Fantasy NASCAR Rankings: Quaker State 400

by Brian Polking on June 28, 2013 @ 18:45:00 PDT

 


Jimmie Johnson opened the week atop the driver ratings for Saturday night's race at Kentucky Speedway, and if there was a spot above No. 1, he would be there after his performance in Friday's track activities. Johnson posted the second-fastest lap in the first practice, paced the field in Happy Hour and qualified third. Throw in the fact that he is the only driver to have finished sixth or better in the two Cup races at Kentucky, and he deserves universal consideration from fantasy owners in all formats.

Jimmie Johnson

While Johnson stands firm at the top, Kyle Busch moves up into the No. 2 spot heading into Saturday night's Quaker State 400. After ranking sixth and third in the two practices Friday, Busch turned in the fourth-fastest lap in Happy Hour. Keep in mind that he won the inaugural race at Kentucky, finished in the top 10 last year and has led the most laps in both races at the track, so Busch's strong showing in practice and qualifying is likely a precursor of what to expect during the race. Get him in your fantasy lineups.

Fantasy owners may also want to consider getting Jeff Gordon into their lineups this weekend. The four-time series champ climbs into the top five in the final set of driver rankings after putting on an impressive performance Friday at Kentucky. Gordon was the only driver other than Jimmie Johnson to post a top-five lap in both practice sessions. He then followed his strong showing in the practice sessions with a 12th-place effort in qualifying. In two starts at Kentucky Gordon has finished 10th and fifth, and he appears poised to add his solid resume at the track.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is yet another Hendrick Motorsports driver who moves up in the rankings. Fresh off a pole-winning lap that shattered the previous track record, Junior slides into the top 10 in the final rankings. While he blew a tire and finished 30th in the inaugural race at Kentucky, he finished fourth in last year's Quaker State 400. Another top-five finish isn't out of the question this weekend, and at the very least, he should be able to parlay his strong starting spot into a top-10.

Although plenty of big names appear ready to help fantasy owners this weekend, there are also a few sleeper drivers who land in the top 20 in the final rankings and are also worth a look. Jeff Burton, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Austin Dillon all cracked the top 15 in both practice sessions Friday, and Burton and Stenhouse qualified in the top 15, as well. With four top-15s in the five races leading up to Kentucky, Burton is probably the safest pick, but Stenhouse has finished in the top 15 in the last two races at 1.5-mile tracks. Dillon is a bit of an unknown given his limited seat time in the Cup Series, but with two dominating wins at Kentucky in two Nationwide starts at the track, he may actually have the highest upside of the three.

Rk
Driver
Car No.
Make Sponsor Team
Starting
Pos.
1
Jimmie Johnson
48
Chevrolet Lowe's Home Improvement Hendrick Motorsports
3
2
Kyle Busch
18
Toyota M&M's Joe Gibbs Racing
4
3
Jeff Gordon
24
Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger Hendrick Motorsports
12
4
Denny Hamlin
11
Toyota FedEx Joe Gibbs Racing
6
5
Matt Kenseth
20
Toyota Dollar General Joe Gibbs Racing
16
6
Kasey Kahne
5
Chevrolet Farmers Insurance Hendrick Motorsports
21
7
Brad Keselowski
2
Ford Miller Lite Penske Championship Racing
8
8
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
88
Chevrolet Diet Mountain Dew Hendrick Motorsports
1
9
Martin Truex Jr.
56
Toyota NAPA Auto Parts Michael Waltrip Racing
19
10
Carl Edwards
99
Ford Fastenal Roush Fenway Racing
2
11
Kurt Busch
78
Chevrolet Furniture Row Furniture Row Racing
27
12
Kevin Harvick
29
Chevrolet Budweiser Richard Childress Racing
22
13
Clint Bowyer
15
Toyota 5 Hour Energy Michael Waltrip Racing
15
14
Brian Vickers
55
Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine Michael Waltrip Racing
9
15
Greg Biffle
16
Ford 3M Roush Fenway Racing
20
16
Joey Logano
22
Ford Shell/Pennzoil Penske Championship Racing
11
17
Tony Stewart
14
Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops Stewart-Haas Racing
25
18
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
17
Ford Best Buy Roush Fenway Racing
13
19
Jeff Burton
31
Chevrolet Caterpillar Richard Childress Racing
14
20
Austin Dillon
51
Chevrolet Guy Roofing Phoenix Racing
26
21
Marcos Ambrose
9
Ford Stanley Black & Decker Richard Petty Motorsports
5
22
Juan Pablo Montoya
42
Chevrolet Target Earnhardt Ganassi Racing
10
23
Ryan Newman
39
Chevrolet Quicken Loans Stewart-Haas Racing
7
24
Jamie McMurray
1
Chevrolet McDonald's Earnhardt Ganassi Racing
23
25
Paul Menard
27
Chevrolet Menard's Richard Childress Racing
24
26
A.J. Allmendinger
47
Toyota Kroger JTG Daugherty Racing
17
27
Aric Almirola
43
Ford Smithfield Richard Petty Motorsports
18
28
Casey Mears
13
Ford GEICO Germain Racing
31
29
David Reutimann
83
Toyota Burger King BK Racing
36
30
David Ragan
34
Ford Taco Bell Front Row Motorsports
38
31
Danica Patrick
10
Chevrolet GoDaddy.com Stewart-Haas Racing
29
32
David Gilliland
38
Ford Love's Travel Stops Front Row Motorsports
34
33
Dave Blaney
7
Chevrolet GoPro Tommy Baldwin Racing
32
34
J.J. Yeley
36
Chevrolet United Mining Equipment Tommy Baldwin Racing
35
35
Ken Schrader
32
Ford Federated Auto Parts FAS Lane Racing
43
36
Landon Cassill
33
Chevrolet Honey Nut Cheerios Richard Childress Racing
30
37
Travis Kvapil
93
Toyota Burger King BK Racing
39
39
David Stremme
30
Toyota Swan Racing Swan Racing
40
40
Mike Bliss
19
Toyota Plinker Tactical Humphrey Smith Racing
39
41
Michael McDowell
98
Ford Phil Parsons Racing Phil Parsons Racing
33
41
Josh Wise
35
Ford Blockbuster.com Front Row Motorsports
37
42
Joe Nemechek
87
Toyota AM FM Energy NEMCO-JRR Motorsports
41
43
Scott Riggs
44
Ford No Label Hamilton Means Racing
42
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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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