Top 10 Fantasy NASCAR Drivers for EcoBoost 400
Last weekend’s AdvoCare 500 in Phoenix was the most talked about NASCAR race in years, but it was ironic that all the attention came from something that happened off the track. Jeff Gordon felt that he was clipped by Clint Bowyer earlier in race, so a couple laps later Gordon completely drove Bowyer’s car into the side embankment. This was a very controversial move, as it ended up costing both drivers a shot to finish the race.
This led to both parties (and their pit crews) exchanging words in the pit area and eventually ended in a heavily publicized melee. Gordon was fined a hefty $100,000, but due to his lengthy career, the veteran was not suspended for the final race of the 2012 season. This will again be a very popular topic of conversation in NASCAR circles this weekend, so expect extra eyes to be on Gordon’s #24 car and Bowyer’s #15 car.
Brad Keselowski is currently leading the Chase in points, but he is only 20 points ahead of Jimmie Johnson. However, with the aforementioned brouhaha gaining all the attention this past week, it appears the race for the 2012 NASCAR Champion has been put in the backseat.
Keselowski can win the title by finishing in 15th place or better, regardless of how Johnson finishes, so K-Dog is certainly in the driver’s seat heading into the final race. However, Johnson is still a five-time champion, so expect him to drive hard in the final race of the season.
The fantasy NASCAR season is finally reaching the finish line, making this the most important race of the year. To help you with your last fantasy lineup of the 2012 season, here are my top 10 fantasy NASCAR drivers for the Ford EcoBoost 400 this Sunday:
10. Martin Truex Jr.
Martin Truex Jr. – After a hot summer, MTJ has really cooled off this fall. Truex Jr. has cracked the top-10 only twice in his last six races, including a 43rd place finish last weekend in Phoenix. Truex Jr. should still be a fantasy starter this weekend, but he is not the top-5 choice that he was earlier in the season.
9. Dale Earhardt Jr.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Earnhardt Jr. only has one top-10 finish in the three races since returning from his concussion scare. Junior was having a career season before his untimely injury, so expect him to get back on track in Miami and capture his 20th top-10 finish of the season.
8. Tony Stewart
Tony Stewart – Stewart is not having the season that he imagined he would after winning the 2011 Sprint Cup Championship. However, he has still won three races this year and has finished inside the top-5 in two of his last four races.
7. Denny Hamlin
Denny Hamlin – Hamlin led 46 laps in Phoenix last weekend and his second place finish was very promising for fantasy fans. Hamlin also loves the tight turns at Homestead, so expect him to easily crack the top-10.
6. Jeff Gordon
Jeff Gordon – Last weekend’s ruckus off the track made it quite clear that Gordon is not happy with the way that this season has turned out. JG is racing angry right now, so expect him to make some noise on the track this weekend.
5. Kasey Kahne
Kasey Kahne – Kahne has finished eighth or better in four of his last five races. he is currently third in overall points and the kid is having the best season of his career.
4. Matt Kenseth
Matt Kenseth – Kenseth has been red-hot over the last couple weeks. He has finished in 14th place or better in six consecutive races, including two wins. Kenseth will be a great sleeper in Miami; so do not hesitate to give him the green light this weekend.
3. Kevin Harvick
Kevin Harvick – Harvick won the AdvoCare 500 last weekend, but due to the other headlines at the race, his trip to the winner’s circle was hardly talked about. Harvick is racing extremely well right now and will be a very popular fantasy choice this weekend.
2. Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie Johnson – Johnson is one of the calmest drivers to ever sit in the driver’s seat, so he should handle the pressure fine this weekend. He needs to have a magical race in order to take the title, but he can still put together a magical fantasy performance.
1. Brad Keselowski
Brad Keselowski – Keselowski has dominated the sport of NASCAR over the last couple months. He has amazingly finished inside the top-11 in 18 of his last 19 races, including three victories and three-second place finishes. He only needs to finish 15th or better to take the Sprint Cup Championship home, so BK will be racing extra hard this weekend.