Fantasy NASCAR Practice Recap: Federated Auto Parts 400

by Brian Polking on September 6, 2013 @ 15:00:08 PDT

 


Richmond International Raceway has always been one of Kyle Busch's best tracks, and he certainly looked at home during Friday's practice sessions. After turning in the third-fastest lap in the first session, he jumped to second on the charts in Happy Hour. Busch already enters this weekend's race with a series-leading 6.5 average finish at Richmond, and in 17 starts, he has 12 top-five finishes, including four wins. If he isn't the top fantasy option this weekend, he is certainly near the top of the list in any format.

NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Junior happy after Happy Hour

Other than Busch, the only other driver to crack the top five in both practice sessions was Jeff Gordon. In fact, he paced the field in Happy Hour. Gordon has been particularly strong in the September race at Richmond the past few years, compiling a 5.3 average finish in his last six starts. During the stretch, he has finished fourth or better four times, including a second-place run last season. Gordon definitely has top-five potential this weekend.

Gordon's Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne also flashed plenty of muscle in the practices Friday. He ranked eighth on the charts in the first session and climbed to sixth in Happy Hour. Meanwhile, Kahne logged the best 10-lap average speed in the opening practice and the second-best 10-lap average speed in the final session. Granted, he hasn't been the most consistent driver at Richmond, but he is a former winner. He has also finished in the top 12 in three of his last five starts at the track and has a pair of top-five runs during the stretch. Kahne offers plenty of upside.

Another driver with a bit of an inconsistent track record at Richmond who was stout in practice was Matt Kenseth. He posted the fourth-fastest lap in the opening session and remained in the top 10 during Happy Hour. Overall, he has just two top-10s in his last 12 starts at Richmond, but he did finish fifth in the September race last year. He also led the most laps and finished seventh at the track earlier this year. Kenseth appears to have a fast car and is trending in the right direction at Richmond anyway. Owners shouldn't be afraid to use him on their rosters this weekend.

Owners shouldn't be afraid to use Dale Earnhardt Jr. this weekend either. He turned in the seventh-fastest lap in the first practice Friday to go along with the seventh-best 10-lap average speed, and Junior jumped to third on the charts in Happy Hour. In addition, Junior is a three-time winner at Richmond for his career, and he has cracked the top 15 in his last three starts at the track. Junior notched a 10th-place run at Richmond in the spring, and a similar performance should be on tap for Saturday night.

Defending race winner Clint Bowyer also made a little noise in practice Friday. He turned in the second-fastest lap in the first session and posted the third-best 10-lap average speed. He slid to 12th on the charts in Happy Hour, but the practice speeds were more than strong enough for a guy who has finished worse than 12th in only two of his 15 starts at Richmond. Not to mention the fact that Bowyer has finished seventh or better in all three starts at the track since joining Michael Waltrip Racing, including his win last September and a second-place run earlier this year. Consider him among the fantasy elite this weekend.

Despite not cracking the top 10 in either practice, fantasy owners shouldn't overlook Joey Logano. For one, he did sneak into the top 15 in both sessions. Meanwhile, he has been the best driver in the series by a wide margin over the past six races, scoring 30 more points than any other driver. Logano also finished a career-best third at Richmond earlier this year, so there is a good chance he keeps his hot streak going this weekend.

One big name missing from the top of the charts is Jimmie Johnson. In fact, he is missing from the charts all together. Johnson's wife gave birth to the couple's second child early Friday morning, so Regan Smith practiced in the No. 48 Chevrolet. Johnson will be in the car for Saturday night's race, but he will have to start at the rear of the field. The three-time Richmond winner is more than capable of recovering for a solid finish, but at least in survivor-type leagues, owners may want to save him for another week.

Happy Hour Speeds (sorted by Best Lap)

Rk Car Driver Team Best Time Best Lap Laps
1 24 Jeff Gordon Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet 21.211 127.292 5
2 18 Kyle Busch M&M's American Heritage Choc Toyota 21.326 126.606 8
3 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Time Warner Cable Chevrolet 21.376 126.310 7
4 56 Martin Truex Jr. NAPA Auto Parts Toyota 21.395 126.198 8
5 31 Jeff Burton Caterpillar Chevrolet 21.401 126.162 8
6 5 Kasey Kahne Farmers Insurance Chevrolet 21.407 126.127 31
7 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Target Chevrolet 21.418 126.062 10
8 20 Matt Kenseth Home Depot Husky Toyota 21.428 126.003 8
9 99 Carl Edwards Frosted Flakes Ford 21.431 125.986 15
10 14 Mark Martin Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet 21.439 125.939 8
11 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Express Toyota 21.466 125.780 2
12 15 Clint Bowyer 5-hour Energy Toyota 21.498 125.593 6
13 1 Jamie McMurray Cessna Chevrolet 21.498 125.593 8
14 9 Marcos Ambrose DeWalt Ford 21.501 125.576 9
15 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 21.512 125.511 29
16 29 Kevin Harvick Budweiser Chevrolet 21.524 125.441 5
17 47 A.J. Allmendinger Bush's Beans Toyota 21.551 125.284 24
18 39 Ryan Newman Quicken Loans Chevrolet 21.554 125.267 11
19 78 Kurt Busch Furniture Row/Beautyrest Chevrolet 21.559 125.238 12
20 43 Aric Almirola Gwaltney Ford 21.583 125.098 8
21 27 Paul Menard Menards/Pittsburgh Paints Chevrolet 21.586 125.081 12
22 48 Regan Smith Lowe's/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet 21.599 125.006 11
23 83 David Reutimann Burger King/Dr.Pepper Toyota 21.616 124.907 8
24 16 Greg Biffle Scotchgard Ford 21.631 124.821 9
25 55 Brian Vickers LG Partner of the Year/Aaron's Toyota 21.636 124.792 20
26 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Nationwide Insurance Ford 21.637 124.786 8
27 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Ford 21.652 124.700 51
28 40 Landon Cassill CRC Brakleen Chevrolet 21.664 124.631 8
29 13 Casey Mears GEICO Ford 21.694 124.458 8
30 98 Michael McDowell Phil Parsons Racing Ford 21.712 124.355 4
31 38 David Gilliland Long John Silver's Ford 21.747 124.155 20
32 10 Danica Patrick GoDaddy Chevrolet 21.754 124.115 9
33 93 Travis Kvapil Burger King/Dr.Pepper Toyota 21.759 124.087 7
34 51 Ryan Truex Seawatch Chevrolet 21.771 124.018 8
35 35 Josh Wise The Pete Store Ford 21.779 123.973 5
36 19 Mike Bliss PlinkerTactical/ShrtnRchmndPrkSthHtl Toyota 21.817 123.757 10
37 7 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 21.890 123.344 26
38 34 David Ragan Farm Rich Ford 21.899 123.293 27
39 95 Reed Sorenson Leavine Family Racing Ford 21.938 123.074 11
40 87 Joe Nemechek AMFMEnergy.com Toyota 21.953 122.990 8
41 30 David Stremme Swan Energy/Lean 1 Toyota 22.046 122.471 5
42 36 J.J. Yeley United Mining Equipment Chevrolet 22.239 121.408 16
43 32 Ken Schrader Federated Auto Parts Ford 22.460 120.214 28
44 33 Tony Raines LittleJoesAutos.com Chevrolet 22.672 119.090 9

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

Rk
Car
Driver
From Lap
To Lap
Avg. Speed
1
2
Brad Keselowski
32
41
123.391
2
5
Kasey Kahne
1
10
123.141
3
22
Joey Logano
1
10
123.088
4
55
Brian Vickers
1
10
122.706
5
47
A.J. Allmendinger
7
16
122.035
6
34
David Ragan
4
13
121.820
7
7
Dave Blaney
1
10
120.466
8
32
Ken Schrader
3
12
119.353

First Practice Speeds (sorted by Best Lap)

Rk
Car
Driver Team
Best Time
Best Lap
Laps
1
2
Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Ford
21.246
127.083
78
2
15
Clint Bowyer 5-hour Energy Toyota
21.459
125.821
67
3
18
Kyle Busch M&M's American Heritage Chocolate
21.504
125.558
75
4
20
Matt Kenseth Home Depot Husky Toyota
21.564
125.209
53
5
24
Jeff Gordon Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet
21.577
125.133
73
6
78
Kurt Busch Furniture Row/Beautyrest Chevrolet
21.579
125.122
93
7
88
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Time Warner Cable Chevrolet
21.612
124.931
71
8
5
Kasey Kahne Farmers Insurance Chevrolet
21.615
124.913
82
9
39
Ryan Newman Quicken Loans Chevrolet
21.652
124.700
52
10
29
Kevin Harvick Budweiser Chevrolet
21.668
124.608
73
11
48
Regan Smith Lowe's/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet
21.688
124.493
79
12
56
Martin Truex Jr. NAPA Auto Parts Toyota
21.704
124.401
71
13
55
Brian Vickers LG Partner of the Year/Aaron's Toyota
21.708
124.378
54
14
22
Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford
21.716
124.332
73
15
14
Mark Martin Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet
21.721
124.304
61
16
9
Marcos Ambrose DeWalt Ford
21.770
124.024
63
17
11
Denny Hamlin FedEx Express Toyota
21.785
123.938
73
18
83
David Reutimann Burger King/Dr.Pepper Toyota
21.836
123.649
60
19
31
Jeff Burton Caterpillar Chevrolet
21.839
123.632
82
20
42
Juan Pablo Montoya Target Chevrolet
21.848
123.581
75
21
93
Travis Kvapil Burger King/Dr.Pepper Toyota
21.866
123.479
71
22
40
Landon Cassill CRC Brakleen Chevrolet
21.871
123.451
47
23
43
Aric Almirola Gwaltney Ford
21.877
123.417
69
24
27
Paul Menard Menards/Pittsburgh Paints Chevrolet
21.907
123.248
66
25
98
Michael McDowell Phil Parsons Racing Ford
21.929
123.125
16
26
17
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Nationwide Insurance Ford
21.935
123.091
63
27
36
J.J. Yeley United Mining Equipment Chevrolet
21.937
123.080
61
28
95
Reed Sorenson Leavine Family Racing Ford
21.937
123.080
17
29
10
Danica Patrick GoDaddy Chevrolet
21.964
122.928
74
30
1
Jamie McMurray Cessna Chevrolet
21.986
122.805
57
31
34
David Ragan Farm Rich Ford
21.995
122.755
80
32
99
Carl Edwards Frosted Flakes Ford
22.000
122.727
52
33
47
A.J. Allmendinger Bush's Beans Toyota
22.003
122.711
60
34
13
Casey Mears GEICO Ford
22.024
122.594
59
35
38
David Gilliland Long John Silver's Ford
22.044
122.482
69
36
32
Ken Schrader Federated Auto Parts Ford
22.057
122.410
49
37
30
David Stremme Swan Energy/Lean 1 Toyota
22.057
122.410
50
38
16
Greg Biffle Scotchgard Ford
22.069
122.344
67
39
51
Ryan Truex Seawatch Chevrolet
22.085
122.255
62
40
7
Dave Blaney Chevrolet
22.112
122.106
40
41
35
Josh Wise The Pete Store Ford
22.117
122.078
41
42
19
Mike Bliss PlinkerTactical/ShrtnRchmndPrkSthHotel Toyota
22.134
121.984
16
43
87
Joe Nemechek AMFMEnergy.com Toyota
22.189
121.682
18
44
33
Tony Raines LittleJoesAutos.com Chevrolet
22.599
119.474
25

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

Rk
Car
Driver
From Lap
To Lap
Avg. Speed
1
5
Kasey Kahne
1
10
123.036
2
11
Denny Hamlin
2
11
122.775
3
15
Clint Bowyer
45
54
122.483
4
55
Brian Vickers
7
16
122.341
5
2
Brad Keselowski
32
41
122.265
6
22
Joey Logano
43
52
122.123
7
88
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
38
47
121.985
8
34
David Ragan
1
10
121.903
9
78
Kurt Busch
20
29
121.888
10
1
Jamie McMurray
2
11
121.842
11
42
Juan Pablo Montoya
47
56
121.742
12
36
J.J. Yeley
2
11
121.722
13
56
Martin Truex Jr.
47
56
121.705
14
17
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
36
45
121.679
15
38
David Gilliland
1
10
121.559
16
27
Paul Menard
35
44
121.429
17
24
Jeff Gordon
49
58
121.425
18
39
Ryan Newman
41
50
121.192
19
31
Jeff Burton
51
60
121.179
20
29
Kevin Harvick
49
58
121.098
21
14
Mark Martin
41
50
121.083
22
99
Carl Edwards
43
52
121.071
23
9
Marcos Ambrose
34
43
120.549
24
48
Regan Smith
56
65
120.458
25
83
David Reutimann
38
47
119.833
26
10
Danica Patrick
55
64
119.408
27
30
David Stremme
36
45
119.204
28
18
Kyle Busch
62
71
118.249
29
47
A.J. Allmendinger
48
57
118.087

 

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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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