Fantasy NASCAR Practice Recap: Quaker State 400

by Brian Polking on June 28, 2013 @ 19:20:00 PDT

 


Kentucky Speedway is one of the few tracks on the current Cup Series schedule where Jimmie Johnson has never won a race. Well, there is a good chance that will change this weekend. After posting the second-fastest lap in the first practice session Friday afternoon, Johnson jumped to the top of the charts in Happy Hour and also posted the best 10-lap average speed. Throw in the fact that he has posted a 4.5 average finish in the two races at Kentucky and is the only driver to have finished sixth or better in both events, and all signs point to a big night at Kentucky for the five-time champ.

While Johnson is among the many drivers looking for their first win at Kentucky, Kyle Busch will be trying to become the first driver to win multiple Cup races at the track. Busch won the inaugural event at Kentucky, and he led the most laps on his way to a top-10 last year. More importantly, he posted the sixth-fastest lap in the first practice at Kentucky Friday and jumped to third on the charts in Happy Hour, so it doesn't seem like he has any plans on slowing down. Fantasy owners may want to make room on their rosters for "Rowdy" this weekend.

Kyle's older brother, Kurt, was impressive during practice Friday, as well. He cracked the top 10 in both sessions and posted the fourth-fastest lap in the first practice. Busch has one top-10 in the two starts at Kentucky, and more importantly, he has really hit his stride lately in his first full season with Furniture Row Racing. He has finished in the top 15 in seven of the last nine races leading up to Saturday night's Quaker State 400, and Busch finished third the last time the series visited a 1.5-mile track. A top-five finish isn't out of the question, and Busch should be good for a solid top-10 at the very least.

NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Stenhouse looks like a sleeper

Another big name that showed plenty of muscle in practice Friday was Jeff Gordon. In fact, he and his teammate Jimmie Johnson were the only drivers to crack the top five in both sessions. Meanwhile, Gordon is also one of just five drivers who have finished in the top 10 in both of the Cup races at Kentucky. He logged a top-five finish at the track last season, and if his practice times are any indication, he could be on his way to a repeat performance. Fantasy owners should be very comfortable adding Gordon to their rosters this weekend.

As far as sleeper options are concerned, no driver had a better showing in practice than Austin Dillon. After turning the 11th-fastest lap in the first session, he jumped to eighth on the charts in Happy Hour. Dillon is also coming off a career-best 11th-place finish in his most recent start in the Cup Series, and in two starts at Kentucky in the Nationwide Series, he picked up a pair of wins from the pole. Granted, Nationwide results don't always carry over to the Cup level, but Dillon's practice times suggest otherwise. Don't be surprised if he shows up in the top 15 Saturday night.

Rookie Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is another young driver that could be worthy of a roster spot this weekend. He landed inside the top 15 in both practices, cracking the top 10 in the opening session. Meanwhile, Roush Fenway Racing has had decent success in the two Cup races at Kentucky, and Stenhouse has actually cracked the top 15 in the last two races at 1.5-mile tracks this year. It appears he has a car to keep the streak of top-15 finishes alive this weekend.

Fantasy owners looking for some sleeper option with a little more experience may want to consider Jamie McMurray and Marcos Ambrose. Neither driver has been overly consistent this year, but both ranked in the top 15 in both practice sessions Friday, and both finished in the top 15 at Kentucky last year. If you have room on your roster for only one of them, Ambrose may deserve the slight edge. He finished in the top 10 the last time the series visited a 1.5-mile track, and that top-10 effort came at Charlotte after his car was sliced up by the camera cable that malfunctioned and fell on the track.

Happy Hour Speeds (sorted by Best Lap)

Pos
Car
Driver Team
Best Time
Best Lap
Laps
1
48
Jimmie Johnson Lowe's Dover White Chevrolet
29.819
181.093
33
2
99
Carl Edwards UPS Ford
29.936
180.385
23
3
18
Kyle Busch Doublemint Toyota
29.937
180.379
25
4
24
Jeff Gordon Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet
29.965
180.210
31
5
31
Jeff Burton Caterpillar Chevrolet
30.008
179.952
43
6
88
Dale Earnhardt Jr. National Guard Youth Foundation Chevrolet
30.009
179.946
31
7
11
Denny Hamlin FedEx Office Toyota
30.028
179.832
34
8
51
Austin Dillon Alsco Chevrolet
30.029
179.826
20
9
9
Marcos Ambrose Mac Tools Ford
30.033
179.802
21
10
78
Kurt Busch Furniture Row/Sealy Chevrolet
30.093
179.444
29
11
1
Jamie McMurray Hellmann's Chevrolet
30.096
179.426
43
12
5
Kasey Kahne Quaker State Chevrolet
30.102
179.390
44
13
14
Tony Stewart Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet
30.157
179.063
36
14
15
Clint Bowyer Camry 30th Anniversary Toyota
30.188
178.879
30
15
17
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Fifth Third Ford
30.205
178.778
21
16
39
Ryan Newman Quicken Loans Chevrolet
30.221
178.684
29
17
2
Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Ford
30.222
178.678
35
18
22
Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford
30.230
178.630
38
19
16
Greg Biffle 3M National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Ford
30.247
178.530
27
20
20
Matt Kenseth Dollar General Toyota
30.255
178.483
25
21
27
Paul Menard Menards/Sylvania Chevrolet
30.290
178.277
25
22
43
Aric Almirola Eckrich Ford
30.304
178.194
32
23
29
Kevin Harvick Budweiser Chevrolet
30.308
178.171
45
24
56
Martin Truex Jr. NAPA Auto Parts Toyota
30.375
177.778
34
25
42
Juan Pablo Montoya Target Chevrolet
30.441
177.392
22
26
55
Brian Vickers Aaron's/University of Louisville National
30.479
177.171
22
27
10
Danica Patrick GoDaddy Chevrolet
30.510
176.991
20
28
30
David Stremme Lean 1 Toyota
30.532
176.864
27
29
98
Michael McDowell Phil Parsons Racing Ford
30.621
176.350
2
30
35
Josh Wise MDS Transport Ford
30.706
175.861
7
31
47
A.J. Allmendinger Scott Products Toyota
30.715
175.810
24
32
13
Casey Mears Valvoline NextGen Ford
30.732
175.713
26
33
38
David Gilliland Long John Silver's Ford
30.813
175.251
17
34
33
Landon Cassill Little Joe's Autos Chevrolet
30.829
175.160
23
35
34
David Ragan Taco Bell Ford
30.959
174.424
23
36
7
Dave Blaney SANY Chevrolet
30.996
174.216
35
37
83
David Reutimann Burger King/Dr.Pepper Toyota
31.119
173.527
22
38
93
Travis Kvapil Burger King/Dr.Pepper Toyota
31.222
172.955
30
39
36
J.J. Yeley United Mining Equipment Chevrolet
31.263
172.728
33
40
44
Scott Riggs No Label Ford
31.445
171.728
8
41
87
Joe Nemechek Toyota
31.455
171.674
1
42
19
Mike Bliss Plinker Tactical Toyota
31.552
171.146
4
43
32
Ken Schrader Federated Auto Parts Ford
31.589
170.946
30

Happy Hour 10-Lap Average Speeds (must run 10 consecutive laps)

Rk Car Driver From Lap To Lap Avg. Speed
1
48
Jimmie Johnson
5
14
175.343
2
2
Brad Keselowski
17
26
174.910
3
5
Kasey Kahne
27
36
174.673
4
56
Martin Truex Jr.
23
32
174.527
5
31
Jeff Burton
9
18
174.091
6
29
Kevin Harvick
24
33
173.934
7
1
Jamie McMurray
30
39
173.873
8
78
Kurt Busch
19
28
173.854

First Practice Speeds (sorted by Best Lap)

Rk
Car
Driver Team
Best Time
Best Lap
Laps
1
29
Kevin Harvick Budweiser Chevrolet
30.204
178.784
14
2
48
Jimmie Johnson Lowe's Dover White Chevrolet
30.390
177.690
29
3
2
Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Ford
30.503
177.032
24
4
78
Kurt Busch Furniture Row/Sealy Chevrolet
30.526
176.898
27
5
24
Jeff Gordon Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet
30.585
176.557
27
6
18
Kyle Busch Doublemint Toyota
30.594
176.505
32
7
55
Brian Vickers Aaron's/University of Louisville National
30.611
176.407
19
8
42
Juan Pablo Montoya Target Chevrolet
30.633
176.280
24
9
27
Paul Menard Menards/Sylvania Chevrolet
30.651
176.177
20
10
17
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Fifth Third Ford
30.654
176.160
20
11
51
Austin Dillon Alsco Chevrolet
30.665
176.097
26
12
31
Jeff Burton Caterpillar Chevrolet
30.668
176.079
33
13
1
Jamie McMurray Hellmann's Chevrolet
30.687
175.970
32
14
9
Marcos Ambrose Mac Tools Ford
30.707
175.856
22
15
20
Matt Kenseth Dollar General Toyota
30.709
175.844
24
16
22
Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford
30.716
175.804
34
17
16
Greg Biffle 3M National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Ford
30.727
175.741
23
18
99
Carl Edwards UPS Ford
30.736
175.690
20
19
35
Josh Wise MDS Transport Ford
30.737
175.684
6
20
5
Kasey Kahne Quaker State Chevrolet
30.739
175.673
28
21
98
Michael McDowell Phil Parsons Racing Ford
30.764
175.530
5
22
88
Dale Earnhardt Jr. National Guard Youth Foundation Chevrolet
30.775
175.467
27
23
14
Tony Stewart Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet
30.787
175.399
27
24
15
Clint Bowyer Camry 30th Anniversary Toyota
30.788
175.393
23
25
56
Martin Truex Jr. NAPA Auto Parts Toyota
30.795
175.353
20
26
39
Ryan Newman Quicken Loans Chevrolet
30.805
175.296
24
27
43
Aric Almirola Eckrich Ford
30.822
175.200
24
28
11
Denny Hamlin FedEx Office Toyota
30.846
175.063
31
29
10
Danica Patrick GoDaddy Chevrolet
30.876
174.893
25
30
47
A.J. Allmendinger Scott Products Toyota
30.894
174.791
21
31
30
David Stremme Lean 1 Toyota
30.933
174.571
13
32
13
Casey Mears Valvoline NextGen Ford
31.000
174.194
13
33
87
Joe Nemechek Toyota
31.056
173.879
4
34
33
Landon Cassill Little Joe's Autos Chevrolet
31.063
173.840
17
35
34
David Ragan Taco Bell Ford
31.130
173.466
16
36
7
Dave Blaney SANY Chevrolet
31.149
173.360
24
37
93
Travis Kvapil Burger King/Dr.Pepper Toyota
31.196
173.099
21
38
44
Scott Riggs No Label Ford
31.446
171.723
2
39
38
David Gilliland Long John Silver's Ford
31.472
171.581
8
40
83
David Reutimann Burger King/Dr.Pepper Toyota
31.499
171.434
10
41
36
J.J. Yeley United Mining Equipment Chevrolet
31.692
170.390
18
42
19
Mike Bliss Plinker Tactical Toyota
31.704
170.326
1
43
32
Ken Schrader Federated Auto Parts Ford
31.794
169.843
9

10-Lap Average Speeds (must run 10 consecutive laps)

Rk
Car
Driver
From Lap
To Lap
Avg. Speed
1
18
Kyle Busch
23
32
173.910
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