Fantasy NASCAR Practice Recap: Bank of America 500

by Brian Polking on October 11, 2013 @ 17:29:35 PDT

 


Although Kyle Busch's championship hopes took a huge hit at Kansas last weekend, he doesn't seem to be letting it slow him down this weekend at Charlotte. Busch topped the charts in the first practice session at the track Friday to go along with the second-best 10-lap average speed, and he cracked the top five in Happy Hour. He has also finished in the top 10 in 10 of his last 12 starts at Charlotte and has six top-three finishes during the stretch. Busch looks like an elite fantasy option again this weekend.

NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick
Harvick still a favorite

Kyle's older brother Kurt Busch appears to be an elite fantasy play, as well. After all, he turned the second-fastest lap in the first practice Friday, and he posted the fastest lap and the best 10-lap average speed in Happy Hour. Kurt finished third at Charlotte earlier this year, and he might have an even faster car this time around.

Another driver that seems to have a fast car is Brad Keselowski. After all, he was the only other driver to crack the top five in both practice sessions Saturday. Granted, his 18.3 average finish at Charlotte isn't great, but he did finish fifth and 11th in two starts at the track last season. At the very least, Keselowski should be able to deliver a top-10 this weekend.

While he didn't turn a top-five lap in either practice Saturday, Jimmie Johnson did crack the top 10 in both sessions. More importantly, he logged the best 10-lap average speed in the opening practice. Johnson is also a six-time winner at Charlotte, and he has three top-three finishes in the last four fall races at the track. He hasn't finished worse than sixth since the Chase began, and don't expect that to change this weekend.

Last weekend's winner, Kevin Harvick, could also continue his strong Chase Saturday night. After turning the 12th-fastest lap and posting the fifth-best 10-lap average speed in the first practice Friday, he jumped to second on the charts in Happy Hour. In addition, Harvick is going for a season sweep at Charlotte after winning the May event, and in his last six starts at the track, he has five finishes of eighth or better, including two wins. Keep in mind that Harvick has scored more points than any other driver at 1.5-mile tracks in 2013. It's tough to find a safer pick.

Joey Logano should be a safe fantasy option this weekend, as well. For one, he ranked 11th and ninth in the two practices at Charlotte Friday. Perhaps more importantly, he owns a series-leading 9.6 average finish at the track, and he has only finished outside the top 15 once in nine starts. Logano finished fifth at Charlotte in May, and if he doesn't land in the top five this weekend, he probably won't be far off.

Another driver with top-five upside this weekend is Jeff Gordon. After winning the pole Thursday night, he cracked the top 10 in both practice sessions Friday, posting the third-fastest lap in the first session. Granted, Gordon has managed just one top-10 in his last six starts at Charlotte, but he has been happy with his car all weekend. He could be worth taking a chance on.

Although he might not have the upside of some of the other drivers mentioned, Carl Edwards could make a solid addition to fantasy rosters this weekend. He cracked the top 10 in both practice sessions Friday, and he has a history of success at Charlotte. Edwards has finished in the top 15 in 13 of his 17 starts at the track, and he has finished 11th or better in his last four. Look for him to finish in or around the top 10 again Saturday night.

In terms of sleeper options, Juan Pablo Montoya could make a solid play. He cracked the top 10 in the first practice Friday, and he landed in the top 15 in Happy Hour. Montoya also posted the fourth-best 10-lap average speed in the opening practice. History says he probably won't finish in the top 10, but with six straight top-20s at Charlotte and solid practice times, a top-15 isn't out of the question.

Happy Hour Speeds (sorted by Best Lap)

Rk
Car
Driver Make Sponsor
Best Lap
Best Time
Laps
1
78
Kurt Busch Chevrolet Furniture Row/Denver Mattress
190.759
28.308
54
2
29
Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Jimmy John's
189.613
28.479
42
3
2
Brad Keselowski Ford Miller Lite
189.401
28.511
39
4
15
Clint Bowyer Toyota 5-Hour Energy
189.268
28.531
39
5
18
Kyle Busch Toyota M&M's
189.155
28.548
41
6
27
Paul Menard Chevrolet Menards/Duracell
189.148
28.549
50
7
99
Carl Edwards Ford Fastenal
188.976
28.575
30
8
48
Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's Dover White
188.95
28.579
54
9
22
Joey Logano Ford Shell Pennzoil/Hertz
188.798
28.602
35
10
24
Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Axalta
188.653
28.624
43
11
39
Ryan Newman Chevrolet Quicken Loans
188.62
28.629
47
12
56
Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts
188.594
28.633
41
13
5
Kasey Kahne Chevrolet Quaker State
188.574
28.636
43
14
43
Aric Almirola Ford Smithfield
188.462
28.653
48
15
42
Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet Target
188.436
28.657
39
16
88
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Time Warner Cable
188.055
28.715
50
17
14
Mark Martin Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1
187.741
28.763
48
18
55
Brian Vickers Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine
187.643
28.778
49
19
31
Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar
187.552
28.792
51
20
11
Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Ground
187.539
28.794
50
21
17
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford My Best Buy
187.467
28.805
47
22
16
Greg Biffle Ford 3M
187.422
28.812
40
23
20
Matt Kenseth Toyota Dollar General
187.363
28.821
39
24
33
Brian Scott Chevrolet Shore Lodge
187.214
28.844
67
25
9
Marcos Ambrose Ford Bostitch
186.812
28.906
36
26
47
Bobby Labonte Toyota Scott Products
186.445
28.963
47
27
51
Kyle Larson Chevrolet Target
186.329
28.981
57
28
38
David Gilliland Ford Long John Silver's
186.181
29.004
28
29
10
Danica Patrick Chevrolet GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness
186.079
29.020
48
30
1
Jamie McMurray Chevrolet McDonald's
186.027
29.028
60
31
30
Cole Whitt Toyota Swan Energy
185.695
29.080
25
32
13
Casey Mears Ford GEICO
185.37
29.131
36
33
7
Dave Blaney Chevrolet Breast Cancer Awareness
185.204
29.157
27
34
83
David Reutimann Toyota Burger King/Dr.Pepper
184.47
29.273
35
35
40
Landon Cassill Chevrolet Moonshine Attitude Attire
184.162
29.322
33
36
93
Travis Kvapil Toyota Dr.Pepper
184.024
29.344
31
37
34
David Ragan Ford Taco Bell
183.917
29.361
33
38
35
Josh Wise Ford MDS Transport
183.723
29.392
7
39
36
J.J. Yeley Chevrolet United Mining Equipment
182.846
29.533
39
40
98
Michael McDowell Ford Phil Parsons Racing
182.217
29.635
6
41
32
Timmy Hill Ford U.S. Chrome
181.83
29.698
26
42
95
Blake Koch Ford supportmilitary.org
181.733
29.714
7

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

Rk
Driver
From Lap
To Lap
Avg. Speed
1
1
10
186.254
2
1
10
186.233
3
1
10
185.940
4
1
10
185.885
5
1
10
185.840
6
28
37
185.753
7
1
10
185.667
8
1
10
185.664
9
1
10
185.639
10
19
28
185.579
11
1
10
185.272
12
1
10
185.266
13
1
10
185.201
14
25
34
185.112
15
27
36
184.817
16
1
10
184.633
17
1
10
184.622
18
1
10
184.561
19
1
10
184.552
20
1
10
184.528
21
1
10
184.354
22
1
10
184.343
23
27
36
184.316
24
1
10
184.035
25
17
26
183.800
26
25
34
183.655
27
1
10
183.001
28
1
10
181.812

Second Practice Speeds (sorted by Best Lap)

Rk
Car
Driver
Team
Best Time
Best Lap
Laps
1
18
M&M's Toyota
28.504
189.447
45
2
78
Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet
28.507
189.427
36
3
24
Axalta Chevrolet
28.535
189.241
28
4
2
Miller Lite Ford
28.540
189.208
41
5
42
Target Chevrolet
28.542
189.195
29
6
56
NAPA Auto Parts Toyota
28.569
189.016
32
7
16
3M Ford
28.600
188.811
30
8
20
Dollar General Toyota
28.605
188.778
28
9
99
Fastenal Ford
28.624
188.653
21
10
48
Lowe's Dover White Chevrolet
28.625
188.646
46
11
22
Shell Pennzoil/Hertz Ford
28.630
188.613
34
12
29
Jimmy John's Chevrolet
28.631
188.607
40
13
88
Time Warner Cable Chevrolet
28.651
188.475
41
14
5
Quaker State Chevrolet
28.658
188.429
37
15
1
McDonald's Chevrolet
28.679
188.291
21
16
15
Rbrry5hrEnrgybnftngLvngByndBrstCncr Toyota
28.716
188.048
36
17
14
Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet
28.756
187.787
42
18
39
Quicken Loans Chevrolet
28.793
187.546
41
19
27
Menards/Duracell Chevrolet
28.819
187.376
26
20
11
FedEx Ground Toyota
28.848
187.188
38
21
51
Target Chevrolet
28.851
187.169
40
22
31
Caterpillar Chevrolet
28.999
186.213
39
23
55
Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota
29.019
186.085
34
24
10
GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness Chevrolet
29.029
186.021
35
25
13
GEICO Ford
29.039
185.957
21
26
9
Bostitch Ford
29.051
185.880
30
27
43
Smithfield Ford
29.089
185.637
20
28
47
Scott Products Toyota
29.115
185.471
30
29
33
Shore Lodge Chevrolet
29.149
185.255
34
30
34
Taco Bell Ford
29.161
185.179
16
31
30
Swan Energy Toyota
29.208
184.881
22
32
17
My Best Buy Ford
29.230
184.742
34
33
38
Long John Silver's Ford
29.239
184.685
13
34
93
Dr.Pepper Toyota
29.359
183.930
27
35
83
Burger King/Dr.Pepper Toyota
29.432
183.474
14
36
40
Moonshine Attitude Attire Chevrolet
29.504
183.026
16
37
87
Toyota
29.568
182.630
7
38
7
Breast Cancer Awareness Chevrolet
29.665
182.033
24
39
32
U.S. Chrome Ford
29.708
181.769
18
40
95
supportmilitary.org Ford
29.862
180.832
10
41
36
United Mining Equipment Chevrolet
29.893
180.644
17

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

Rk
Car
Driver
From Lap
To Lap
Avg. Speed
1
48
1
10
185.714
2
18
1
10
185.689
3
56
1
10
185.656
4
42
1
10
185.633
5
29
1
10
185.387
6
88
1
10
185.093
7
51
14
23
184.551
8
39
30
39
183.356
9
15
24
33
183.264
10
2
30
39
183.181
11
17
17
26
183.146
12
55
25
34
182.862
13
31
26
35
182.813
14
33
1
10
182.724
15
78
23
32
182.721
16
95
1
10
177.567
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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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