Dan Beaver

Fantasy Power Rankings

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Power Ranking After: the Glen

Monday, August 6, 2018


Today’s NASCAR driver has to be strong on every track type. There are no giveaways – weekends during which they can take a break – and that is reflected by the top-10 finishers last week echoing the top of the leaderboard so far in 2018. There were some minor adjustments, however.

Kevin Harvick did not contend for a top-five – but we didn’t really expect him to. Chase Elliott was much more dominant than anticipated, which might signal a change in direction for the Chevrolets.

The next four races on the schedule leading up to the playoffs are going to feature a lot of variety with the two-mile Michigan International Speedway next, followed by the bullring of Bristol Motor Speedway, the Too Tough to Tame Darlington Raceway and the flat 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It’s the final stretch for drivers to gain some momentum before the points reset.

1. Kevin Harvick (Last week: 1)
Weeks in the top 10: 22
Last week, Kevin Harvick “struggled” at Watkins Glen. On a track where he has only two top-10s in the last six races, that did not come as a surprise and there was no real loss of momentum with his 10th-place finish. He will be back at Michigan International Speedway to challenge for the lead.

2. Martin Truex Jr. (Last week: 2)
Weeks in the top 10: 17
Instead of playing a track position game at the end of Stage 1, Martin Truex Jr. scored another playoff bonus point by leading the field to green before pitting with a strategy more akin to that on a standard oval. He climbed back up to fifth at the end of Stage 2 and benefited from the pit stop problems of two Joe Gibbs Racers to challenge for the win. Altogether, he earned the most race points and closed the distance to first by eight.

3. Kyle Busch (Last week: 3)
Weeks in the top 10: 21
It would have been easy for Kyle Busch to get into trouble coming through the pack after his team had a fuel-filler issue on the final pit stop at the Glen. He did not – and the maturity he showed in practice and afterward during his interview underscores just how impressive Busch has been in 2018. This is a championship caliber driver.

4. Chase Elliott (Last week: 4)
Weeks in the top 10: 7
Now that he’s won his first Cup race, it will not take nearly as long for Chase Elliott to earn another. This victory on a specialty track does not necessarily indicate that all of Chevrolet’s aerodynamic problems have been fixed, but a lot of questions will get answered this week at Michigan.

5. Clint Bowyer (Last week: 5)
Weeks in the top 10: 21
Clint Bowyer’s 11th-place finish at the Glen was not overly impressive, but he maintains his position in the Fantasy Power Rankings because the formula dropped out a 20th-place result from Pocono Raceway this spring. While he has not been great in the last five races, Bowyer had a three-race, top-five streak going from Michigan through Chicagoland Speedway and fantasy players are waiting to see if he can repeat that.

6. Kurt Busch (Last week: 6)
Weeks in the top 10: 22
Kurt Busch had to come from the back at the Glen after failing post-qualification inspection. There really wasn’t much doubt that he would challenge for a top-10 and despite experiencing another problem during the race, he earned his fourth consecutive single-digit result. He lost a golden opportunity to finish in the top five, however, and will continue to finish in the sixth-to-10th-place range.

7. Erik Jones (Last week: 10)
Weeks in the top 10: 3
Erik Jones has been one of the most consistent racers in the past 60 days with six results of seventh or better in his last eight attempts. Michigan is another track that had been kind to JGR in the past, so he should be able to score another top-10 this week. If he gets established among the leaders, he should move up the grid even further next week.

8. Kyle Larson (Last week: 8)
Weeks in the top 10: 20
Considering how we expected Kyle Larson to run at Watkins Glen, his sixth-place finish last week was great. It came on the heels of back-to-back results outside the top 10 and might give him a little momentum heading to Michigan – a type of track that has been extremely kind in the past. Unless he runs into trouble again like he did in the rain-shortened FireKeepers Casino 400 this spring, he will start to move back up the chart.

9. Ryan Blaney (Last week: 7)
Weeks in the top 10: 16
Ryan Blaney had a decent finish of 12th at the Glen after scoring an average running position of 11.89 and earning the 12th-best Driver Rating. That was in keeping with his finish at Sonoma (11th) earlier this spring. With only one top-10 in his last eight attempts, he has not been very impressive in recent starts, so players want to play a wait-and-see game regarding the No. 12.

10. Brad Keselowski (Last week: 9)
Weeks in the top 10: 22
Several weeks ago, teammate Joey Logano fell out of the top 10. Brad Keselowski is about to follow unless he rebounds quickly. He had a three-race streak of results sixth or better from Charlotte Motor Speedway through the first Michigan race, but since then he has only one top-five and another ninth in the last seven events.

Big Movers outside the Top 10

11. Denny Hamlin (Last week: 14)
Weeks in the top 10: 18
A late-race problem in the pits kept Denny Hamlin from scoring the finish he deserved, but he ran well for much of the race. He was one of our favorites to win the Go Bowling at the Glen and that seemed to be an accurate prediction when he won the pole. If he performs better than Keselowski this week, he should be able to get back into the Elite 10.

18. Joey Logano (Last week: 13)
Weeks in the top 10: 19
Joey Logano’s last-place finish at the Glen came on the heels of two sub-25th-place results in the previous four races. Since he retired on the first lap on the road course, this result is going to haunt him for a while and fantasy players should not think of him as a good value until he scores another top-five. His most recent of these came in the KC Masterpiece 400 at Kansas Speedway in May. 

 

This
Week

Driver

Avg
Finish

Factors

Difference

1.

Kevin Harvick

4.35

1

0

2.

Martin Truex Jr.

4.89

2

0

3.

Kyle Busch

5.89

3

0

4.

Chase Elliott

7.38

4

0

5.

Clint Bowyer

8.50

5

0

6.

Kurt Busch

8.82

6

0

7.

Erik Jones

9.63

10

3

8.

Kyle Larson

10.49

8

0

9.

Ryan Blaney

10.85

7

-2

10.

Brad Keselowski

12.08

9

-1

 

11.

Denny Hamlin

12.15

14

3

12.

Jimmie Johnson

12.67

12

0

13.

Alex Bowman

13.06

15

2

14.

Aric Almirola

13.36

11

-3

15.

William Byron

13.56

17

2

16.

Ryan Newman

14.53

16

0

17.

Daniel Suarez

14.90

19

2

18.

Joey Logano

15.66

13

-5

19.

Jamie McMurray

15.90

22

3

20.

Paul Menard

16.94

18

-2

21.

Brendan Gaughan

17.25

21

0

22.

Austin Dillon

18.45

20

-2

23.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

20.00

23

0

24.

Chris Buescher

20.83

24

0

25.

Michael McDowell

21.50

27

2

26.

Kasey Kahne

21.59

25

-1

27.

Trevor Bayne

22.91

26

-1

28.

Matt Kenseth

23.10

28

0

29.

AJ Allmendinger

23.64

29

0

30.

Joey Gase

24.67

30

0

31.

Ty Dillon

25.18

31

0

32.

Bubba Wallace

25.85

32

0

33.

Parker Kligerman

26.63

39

6

34.

Ray Black Jr.

27.67

34

0

35.

Jeffrey Earnhardt

28.14

38

3

36.

David Ragan

28.22

33

-3

37.

DJ Kennington

29.71

35

-2

38.

Matt DiBenedetto

29.96

36

-2

39.

Ross Chastain

30.65

37

-2

40.

Justin Marks

30.75

40

0

41.

JJ Yeley

32.20

42

1

42.

Josh Bilicki

32.75

NA

 

43.

Gray Gaulding

33.20

43

0

44.

Cole Whitt

33.50

41

-3

45.

Corey LaJoie

33.77

44

-1

46.

Chris Cook

34.50

45

-1

47.

Kyle Weatherman

34.92

46

-1

48.

Tomy Drissi

35.25

47

-1

49.

Landon Cassill

35.46

48

-1

50.

Blake Jones

35.50

49

-1

51.

Reed Sorenson

35.63

50

-1

52.

Spencer Gallagher

36.00

NA

 

53.

Jesse Little

36.25

51

-2

54.

BJ McLeod

36.47

52

-2

55.

Timmy Hill

37.00

53

-2

56.

Cody Ware

37.50

54

-2

57.

Garrett Smithley

38.43

55

-2

 



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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