Fantasy Fast Track

NSCS: Fantasy Fast Track – Phoenix


By: DJ DeSpain

Fantasy Fast Track picks are styled on Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Auto Racing. Fantasy pool styles vary so adjust your picks accordingly to your league rules.

Down to two to go and what better place to throw in a wild card than Phoenix International Raceway? With it’s newly paved and reconfigured track, past performances will not be a factor this week. There’s only one groove on this track, so expect long stretches of single-file racing and lots of crashes as drivers attempt to pass.

Group A

Jimmie Johnson – Johnson leads among active drivers with most wins at PIR with a total of 4. In 16 starts, Johnson has finished in the top-5 11 times, 10 times in the last 10 races! Of the other 5 races, Johnson worst finish has been 15th in 2 races, and the other 3 races were top-10 finishes. All combined, his 4.8 average finish shows how much he dominates at PIR.

Bench Pick: Kyle Busch – Busch is surrounded in controversy from his actions in the Texas NCWTS race that resulted in him being parked the rest of last weekend. He will be certain to race hard, if not clean, to get back into the top 10 of the Chase. Busch has 1 Cup win from his 1st full season in ’05, and he has 4 Nationwide and 2 Camping World Truck wins here. If for reasons yet to be known that Busch is unable to compete at Phoenix, then an alternate bench pick would be Carl Edwards. Edwards won from the pole in last fall’s race here, his single Cup victory to date so far. However, he has won 4 Nationwide races so he does know his away around the track, at least the old track that is.

Group B

Brad Keselowski – Keselowski’s best finish in 4 races at PIR is 15th in the February race. But he’s on a roll with wins at fuel-mileage races, which is what will be expected at PIR because of the one-groove track.

Kasey Kahne – Like Keselowski, Phoenix isn’t one of Kahne’s better tracks but it’s his recent finishes, 4 top-5s in the last 6 races, that should get him a good edge and pick up valuable fantasy points.

Bench Pick: Ryan Newman – It’s been 7 races since his last pole, but Newman’s 4 poles is the track record. Although his recent starts haven’t been that great, his last 3 finishes have been in the top-5, including a win in 2010.

Bench Pick: A.J. Allmendinger – The Dinger picked up the pole in the 2010 spring race and 2nd in the fall race. Earlier this year, he started 15th and finished in 9th.

Group C

David Ragan – Performance-wise, Ragan is still the top among Group C drivers in starts and finishes for the season, just ahead of Paul Menard. Ragan’s best finish at PIR is a 10th place finish in the fall ’08 race, after starting 30th.

Bench Pick: Regan Smith – Smith picked up a 5th place start in the spring race, his 2nd of 7 top-5 starts in the season.

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