Dan Beaver

Fantasy Power Rankings

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Power Ranking After: Coke 400

Monday, July 9, 2018


Daytona International Speedway has a way of shaking up the Fantasy Power Rankings. While the Big 3 were not affected because they had such a substantial lead, nearly everyone else in the field moved up or down. With the type of carnage witnessed in the Coke Zero Sugar 400, it was often enough just to have a better day then the remainder of the beleaguered field.

The Fantasy Power Rankings take a longer look at drivers’ momentum to get rid of those kinds of peaks and valleys.

For the next three weeks, fantasy players don’t have to worry about wild cards as NASCAR visits the similarly-configured, 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway, the short, flat New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and the 2.5-mile oddly-shaped Pocono Raceway before heading to the road course of Watkins Glen International.

1. Kevin Harvick (Last week: 1)
Weeks in the top 10: 18
For the second time in the past 60 days, Kevin Harvick retired early from a Cup race because of crash damage at Daytona. He also failed to finish the Coke 600, but he had a perfect record to top-fives in the other five races during this span.

2. Martin Truex Jr. (Last week: 2)
Weeks in the top 10: 13
Martin Truex Jr. was the only member of the Big 3 to survive until the end of the Coke Zero Sugar 400. He told reporters after the race that he and his spotter are still working on their restrictor-plate, superspeedway prowess—and that kept him from winning—but it won’t matter to fantasy owners until the series rolls into Talladega Superspeedway this fall.

3. Kyle Busch (Last week: 3)
Weeks in the top 10: 17
We didn’t expect much from Kyle Busch or either of the other two dominant drivers this week. Busch was challenging for the lead when he was turned by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at Daytona, but like Harvick and Truex, that is not going to affect his potential on the unrestricted speedways.

4. Kyle Larson (Last week: 7)
Weeks in the top 10: 16
Kyle Larson survived long enough into the Coke Zero 400 to lessen the impact of a 29th-place finish. He finished third in Stage 1 and seventh in Stage 2, had the 12th-best Driver Rating, and the 15th-best average running position, so he actually managed to improve his Fantasy Power Rankings standing with Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch experiencing even greater problems.

5. Clint Bowyer (Last week: 5)
Weeks in the top 10: 17
Clint Bowyer managed to run with the leaders for most of the day and as a result, he captured the eighth-best average running position and 11th-best Driver Rating. It wasn’t great, but it gives him a little momentum heading into Kentucky that other drivers in his same general range might not have.

6. Brad Keselowski (Last week: 4)
Weeks in the top 10: 18
Brad Keselowski may be the only driver from Daytona who does not blame Stenhouse for all the carnage in the Coke Zero 400. He was turned by the No. 17, but put the blame at the feet of William Byron for blocking. He told reporters after the race that he was going to start wrecking drivers for that practice in the next plate race [https://nascar.nbcsports.com/2018/07/07/brad-keselowski-issues-warning-after-wreck/] and fell two spots in the rankings because of his bad finish.

7. Kurt Busch (Last week: 7)
Weeks in the top 10: 19
Busch has been falling down the order for some time now. His 19th-place finish at Pocono Raceway and 17th at Chicagoland Speedway combined with the 37th at Daytona to make him a generally risky proposition that is not offset by a single top-five in the last two months. His other three results in the past seven races landed in the top 10, however.

8. Chase Elliott (Last week: 9)
Weeks in the top 10: 3
Chase Elliott was eliminated from the Coke Zero 400 early, but he had been running well prior to getting collected in the first 'Big One' crash. Mostly, he was able to rise a position in the ranks because Joey Logano had a worse overall performance. Now it is time to see how the Chevrolet will perform on the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway under the lights.

9. Aric Almirola (Last week: 11)
Weeks in the top 10: 7
The restrictor-plate superspeedways tend to shake up the Fantasy Power Rankings. Aric Almirola’s elevation into the top 10 has less to do with his 27th-place performance at Daytona than Denny Hamlin’s struggles. Still, the driver of the No. 10 has five results of seventh through 13th in the past 60 days and deserves a spot on the roster when he fits the right salary cap niche.

10. Joey Logano (Last week: 8)
Weeks in the top 10: 19
Along with Kurt Busch, Joey Logano is the only other driver who has been part of the Power Rankings since the beginning. Both drivers’ grasp on the honor is tenuous. In Logano’s case, it is because of three results outside the top 15 in the past 60 days compared to only one top-five.

Dropped from the Top 10

11. Denny Hamlin (Last week: 10)
Weeks in the top 10: 18
Hamlin belonged with Busch and Logano as drivers making the top 10 every week this year until he ran into the Daytona buzz saw. Retiring 38th on lap 53 guaranteed that his average running position would be minimal and it combined with another 35th-place DNF due to an accident at Pocono to send him down the order.

Big Movers outside the Top 10

18. Ryan Newman (Last week: 21)
Weeks in the top 10: 2
There is still a long way to go before Ryan Newman challenges for a position among the top 10, but he has been improving consistently over the past 60 days. Back-to-back 30-something results at Kansas Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway, were followed by three results in the 20s, a 15th at Chicagoland Speedway, and last week’s eighth at Daytona. Perhaps this will create a little momentum.

24. Daniel Suarez (Last week: 17)
Weeks in the top 10: 0
Suarez would like to forget the past 60 days. He has finished worse than he started on every oval track and landed outside the top 20 in four of the seven races. Last week’s elimination in the lap-54 'Big One' was just the icing on a moldy cake. 

 

This
Week

Driver

Avg
Finish

Last
Week

Difference

1

Kevin Harvick

4.78

1

0

2

Martin Truex Jr.

5.66

2

0

3

Kyle Busch

6.41

3

0

4

Kyle Larson

7.63

7

3

5

Clint Bowyer

7.75

5

0

6

Brad Keselowski

9.74

4

-2

7

Kurt Busch

10.25

6

-1

8

Chase Elliott

10.28

9

1

9

Aric Almirola

10.74

11

2

10

Joey Logano

11.34

8

-2

 

11

Denny Hamlin

11.55

10

-1

12

Erik Jones

11.64

14

2

13

Jimmie Johnson

13.10

13

0

14

Ryan Blaney

13.15

12

-2

15

Alex Bowman

13.58

15

0

16

Paul Menard

14.78

16

0

17

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

15.81

19

2

18

Ryan Newman

16.75

21

3

19

Brendan Gaughan

17.00

 

 

20

Jamie McMurray

17.58

18

-2

21

Austin Dillon

17.75

22

1

22

William Byron

18.84

20

-2

23

Chris Buescher

20.39

23

0

24

Daniel Suarez

20.71

17

-7

25

Kasey Kahne

21.16

24

-1

26

Michael McDowell

21.25

25

-1

27

AJ Allmendinger

22.09

26

-1

28

Trevor Bayne

22.91

28

0

29

Joey Gase

24.67

 

 

30

Bubba Wallace

25.50

29

-1

31

David Ragan

25.68

27

-4

32

Ty Dillon

26.26

31

-1

33

Ray Black Jr.

27.67

 

 

34

Matt Kenseth

27.94

30

-4

35

Matt DiBenedetto

28.73

32

-3

36

Jeffrey Earnhardt

29.43

45

9

37

Ross Chastain

29.52

34

-3

38

DJ Kennington

29.71

43

5

39

Parker Kligerman

30.25

33

-6

40

Justin Marks

30.75

35

-5

41

Corey LaJoie

32.47

37

-4

42

Cole Whitt

32.86

36

-6

43

Reed Sorenson

32.90

40

-3

44

Landon Cassill

33.48

38

-6

45

Gray Gaulding

33.48

39

-6

46

JJ Yeley

34.40

49

3

47

Chris Cook

34.50

41

-6

48

Tomy Drissi

35.25

42

-6

49

Timmy Hill

36.00

46

-3

50

Cody Ware

36.00

44

-6

51

Kyle Weatherman

36.75

47

-4

52

Derrike Cope

37.00

48

-4

53

BJ McLeod

37.31

52

-1

54

Garrett Smithley

39.00

53

-1

 

Power Rankings

After Daytona 1
After Talladega 1 
After Sonoma
After Pocono 1 
After Charlotte 



Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 12 years with a little help from his >500,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.
Email :Dan Beaver



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