Thursday, July 4, 2013

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Coke Zero 400 at Daytona



Track Classification: Superspeedway
Similar Tracks: Auto Club Speedway (Fontana)
Indianapolis Motor Speedway  • Michigan International Speedway 
Pocono Raceway • Talladega Superspeedway
Distance: 2.5 Miles


Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
All with 4 - Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne and Carl Edwards
Kurt Busch - 3

By Track
Both with 6 - Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards 
Kevin Harvick - 5 
All with 4 -Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch and Juan Pablo Montoya

Recent Pole Winners:  
2012 Tony Stewart
2011 David Ragan

Likely Suspects: Traditionally when you utter the words "restrictor-plate racing," you think Earnhardt. Joining Dale Earnhardt Jr. in my list of likely suspects are: Tony Stewart, who excels in the summer, Kevin Harvick, who aptly masters Daytona, the quietly patient Matt Kenseth, and the aggressive Joey Logano.

My 2 Cents: Racing in July at Daytona is always exciting, but nearly impossible to pick for fantasy players. Successful drivers not only have to be able to tame a fast, slick track, but also avoid the "Big One," which can take the best teams out of contention in the blink of an eye. Teams now have a better handle on the new Gen-6 cars, so don't be surprised if we break a few speed records in qualifying. This race should also be an indicator of whether Stewart-Haas Racing, and particularly Tony Stewart, can compete for the championship this year.

Obviously my no-brainer pick this week is Dale Earnhardt Jr., followed closely by Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart. My next picks are: Joey Logano, Paul Menard and Jeff Burton. I will complete my team by crossing my fingers and toes and going with Michael Waltrip and David Ragan.

When making final picks this week, pay close attention to starting position as nearly 30 percent of July NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Daytona have been won from the front row and nearly 50 percent have been won from a top-10 starting position.

Enjoy the race! Post your comments here or email me at ssfantasyracing@skirtsandscuffs.com.

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