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Fantasy NASCAR Recommendations for 2011 Auto Club 400

Posted by chadmusselman on March 22, 2011

They’re going back to Cali. Except this will be the only trip to the LA area for the drivers in 2011 since the Auto Club Speedway lost their second race.  This is a track that the chasers from last year have done really well.  Eight of them are in the top ten of average finishes, and eight have won at least one race here.  Of the 21 races held at the track 16 of them have been won by drivers that made the 2010 chase.  It sounds like you can pretty much pick any of the chasers and have a good chance of getting at top ten finish.  Are there any non-chasers that will be able to compete this weekend?

This Week’s Recommendations:

Chaser: Jimmie Johnson
Chalk this up as another track that Johnson has dominated.  He is in the middle of an eight race streak of top ten finishes at the Auto Club Speedway.  He averages a 5.3 place finish at the track.  Can you imagine finishing 6th and having it bring your average finish down?  That’s crazy good.  Johnson has also won 4 of the last 7 races here.  If he’s not the chaser on your fantasy NASCAR team this week, then you may have lost your mind.

Alternate Chaser: Tony Stewart
Stewart hasn’t been as dominant at the Auto Club speedway as Jimmie Johnson, but he’s done very well here.  He has four consecutive top ten finishes, winning the fall race here in 2010.  In 19 career races at the track Stewart has 11 top ten and 5 top five finishes with the one win.  Not only has he done well at the track, but he’s been hot so far this season.  In the first four races of 2011 Stewart has averaged a 10.3 place finish, good enough for 3rd best.  He’s also sitting 4th in the points chase.  If you want to go against the popular pick of Johnson for your chaser, Stewart would be another good choice for your fantasy team.

Mark Martin
Of the drivers that didn’t make the chase last year, Mark Martin has the best average finish at this track (13.3).  He is also one of the few non-chasers that has won a race at the Auto Club Speedway, the second race ever at the track in 1998.  Martin is sporting a decent streak of his own at the track with three consecutive top ten finishes (4th, 4th, & 6th) over the past two season.  He’s 11th in points right now and has the 9th best average finish this season, so Martin is still showing that he’s in it to make the chase and challenge for the Cup title.

Ryan Newman
The Purdue grad doesn’t have the best record at this speedway, although he did finish 5th here last fall.  This recommendation is more based on how well Ryan has done to start the season.  He’s 3rd in the points chase and is averaging a 10.5 place finish in the 2011 races.  This is a fast track, and no one likes to go around the track as fast as Newman.  Look for him to keep the momentum and challenge for another top ten finish.

Dark Horse: Paul Menard
Menard is having his best start to a NASCAR season ever, and it’s probably worth the risk to put him on your fantasy NASCAR team.  He’s finished 9th, 17th, 12th & 5th in the four races so far this season.  He’s Menard has never come close to starting a season this well.  Heck, I don’t think he has ever had four consecutive races with these types of numbers.   Menard could be challenging for breakout driver of the year honors if he keeps this up.

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One Response to “Fantasy NASCAR Recommendations for 2011 Auto Club 400”

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