By Adam McGill
With the NASCAR flag about to drop, this is the perfect time to look over fantasy rankings for the first race of the year. Below is my top ten rankings for today’s race at Daytona International Speedway.
1. Kyle Busch – Busch will start second this weekend and the veteran is looking like a heavy favorite to take home the checkered flag.
2. Brad Keselowski – Keselowski was a contender in every race last season and is a true dark horse for the 2012 season.
3. Carl Edwards – Early last year Edwards looked possessed at the race at Daytona. He started 22nd and moved all the way up to finish in 2nd place.
4. Tony Stewart – The defending Sprint Cup Champion wrecked in practice this week, but is still a favorite for the opening race of the year.
5. Jeff Gordon – Gordan always finishes strong at Daytona with 6 career victories at DIS.
6. Kevin Harvick – Harvick was a pleasant surprise last season with 4 wins on the year.
7. Jimmie Johnson – The 48 car has notoriously struggled at the speedway with only one win in 20 career races. It also happens to be one of the only places that the five-time defending champion finishes lower than he starts, as he has an average starting position of 9.4 and has an average finishing position of 17.
8. Kurt Busch – Busch is a willy veteran, who always has a chance to breach the top-five.
9. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - “Junior” remains a fan favorite, but is really struggling with only three wins in the last seven years.
10. Martin Truex Jr. – The other “Junior” is on-top of the pole for the race and could easily end up finishing in the top ten.