Fantasy NASCAR Rankings: STP 400

by Brian Polking on April 20, 2013 @ 13:50:27 PDT

 


Jimmie Johnson

Kansas Speedway has always been full of surprises, and following Friday's qualifying session and Saturday's practice sessions, Carl Edwards moved to the top of the driver rankings for the first time in 2013. After disappointing fantasy owners throughout last season, Edwards has quietly been enjoying a strong year. This weekend, he is set to start on the outside of the front row at a track where he has had a lot of success. In his last 10 starts at Kansas, Edwards has tallied eight top-10 finishes. Meanwhile, his 9.7 average finish during the stretch is the third best in the series. It may still be too soon to say that Edwards is ready to rejoin the ranks of the fantasy elite on a regular basis, but he sure looks ready to deliver an excellent run at Kansas Sunday.

While Edwards was busy staking claim to the top spot, Greg Biffle and Martin Truex Jr. were busy moving into the top five. Both drivers were in or around the top 10 in practice and qualifying, and both have had success at Kansas. In fact, Biffle is a two-time winner at the track, and his 9.5 average finish is the second best in the series. Truex, on the other hand, is coming off a second-place run at Texas, and he finished second in both races at Kansas last year. Not to mention the fact that he has actually scored the third most in the series in the last 10 races at 1.5-mile tracks. Both should make strong additions to fantasy rosters this weekend.

Qualifying and practice were also kind to several sleeper drivers, including Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Aric Almirola. The two qualified third and sixth, respectively, and both drivers slid into the top 15 of the driver rankings after top-five times in practice. For Stenhouse, Sunday's race will mark his Cup Series debut at Kansas, but given the success of Roush Fenway Racing at the track, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him get off to a fast start. Meanwhile, Almirola is coming off a seventh-place run at Texas last weekend, and the last time the series visited Kansas, he led more than 60 laps. Both drivers should deliver useful results this weekend, and don't be surprised if at least one of them sneaks into the top 10.

Fantasy owners looking for a serious long shot may want to take a chance on Sam Hornish Jr. He will be making his Cup Series debut for 2013, but he showed little rust as he qualified fourth. Hornish also showed a lot of muscle on longer runs during practice. Keep in mind that he was a consistent top-20 driver when he took over for A.J. Allmendinger in the No. 22 last year, and Hornish has been enjoying his best-ever season in the Nationwide Series this year. He has definitely matured as a stock car driver, and he could be a sneaky source for a top-20 or even a top-15 finish this weekend at Kansas.

Headlining the list of drivers that have been struggling at Kansas is Jimmie Johnson. The two-time track winner boasts gaudy numbers, but he qualified and practiced outside the top 20. Granted, he only slid to sixth in the driver rankings because Johnson and Chad Knaus have been known to turn bad cars into top-five cars on race day. That being said, fantasy owners in survival-type leagues that were considering Johnson may want to save him for another week at the very least.

Rk
Driver
Car No.
Make Sponsor Team
Starting Pos
1
Carl Edwards
99
Ford Fastenal Roush Fenway Racing
2
2
Matt Kenseth
20
Toyota Dollar General Joe Gibbs Racing
1
3
Kyle Busch
18
Toyota M&M's Joe Gibbs Racing
5
4
Greg Biffle
16
Ford 3M Roush Fenway Racing
11
5
Martin Truex Jr.
56
Toyota NAPA Auto Parts Michael Waltrip Racing
7
6
Jimmie Johnson
48
Chevrolet Lowe's Home Improvement Hendrick Motorsports
21
7
Brad Keselowski
2
Ford Miller Lite Penske Championship Racing
33
8
Kasey Kahne
5
Chevrolet Farmers Insurance Hendrick Motorsports
27
9
Kevin Harvick
29
Chevrolet Budweiser Richard Childress Racing
17
10
Clint Bowyer
15
Toyota 5 Hour Energy Michael Waltrip Racing
10
11
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
88
Chevrolet Diet Mountain Dew Hendrick Motorsports
23
12
Brian Vickers
11
Toyota FedEx Joe Gibbs Racing
16
13
Jeff Gordon
24
Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger Hendrick Motorsports
43
14
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
17
Ford Best Buy Roush Fenway Racing
3
15
Aric Almirola
43
Ford Smithfield Richard Petty Motorsports
6
16
Paul Menard
27
Chevrolet Menard's Richard Childress Racing
12
17
Tony Stewart
14
Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops Stewart-Haas Racing
18
18
Joey Logano
22
Ford Shell/Pennzoil Penske Championship Racing
22
19
Sam Hornish Jr.
12
Ford SKF Penske Championship Racing
4
20
Mark Martin
55
Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine Michael Waltrip Racing
8
21
Ryan Newman
39
Chevrolet Quicken Loans Stewart-Haas Racing
9
22
Kurt Busch
78
Chevrolet Furniture Row Furniture Row Racing
13
23
Jamie McMurray
1
Chevrolet McDonald's Earnhardt Ganassi Racing
14
24
Marcos Ambrose
9
Ford Stanley Black & Decker Richard Petty Motorsports
15
25
Juan Pablo Montoya
42
Chevrolet Target Earnhardt Ganassi Racing
19
26
Elliott Sadler
81
Toyota Florida DOT Joe Gibbs Racing
24
27
Regan Smith
51
Chevrolet Guy Roofing Phoenix Racing
41
28
Jeff Burton
31
Chevrolet Caterpillar Richard Childress Racing
20
29
David Ragan
34
Ford Detail Doctor Front Row Motorsports
26
30
Danica Patrick
10
Chevrolet GoDaddy.com Stewart-Haas Racing
25
31
Casey Mears
13
Ford GEICO Germain Racing
30
32
Bobby Labonte
47
Toyota Kroger JTG Daugherty Racing
34
33
Timmy Hill
32
Ford C & J Energy Services FAS Lane Racing
37
34
Travis Kvapil
93
Toyota Burger King BK Racing
32
35
David Reutimann
83
Toyota Burger King BK Racing
31
36
David Gilliland
38
Ford Love's Travel Stops Front Row Motorsports
28
37
Dave Blaney
7
Chevrolet Florida Lottery Tommy Baldwin Racing
42
38
Landon Cassill
33
Chevrolet Honey Nut Cheerios Richard Childress Racing
39
39
J.J. Yeley
36
Chevrolet Golden Corral Tommy Baldwin Racing
40
40
Mike Bliss
19
Toyota Plinker Tactical Humphrey Smith Racing
35
41
David Stremme
30
Toyota Swan Racing Swan Racing
38
42
Josh Wise
35
Ford Blockbuster.com Front Row Motorsports
36
43
Michael McDowell
98
Ford Ambient Edge HVAC Phil Parsons Racing
29

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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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