FANTASY: Not Your Normal Week
Cheez-It 355 at The Glen Fantasy Preview
Thursday, August 8, 2013
I'll be perfectly honest: I'm on vacation this week. However, I'd hate to leave everyone's fantasy team aimlessly turning left, and that's especially true with this weekend's race on the road course at Watkins Glen.
This track doesn't involve too much analysis as a driver is either good at a road course or not, so it should be a quick overview. Here's a look at the best choices for the Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing team:
Watkins Glen International is a 2.46-mile road course with a total of 11 turns. It is one of only two road courses on the Sprint Cup Series schedule, so it is a rare opportunity for road course pros to show their skills.
The course itself, obviously, is the X-Factor. The drivers that don't have much road course experience aren't suddenly going to catch lightning in a bottle, and that can have some impact on the standings.
This is the most straightforward strategy of the season: start the guys with road course backgrounds and ignore those without.
- #2 Brad Keselowski - In need of a spark, the No. 2 could get it this week. Bad Brad has finished second in each of the last two races at the Glen.
- #24 Jeff Gordon - Like Keselowski, the No. 24 also needs a spark. Last week's near-win at Pocono hurts, but Gordon has four wins on the road course, so he could get it back.
- #29 Kevin Harvick - It came down to Harvick or Jimmie Johnson, as they have similar 13.1 and 13.2 (respectively) average finishes. That's just not good enough to start Johnson, so Harvick, who has one win at the Glen in 12 starts, gets the nod.
- #14 Tony Stewart - Having broken his leg in a sprint car race on Monday, Stewart is out for the near future. That's bad news this week, as he has five wins at the Glen in 14 starts and was poised for a sixth.
- #9 Marcos Ambrose - If you're not starting Marcos Ambrose this week, why bother playing at all? He has top-fives in each of his five starts at Watkins Glen and an average finish of 2.0. Plus, he's won the last two races at the track.
- #18 Kyle Busch - He's a race car driver, that's always been clear, and that shows in his ability to get around the Glen. Busch has seven top-10s in eight starts, including a win.
- #42 Juan Pablo Montoya - The reason that JPM makes sense is that Busch (above) and Carl Edwards (below) command a lot of starts at other tracks and the No. 42 does not. He's crashed in two of six starts at WGI, but has top-10s in the other four, including a win. Hope for good luck!
- #99 Carl Edwards - He's consistent as usual with three top-fives in eight starts at the road course and an average finish of 9.4.
- #55 Brian Vickers - He seems appealing since he won his most recent race, the Camping World RV Sales 301 at NHMS. However, he has just one top-10 in eight starts at the Glen.
- #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. - He had a run of three straight top-10s from 2003-05 at Watkins Glen, but hasn't finished with any more in a total 13 starts.
- #14 Max Papis - He steps into Tony Stewart's ride this weekend for his first Sprint Cup Series race since 2010. He has one top-10 in three starts at the road course, and his 24.3 average finish is deceiving because he crashed on Lap 81 of 90 in the 2008 race and finished 43rd, a tough break.
- #51 AJ Allmendinger - If you're like me, allocations are running out on the Dinger, but it's hard to go away from the clear favorite on the C-list. Allmendinger has a 9.0 average finish in four starts at the Glen.
- #32 Boris Said - Often tagged as a "road course specialist," Said has entered every race at Watkins Glen since 2005 and 12 in total. However, he hasn't recorded a top-10 since a third-place finish in 2005 and the No. 32 doesn't exactly make him a top pick.
Drivers are listed by car number and not necessarily in rank order.
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