Welcome back, everyone to Frontstretch’s Fantasy Insider. After a so called “off week” for the running of NASCAR’s All-Star event, teams are gearing up for this weekend’s running of the Coca-Cola 600. And while Kurt Busch found himself in victory lane last Saturday night, don’t expect to see him anywhere near there this weekend – although it won’t be for lack of trying. To see who will take the checkered flag, and why it won’t be Mr. Busch, read on for this week’s installment of the Fantasy Insider.
This week’s studs are a couple of familiar faces in the section of the column, Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth. Kenseth, who currently resides third in the points standings, has run in the top 12 in eight of the last 10 600s. Included on that resume is a win and four top fives. Earlier this year at the 1.5-mile tracks in Las Vegas and Atlanta, Kenseth also recorded finishes of fifth and second. Roush Fenway’s leading man these days, he’s a good bet for a solid top 10 this weekend. Johnson also has had great success in the Memorial Day weekend event in Charlotte, posting top-10 runs in seven of the last eight races. Those top 10s include three wins and a second, leading one to believe a top five is well within reason for the Lowe’s team.
Who Will Carry You
Our not so well-known drivers this week are Sam Hornish Jr., David Reutimann and Jamie McMurray. Hornish and Reut don’t have a lot of history here, but the track records they have are good ones. In two races Hornish has finished 16th and 13th, which isn’t too bad for NASCAR’s version of the 24 Hours of Daytona. He has also had a string of bad luck that’s bound to change. I’m betting it changes sooner rather than later.
Reutimann also has just two 600s under his belt, but he’s finished 10th in one and won the other! Now I know that his win was in a rain-shortened race, but lets face it, as long as it takes to run this race it’s bound to rain at some point during the event. Maybe he’ll be out in front again when that happens.
Our third sleeper is McMurray. He has several starts in this race and has run in the top 25 in all of them, including a pair of top 10s with a best finish of fourth in 2004. McMurray has finished runner-up in two of the last four points races in 2010 and is putting together a nice first season in the No. 1 Bass Pro Chevrolet. Look for him to come in around 15th this weekend.
Who Will Bury You
While Kurt Busch was all smiles last weekend, look for a very different outcome Sunday night. Kurt is in a word, awful in this event. But don’t take my word for it, his last five starts have resulted in finishes of 34th, 16th, 32nd, 39th and 43rd. Car owner Roger Penske is also a startling 0-for-72 in points-paying races at CMS, with bad luck always seeming to hit him here. That leaves Busch far too chancy to take a gamble on this weekend with so many other solid options.
So now that you’re all chock full of information and statistics, go out and set your line-ups for this weekend’s race. Last week my Game of Tomorrow team, Rav’s racers, finished mid-pack due to some bad luck late, but I expect to rebound and get back to the top 10. So don’t forget to fill out your team on Frontstretch’s Fantasy Racing Game of Tomorrow to see if you can top my score.
So until next Thursday, I hope all my readers have a great and safe holiday weekend filled with family, barbecuing and huge doses of auto racing all day Sunday! See you next Thursday.