The Frontstretch: Fantasy Insider: Gordon On Verge Of Brickyard Breakthrough ... Again by Mike Ravesi -- Thursday July 22, 2010

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NASCAR heads to Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend where the racing really isn’t that good, but it’s okay because, after all, it’s the Brickyard. I half expect NASCAR to add the Hoover Dam and the Pyramids to their next schedule as they are also historic venues that may not necessarily lead to great racing either, but I digress. This Sunday look for the typical Hendrick stars to shine, but which others will step up and which ones will step out? Read on in this week’s edition of the Fantasy Insider.


While you can’t go wrong with the Hendrick duo this weekend, Jeff Gordon may be a better play than the favorite Jimmie Johnson.

Once again you really aren’t going to go wrong with having Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson on your roster this week. Johnson has won three of the last four Brickyards and the one he didn’t win he looked awful good until a blown tire sent him into the wall. While Gordon hasn’t had the same level of success as far as victories go, he has posted top ten finishes in eight of the last nine races with a pair of wins thrown in there. His career average finish at Indy is ninth and has finished fifth or better in the last five races. If anyone is overdue for a win, its Jeff Gordon.

Who will carry you:

As far as those drivers outside the top 20 in points who are cheap to have on your team you’ll want to look at Marcos Ambrose, David Ragan and Juan Pablo Montoya. I am sure everyone remembers last year when JP had the dominant car only to screw it up by speeding on pit road late and having to settle for 11th. His rookie year he finished second so he could easily have won two of the three events he’s run at Indy. Being 21st in points means he’s kind of cheap and with Watkins Glen in two weeks you may want to grab him now and hold him for a few races.

Marcos Ambrose is another driver you may want to grab now and hang on to with the road course looming in the schedule. At Indy Ambrose has a pair of starts and a pair of 22nd place finishes. Not bad for a supporting cast driver.

Finally we have David Ragan. He’s 25th in points which makes him cheap and he’s been in the top 25 in all three career events at the Brickyard. Look for all three of these guys to be in the top 20 and perhaps one will crack the top 10.

Who will bury you:

The good news for Dale Earnhardt Jr is he’s 13th in points, just one spot out of the Chase. The bad news is there is only one restrictor plate race left and this week isn’t it. In 2010 after each plate race Earnhardt was inside the top 12 in points. And after the race following the plate race he was back outside the top 12. Don’t look for him to climb back in this Sunday. His career finish at the Brickyard is 22nd and he’s finished outside the top 30 in three of the last five tries here. Avoid him this weekend.

And as NASCAR returns to the track this Sunday so does the Game of Tomorrow on the Web site. So make sure to set your line-ups for this weekend’s event. Pocono is NASCAR’S next stop so we’ll see you back next Thursday when we break down the massive tri-oval out in the middle of the Pennsylvania woods.

Contact Mike Ravesi

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