Fantasy NASCAR Rankings: Quicken Loans 400

by Brian Polking on June 15, 2013 @ 10:45:20 PDT

 


Carl Edwards
Speeds at Michigan International Speedway have been blazing fast all weekend, but Carl Edwards has been on cruise control. After grabbing the pole for Sunday's Quicken Loans 400 Friday, he stayed near the top of the charts in practice Saturday. With a series-leading 8.2 average finish at the track and top-12 finishes in 15 of his 17 starts, Edwards was already one of the safest options available. Throw in the speed he has shown so far this weekend, and fantasy owners should definitely make room on their rosters for the two-time Michigan winner.

While Edwards makes the jump to the top of the rankings, Kasey Kahne slides up into the No. 2 spot. He qualified third for Sunday's race and showed plenty of speed on both the short and long runs in practice Saturday. Granted, he hasn't shown the consistency of Edwards, but he does have a win and three runner-up efforts among his seven top-five finishes at Michigan. Kahne appears to be headed for another strong finishes at Michigan Sunday, and fantasy owners will want to take advantage.

Owners may also want to take advantage of Kurt Busch. He has found his stride in recent weeks with four straight top-15s for Furniture Row Racing, and he moves into the top 10 in the final driver rankings thanks to the speed he has shown all weekend. Busch grabbed a spot on the front row during qualifying Friday, and he topped the charts during the opening practice Saturday. Busch is also a two-time winner at Michigan so he is more than capable of delivering another solid finish for fantasy owners this weekend.

Speaking of solid finishes, veteran Mark Martin lands in the top 15 of the final driver rankings and could make a safe addition to fantasy rosters this weekend. His qualifying effort left a lot to be desired, but Martin bounced back with top-five times in practice Saturday. He is also a five-time winner at Michigan, and he appeared on his way to No. 6 last August before his day came to an abrupt end when he spun in some oil put down by a lap car. Martin's car doesn't seem quite as dominant as it was last summer, but it seems fast enough to make a run at a top-10.

Although he isn't the biggest name, Paul Menard rockets into the top 15 of the final rankings and deserves to be considered for a roster spot this weekend. After qualifying fourth Friday, he was back in the top five during practice Saturday. Granted, his career numbers at Michigan aren't impressive, but both of his top-10s at the track have come in the past two years. Menard appears to have a car capable of delivering another solid finish this weekend, and while he probably won't carry a fantasy team, he could certainly be a nice complementary piece.

Dipping into the group of serious sleepers, Aric Almirola stands out as the most intriguing option. He will start fifth in Sunday's race after an excellent showing in qualifying, and he posted top-10 speeds in practice, as well. Almirola finished in the top 20 in his first-two career Cup starts at Michigan last year, and with a fast car and season's worth of experience under his belt, he could be a sneaky source for a top-15 finish this weekend.

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

 

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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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