The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves to Watkins Glen International’s 2.45 mile road course for the 22nd race of the 2013 season, the Cheez-It 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 11, 2013; 1:18 p.m./et.
Weather: Partly cloudy high around 78; wind out of the NW at 8 mph. There is a 10 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: NO TONY? TURN TO THE ROAD WARRIORS
Tony Stewart has won five of the last 11 races at The Glen, but due to injuries suffered earlier this week in Iowa he will miss this at least this weekend’s race. Road course specialists like Marcos Ambrose, Boris Said, Max Papis 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 Matt Kenseth 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. 9 Marcos Ambrose: Ambrose, who won at The Glen last year, has been spectacular in road course races so far in his career.
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson: Johnson has cracked the top five in five of his 11 career starts at The Glen. He is a solid pick once again.
No. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya: Montoya won the 2011 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 five 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. 2 Brad Keselowski: Keselowski was great at The Glen the past two years. He is worth using in all leagues.
No. 78 Kurt Busch: Busch won the 2010 edition of The Glen. This is another fine opportunity to sneak the former Cup champion onto your roster.
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. 14 Max Papis: Papis takes over the No. 14 for Sunday’s race due to Smoke’s injury. He is a road course specialist and is a fine choice to round-out a roster.
No. 99 Carl Edwards: Edwards has finished in the top 10 in eight of his last 12 road course starts. He should make it another on Sunday.
11 to 20
No. 15 Clint Bowyer: Bowyer has averaged a 15th place finish in his eight 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. 29 Kevin Harvick: Harvick has cracked the top 15 in nine of his 11 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 19th place finish at The Glen, but we don’t think he will be quick enough to crack the top 10.
No. 56 Martin Truex Jr.: Truex Jr. has finished in the top 20 in nine of his 14 career road course starts. He is a decent fifth driver on fantasy teams this weekend.
No. 20 Matt Kenseth: Kenseth has finished in the top 10 in just four of his 13 career starts at The Glen. He will be doing well to crack the top 15 this weekend.
No. 22 Joey Logano: “Sliced Bread” hasn’t embarrassed himself in his first nine road course starts, but there are much more established road course warriors that are less risky picks this weekend.
No. 11 Denny Hamlin: Hamlin had cracked the top 10 in six of his 13 career road course starts, but has slumped badly the past five races. He will miss the top 10 this week.
No. 1 Jamie McMurray: McMurray has averaged a 21st 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.
No. 47 A.J. Allmendinger: Dinger is behind the wheel of the No. 47 car this weekend. He has been terrific at The Glen during his career and is a fine option.
21 to 30
No. 16 Greg Biffle: Biffle has cracked the top 30 just five times in 10 career starts at The Glen. He is too risky of a pick for our taste.
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. 31 Jeff Burton: Burton has made the top 10 just five times in 19 career starts at The Glen. There are better options this weekend.
No. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Stenhouse drove a decent race at Infineon earlier this season. We still don’t recommend him in his first Cup start at The Glen.
No. 43 Aric Almirola: “A-Dub” has a lot to learn at The Glen. He isn’t much of an option this weekend.
No. 33 Ron Fellows: Fellows is always a threat to finish strong on road courses.
No. 55 Brian Vickers: Brian Vickers: Vickers has struggled mightily the past two road course starts. He isn’t even a sleeper 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 23rd place finish at The Glen during his career. He isn’t a fantastic option.
No. 51 Owen Kelly: Australian V8 Supercar sensation Kelly is behind the wheel of the No. 51 this weekend. He is a risky pick at best.
No. 10 Danica Patrick
No. 36 Victor Gonzalez Jr.
No. 19 Alex Kennedy
No. 83 David Reutimann
No. 87 Joe Nemechek
No. 38 David Gilliland
No. 7 Dave Blaney
No. 30 David Stremme
No. 34 David Ragan
No. 35 Michael McDowell
No. 93 Travis Kvapil
No. 40 Landon Cassill
No. 52 Brian Keselowski
My Yahoo! Fantasy NASCAR Team for this Week:
A. Jeff Gordon
B. Juan Pablo Montoya
B. Marcos Ambrose
C. Ron Fellows