The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series continues the 2013 season with the Coke Zero 400. NASCAR Fantasy Cheat Sheet took a long look at past performances, trends, and spoke with team contacts to shed a light on how the field will finish Saturday.
When: Saturday, July 6; 7:49 p.m./et.
The Track: Daytona InternationalSpeedway
Daytona International Raceway is a 2.5-mile tri-oval with extreme 31 degree banking on the corners. The intense banking allows drivers to run wide-open nearly the entire way around the track. As a result of the incredible speeds NASCAR has made all Sprint Cup Series races at the track restrictor-plate races. The plate on the engine limits air-intake thus reducing horsepower and slowing top-end speeds.
Key to Race: THE BIG WRECK
Last year drivers used the knowledge they gleamed from the 2011 races on Daytona’s new surface to drive quality events at the track, but as is the case with all restrictor plate races the “Big One” is always one miscue away.
43 cars will attempt to qualify for 43 starting spots.
Fantasy Cheat Sheet:
No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Junior regained his speed at Daytona with a second place finishes in the past two February races. He is always worth a spot on a roster during races at Daytona.
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson: Johnson won this Daytona 500 this January. Mr. 5-Time is always a strong choice.
No. 14 Tony Stewart: Smoke has brought the fire at Daytona lately. He has won four of the last 14 races at the track and looked fast at the track in January. He is a great pick.
No. 20 Matt Kenseth: Kenseth is consistently strong at Daytona. He won last year’s Daytona 500 as well as the 2009 edition of the race. He could take the checkers again on Saturday.
No. 16 Greg Biffle: Biffle was very fast at Daytona this January. He has a great chance to win on Saturday.
6 to 10
No. 29 Kevin Harvick: Harvick won the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona in 2010 and this year’s Sprint Unlimited. He will be great again this weekend.
No. 2 Brad Keselowski: Keselowski’s aggressive style of driving will either make or break him this weekend. We expect it will make him.
No. 24 Jeff Gordon: Gordon has five career wins at Daytona. He should be in the lead-group when the checkers fly.
No. 99 Carl Edwards: Edwards is a solid restrictor plate driver and was great at Daytona in five of the last seven Daytona races. He is a top 10 choice.
No. 11 Denny Hamlin: Hamlin led the most laps of any driver during the Daytona 500 last winter. He will be fast again.
11 to 20
No. 18 Kyle Busch: Kyle has struggled during the full-length races at Daytona, but he is always a threat to win restrictor plate races.
No. 15 Clint Bowyer: Bowyer finished 11th in the past three races at Daytona. He is usually a good-shoe at the track.
No. 5 Kasey Kahne: Kahne has struggled the past two Daytona 500 races, but he should bounce back with a top 15 finish on Saturday.
No. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: The super-talented Stenhouse finished 12th during the Daytona 500. He is worth using in all leagues.
No. 31 Jeff Burton: Burton wrecked-out of the Daytona 500 this year, but he notched top five finishes in both races last year. He has had past success at the track and is worth using in deep leagues.
No. 22 Joey Logano: Logano has cracked the top 20 the past three races at Daytona. “Sliced Bread” finished third during the Spring Unlimited and is worth using in most leagues.
No. 43 Aric Almirola: Almirola was awesome at Daytona this January. He is always a solid pick at the track.
No. 39 Ryan Newman: Newman won the 2008 edition of the Daytona 500, but he has had just two top 15 finishes at the famous speedway since. He isn’t much more than a third or fourth driver in most fantasy leagues this weekend.
No. 56 Martin Truex Jr. Truex has been very fast in three of the past five Daytona 500’s. He is a decent pick.
No. 1 Jamie McMurray: McMurray won the 2010 Daytona 500. He isn’t usually one of our top picks, but his success at Daytona speaks for itself.
21 to 30
No. 10 Danica Patrick: Patrick shocked much of the racing world when she captured the Pole and finished eighth during this year’s Daytona 500. This is one of the rare weekends we recommend using Danica.
No. 27 Paul Menard: Menard finished sixth during last year’s Daytona 500. He is a solid sleeper pick.
No. 21 Trevor Bayne: The 2011 Daytona 500 winner was flying during Speedweeks this winter. He could surprise again this visit to the Florida Coast.
No. 78 Kurt Busch: Busch is usually very fast at Daytona, but we wouldn’t roll the dice on him this weekend.
No. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya: Montoya cruised to top 10 finishes in both races at Daytona in 2011, but he crashed in both races last year. The man from Bogota is not much more than a fourth driver in most fantasy leagues.
No. 9 Marcos Ambrose: Ambrose has proved he isn't afraid of anything. He is always a decent choice on super speedways.
No. 55 Michael Waltrip: Magic Mike years of experience at Daytona. There are worse options to fill-out your roster this week.
No. 38 David Gilliland: Gilliland is always a fine choice in restrictor plate races.
No. 13 Casey Mears: Mears drove well during Speedweeks. He is a worthy choice as a fifth driver.
No. 51 A.J. Allmendinger: Dinger has averaged a 23rd place finish at Daytona during his career. Moving into the No. 51 car, he will be just a tad slower than his average this weekend.
No. 32 Terry Labonte
No. 83 David Reutimann
No. 47 Bobby Labonte
No. 34 David Ragan
No. 7 Dave Blaney
No. 93 Travis Kvapil
No. 30 David Stremme
No. 33 Landon Cassill
No. 87 Joe Nemechek
No. 35 Josh Wise
No. 36 J.J. Yeley
No. 95 Scott Speed
No. 98 Michael McDowell
My Yahoo! Fantasy NASCAR Team for this Week:
A. Matt Kenseth
B. Greg Biffle
B. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
C. Michael Waltrip