The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves to Watkins Glen International’s 2.45 mile road course for the 22nd race of the 2012 season, the Finger Lakes 355. Fantasy Cheat Sheet took a look at past performances, season trends, and spoke to NASCAR contacts to provide you with the most accurate fantasy preview of Sunday’s race.
When: Sunday, August 12, 2012; 1:18 p.m./et.
Weather: Partly cloudy high around 78; wind out of the WSW at 10 mph. There is a 20 percent chance of precipitation.
The Track: Watkins Glen International
The Glen is a 2.45 mile road course. It has 11 turns including some of the only right-hand turns NASCAR drivers will make all season.
Key to Race: STEWART, MARCOS, AND BORIS
Tony Stewart has won five of the last 10 races at The Glen and Jeff Gordon has visited Victory Lane four times at the track. Road course specialists like Marcos Ambrose, Boris Said, and Juan Pablo Montoya are always tough when right-hand turns are required. This is the weekend to sneak some “budget” drivers onto your roster and save the starts of drivers like Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. for when the Series returns to ovals.
43 cars will attempt to qualify for 43 spots. All cars will make the race.
Fantasy Cheat Sheet:
No. 14 Tony Stewart: Stewart has won five of the last 10 races at The Glen. We like his chances to make it six out of the last 11.
No. 9 Marcos Ambrose: Ambrose has been spectacular in road course races so far in his career. He won the 2011 race at The Glen and is a must use this weekend.
No. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya: Montoya won the 2010 edition of The Glen and is always tough on road courses. This is the weekend to use the No. 42.
No. 18 Kyle Busch: Rowdy has been great at Watkins Glen the past four seasons. We like his chances.
No. 32 Boris Said: Said teaches driving school for other Cup drivers on how to manage The Glen. The “Said Head” is a great option on Sunday.
6 to 10
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson: Johnson has cracked the top five in four of his 10 career starts at The Glen. He is a solid pick once again.
No. 51 Kurt Busch: Busch won the 2010 edition of The Glen and finished third this year at Infineon. This is a rare weekend to use “Mr. Angry”.
No. 24 Jeff Gordon: Gordon has four career wins at Watkins Glen. The No. 24 is always a threat to win on road courses.
No. 15 Clint Bowyer: Bowyer has averaged an 18th place finish in his six career starts at The Glen, but he won at Infineon early this season. We expect he will be fast this visit to the Finger Lakes Region.
No. 2 Brad Keselowski: Keselowski was great at The Glen last year. He is worth using in all leagues.
11 to 20
No. 99 Carl Edwards: Edwards has finished in the top 10 in seven of his last 10 road course starts. He should make it another on Sunday.
No. 29 Kevin Harvick: Harvick has cracked the top 15 in eight of his 10 career starts at The Glen, including a win in the 2006 race. He is a good option this weekend.
No. 5 Kasey Kahne: Kahne proved he has figured out road courses with his win at Infineon in June of 2010. He will finish better than his average 20th place finish at The Glen, but we don’t think he will be quick enough to crack the top 10.
No. 22 Sam Hornish Jr.: Hornish has had any success to speak of at The Glen, but he has plenty of experience turning right from his open-wheel days. We love his chances.
No. 11 Denny Hamlin: Hamlin had cracked the top 10 in six of his 11 career road course starts, but has slumped badly the past four races. He will miss the top 10 this week.
No. 56 Martin Truex Jr.: Truex Jr. has finished in the top 20 in seven of his 12 career road course starts. He is a decent fifth driver on fantasy teams this weekend.
No. 17 Matt Kenseth: Kenseth has finished in the top 10 in just three of his 12 career starts at The Glen. He will be doing well to crack the top 15 this weekend.
No. 20 Joey Logano: “Sliced Bread” hasn’t embarrassed himself in his first seven road course starts, but there are much more established road course warriors that are less risky picks this weekend.
No. 1 Jamie McMurray: McMurray has averaged an 18th place finish at Watkins Glen during his career. He will take the checkers right around his average.
No. 39 Ryan Newman: Newman has been successful at Watkins Glen in the past. He will be a top 20 driver on Sunday.
21 to 30
No. 31 Jeff Burton: Burton has made the top 10 just five times in 18 career starts at The Glen. There are better options this weekend.
No. 43 Aric Almirola: “A-Dub” has a lot to learn at The Glen. He isn’t much of an option this weekend.
No. 16 Greg Biffle: Biffle has cracked the top 30 just four times in nine career starts at The Glen. He is too risky of a pick for our taste.
No. 55 Brian Vickers: Brian Vickers: Vickers was awesome at Infineon earlier this year. He is a solid sleeper option.
No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Junior has worked hard to improve his driving skills on road courses, but the results have yet to materialize at Watkins Glen. He isn’t much of an option.
No. 13 Casey Mears: Mears hasn’t shown a heck of a lot on road courses. He is worth using in only the deepest leagues.
No. 27 Paul Menard: Menard has averaged a 24th place finish at The Glen during his career. He isn’t a terrible option.
No. 47 Bobby Labonte: Road courses aren’t Labonte’s forte, but he should have enough speed to pilot the No. 47 into the top 30.
No. 78 Regan Smith: Smith hasn’t seen a ton of success at The Glen. Avoid him this weekend.
No. 95 Scott Speed: Speed is another former open-wheel driver that could see some success this weekend. But he is only worth using in the deepest leagues.
No. 10 J.J. Yeley
No. 83 Landon Cassill
No. 33 Stephen Leicht
No. 93 Travis Kvapil
No. 38 David Gilliland
No. 36 Dave Blaney
No. 98 Michael McDowell
No. 34 David Ragan
No. 87 Joe Nemecheck
No. 49 Jason Leffler
No. 19 Mike Bliss
No. 30 Patrick Long
No. 26 Josh Wise
1. Tony Stewart
2. Marcos Ambrose
3. Juan Pablo Montoya
4. Kyle Busch
1. Boris Said
2. Kurt Busch
Bust of the Week
Dale Earnhardt Jr.