Brian Brown

NASCAR Fantasy Cheat Sheet

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The FedEx 400

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves to Dover International Speedway's concrete palace for the 11th race of the 2011 season, the FedEx 400. We looked at past performances, season trends, and spoke to NASCAR contacts to shed a light on how the field will finish on Sunday.


When: Sunday, May 15, 2011; 1:15 p.m./et.


Weather: Showers with a high of 71; wind out of the SE at 11 mph. There is a 50 percent chance of precipitation on race day.


The Track: Dover International Speedway

Dover is a one mile concrete oval with 24 degree banking in the turns and nine degree banking on the straight-aways.


Key to Race: THE MONSTER MILE

Dover International Speedway is the "Monster Mile". The high-banked concrete track lets drivers run nearly wide-open the entire way around the track. Getting the proper car setup is very tricky, so multiple-car teams have an even bigger advantage than normal. Look for Hendrick Motorsports, Roush-Fenway Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing to lock up a majority of the top 10.


Qualifying Procedures:

44 cars will attempt to qualify for 43 spots. Cars not in the top 35 in the 2011 owner point standings will have to qualify based on speed. Starting positions 1-43 will be determined by a two lap qualifying run on Saturday, May 14 at 12:10 pm/et.


Fantasy Cheat Sheet:

Top 5


No. 48 Jimmie Johnson: Johnson dominated Dover in three of the last four races. He has seven career wins and 11 top 10 finishes in 18 starts at the Monster Mile.
No. 18 Kyle Busch: Rowdy won Dover's spring races in 2008 and in 2010. This is the perfect track for his aggressive driving style.
No. 99 Carl Edwards: Edwards won the September 2007 race at Dover and has finished in the top five in six of the last nine races at the track. He is a great pick to crack the top five again this weekend.
No. 17 Matt Kenseth: Kenseth won the spring 2006 race at the Monster Mile and had the best car on the track in two or the last three fall races. He will be very fast again this weekend.
No. 16 Greg Biffle: Biffle won the September 2008 race at Dover and has led laps in eight of the past 12 races at the track. He will be in the lead group all day.


6 to 10

No. 24 Jeff Gordon: Gordon has four career wins at Dover and he has cracked the top 12 in nine of his last 10 starts at the track. He is a great pick.
No. 39 Ryan Newman: Newman has been excellent at Dover during his career. In 16 Cup starts he has three wins and is always a contender to take the pole. We like his chances this weekend.
No. 5 Mark Martin: Dover is one of Mark Martin's favorite tracks. He has had002022 top five finishes during his career and was one of the best drivers at the Monster Mile the past three years.
No. 22 Kurt Busch: Busch has always qualified very well at Dover, but we wonder if his recent frustrations with Penske Racing will ruin his team's chemistry. He was strong last fall at the track but should finish right around tenth this trip to the Monster Mile.
No. 11 Denny Hamlin: Hamlin finally figured Dover out in 2010 after struggling the previous five races at the track. He should finish inside the top 15 this weekend.


11 to 20

No. 33 Clint Bowyer: Bowyer has finished between eighth and 17th in all but two of his career starts at Dover. He should finish around there again this weekend.
No. 29 Kevin Harvick: Harvick has led just one lap at Dover since 2003 and has finished out of the top 10 in 10 of the last 12 races at the track. He will struggle to crack the top 10 again this weekend.
No. 20 Joey Logano: Logano is familiar with Dover from racing there many times in the Modified and Camping World East Series. He will finish inside the top 15.
No. 56 Martin Truex Jr.: Truex Jr. won the spring 2007 race at Dover and has been great at the place he considers his home-track. He is a terrific sleeper pick this weekend.
No. 31 Jeff Burton: Burton has cracked the top 16 in 16 of the past 18 Dover races. He is a solid third or fourth driver on all fantasy squads this weekend.
No. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya: Montoya has looked great in four of the last seven races at Dover. He won't crack the top 10 again, but a top 20 finish is expected.
No. 1 Jamie McMurray: McMurray has had success at Dover during his career. This is a great weekend to sneak the No. 1 driver into your lineup.
No. 14 Tony Stewart: Stewart has cracked the top 15 just five times in his last 12 races at Dover. This isn't a great weekend to anchor your team with Mr. Smoke.
No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Junior has cracked the top 20 just four times in the past 12 races at Dover. He will be good, but a top 15 finish isn't expected.
No. 4 Kasey Kahne: Kahne has cracked the top 10 just three times in 14 career starts at Dover. He is just an average pick.


21 to 30

No. 00 David Reutimann: Reutimann was very racy during last year's spring race at Dover. He is worth rolling the dice on this visit to the Concrete Palace.
No. 2 Brad Keselowski: Keselowski finished 18th and 22nd in his first visits to Dover. He will struggle to repeat a top 20 finish this visit to the track.
No. 83 Brian Vickers: Vickers has had some decent runs at Dover in his career. He should finish near the top 20.
No. 43 A.J. Allmendinger: A.J. has been very inconsistent at Dover during his career. He has finished in the mid-30s or worse in three of his races at the track, but he also three top 15 finishes.
No. 27 Paul Menard: Menard has averaged a 20th place finish at Dover during his career. He is a nice fifth driver in most fantasy leagues.
No. 9 Marcos Ambrose: Ambrose crashed-out of last spring's race at Dover. He will rebound with a top 25 finish this spring.
No. 6 David Ragan: Ragan has cracked the top 26 in his last eight starts at Dover. He is worth using this weekend as a fifth driver in deep leagues.
No. 78 Regan Smith: Smith will be a popular pick-up this week in fantasy leagues. He should reward with another top 30 finish.
No. 13 Casey Mears: Mears should sneak the No. 13 car into the top 30 with a little luck.
No. 47 Bobby Labonte: Labonte has finished in the top 20 in four of the past 10 races at Dover. He is a decent value pick on Sunday.


Field Fillers

No. 7 Robby Gordon
No. 34 David Gilliland
No. 36 Dave Blaney
No. 09 Landon Cassill
No. 32 Mike Bliss
No. 30 David Stremme
No. 46 J.J. Yeley
No. 38 Travis Kvapil
No. 81 Scott Riggs
No. 87 Joe Nemechek
No. 37 Tony Raines
No. 60 Mike Skinner
No. 66 Michael McDowell
No. 71 Andy Lally

Brownie's Picks

Top Four:

1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Kyle Busch
3. Carl Edwards
4. Matt Kenseth

Sleepers:

1. Joey Logano
2. Mark Martin

Bust of the Week:

Tony Stewart



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