Welcome back, everyone, to this week’s edition of the Fantasy Insider. This Sunday, NASCAR heads West, where the road course of Infineon will once again separate those who can really drive a racecar from those who struggle when you throw a right-hand turn at them. And while everyone knows that Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart rule the road, there are a few others that are out there to guarantee your roster a cheap boost. It’s those one or two cheap dates that make the difference, allowing you to have Gordon, Stewart and maybe Juan Pablo Montoya pile up the points for your team. So read on to see which hidden gems are waiting out there and which popular underachiever you don’t want hanging around this Sunday.
Anyone who has watched NASCAR over the years knows that Stewart and Gordon are the ones to beat on the road courses. The numbers these two have compiled at Infineon are staggering. Gordon has five wins and 13 top 10s, while his average place in the running order is third. And he’s got some momentum coming in, with top-11 finishes in five of the last six events. Stewart, in comparison, has a pair of wins and top 10s in four of the last five races at Sonoma. And, like Gordon, Stewart also has a boost going into this weekend after scoring a pair of top-fie finishes at Pocono and Michigan. Grab both of these two this weekend!
Who Will Carry You
After spending all those points getting Stewart, Gordon (and maybe Montoya) you aren’t going to have a whole lot left to round out your team. But by investing in Elliott Sadler, AJ Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose you’ll get a ton of bang for your buck. As a rookie, Ambrose qualified seventh at Infineon only to have a broken transmission ruin his day. But last season, his car held together and he finished right where he started, which was in third place. As talented a road racer as the Tasmanian driver is, he’ll post a top 15 this weekend. Sadler, sitting 28th in points, is dirt cheap and really good at Sonoma. His average finish is 15th, and he has six straight top 20s – four of them being top 10s. Another top 20 is very likely for Mr. Sadler.
Finally, Allmendinger is becoming a viable top-20 driver every week, and this Sunday should be no exception. He hasn’t raced at Sonoma a lot, but his average finish is 22nd, and he ran seventh last season. Coming off of four straight top 15s gives the team some confidence, and he looks like a solid top-20 runner this weekend.
Who Will Bury You
Sitting 14th in the points standings puts Dale Earnhardt Jr. kind of on the fence as far as being a pricey driver. Unfortunately, he’s not on the fence when it comes to success here – he’s awful. With just one top-10 start and no top-10 finishes to go with an average finish of 21st, he’s not a driver you want this Sunday afternoon.
So there you have it, who you want and who you don’t for this weekend’s race out in Sonoma, Calif. You can now go set your lineups in your respective fantasy leagues, including Frontstretch’s Game of Tomorrow. I don’t know about you, but my team continues to climb in the standings after another solid week. I may not overcome the glitch that omitted my points for an entire race, but I am going to wind up in the top 10, will you? Good luck, and we’ll see you back here next Thursday!
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