Brian Brown

NASCAR Fantasy Cheat Sheet

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The FedEx 400

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Dover International Speedway's concrete palace for the 13th race of the 2012 season, the FedEx 400.  We looked at past performances, season trends, and spoke to NASCAR contacts to shed a light on how the field will finish on Sunday.



When:  Sunday, June 3, 2012; 1:15 p.m./et.



Weather:  Mostly sunny with a high of 76; wind out of the W at 15 mph.  There is a 10 percent chance of precipitation on race day.



The Track: Dover InternationalSpeedway


Dover is a one mile concrete oval with 24 degree banking in the turns and nine degree banking on the straight-aways. 





Dover International Speedway is the "Monster Mile".  The high-banked concrete track lets drivers run nearly wide-open the entire way around.  Getting the proper car setup is very tricky, so multiple-car teams have an even bigger advantage than normal.  Look for Hendrick Motorsports, Roush-Fenway Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing to lock up a majority of the top 10.



Qualifying Procedures:


46 cars will attempt to qualify for 43 spots.  If the first practice is run, but qualifying is unable to take place, the starting lineup will be based on speeds from the car's fastest lap from the first practice, with top-35 cars in owner points no longer segregated from the non-top 35 cars.  Previously, the top 35 cars lined up in front of all other eligible car owners. 



Fantasy Cheat Sheet:


Top 5


No. 17 Matt Kenseth:  Kenseth won last year’s spring race and the 2006 spring race at the Monster Mile, additionally he has had the best car on the track three of the last five fall races.  He will be very fast again this weekend.

No. 48 Jimmie Johnson:  Johnson dominated Dover in four of the last six races.  He has seven career wins and 13 top 10 finishes in 20 starts at the Monster Mile.

No. 18 Kyle Busch:  Rowdy won Dover's spring races in 2008 and in 2010.  This is the perfect track for his aggressive driving style.

No. 99 Carl Edwards:  Edwards won the September 2007 race at Dover and has finished in the top five in seven of the last 11 races at the track.  He is a great pick to crack the top five again this weekend. 

No. 5 Kasey Kahne:  Kahne has cracked the top 10 four times in 16 career starts at Dover.  He is worth rolling the dice on this weekend.



6 to 10


No. 24 Jeff Gordon: Gordon has four career wins at Dover and he has cracked the top 12 in 10 of his last 12 starts at the track.  He is a great pick.

No. 39 Ryan Newman:  Newman has been excellent atDoverduring his career.  In 17 Cup starts he has three wins and is always a contender to take the pole.  We like his chances this weekend.

No. 56 Martin Truex Jr.:  Truex Jr. won the spring 2007 race at Dover and has been great at the place he considers his home-track.  He is a terrific sleeper pick this weekend.

No. 29 Kevin Harvick:  Harvick has led just 11 laps at Dover since 2003 and has finished out of the top 10 in 10 of the last 14 races at the track.  He will struggle to crack the top 10 again this weekend.     

No. 16 Greg Biffle:  Biffle won the September 2008 race at Dover and has led laps in eight of the past 14 races at the track.  He will be in the lead group all day.  



11 to 20


No. 31 Jeff Burton:  Burton has cracked the top 16 in 18 of the past 20 Dover races.  He is a solid third or fourth driver on all fantasy squads this weekend.

No. 2 Brad Keselowski:  Keselowski has finished 20th, 13th, 18th and 22nd in his four career visits to Dover.  He will continue to be a top 25 finisher this visit to the track.

No. 14 Tony Stewart:  Stewart has cracked the top 15 just five times in his last 14 races at Dover.  If it becomes a fuel mileage race Mr. Smoke is your man, but Dover races don’t usually turn into conservative races.

No. 11 Denny Hamlin:  Hamlin has had his fair share of struggles at the Monster.  He should finish just outside the top 10 this weekend.

No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.:  Junior has cracked the top 20 just five times in the past 14 races at Dover.  He will be good, but a top 10 finish isn't expected.

No. 55 Mark Martin:  Dover is one of Mark Martin's favorite tracks.  He has been one of the best drivers at the Monster Mile the past three years.

No. 15 Clint Bowyer:  Bowyer has finished between sixth and 17th in all but two of his career starts at Dover.  He should finish in the teens again this weekend.

No. 20 Joey Logano:  Logano is familiar with Dover from racing there many times in the Modified and Camping World East Series, but he will finish inside the top 15.

No. 51 Kurt Busch:  Busch has always qualified very well at Dover and was strong the past two races at the track.  He should crack the top 20 this visit to the Monster Mile.

No. 9 Marcos Ambrose:  Ambrose was awesome last year at Dover.  He will notch another top 20 finish.



21 to 30


No. 10 David Reutimann:  Reutimann was very racy during the last two spring races at Dover.  He is worth rolling the dice on this visit to the Concrete Palace.

No.  43 Aric Almirola:  Almirola is driving great so far this year and is worth using in most deep leagues.

No. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya:  Montoya has looked great in half of the last eight races at Dover.  He won't crack the top 10 again, but a top 25 finish is expected.

No. 1 Jamie McMurray:  McMurray has had success at Dover during his career.  This is a great weekend to sneak the No. 1 driver into your lineup.

No. 27 Paul Menard:  Menard has averaged a 20th place finish at Dover during his career.  He is a nice fifth driver in most fantasy leagues.

No. 43 A.J. Allmendinger:  A.J. has been very inconsistent at Dover during his career.  He has finished in the mid-30s or worse in four of his races at the track, but he also four top 15 finishes.

No. 47 Bobby Labonte:  Labonte has finished in the top 20 in five of the past 12 races at Dover.  He is a decent value pick on Sunday. 

No. 78 Regan Smith:  Smith should reward with another top 30 finish. 

No. 13 Casey Mears:  Mears should sneak the No. 13 car into the top 30 with a little luck.

No. 83 Landon Cassill



Field Fillers:


No. 32 Reed Sorenson

No. 38 David Gilliland

No. 93 Travis Kvapil

No. 19 Mike Bliss

No. 34 David Ragan

No. 36 Dave Blaney

No. 33 Stephen Leicht

No. 30 David Stremme

No. 49 J.J. Yeley

No. 87 Joe Nemechek

No. 23 Scott Riggs

No. 26 Josh Wise

No. 79 Scott Speed

No. 98 Michael McDowell

No. 52 Mike Skinner

No. 74 Cole Whitt


Brownie's Picks


Top Four:


1. Matt Kenseth

2. Jimmie Johnson

3. Kyle Busch

4. Carl Edwards




1. Martin Truex

2. Kurt Busch


Bust of the Week:


Juan Pablo Montoya

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