Fantasy NASCAR team preview: Joe Gibbs Racing

by Tim Piotrowski on January 27, 2009 @ 00:00:00 PDT


No. 11 Toyota FedEx

Owner: Joe Gibbs Racing
Driver: Denny Hamlin
Crew chief: Mike Ford
Sprint Cup debut: 2005
Age: 28
Career Sprint Cup wins: 4
2008 Sprint Cup rank: 8

2009 fantasy outlook: Hamlin continued his stellar performance last season with a third consecutive berth in the Chase for the Cup. He finished the season with one victory, 12 top-five and 19 top-10 finishes. He also stayed out of trouble last season, failing to finish only three races because of either an accident or engine issues. This season, Hamlin should continue to be one of the more consistent drivers in the Sprint Cup and should be considered as a mid No. 1 drivers in fantasy leagues.

No. 18 Toyota Mars/Interstate Batteries

Owner: Joe Gibbs Racing
Driver: Kyle Busch
Crew chief: Steve Addington
Sprint Cup debut: 2004
Age: 23
Career Sprint Cup wins: 12
2008 Sprint Cup rank: 10

2009 fantasy outlook: Busch was one of the more dominant drivers in the Sprint Cup Series last season. His eight wins were second to only Carl Edwards in 2008. He also added 17 top-five and 21 top-ten finishes. Unfortunately for Busch, his last 10 races were a bit inconsistent. He was able to finish in the top 10 four times but also had four finishes of 28th or worse, including a 43rd-place finish because of engine trouble. Heading into this season, Busch continues to be considered as one of the top drivers in the Cup Series and is considered a strong No. 1 driver.

No. 20 Home Depot

Owner: Joe Gibbs Racing
Driver: Joey Logano
Crew chief: Greg Zipadelli
Sprint Cup debut: 2008
Age: 18
Career Sprint Cup wins: 0
2008 Sprint Cup rank: N/A

2009 fantasy outlook: Logano will be trying to fill the shoes of one of the most successful drivers in NASCAR the last several seasons. He received his first taste of Sprint Cup racing when he started three races, but his finishes of 32nd, 39th and 40th, respectively, showed he has some learning to do in the Sprint Cup Series. He had some success in a full season in the Nationwide Series, posting one win, five top-five and 14 top-10 finishes. At the start of the season, he should be considered high-upside a No. 3 driver but has the opportunity to improve throughout the season.

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About Tim Piotrowski

Piotrowski has been a Hot Off the Wire analyst since 2007.

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