Dan Beaver

Statistically Speaking

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Update: Texas (Spring)

Saturday, April 8, 2017


Speeds started slowly and built through the weekend. As a result, drivers had to search for a new limit on every lap—on a track that markets itself as having “No Limits.” Denny Hamlin stepped over the line in the first minutes of the first practice session and spun harmlessly.

Bookending the weekend, Trevor Bayne destroyed his car in Happy Hour. In between Kyle Busch, Erik Jones, and Chase Elliott also had incidents that put them behind and contributed to their failing to take a qualification lap.

In qualification, Jimmie Johnson spun as he tried to slow after his first timed lap. He flat spotted his tires and will be forced to go the back of the pack when he changes them. He will be in good company, however, because the entire Hendrick Motorsports organization will be in the back with Kasey Kahne, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Elliott all failing to get through inspection in time for qualification. Kahne also wrecked his primary in practice.

In total, nine cars failed to take a timed lap. Elliott, Kahne, and Earnhardt are joined by points’ leader Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, Jones, Chris Buescher, Timmy Hill, and Derrike Cope at the back. Add in Bayne and Johnson and there is going to be a lot of speedy racers slicing through traffic.

That changes the focus for fantasy players. In games that award place-differential points, most of those marquee drivers are going to be a good value. But there are too many of them to insure that there are one or two must haves.

Conversely, some drivers one normally expects to earn place-differential points are guaranteed to finish worse than they started.

Notably, the three drivers on the top of the single-lap speed chart in Happy Hour all will come from the back. Johnson had the fastest time of 194.812 mph, Elliott posted a 194.252, with Larson at 193.618. The driver of the No. 42 had the best overall session, however, with the third-quickest 10-lap average of 189.835 to boost his stats.

Kyle Busch was the quickest in that session and he is going to need his long run speed to get to the front. His speed of 190.862 was the only aggregate time above the 190 mark.

Ryan Blaney had the second-quickest time in final practice with a 189.950. He will be able to utilize his speed early since he rolls off the grid from the outside pole. The new pavement has made the outside line treacherous, so expect the No. 21 to fall back early, but once he gets into the bottom groove, he is going to have the speed and quickness to recapture his positions.

Kevin Harvick showed the right balance of patience and speed in qualification. He led all three sessions for the third time in his career. This was only the fifth time that anyone has done that, which adds to the accomplishment. His lap of 198.405 was shy of a track record, but the first time in his career that he will lead the field to green at Texas. That does not mean fantasy owners do not have some stats to consider: Last year, Harvick started on the outside pole in both races before sweeping the top-five in race trim. He is coming off a slow start to the season, so predicting a win this week is difficult.

Matt Kenseth had the quickest time in Saturday morning’s practice session. He rolls off the grid eighth and also had top-10 single lap speed the day before the race. Kenseth has run well when he has stayed out of trouble this year. He represents a good opportunity for players who are willing to take a little risk.

  

Start

Driver

Qual
Speed

Practice

1 Rank

Practice 2 Rank

Final Practice
Rank

Avg. Rank

             

6

Jamie McMurray

      196.492

8

11

11

9.0

5

Brad Keselowski

      197.563

21

1

9

9.0

2

Ryan Blaney

      198.020

1

16

21

10.0

1

Kevin Harvick

      198.405

10

19

12

10.5

16

AJ Allmendinger

      194.377

5

7

15

10.8

13

Michael McDowell

      194.925

2

14

14

10.8

32

Kyle Larson

              -  

6

2

3

10.8

4

Joey Logano

      197.759

11

6

25

11.5

12

Trevor Bayne

      192.082

13

12

10

11.8

18

Aric Almirola

      193.861

17

9

4

12.0

8

Matt Kenseth

      196.299

29

10

5

13.0

24

Jimmie Johnson

      193.251

14

15

1

13.5

3

Clint Bowyer

      198.020

18

12

24

14.3

10

Kurt Busch

      195.002

24

8

18

15.0

7

Martin Truex Jr.

      196.421

16

21

16

15.0

33

Chase Elliott

              -  

20

5

2

15.0

20

Daniel Suarez

      193.292

12

23

6

15.3

37

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

              -  

15

4

7

15.8

11

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

      194.517

9

25

23

17.0

14

Ty Dillon

      194.847

30

3

22

17.3

36

Erik Jones

              -  

4

24

13

19.3

17

Denny Hamlin

      194.084

25

17

19

19.5

38

Chris Buescher

              -  

3

20

17

19.5

9

Ryan Newman

      195.525

23

20

27

19.8

34

Kyle Busch

              -  

19

18

8

19.8

25

Austin Dillon

      190.550

7

30

20

20.5

19

Danica Patrick

      193.715

26

28

29

25.5

15

Landon Cassill

      194.707

31

27

30

25.8

35

Kasey Kahne

              -  

22

26

26

27.3

21

David Ragan

      192.458

27

31

31

27.5

22

Paul Menard

      191.123

28

32

28

27.5

23

Corey LaJoie

      188.719

34

35

 

30.7

27

JJ Yeley

      189.793

32

29

35

30.8

26

Matt DiBenedetto

      190.335

33

33

32

31.0

28

Cole Whitt

      189.195

35

34

34

32.8

29

Gray Gaulding

      188.265

37

36

36

34.5

30

Reed Sorenson

      188.186

36

37

37

35.0

31

Jeffrey Earnhardt

      182.852

38

38

 

35.7

39

Timmy Hill

              -  

39

39

38

38.8

40

Derrike Cope

              -  

40

40

39

39.8

 

10-Lap Averages

 

10-Lap Averages

 

Avg

Practice 2

 

Final Practice

 

Rank

                 

1

Matt Kenseth

      193.953

 

 

Matt Kenseth

 

 

1.0

4

Kyle Busch

      193.050

 

1

Kyle Busch

  192.862

 

2.5

3

Martin Truex Jr.

      193.299

 

 

Martin Truex Jr.

 

 

3.0

5

Kyle Larson

      192.575

 

3

Kyle Larson

  189.835

 

4.0

 

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

 

 

4

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

  189.621

 

4.0

6

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

      192.513

 

 

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

 

 

6.0

7

Joey Logano

      192.431

 

 

Joey Logano

 

 

7.0

9

Brad Keselowski

      192.164

 

6

Brad Keselowski

  189.411

 

7.5

2

Chase Elliott

      193.493

 

13

Chase Elliott

  188.368

 

7.5

14

Ryan Blaney

      191.157

 

2

Ryan Blaney

  189.950

 

8.0

8

Clint Bowyer

      192.356

 

 

Clint Bowyer

 

 

8.0

10

Trevor Bayne

      191.517

 

 

Trevor Bayne

 

 

10.0

13

Kasey Kahne

      191.178

 

8

Kasey Kahne

  188.949

 

10.5

17

Kurt Busch

      190.469

 

5

Kurt Busch

  189.555

 

11.0

11

Landon Cassill

      191.421

 

 

Landon Cassill

 

 

11.0

12

Austin Dillon

      191.238

 

11

Austin Dillon

  188.777

 

11.5

21

Jimmie Johnson

      189.954

 

7

Jimmie Johnson

  188.979

 

14.0

16

Jamie McMurray

      190.712

 

14

Jamie McMurray

  188.041

 

15.0

15

Kevin Harvick

      190.880

 

 

Kevin Harvick

 

 

15.0

 

Ty Dillon

 

 

16

Ty Dillon

  187.709

 

16.0

23

Erik Jones

      189.162

 

10

Erik Jones

  188.829

 

16.5

22

Denny Hamlin

      189.807

 

12

Denny Hamlin

  188.628

 

17.0

18

AJ Allmendinger

      190.235

 

 

AJ Allmendinger

 

 

18.0

19

Ryan Newman

      190.168

 

 

Ryan Newman

 

 

19.0

20

JJ Yeley

      190.101

 

 

JJ Yeley

 

 

20.0

28

Danica Patrick

      186.896

 

15

Danica Patrick

  187.804

 

21.5

36

Chris Buescher

      180.030

 

9

Chris Buescher

  188.866

 

22.5

24

Daniel Suarez

      189.115

 

 

Daniel Suarez

 

 

24.0

33

Paul Menard

      183.611

 

17

Paul Menard

  186.368

 

25.0

25

Corey LaJoie

      187.682

 

 

Corey LaJoie

 

 

25.0

26

David Ragan

      187.624

 

 

David Ragan

 

 

26.0

27

Cole Whitt

      187.110

 

 

Cole Whitt

 

 

27.0

29

Gray Gaulding

      185.300

 

 

Gray Gaulding

 

 

29.0

30

Matt DiBenedetto

      185.112

 

 

Matt DiBenedetto

 

 

30.0

31

Reed Sorenson

      184.900

 

 

Reed Sorenson

 

 

31.0

32

Michael McDowell

      184.464

 

 

Michael McDowell

 

 

32.0

34

Jeffrey Earnhardt

      183.455

 

 

Jeffrey Earnhardt

 

 

34.0

35

Derrike Cope

      180.511

 

 

Derrike Cope

 

 

35.0

 



Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 12 years with a little help from his >500,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.
Email :Dan Beaver



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