NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Conjuring up picks at Martinsville

Picking fantasy drivers this week is bound to be ugly. Sort of like a snow storm in October, but I digress ... The Sprint Cup cars had just one practice and no qualifying due to the weather. Your best bet is to combine past performance, where they will be starting (set by the standings) and how fast they ran in the one practice session.

The five fastest drivers were:
1. Michael McDowell – 95.893 mph
2. Clint Bowyer – 95.781 mph
3. Jimmie Johnson – 95.752 mph
4. Jamie McMurray – 95.709 mph
5. Scott Speed – 95.670 mph

Fastest in 10-lap averages were:
1. Jimmie Johnson – 95.322 mph
2. Jamie McMurray – 95.234 mph
3. Jeff Gordon – 95.174 mph
4. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – 95.065 mph
5. Marcos Ambrose – 94.898 mph

The front of the pack for the race:
1 Carl Edwards
2 Matt Kenseth
3 Brad Keselowski
4 Tony Stewart
5 Kevin Harvick
6 Kyle Busch
7 Jimmie Johnson
8 Kurt Busch
9 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
10 Jeff Gordon
11 Denny Hamlin
12 Ryan Newman
13 Clint Bowyer
14 Kasey Kahne
15 Greg Biffle

Note: Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch experienced engine problems (ignition boxes) during practice, and Greg Biffle and Kevin Harvick had a couple "disagreements" on the track.

Analyzing this info I would avoid Harvick and choose Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin or Jeff Gordon. I'm personally leaning toward Hamlin so I can save my last Johnson start for Phoenix. If you have a Clint Bowyer start left I'd go with him, as well as Dale Earnhardt Jr. I would then choose between Brad Keselowski, Juan Pablo Montoya or Jamie McMurray (a little risky, but he runs well here). I'm going with Keselowski and Montoya because I'm out of Bowyer and Earnhardt, and topping off my team with Bobby Labonte in that last spot.

Remember don't beat yourself over your final picks this week. You have very little to go on. If you're lucky you'll get some laps bonus points early to cushion any issues that may happen later.

Enjoy the race. Feel free to leave your comments here or email me at
NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Conjuring up picks at Martinsville NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Conjuring up picks at Martinsville Reviewed by Carol D'Agostino on Saturday, October 29, 2011 Rating: 5