Ebersole Excavating-5-NWSMT

Ebersole Excavating-5-NWSMT

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Clint Bowyer finished fourth in his inaugural attempt at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. His next three results were outside the top 10. He rebounded to finish fourth in the 2010 Brickyard 400 and then fell outside the top 10 in his next three attempts.

If the pattern holds, he is due to finish fourth again this week, but his 2014 flat track record tells a different story. In five races this year on this track type he finished between sixth and 13th on four occasions. His best result on minimally-banked courses came last week at New Hampshire, however, so he is a dark horse candidate to finish in the top five.
Jul 25 - 2:21 PM

Matt Crafton has qualified for three NASCAR Cup races, but he hopes to make his first start at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Crown Royal 400. In 2008 and 2009 he qualified Robby Gordon’s No. 7 at Dover and Homestead respectively. Earlier this year, he qualified Paul Menard’s No. 27 in 30th at Auto Club.

Simply making the race this week will be a challenge for the team since the No. 29 Robby Benton Toyota does not have any owner points. Crafton was the slowest driver in Friday’s practice with a speed of 173.444 mph, more than 3.5 seconds behind Matt Kenseth. If Crafton qualifies, a high 30-something finish is the probable result, which will limit his fantasy appeal.
Jul 25 - 1:58 PM

Rookie Kyle Larson posted the fifth-fastest speed in Friday’s practice session for the Crown Royal 400. His top speed was 185.445 mph.

Larson is a dark horse contender to score his first Cup win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday and it appears he is going to get the weekend started in good fashion. With this lap, he solidified his status as one of the best values at his level in every fantasy game.
Jul 25 - 1:43 PM

Jimmie Johnson posted the fourth-fastest lap in Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s first practice session for the Crown Royal 400. His top speed was 185.647 mph.

Johnson has started on the first two rows on four previous occasions at Indy and his results have been a mixed bag. He won from the pole in 2008 and finished second after starting second last year, so he would like to back up his fast practice with a strong qualification run on Saturday.
Jul 25 - 1:32 PM

Brad Keselowski finished Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s first practice session within one-hundredth of a second to Matt Kenseth and 44/1,000ths of a second behind Clint Bowyer. Keselowski’s best lap was recorded at a speed of 185.939 mph.

Keselowski’s best previous start at Indy was a fifth in 2011 and he scored one of his two track-best finishes of ninth that season. With momentum on his side, Keselowski should both qualify and race better on Sunday and this fast speed underscores his status as one of the favorites.
Jul 25 - 1:24 PM

Clint Bowyer posted the second fastest lap in the first practice session for the Crown Royal 400 with a speed of 186.070 mph.

That lap placed Bowyer 56/1,000ths of a second behind Matt Kenseth, so he should be considered a challenger for the pole. Twenty percent of the previous Brickyard 400s have been won from the front row.
Jul 25 - 1:15 PM

Matt Kenseth posted the fastest single lap in the first practice session for the Crown Royal 400 with a top speed of 186.285 mph.

Track position is important on flat tracks—even one as long as Indianapolis Motor Speedway—so teams worked primarily on qualification trim. In games that award points for time trials, Kenseth should be considered a strong contender to win the pole on Saturday.
Jul 25 - 1:06 PM

Ty Dillon tops the speed chart in the Happy Hour practice session for the Nationwide Series Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro driver ran a fast lap of 180.245 mph. No. 2 Brian Scott, No. 54 Kyle Busch, No. 5 Kevin Harvick and No. 20 Matt Kenseth round out the top five of the 42 cars out on the track. The No. 70 driven by Derrike Cope was the slowest in the final practice session.
Jul 25 - 12:59 PM

Sprint Cup regular (No. 34 Ford Fusion) David Ragan leads the first practice session for the Nationwide Series Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The lap of 181.043 mph in the No. 98 Ford Mustang was best of the 41 cars out on the track for this session. No. 3 Ty Dillon, No. 31 Dylan Kwasniewski, No. 62 Brendan Gaughan and No. 33 Paul Menard are the rest of the top five on the speed chart. Derrike Cope in the No. 70 Chevrolet was the slowest.
Jul 25 - 12:55 PM

During the first practice session, Juan Pablo Montoya’s No. 12 Penske Ford was bottoming out hard enough to rip the left corner of the splitter off the car.

Down force is incredibly important at Indy with the long straights. This will not necessitate a backup, but the team has some work to do in order to lift the left front corner of the car. Montoya was only 24th on the speed chart at the time.
Jul 25 - 12:53 PM

Josh Wise finished 29th in the Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire. That was his third consecutive top-30 finish on the season.

Wise’s previous 10 races on ovals netted only three top-30s so this shows improvement for the team. It will take a while before fantasy players want to place him on their roster, but the organization should be encouraged.
Jul 25 - 12:34 PM

In order to qualify for the Chase, Tony Stewart will almost certainly need to win a race during the regular season. He currently sits 19th in the standings, 22 behind the current cutoff for drivers who could potentially make the playoffs on points. The Crown Royal 400 provides him with an excellent opportunity.

Stewart currently has the longest active top-10 streak at Indy. He has finished that well in his last five starts as well as nine of his last 10. Two victories were earned in 2005 and 2007, which is complimented by a fourth last year. Equally important, Stewart’s victory in a 360 sprint car race this week will improve his spirits and outlook before a race that he has always enjoyed.
Jul 25 - 12:22 PM

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished 40th in the STP 500 at Martinsville this spring, but he has gotten progressively better in every flat track races since then.

Last week’s ninth-place finish on the flat New Hampshire Motor Speedway was only his second top-10 on an unrestricted oval this season so it is unlikely that he will finish that well again. With some luck he could finish in the top 15, however, and that could make him a decent value under the right circumstances.
Jul 25 - 12:11 PM

Bobby Labonte will get a chance to keep his perfect record of running in every Brickyard 400 held after getting the nod to drive a second Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet this week. In a field of 46 cars, he will need to qualify on time first, however.

Labonte has not scored a top-10 on this track since winning the 2000 edition for Joe Gibbs Racing, but he managed to finish on the lead lap in two of his last three starts with JTG-Daugherty Racing with a best of 17th in 2011. His equipment might not be quite as strong this week, but his skill should make up the difference and provide a top-25 finish.
Jul 25 - 11:50 AM

Alex Bowman will make his first Indianapolis Motor Speedway Cup start this week, but fantasy owners can look to his flat track record to predict his finish. His last three starts on this track type ended in a 28th at Richmond, and 31st-place finishes at Pocono and New Hampshire.

Bowman has been relatively consistent with results hovering around the 30th-place mark on most track types. While this does not make him immediately fantasy relevant, it gives the team a solid set of notes from which to work and improve.
Jul 25 - 11:31 AM


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