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Fantasy NASCAR Recommendations for 2011 AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway

Posted by chadmusselman on September 26, 2011

Tony Stewart certainly knows when to kick it in high gear winning the opening two races of the chase.  Can he continue the hot streak when he hits Dover?  All of the chasers are pretty hot of late; the top ten drivers that have the best average finish over the past five races are all chasers.  They’re closing the door on the non-chasers and showing everyone how good they really are.

One chaser that needs to start cranking out top ten finishes is Jimmie Johnson.  His run of consecutive championships will be in serious jeopardy if he doesn’t get a top five or ten finish in Dover and climb a few positions in the standings.  Johnson is currently 10th, 29points out of first.  He has a lot of ground to make up, but if anyone can do it Jimmie can.  Johnson can’t be counted out until the season is over.

This Week’s Recommendations

Chaser: Carl Edwards
Carl Edwards is my recommended chaser this week for two reasons.  1. He has the best average finish at Dover among active drivers (7.6).  2. He is the 2nd hottest driver in NASCAR averaging a 5.6 place finish over the last 5 races.  Put those two stats together and it seems like an easy pick.  Edwards only has one win at the track but has 6 top five and 10 top ten finishes in 14 career races.  You know he’s a really good driver, and this week he should be able to get you a lot of points for your fantasy team.

Alternate Chaser: Brad Keselowski
You could put Brad Keselowski on your team for the simple fact that he’s the hottest driver NASCAR.  The kid has been amazing over the last 9 races.  Since Brickyard 400 (a span of 9 races) where he finished 9th, Keselowski has 8 top ten and 6 top five finishes with two wins.  His worst finish in that stretch is 12th!  I don’t know how long this run can last for Keselowski, but I wouldn’t bet against him until you know for sure it is over.

Greg Biffle
Biffle missed the chase, but had a strong run last weekend finishing 3rd.  Dover is a track that Biffle has performed well, averaging an 11.4 place finish in 18 career races.  Along with that he has also won here twice with 6 top five and 10 top ten finishes.   Biffle is still a quality driver that can earn you a lot of points.  He’s had some tough patches this season, but he did well last weekend and with his history at Dover it looks like Biffle could go on a mini hot streak and get you more points this week.

A.J. Allmendinger
Allmendinger was my pre-season pick to be the most surprising driver of 2012.  Although I think Brad Keselowsi took that honor, Allmendinger wasn’t too far off.  He’s currently 15th in points, only four away from 12th.  Allmendinger has shown consistent improvement over the past few years and is quietly becoming a good driver that can be counted on week in and week out to have good finishes.  He’s not flashy, but gets the job done.  Allmendinger has had recent success in Dover finishing 10th and 7th in two of the last four races at the track.  He should be able to contend for a top ten finish this weekend and get some points for your team.

Dark Horse: Jeff Burton
I think we all know that Jeff Burton is a way better driver than being 24th in points.  Last year at both Dover races Burton finished 2nd.  For his career he has a win, 8 top five and 15 top ten finishes at the track.  He’s better than what’s been shown this season and he should be good for your team this weekend.

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Fantasy NASCAR Recommendations for 2011 Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Posted by chadmusselman on September 21, 2011

Fuel was the main issue in Chicago, allowing Tony Stewart to jump up in the standing to 2nd place and Kevin Harvick take the lead.  With the new points format most of the chasers are still in it, although Kenseth, Gordon, and Hamlin have their work cut out for them.  Will they be able to rebound this week in New Hampshire?  Jeff Gordon and Denny Hamlin have fared well here in the past, so maybe they can get back into the hunt for the title.

Overall, the race in Chicago was clean, and pretty much incident free, with the chasers taking 8 of the top 10 spots, but New Hampshire isn’t as easy of a track to get out of the way and avoid wrecks.  Will we see some of the chasers collected in messes that they didn’t cause?  Hard to tell, but it should be a more entertaining race than Chicago proved to be.

This Week’s Recommendations

Chaser: Denny Hamlin
Denny Hamlin’s average finish of 7.2 in New Hampshire is best among active drivers and more than 2 spots better than 2nd place Jimmie Johnson.  Hamlin has won a race here along with 5 top five and 8 top ten finishes in 11 career races.  He finished a miserable 31st last week in Chicago and will be looking to redeem himself.  Hamlin can’t afford another poor effort or his chances at winning his first championship will be over before they really got a chance to begin.

Alternate Chaser: Ryan Newman
Ryan Newman’s three wins here are tied for second best among active drivers.  He has finished the last four races at the track in the top ten.  In 19 career races Newman has finished in the top ten 13 times, and 6 times he has finished in the top 5.  Newman isn’t a glamorous pick compared to some of the other chasers, but he does real well here and has a legitimate shot at winning the race.  If your first week in the chase didn’t go well in Fantasy NASCAR and you have some points to make up, Ryan could be the driver to help get that done.

Martin Truex Jr.
Martin Truex Jr. is having a so-so year sitting 17th in points.  He has a couple top five and eight top ten finishes this season, so he has been able to run up front at times.  His record at New Hampshire is about as so-so as he has been this season.  In 11 career races he Truex has five top ten and 3 top five finishes, averaging a 15th place finish.   He probably won’t go out and win the race this weekend, but he could contend for a top ten finish and probably finish in the top fifteen.

Clint Bowyer
Clint Bowyer has four top ten finishes in New Hampshire for his career, and two of those were wins.  Over the last four races here Clint was able to finish in the top ten three times with one victory.  Hopefully that trend continues this weekend and he can earn you quite a few fantasy points.

Dark Horse: Jeff Burton
No active driver has more wins in New Hampshire than Jeff Burton.  His four victories leads four other drivers that have three.  The downside is that he’s raced at the track 33 times and only finished in the top ten 13 of those.  He has also finished outside of the top ten the last five times racing here.  In my book that makes him due for a good finish.  He’s having a horrible season with only one top ten finish, and needs to try and get some respectable runs going into 2012.  Maybe this weekend can be one of them.

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Fantasy NASCAR Recommendations for 2011 Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway

Posted by chadmusselman on September 12, 2011

Let the chase begin!  The field of chasers is set, and NASCAR will be kicking things off at the Chicagoland Speedway.  This is one of the newer 1.5 mile ovals on the circuit and can provide for some good racing.  Since NASCAR moved the Chicago race from the sweltering heat of mid-July to mid-September, the race will be on Sunday afternoon.

New chasers for 2011 are Dale Earnhardt Jr, Ryan Newman, and Brad Keselowski.  2010 chasers that didn’t make it are Clint Bowyer, Greg Biffle, and Jeff Burton.  It all starts at the Chicagoland Speedway.  This will make picking drivers a little tougher since you can only have one chaser.  Teams with Keselowski, Earnhardt, Newman, and Johnson aren’t possible any more.

This Week’s Recommendations:

Chaser: Tony Stewart
No one has more top ten finishes in Chicago than Tony Stewart.  He has eight of them, and he also has two wins with seven top five finishes.  His average finish of 9.5 is 3rd best among active drivers.  Each year it seems like Stewart gets a hot streak going and cranks out 2 or 3 wins in a 5 race span.  He hasn’t done that yet, but he does have three top ten finishes over the last four races.  Could this be the beginning of his hot streak?  Stewart does will in Chicago, so there no reason to believe he can’t win.

Alternate Chaser: Jeff Gordon
Stewart may have the most top ten finishes at Chicagoland Speedway, but no one has a better average finish at the track than Jeff Gordon (8.6).  Along with that he has 7 top ten and 6 top five finishes with one win.  Gordon has also been very hot lately, averaging a 5.2 place finish in the last five races of the season.  He’s peaking at the right time and looks to be in good shape entering the chase. 

Clint Bowyer
Bowyer wasn’t able to make the chase this season, but that should help out your fantasy team.  He has a good record at Chicago finishing in the top ten 4 times in 5 career races with one top five finish.  There’s no doubt Bowyer is disappointed he didn’t make the chase, and hopefully there’s no letdown and he drives motivated on Sunday and shows he can still race with the front of the pack.

A.J. Allmendinger
Allmendinger hasn’t been talked about a whole lot this season, but is quietly doing very well sitting 13th in points.  He has shown improvement each season, and continues to do so.  Although he doesn’t have a top ten finish in Chicago, Allmendinger is averaging a 13.3 place finish with 13th, 13th, and 14th place finishes in his three career races.  He may not get a win or even top five this weekend, but Allmendinger should contend for a top ten and probably finish in the top 15.

Dark Horse: Brian Vickers
It has been a very bad year for Vickers sitting way down in 27th.  Even with him coming back from his medical condition last year I don’t think Vickers expected it to be such a rough season.  There may be some good news this weekend since Chicagoland is a track that Vickers has historically performed well.  He’s averaging an 8.8 place finish here, and has three top ten and one top five finish at the track.  Hopefully he can feel comfortable with the track and race with the lead pack this weekend.

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Fantasy NASCAR Recommendations for 2011 Wonderful Pistachios 400 at Richmond International Raceway

Posted by chadmusselman on September 7, 2011

This is it, the last race before the chase.  It looks like the top 12 will be in the chase this year since Keselowski and Hamlin are the only ones outside the top ten (and inside the top twenty) with wins.  As for fantasy standings, it is still a close one in many leagues.  In league Johnson only 1 point separates 10th from 11th place, and only 5 points separate 10th from 13th.  Other leagues are similar with less than 10 points separating 10th place from 11th or 12th.  There could be a lot of movement in the top 15 of each league.  Good luck!

This Week’s Recommendations:

Chaser: Kyle Busch
There are five active drivers with 3 wins at Richmond, and Kyle Busch is one of them.  In his 13 career races at the track Busch has 11 top five finishes to go with those wins.  In the two races he didn’t finish in the top five he was 15th and 20th.  It almost seems too much like a lock to have Busch on your team, but you have to like those numbers and the chances that he’ll finish in the top five again, and possibly win the race.

Alternate Chaser: Jeff Gordon
Gordon is getting it done lately, averaging a 5.8 place finish over the last five races.  He can also get it done in Richmond.  In his 37 career races Gordon has 23 top ten and 14 top five finishes with 2 wins.  His 3 wins this season is the most Gordon has had since he won 6 races in 2007.  It seems that some of his dominance from years ago is re-appearing and proving that he very well could win the elusive 5th title of his career.  Gordon is securely in the chase, but with another win he’ll get the additional bonus points, so look for him to drive for that win this weekend.

Brad Keselowski
We all know the run that Keselowski has been on recently, and it is nothing short of amazing.  57% of you had him on your team last week.  For the 43% of you that didn’t, I ask, why not?  You’re losing points to everyone else.  Keselowski hasn’t done very well at Richmond before in his career, with his best finish being 14th last season, but we all know that doesn’t matter right now.  With the string of great finishes he’s putting together Keselowski can win any race at any track.  Put him on your team!

Ryan Newman
Newman has the 5th best average finish at Richmond among active drivers (11.8) and also sports the 6th best average finish in the last 5 races this season (10.8).  Seems like a good combination for him to get a good finish this weekend.  Newman has won here before as well as finished in the top five 5 times and top ten 11 time in 19 career races.  Newman was easily the most owned driver last week being on close to 78% of the teams.  He’s doing well, so don’t take him off your team yet.

Dark Horse: Marcos Ambrose
Ambrose is definitely not an obvious pick for Richmond, but the road racer has done fairly well here.  In only 5 races at the track he does have one top five and two top ten finishes.  Over the past five weeks Ambrose has finished 20th, 1st, 27th, 10th, and 21st.  See the pattern?  I think it’s time for him to finish in the top ten again this weekend.

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Fantasy NASCAR Recommendations for 2011 AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Posted by chadmusselman on August 29, 2011

Remember back when the Labor Day race was for the Winston No Bull, Million Dollar bonus?  Those were some good races, watching Jeff Gordon go door to door with Jeff Burton to win the Million dollar bonus.  There is nothing like that now, but Atlanta is the fastest track on the circuit and should provide for exciting racing.  With only a few races left until the chase Brad Keselowski is definitely moving up, and all of the other drivers better take note.  The kid has been amazing of late.  It would be cool if he carry the momentum into the chase and make it a little more interesting.

This Week’s Recommendations:  

Chaser: Jeff Gordon
Gordon does well at every track and Atlanta is no exception, but he hasn’t won here since 2003, although he’s collected a lot of top ten and top five finishes.  Over his career Gordon has won four times at Atlanta along with 14 top five and 23 top ten finishes.  His average finish of 12.5 is third best among active drivers at the track.  Add the fact that Gordon is averaging a 6th place finish over the last five races this season and he seems to be a pretty safe pick for this weekend.

Alternate Chaser: Jimmie Johnson
No one has a better average finish at Atlanta than Jimmie Johnson (10.4).  He’s finished in the top ten 12 times, top five 10 times and has won 3 times.  We all know Jimmie is awesome, and Atlanta is no exception.  He is 2nd in points and is turning up the heat averaging a 7.8 place finish over the last five races.  He’ll be poised to make a run at championship number 6.  Surprisingly only 13% of you had Jimmie on your team last week.  We’ll see if that number goes up this week.

Brad Keselowski
Is the run that Brad Keselowsi on sick or what?  He’s now 11th in points, coming up from 23rd five races ago.  It is simply amazing.  Who would have guessed?  It’s pretty obvious you are noticing as well.  Over 47% of the teams in Chad’s Fantasy NASCAR had Brad on their team last week.  As for his record in Atlanta, that’s another story.  Keselowski has only raced here twice finishing 36th & 25th.  That shouldn’t matter this week though.  With the streak he’s on Keselowski can win any race at any track.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Let’s be honest about this pick.  Earnhardt Jr. is a safe pick in Atlanta and should help your team collect points.  Jr. is averaging a 12.5 place finish at the track with 8 top five and 10 top ten finishes with a win.  Earnhardt has also done well over the past five races, averaging a 14th place finish.  Again, not great by any means, but good, and a points getter.

Dark Horse: Marcos Ambrose
It was slim pickings for the dark horse this week.  There weren’t many drivers lower than 15th in the standings that have performed even remotely well in Atlanta.  Ambrose’s average finish of 22.2 isn’t all that good, but in the two races here last year Ambrose finished 10th & 11th, so it seems he may have figured the track out a bit and will challenge again for a top ten finish.  Ambrose was on less than 5% of the teams last week, so he could be someone you pick to gain some points.

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Fantasy NASCAR Recommendations for 2011 Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway

Posted by chadmusselman on August 22, 2011

The night race at Bristol is definitely one of the highlights of every NASCAR season.  The fans and drivers both love Bristol for its tight racing and non-stop action.  Each race gets more important as we draw closer to the chase.  Some drivers, like Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman, Jimmie Johnson, and Brad Keselowsi, are peaking at the right time and looking strong for when the chase starts.  Other drivers, like Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, David Ragan, and Juan Montoya are headed in the wrong direction, doing very poorly over the last five races.  They have either cemented their fate to not make the chase, or will have little momentum when the chase does start.

This Week’s Recommendations

Chaser: Kyle Busch
Kyle Busch won last week and he has to be the odds-on favorite to win again this weekend.  He has won 4 of the last 5 races at Bristol and also has 6 consecutive top ten finishes.  His average finish of 8.7 is the best among active drivers.  In 13 career races Busch has earned 10 top ten finishes and 5 wins.  People may not like him, but he’s ultra-talented and should be in the lead most of the night on Saturday.

Alternate Chaser: Matt Kenseth
Matt Kenseth has two wins at Bristol in his 23 career races.  He also has 15 to ten and 9 top five finishes.  Kenseth isn’t as dominant as Kyle Busch, but he’s very good here.  He’s quietly putting together a pretty good season, sitting 5th in points with 2 wins.  About 15% of you had Kenseth on your team last week, but maybe more should pick him up if you want someone that can compete with Kyle Busch.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Earnhardt Jr. is obviously no secret, especially this season sitting 9th in points.  He was owned by more than 44% of the teams last week.  Earnhardt is solid at Bristol with 12 top ten, 7 top five finishes and 1 win over his 23 race career.  It’s been a “safe pick” week so far for me, and Dale Jr. is definitely a safe pick for this weekend.

Ryan Newman
Ryan Newman is averaging a 7.8 place finish over the last five races this season.  Only Jeff Gordon is better (7.6).  Newman has never won a race in Bristol, but seems to have figured the track out finishing in the top ten in 5 of the last 6 races.  It’s been a great season so far for Newman, and with close to 77% of you having him on your team last week, it’s obvious he’s a popular pick.  Well, there’s no reason to drop him from your team now.  Keep Newman and keep collecting points.

Dark Horse: Kasey Kahne
After the race in Michigan Kahne moved up two spots to 17th.  It hasn’t been a great year for Kahne, but he’s starting to show some signs of life, although probably too late now.  Kahne’s record at Bristol isn’t the greatest, but he has shown some potential of late finishing the top ten in the last two races.  Close to 19% of you had Kahne on your team before, so there is a chance to pick him up and collect points that others could miss.

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NASCAR Silly Season 2011

Posted by chadmusselman on August 17, 2011

Every year around July and August people in NASCAR start talking about what drivers have expiring contracts, where they will race next season, and will they leave their current team early to go to the new team.  It seems the talk hasn’t been as prevalent in 2011, but there are some drivers signing with new teams and other drivers that have re-signed with their current teams.

Let’s take a look at some drivers that we know have signed new contracts, some that may sign new ones, and a few crew chiefs that have been let go in 2011.

J.J. Yeley & Front Row Motorsports
It was announced in mid-July that Yeley will drive for Front Row Motorsports for the remainder of the 2011 season. 

Kasey Kahne & Mark Martin
We already know that Kasey has signed to race for Rick Hendrick in 2012 and beyond, taking Mark Martin’s spot.  Mark Martin has already said that he’s not ready to retire after the season, so who will sign Martin for the 2012 season, and will be still be a full-time driver?

Brian Vickers & Red Bull
Sort of related to Kasey Kahne is Brian Vickers and the Red Bull sponsorship.  With Kahne leaving after this season, and Brian Vickers’ contract up at the end of the year, Red Bull will supposedly reduce their involvement in NASCAR and not sponsor the 83 and 4 cars next season.  Now the question is, where will Brian Vickers end up?

Clint Bowyer & RCR
Bowyer is working with Richard Childress Racing to re-sign with the team.  He seems confident that a deal will be done, and doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to finalize it as he’s focusing on making the chase this season.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. & Hendrick Motorsports
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has proven me and others wrong by turning in a very solid performance week in and week out.  At the beginning of the season Rick Hendrick said he wanted to sign Earnhardt past 2011 and the two sides are working on that now.  Earnhardt has his sister Kelley doing the negotiating for him.   The two sides said that they expect the talks to be finalized in early September.  When this deal is finished Hendrick will have three of the sport’s most popular drivers, and two of the most successful of all time locked up for long-term deals.  I would imagine other owners couldn’t help but be jealous. 

Carl Edwards & Roush Fenway Racing
In early August Edwards and Roush Fenway Racing agreed to a new multi-year deal that begins in 2012.  Edwards has been with Roush since the beginning and it looks like he’ll be staying there for quite a while longer.

Juan Montoya & Earnhardt Ganassi Racing
Montoya has agreed in principle to a contract with EGR for the 2012 season.

David Ragan
Ragan’s contract is up at the end of the 2011 season as well, but there has been no word of extension talks or him negotiating with other teams.  Undoubtedly he is in talks with someone, but nothing has been reported yet.

Joe Gibbs Racing
It’s no secret that Joe Gibbs Racing wants to add a fourth team and could do it in 2012.  They were pressing pretty hard to get Carl Edwards, but weren’t able to.  I don’t know if they’d be willing to sign Mark Martin since he’s up in age and already “retired” once.  David Ragan or Brian Vickers could be a possibility although JGR would probably like to get a higher profile driver that could contend for championships immediately.

Crew Chiefs Get The Boot
Among drivers that are changing rides, there have been several crew chiefs that have been relieved of their duties with their teams already this season.  Here are a few of them:

Todd Berrier has been let go from Richard Childress Racing and Jeff Burton’s 31 car.  Luke Lambert has taken his place.  This is the first stint as a Cup series crew chief for Lambert.  You can’t blame Richard Childress for making this decision.  Burton has been very disappointing this season, sitting 24th in points, and something had to change.

Brian Pattie has been released from the No. 42 car of Juan Montoya for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.  He has been replaced by Jim Pohlman.  After making the chase with Brian Pattie in 2009 Juan Montoya has leveled off as a driver missing the chase in 2010 and not in position to make it this season either.

Greg Erwin was let go in mid-July by Roush Fenway Racing.  He was the crew chief on the No. 16 car driven by Greg Biffle.  Erwin has been replaced by Matt Puccia.  Erwin has been Greg Biffle’s crew chief since 2007.  Puccia was Paul Menard’s crew chief in 2010 for the Nationwide series.

Mike Shiplett was out as crew chief for the No. 43 car of A.J. Allmendinger, owned by Richard Petty Motorsports, in late July.  Greg Erwin didn’t stay unemployed long after being let go by Roush Fenway Racing.  He replaced Shiplett as crew chief for Allmendinger.

So, there it is, the 2011 edition of the silly season; so far anyway.  We’ll see what tomorrow brings.  Have you heard other stories or more details about the contract talks going on?  Leave a comment and let everyone else know.

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Fantasy NASCAR Recommendations for 2011 Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway

Posted by chadmusselman on August 15, 2011

The Sprint Cup Series goes back to the oval tracks for the rest of the season, stopping at Michigan International Speedway.  This is the 23rd race of the season and the Chase is getting closer.  Some of last year’s chasers find themselves in jeopardy of not making it this season.  Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin, and Greg Biffle are all outside the top ten and only Hamlin as a win to help his cause of making the chase.  Brad Keselowski didn’t make the chase last year, but is 14th in points, has two wins, and as long as he stays in the top 20, looks to be in great shape to make the chase.

Michigan can be a maddening place for the teams with fuel mileage always being a factor at the end.  It can make a dominant team fall back in the pack and give someone a lucky break for a win.  I’ll be there to watch the race, so I hope it’s an entertaining one.

This Week’s Recommendations

Chaser: Carl Edwards
Edwards has been pretty hot lately averaging a 10.4 place finish over the last five races.  He has also done very well at Michigan in his career.  In 14 races Edwards has 2 wins, 9 top five and 12 top ten finishes for an average finishing position of 6.2.  The only two times he didn’t finish in the top ten Edwards was 12th and 22nd.  He’s back on the ovals that he has historically dominated so look for Edwards to do just that this weekend.

Alternate Chaser: Jeff Gordon
Gordon has been even hotter than Edwards over the last five races, averaging an 8th place finish, and looks for that to continue this weekend.  Like most tracks Gordon has fared well at Michigan.  In 37 career races he has 2 wins, 18 top five and 23 top ten finishes.  His 11.6 average finish is good enough for 4th best at the track among active drivers.  Gordon isn’t winning every other race like he did 10 – 15 years ago, but he is still finishing in the top five or ten and proving he’s a contender for the title.  He should be able to get you a lot of points in Michigan.

Ryan Newman
No driver has been hotter than Ryan Newman over the past five races.  He’s averaging a 7.6 place finish in that span with a win and three top five finishes.  I’m hoping that momentum carries Newman to a good finish this weekend.  Michigan isn’t his best track, he’s only averaging a 18.9 place finish, but he does have 2 wins and 5 top ten finishes in his 20 career races. 

Joey Logano
Logano was riding a hot streak until he finished 25th and 26th at Indianapolis and Pocono in consecutive races.  Last week in Watkins Glen he turned it around with a 5th place finish and looks to keep that going.  In five career races at Michigan Logano has experienced some success with two 10th place finishes and a 7th.  His average finish of 14th at the track is good enough for 8th best among active drivers.  That should be reason enough to have the kid on your team this weekend.

Dark Horse: Brian Vickers
Let’s face it.  Vickers has had a horrible season sitting way down in 28th in points.  Add to that the fact that he’s averaging a 26th place finish over the past 5 races and he seems like someone you should stay away from.  At another track that may be true, but Michigan is Vickers’ best track.  He is riding a streak of six consecutive top ten finishes at the track, winning one of them.  Vickers is certainly a dark horse and will probably be a driver most others leave off their team.  If you need to catch up on points, this could be your chance.  Vickers knows how to get it done in Michigan.

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Fantasy NASCAR Recommendations for 2011 Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International

Posted by chadmusselman on August 8, 2011

With only five races left until the chase NASCAR moves to Watkins Glen for their second road course of the season.  Look for the usual “ringers” to be brought in for the teams outside the top 30 in the standings trying to get a few more points to stay in the top 35 and keep their guaranteed starting spot each week.  Historically the ringers haven’t fared too well at the road tracks.  There are plenty of NASCAR regulars that can win the race, and they tend to not give the other guys much room on the track, or much respect.  There are bound to be quite a few spin-outs this weekend when people get tired of looking at the same set of tail-lights in front of them.  So who should you select for your Fantasy NASCAR team?  Let’s take a look.

This Week’s Recommendations:

Chaser: Tony Stewart
Tony Stewart is one of the best road races in NASCAR, and probably one of the best among any racing series.  He has absolutely dominated the competition at Watkins Glen collecting five wins along with 7 top five and 10 top ten finishes in 12 career races.  Stewart’s 5 wins are most among active drivers at the track.  His average finish is 5.4.  How insane is that?  I don’t know how you couldn’t have Tony the tiger on your team this week.  He will be showing his stripes and earning you a lot of points.

Alternate Chaser: Kyle Busch
Don’t like Stewart for some reason?  That’s alright; Kyle Busch can be the chaser for you.  He has only raced here six times, but finished in the top ten in five of those races with one win and two top five finishes.  The only race here that Busch didn’t finish in the top ten was his first one when he finished 33rd.  Since then his worst finish was 9th in 2006.  You may not like Kyle, but he is a good driver and will move people out of his way if that’s what it takes to get to the front of the field and win.

Juan Montoya
Montoya’s career at Watkins Glen mirrors Kyle Busch’s.  In his first race at the track he finished 39th, but since then his worst finish was 6th and managed to win a race as well.  We all know Montoya’s story and the fact that he’s a great road racer.  He should be a must have for your team this week and it’s almost guaranteed that he’ll get you big points.

Mark Martin
While sorting through the stats I was surprised to see how well Mark Martin has done at The Glen over his career.  In 21 races Martin has amassed 3 wins, 12 top five and 16 top ten finishes with an average finishing position of 8.3.  Martin has a good record at pretty much every track on the circuit, but he really does well at Watkins Glen.  He should be able to finish in the top ten or fifteen at worst and get a lot of points for your Fantasy NASCAR team.

Dark Horse: Marcos Ambrose
The aussie has only raced here three times, but he has finished in the top five all three times (3rd, 2nd, 3rd).  Ambrose is obviously a great road racer and yes, he does qualify as a dark horse since he’s currently 23rd in points.  This could be the easiest dark-horse that I have chosen all year.

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Fantasy NASCAR Recommendations for 2011 Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway

Posted by chadmusselman on August 1, 2011

Pocono is hosting its second race of the season this weekend for the Good Sam RV Insurance 500.  We all know Pocono Raceway is the huge triangle-shaped track.  The chasers do well here with seven of them in the top ten for best average finish and seven of them having a win here.  What chaser will you choose?

This Week’s Recommendations:

Chaser: Denny Hamlin
Hamlin has the best average finish at the track along with 4 wins, 7 top five, and 8 top ten finishes in 11 races.  No one is better at the track than him.  There is no reason Hamlin shouldn’t be on your team.

Alternate Chaser: Jeff Gordon
Gordon’s 10.3 place average finish at Pocono is 3rd best among active drivers, and his five wins are tied with Bill Elliott.  In 37 career races Gordon has 26 to ten and 17 top five finishes to go with those wins.  He is also the hottest driver on the circuit averaging a 6.2 place finish over the last five races.

Mark Martin
Martin is the non-chaser with the best average finish at Pocono (11.2) and should be on your team this week.  He hasn’t won here yet, but does have 19 top five and 33 top ten finishes in 49 career races.  Martin finished 18th here in the first race and should do better this go-around.

Ryan Newman
1 win, 6 top five, and 8 top ten finishes in 19 career races doesn’t sound too impressive, but a 13.1 place average finish is pretty good.  Even when Newman doesn’t finish in the top ten he’s usually lingering and within the top 15, only finishing outside the top 15 five times.  It’s not a sure bet that Newman will win the race, or even finish in the top ten, but he should be able to get you some good points this week with at least a top 15 finish. 

Dark Horse: Juan Montoya
Montoya has fared very well in Pocono over the past few years.  Since 2009 he has finished in the top ten 4 times in 5 races.  In that span Montoya is averaging an 8.2 place finish.  He finished 7th here in the race earlier in the season.  Put him on your team and collect some points.

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