Dover AAA 400 Fantasy NASCAR Preview and PicksA= Really, Really Good Pick

Jimmie Johnson – Johnson has won three out of the last five races at Dover. Another amazing stat is that in these five races he’s led 1,192 laps and the least amount of laps he’s led in a race was 191 (nearly half the race). Johnson has six wins at Dover and a 10th place average finish. If Johnson doesn’t win or get a top five in the AAA 400 then his championship hopes are over. (Yahoo A Driver)

Matt Kenseth – Kenseth won at Dover in May and he’s finished in the top five in nearly half his starts at the Monster Mile. Since 2008 Kenseth has only finished lower than 4th once. Matt Kenseth is a great race manager who knows how to save his car for the end of races. In 1998 Kenseth made his Sprint Cup debut in Bill Elliotts car and finished 6th. (Yahoo A Driver)

Carl Edwards – Edwards will be as good of a pick as they come Sunday in the AAA 400. Edwards only has one Dover win but since the 2006 Chase race he’s only finished outside the top ten once and it was an 11th place finish. His average finish in this ten race time span is 4.9. (Yahoo A Driver) <– I LIKE IT

A- = Really Good Pick

Tony Stewart – Stewart once owned Dover but his success has been limited since 2005. Before 2005 he had a worst finish of 11th and all of his other finishes were better than 7th. Times have changed though and Stewart only has one top five, and four top tens in the last half decade. Momentum matters though and going 3 for 3 could happen. (Yahoo A Driver)

Kyle Busch – Busch is a two time Monster Mile winner who won the spring 2010 race. Last year in the Dover Chase race he finished sixth and led 46 laps. One area of concern is that in three out of the last five Dover Chase races he’s finished 31st or worse. His aggressive driving style has served him well at Dover. (Yahoo A Driver)

Jeff Gordon – Gordon’s going to have to elevate his normal Dover performances to remain in serious championship contention. Since 2009 he’s only finished in the top ten once. He’s finished 11th twice in this time span but I don’t think that’s good enough. Jeff Gordon’s finishes in this century have really been across the board. Gordon has four wins at Dover. (Yahoo A Driver)

VOTE for who will win the AAA 400

B+ = Good Pick

Fantasy NASCAR Expert Picks
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Brad Keselowski – Keselowski has only raced at Dover three times and he’s finished 18th, 22nd and 13th. The most important thing to remember about Keselowski is that since July he’s done no wrong. I don’t see him being a fantasy let down this week since he finished 13th earlier this year and he won at Bristol. (Yahoo B Driver)

Ryan Newman – Newman has had his up and down days at Dover. Down days have been the recent trend for him unfortunately. Since the second race of 2007 (second COT race) he has three top tens with a best finish of 8th. A typical day for him recently has been a low double digit finish. Early in his career to about 2005 he was a lock for a top five. (Yahoo B Driver)

Kurt Busch – Busch has never won at Dover but he’s been good enough to win on occasion in the past. In the last five Dover races Busch has finished in the top five three times. If leading laps pays points in your league don’t overlook Busch. He’s led laps in there out of the last four. (Yahoo A Driver)

Greg Biffle – Biffle has been impressive at Dover through the years. He’s a two time winner with ten top tens in eighteen races. Biffle last won at Dover in the 2008 Chase race. What mellows me on Biffle is his back to back Dover 19th place finishes. (Yahoo A Driver)

AJ Allmendinger – Among the drivers who I rank every week Allmendinger has the worst average finish yet the potential is great this week. Allmendinger has been impressive in the last four Dover races with finishes of 37th (engine, Yahoo race chart), 10th, 14th and 7th. Last year in the Chase race he led 143 laps but his pit crew let him down. (Yahoo B Driver)

Martin Treux Jr. – In 2007 Truex won his one and only race at Dover. Treux always runs good at Dover but he finds trouble far to often. If he doesn’t find trouble he’s a lock for a top fifteen finish. Earlier this year Truex finished 8th at Dover. Treux also had good performances at similar tracks this year (Darlington – 10th, Bristol -17th but led 63 laps. Bristol #2 – 2nd). (Yahoo B Driver)

Kevin Harvick – In the last six Dover races Kevin Harvick has finished in the top ten in half the races. His worst Monster Mile finish over this period of time is 17th. Harvick hasn’t led a lot of laps at Dover. He’s only led 134 total laps and in 2003 he led 133 of them. From a global perspective about his career Dover hasn’t really been that great of a track for him. (Yahoo A Driver)

B = Just A Tier Below The Good Picks

Mark Martin – In May Mark Martin had his best finish of the year (2nd) at Dover. Since 2004 he’s been remarkably consistent and has only finished outside the top fifteen once. Martin has four wins, eight second place finishes and a twelfth place average finish in his career dating back to 1982! (Yahoo B Driver)

Marcos Ambrose – In the Dover race earlier this year Ambrose finished third. His good finish certainly was no fluke. His 6th place average running position proves that. His 113.9 driver rating was the 4th best in the series. Ambrose also had strong showings on similar tracks this year including a 10th place showing at Bristol in August. (Yahoo B Driver)

Jeff Burton – Burton is a solid SLEEPER this week. Last year at Dover he finished second in both races. Earlier this year he finished 11th at Dover which by his standards this year is phenomenal. Since 2005 Burton hasn’t finished lower than 16th at Dover so he’s a safe pick with lots of upside. (Yahoo B Driver)

Clint Bowyer – Bowyer has been a steady driver at Dover but he’s never had a top five finish. His 14.8 average finish is the 9th best in the series since 2004. Bowyer only has four top tens in eleven races at Dover. To me that’s just not good enough to deserve fantasy consideration this week. (Yahoo B Driver)

B- = You Can Pencil Them In For Around 20th

Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Earnhardt Jr. won at Dover in 2001 but there’s reasons for concern this week. His last top ten at the Monster Mile was in 2007. Since then he’s only finished in the top fifteen twice. (Yahoo B Driver)

Joey Logano – Last season Joey Logano swept the top ten at Dover. If he can copy Kyle Busch’s setup then there’s some real potential here. Earlier this year Logano spun early in the race while running 4th and finished 5 laps down. He’s capable of getting a good finish but his recent results across the board suggest otherwise. (Yahoo B Driver)

Juan Pablo Montoya – Montoya has two top tens at Dover but his 23rd place average finish is concerning. When Montoya made the Chase in 2009 he finished 4th. After the first 60 laps in the FedEx 400 Montoya clearly shown that the 42 was not a top 20 car. (Yahoo B Driver)

Kasey Kahne – Kahne almost won his first race at Dover in 2004 but he spun in oil late in the race. Kahne has had some success at the Monster Mile but all to often this self cleaning track collects him. In fifteen starts at Dover Kahne has only finished in the top ten three times. In May Kahne finished 36th due to an engine failure. His average running position despite finishing 69 laps down was 14th. (Yahoo B Driver)

C+ = Got Some Question Marks Here

Denny Hamlin – Hamlin’s had an interesting career at Dover. He was good at the Monster Mile early in his career and he’s been good here recently. The middle section of his career is horrible though. The downward trend for him started in 2007 (chase race) when Kyle Petty slapped some sense into him. After that incident Hamlin had a 35.4 average finish over the next five races. In 2010 Hamlin got back to early career form and swept the top ten. When you combine the way he’s been performing in the Chase with a track that hasn’t been traditionally friendly to him it’s the formula for the perfect storm. (Yahoo A Driver)

Brian Vickers – Vickers best finish of 2011 was at Dover in May. He finished 5th but he certainly wasn’t that good. His Yahoo race chart clears up that issue pretty clearly. His 15th place average running position makes it crystal clear he wasn’t that good. Since 2004 Vickers only has one other top ten finish at Dover. His fall Dover average finish is 24.3. (Yahoo B Driver)

C = Not Gonna Pick Him

Jamie McMurray – During his Ford days Jamie McMurray had some really good runs at Dover.  However he should be on your avoid list this week. McMurray has not finished in the top ten in the last six races at Dover. A good day for him would be a low teens finish. In four out of the last six Dover races McMurray has finished 20th or worse. (Yahoo B Driver)

David Ragan – Ragan has seven finishes of 24th or worse at Dover. Coincidentally his average finish is 24th. His best finish is 14th but that came in 2007. He ran good earlier this year like his Roush teammates but he made crucial pit road mistakes. (Yahoo C Driver)

Paul Menard – Last fall Menard had his best finish at Dover (7th). One good finish isn’t enough in my mind to get to high on Menard this week. This spring Menard wasn’t even close to competitive. He finished 24th and had a 25th place average running position. At Dover I would expect Menard to be a low twenties driver. His 21st place average finish is spot on. (Yahoo C Driver)

David Reutimann – Reutimann has one top five and one pole to his name at Dover. Beyond his one top five there’s nothing to justify a David Reutimann pick. All eight of his other finishes are outside the top fifteen. In May Reutimann finished 15th and had an average running position of 19th. (Yahoo B Driver) <– I LIKE IT