Post Qualifying Notes: Dover
Both practice sessions are complete and the field is set for the FedEx 400 at Dover International Speedway. Mark Martin conquered The Monster Mile during qualifying, earning his 5th career pole at Dover.
I took advantage of the data from both practice sessions before I finalized my Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing team on Friday night. Mark Martin was fastest during the first practice run and posted the Best 10 Consecutive Lap Average during Happy Hour. After I saw the numbers I dropped Ryan Newman to make way for Martin.
The Martin move paid off, netting me 7 bonus points from qualifying. But, as bad as Ryan Newman looked in practice, Rocket Man figured out a way to post the 3rd fastest qualifying run. Jimmie Johnson is starting 2nd, Clint Bowyer 4th, and Matt Kenseth 5th.
The odds are one of the Top 5 starters will take the checkered flag on Sunday. The winner has started inside the Top 5 in 22 of the last 44 races at The Monster Mile. I wouldn’t hesitate to start any one of these guys.
I also added Aric Almirola, who was fastest in Happy Hour. The #43 team starts 12th on Sunday. Despite his lack of track history at the cup level, Almirola is the best C Driver available this week.
The toughest choice I have to make this weekend is with my A drivers. My gut is telling me that Kyle Busch is going to win his 3rd Cup Series race at Dover, but the numbers all point to Jimmie Johnson. So here’s my though process:
- I am currently 239 points behind the leader in my league.
- He has Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards. They are starting 11th and 19th respectively.
- In all likelihood my opponent is starting Hamlin.
- We can technically start the same two B drivers and the C spot is always a gamble, so my best chance to making up some ground is with my A driver.
- Busch and Hamlin drive for the same team.
- Their practice results and qualifying efforts were nearly identical.
- If my opponent starts Hamlin and I start Busch we are essentially playing for a wash. (I still think Kyle has a better shot of winning than Denny!)
- Kyle Busch’s floor is lower than Jimmie Johnson’s. Their average finishing positions at Dover are 9.2 and 13.3 respectively.
- So I’m going to play it safe and start Jimmie Johnson.
My Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing lineup for Dover is: #48 Jimmie Johnson, #55 Mark Martin, #16 Greg Biffle, #43 Aric Almirola. Don’t forget about Biffle. He has 10 Top 10’s including 2 wins in 19 appearances at Dover.
I’m using the same race setup for my ESPN Stock Car Challenge team that I used at Charlotte last week. I began the segment with the end in mind, so I am not going to let a little bad luck throw me off my game.
#48 Jimmie Johnson (LKD $21.8 / MKT $21.9) – Starting 2nd. Jimmie has 14 Top 10 finishes including 6 wins in 20 starts at The Monster Mile.
#18 Kyle Busch ($20.5 / $20.8) – Starting 8th. Kyle is still the GoPro Favorite to win the race. He has 9 Top 10 finishes inlcuding 2 wins in 14 starts.
#5 Kasey Kahne ($20.0 / $20.3) – Starting 13th. Last week’s winner at Charlotte finished 4th last fall at Dover. Kasey has Hendrick equipment this go around and he is looking to extend his current Top 10 streak to 7 races.
#55 Mark Martin ($18.4) – Starting 1st. Mark has a good shot at winning if his engine can go the distance. The seasoned veteran has 23 Top 5 finishes including 4 wins in 51 starts at Dover.
#9 Marco Ambrose ($18.3) – Starting 21st. Marcos finished in the Top 10 of both Dover races last year. Let’s hope he compares notes with his teammate Aric Almirola before the race starts on Sunday.
Total Cost of Ownership – $99.0
Total Points – 1,782 (85.3%)
Thanks for reading & good luck this weekend!