5
20
Toyota
Dollar General
134.887
26.689
35
6
27
Chevrolet
Menards/Rheem
134.741
26.718
35
7
43
Ford
Farmland
134.715
26.723
35
8
15
Toyota
5-hour Energy
134.710
26.724
41
9
5
Chevrolet
Farmers Insurance
134.705
26.725
22
10
24
Chevrolet
DuPont
134.353
26.795
26
11
16
Ford
Filtrete
134.288
26.808
29
12
78
Chevrolet
Furniture Row
134.278
26.810
36
13
83
Toyota
Burger King
134.238
26.818
42
14
29
Chevrolet
Budweiser
134.198
26.826
26
15
51
Chevrolet
Phoenix Construction
134.153
26.835
37
16
14
Chevrolet
Mobil 1/Office Depot
134.093
26.847
39
17
39
Chevrolet
Quicken Loans
134.068
26.852
46
18
9
Ford
Black & Decker
133.988
26.868
35
19
88
Chevrolet
Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard
133.968
26.872
39
20
31
Chevrolet
Caterpillar
133.909
26.884
15
21
55
Toyota
Aaron's Dream Machine
133.894
26.887
38
22
17
Ford
Ford EcoBoost
133.889
26.888
29
23
93
Toyota
Burger King
133.774
26.911
33
24
48
Chevrolet
Lowe's/Kobalt Tools
133.745
26.917
32
25
99
Ford
Fastenal
133.734
26.919
40
26
47
Toyota
Vektor Vodka
133.730
26.920
39
27
42
Chevrolet
Target
133.596
26.947
29
28
13
Ford
GEICO
133.516
26.963
30
29
34
Ford
CertainTeed/31-W Insulation
133.487
26.969
22
30
22
Dodge
Shell/Pennzoil
133.477
26.971
33
31
1
Chevrolet
Bass Pro Shops/Allstate
133.190
27.029
26
32
38
Ford
Loan Mart
132.949
27.078
29
33
26
Ford
MDS Transport
132.881
27.092
17
34
98
Ford
132.645
27.140
26
35
10
Chevrolet
GoDaddy.com
132.402
27.190
29
36
30
Toyota
132.338
27.203
12
37
19
Toyota
Plinker Tactical/Value Place
132.299
27.211
10
38
44
Ford
No Label Watcher
131.776
27.319
5
39
91
Toyota
Plinker Tactical/Value Place
131.776
27.319
5
40
33
Chevrolet
Little Joes Autos.com
131.695
27.336
16
41
36
Chevrolet
Accell Construction
131.675
27.340
26
42
32
Ford
U.S. Chrome/TMone
131.627
27.350
25
43
87
Toyota
AM-FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves/aloft hotel tempe
130.156
27.659
3

10-Lap Average Speeds (must run 10 consecutive laps)

Rk
Car
Driver
From Lap
To Lap
Avg. Speed
1
18
35
44
134.184
2
2
23
32
134.033
3
11
23
32
133.872
4
15
28
37
133.541
5
27
15
24
133.494
6
20
22
31
133.367
7
83
33
42
133.092
8
13
19
28
132.795
9
9
26
35
132.597
10
39
34
43
132.567
11
99
24
33
132.565
12
17
3
12
132.474
13
48
2
11
132.101
14
93
1
10
131.898
15
14
1
10
131.451
16
38
3
12
130.919
17
98
3
12
129.959

Facebook Twitter Google +

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....


What do you think? Sound off!



Recent KFFL releases