Fantasy NASCAR Rankings: NRA 500

by Brian Polking on April 13, 2013 @ 10:11:59 PDT

 


Matt Kenseth

It was almost appropriate that Kyle Busch vaulted to the top of the driver rankings after qualifying and practice at Texas Motor Speedway Friday. After all, he leads the series with 172 points scored in the past four races, and he stayed hot at Texas by grabbing the pole in record-setting fashion. Granted, Busch has yet to win a Cup race at the track, but he does have nine top-15s and five top-four finishes in 15 starts. At the very least, Busch looks a safe bet for his fifth-straight top-five finish of the season, and a career-best effort at Texas could be on tap.

Another big name that moved up the rankings Friday and into the top five was Carl Edwards. He was consistent in both practice sessions and capped off the night with a top-10 qualifying effort. Keep in mind that Edwards leads all drivers with three career wins at Texas, and in his last four starts at the track, he has three top-10s and a 7.3 average finish. Given his history of success at Texas along with the speed he showed Friday, don't be surprised if he is contending for the win Sunday.

Two other drivers that also boosted their stock Friday that could help fantasy teams were Martin Truex Jr. and Kurt Busch. Truex was arguably the most consistent car during practice, and he capped things off with a fifth-place effort in qualifying. More importantly, he has 11 top-15 finishes in 15 starts at Texas, including three straight. Busch on the other hand joined his young brother Kyle on the front row during qualifying. He is also a former winner at Texas, and he managed to finish 13th and eighth at the track last year despite driving for two different teams.

Fantasy owners looking for a sleeper option this weekend may want to consider Aric Almirola. He showed some muscle during Friday's practice sessions and followed it up with a third-place run in qualifying. Almirola also finished a career-best 15th at Texas last fall and 16th in the first race at a 1.5-mile track in 2013. He probably won't finish in the top five Saturday, but Almirola jumped into the top 20 of the driver rankings and could definitely provide a top-15 effort.

Meanwhile, Friday's activities confirmed that Ryan Newman is a shaky fantasy plays as he tumbled outside the top 20 of the rankings. He didn't impress in either practice session and then delivered a dismal 31st-place run in qualifying. For a driver that is generally one of the better qualifiers, the poor starting spot is concerning. When it also comes at a Texas track where he has gone nine straight starts without a top-10, there is even less to love about Newman this weekend.

Rk
Driver
Car No.
Make Sponsor Team
Starting Pos
1
Kyle Busch
18
Toyota M&M's Joe Gibbs Racing
1
2
Jimmie Johnson
48
Chevrolet Lowe's Home Improvement Hendrick Motorsports
7
3
Matt Kenseth
20
Toyota Dollar General Joe Gibbs Racing
20
4
Carl Edwards
99
Ford Fastenal Roush Fenway Racing
9
5
Brad Keselowski
2
Ford Miller Lite Penske Championship Racing
16
6
Greg Biffle
16
Ford 3M Roush Fenway Racing
35
7
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
88
Chevrolet Diet Mountain Dew Hendrick Motorsports
6
8
Kasey Kahne
5
Chevrolet Farmers Insurance Hendrick Motorsports
14
9
Jeff Gordon
24
Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger Hendrick Motorsports
8
10
Martin Truex Jr.
56
Toyota NAPA Auto Parts Michael Waltrip Racing
5
11
Clint Bowyer
15
Toyota 5 Hour Energy Michael Waltrip Racing
26
12
Brian Vickers
11
Toyota FedEx Joe Gibbs Racing
15
13
Tony Stewart
14
Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops Stewart-Haas Racing
13
14
Kevin Harvick
29
Chevrolet Budweiser Richard Childress Racing
29
15
Kurt Busch
78
Chevrolet Furniture Row Furniture Row Racing
2
16
Mark Martin
55
Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine Michael Waltrip Racing
23
17
Aric Almirola
43
Ford Smithfield Richard Petty Motorsports
3
18
Paul Menard
27
Chevrolet Menard's Richard Childress Racing
19
19
Joey Logano
22
Ford Shell/Pennzoil Penske Championship Racing
18
20
Marcos Ambrose
9
Ford Stanley Black & Decker Richard Petty Motorsports
4
21
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
17
Ford Best Buy Roush Fenway Racing
17
22
Jamie McMurray
1
Chevrolet McDonald's Earnhardt Ganassi Racing
11
23
Jeff Burton
31
Chevrolet Caterpillar Richard Childress Racing
21
24
Juan Pablo Montoya
42
Chevrolet Target Earnhardt Ganassi Racing
10
25
Ryan Newman
39
Chevrolet Quicken Loans Stewart-Haas Racing
31
26
Casey Mears
13
Ford GEICO Germain Racing
24
27
Austin Dillon
51
Chevrolet Guy Roofing Phoenix Racing
12
28
Trevor Bayne
21
Ford Motorcraft Wood Brothers Racing
22
29
David Ragan
34
Ford Detail Doctor Front Row Motorsports
25
30
Danica Patrick
10
Chevrolet GoDaddy.com Stewart-Haas Racing
42
31
Bobby Labonte
47
Toyota Kroger JTG Daugherty Racing
30
32
Travis Kvapil
93
Toyota Burger King BK Racing
32
33
David Reutimann
83
Toyota Burger King BK Racing
38
34
David Gilliland
38
Ford Love's Travel Stops Front Row Motorsports
27
35
Timmy Hill
32
Ford C & J Energy Services FAS Lane Racing
43
36
Dave Blaney
7
Chevrolet Florida Lottery Tommy Baldwin Racing
28
37
Landon Cassill
33
Chevrolet Honey Nut Cheerios Richard Childress Racing
39
38
J.J. Yeley
36
Chevrolet Golden Corral Tommy Baldwin Racing
36
39
Mike Bliss
19
Toyota Plinker Tactical Humphrey Smith Racing
34
40
David Stremme
30
Toyota Swan Racing Swan Racing
33
41
Josh Wise
35
Ford Blockbuster.com Front Row Motorsports
40
42
Michael McDowell
98
Ford Ambient Edge HVAC Phil Parsons Racing
37
43
Joe Nemechek
87
Toyota Florida DOT NEMCO-JRR Motorsports
41

 

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