Las Vegas Kobalt Tools 400: Fantasy NASCAR “Front Runner” Picks
Kasey Kahne – I’m expecting a really good performance out of Kahne in the Kobalt Tools 400. In Red Bull and RPM equipment he was consistently around a 10th place driver at Vegas (10th place avg finish last four races). In Hendrick equipment the skies the limit. Look for lots of experts to jump on his bandwagon this week.
Mark Martin – Since the 2007 Las Vegas reconfiguration Mark Martin has finished in the top ten three times. He’s not in Hendrick cars anymore but David Reutimann had good races at Vegas in this car. In Reutimann’s last three races at Vegas he finished 13th, 13th and 4th. I think it’s pretty easy to see dark horse fantasy potential here this week.
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Joey Logano – In his first two starts at Las Vegas “Sliced Bread” finished 13th and 6th. Last year he finished 23rd but don’t overlook his 10th place average running position. When you combine two good finishes and a good run last year you know there’s potential. Look for Logano to be a top ten threat in the Kobalt Tools 400.
Brad Keselowski – Keselowski has never had success at Las Vegas. His three finishes are 38th, 26th and 26th. I’m a little concerned about Brad Keselowski this week. Former teammate Kurt Busch was unsuccessful here and he’s an excellent intermediate track driver. Another area of concern is that he wasn’t that impressive at intermediate tracks in the 2011 Chase.
Ryan Newman – Track position is important at Vegas and Newman always starts near the front. In the last three Vegas races he’s started 6th, 3rd and 8th. He also hasn’t done to badly on race day. In the last five races he’s averaged a 14th place finish having a 14.4 average running position. Last year he finished 5th. In the 2011 Chase on high speed intermediate tracks Newman averaged a 12.8 average finish.
Marcos Ambrose – Ambrose is always a quality sleeper pick at intermediate tracks. Last year at Las Vegas he finished 4th and had a 7th place average running position. Ambrose had good performances at tracks in the Chase last year so he certainly would be a quality driver to have in your lineup (some 2011 intermediate Chase performances = Texas 11th, Charlotte 5th, Kansas 9th).
Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Since 2007 only Carl Edwards has averaged more points per race then Junior. The best word to describe him from a fantasy NASCAR standpoint at Las Vegas is “consistent”. He hasn’t been dominant but he consistently finishes right around 10th. (Last five LVMS races = 8th, 16th, 10th, 2nd and 11th).
Jeff Burton – 2012 is Jeff Burton’s come back year and Las Vegas is a good track for his renaissance to continue (10.7 career average finish). Burton is a two time winner and like Harvick he’s in the elite group of drivers with multiple top five finishes on the new surface. Nothing went right for Burton last year and Las Vegas was no exception. In is three previous starts at Vegas prior to 2011 he finished 11th, 3rd and 5th.
Check out the full spectrum of my Las Vegas Fantasy Rankings
Top Tier Elite > Front Runners > Mid Pack Projections > Drivers who you won’t want to pick
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