Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR
Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR

Ryan Newman – The Rocketman has been less than stellar this season. When you combine that with his Las Vegas performance (before he blew up, missed a shift) then he’s looking like a somewhat risky pick. Last year at Auto Club Newman was good. He finished 7th and had a 7th place average running position. In the race Newman was happy with his car. He said it was consistent and the longer a run went the better it felt. Prior to last season’s race Newman had back to back 5th place finishes. I don’t think Newman is liking the Gen 6 car (better avoid interviews) and he should be approached with caution. (Yahoo! B Driver)

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Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – In the Auto Club 400 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will have good fantasy potential. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if he finishes in the top ten. Fords have always fared well here. The best gauge we have for Stenhouse Jr.’s fantasy potential is his Las Vegas performance. In that race he finished in 18th but ran well early. Last year in the Nationwide Series at California Stenhouse Jr. finished second to Joey Logano. (Yahoo! C Driver) <– I LIKE IT

Paul Menard – Auto Club Speedway ranks as one of Menard’s worst tracks. He has a 24.7 average finish and has never had a result in the top fifteen. Last season at Fontana Menard finished one lap down in 19th. A few weeks ago at Las Vegas Menard had a good performance. He finished 10th and ran in the top fifteen in 94% of the laps run. That provides reason for optimism despite his poor track record. Last season at high speed intermediate tracks Menard scored the 15th most points and had a 15.5 average finish. (Yahoo! B Driver)

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