No driver has spent more time at the front of the field this season than Matt Kenseth, and he is at the front of the field in the final set of driver rankings at Dover. After qualifying in the top five Friday, Kenseth topped the charts in the first practice Saturday. Meanwhile, his eight top-five finishes at Dover in the last 10 races at the track are the most in the series, and he has finished seventh or better in the last eight June races at Dover. Kenseth has been a fantasy stud all year, and he is on track to deliver another excellent performance for owners this weekend.
While Kenseth jumped to the top of the rankings, Kevin Harvick moved into the top five. Not only has he picked up two wins in the last four races leading up to Dover, but he has also been dialed in at the concrete oval. Harvick has finished in the top 15 in his last seven starts at Dover, including a second-place finish last June. Throw in a rare top-10 effort in qualifying, and a strong showing could be on tap for a driver that is already one of the more reliable options on a weekly basis.
Another driver that moved up the final rankings was Denny Hamlin. Granted, Dover has been one of his worst tracks throughout his career, but it is tough to ignore what he has been doing this weekend. After capturing the pole Friday, Hamlin practiced in the top 10 Saturday. He has also finished in the top five in both of his starts since returning from a back injury so he is clearly focused on making up for lost time. Hamlin's overall numbers at Dover aren't attractive, but he could definitely be worth taking a chance on this weekend.
Although he didn't move into the top 10, Ryan Newman did crack the top 15 and is worthy of consideration from fantasy owners this weekend. He hasn't had much success at Dover lately, but he is a three-time winner at the track. Newman also qualified fifth for Sunday's race, and showed a lot of speed on longer runs during practice Saturday. Even if Newman doesn't recapture his winning form from his early years, he could still help out fantasy owners by battling for a top-10.
While Newman is looking like a possible sleeper play, Marcos Ambrose's sleeper potential took a serious hit. He qualified a dismal 33rd Friday and ranked outside the top 25 in practice Saturday. Yes, he does have three top-10s in his last four starts at Dover, but seeing as how he has never been the most consistent driver in the series, it is tough to trust that he will be able to navigate from the back of the field to the front with a car that doesn't appear dialed in. Fantasy owners may want to look elsewhere if they have other options.
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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