Martin Truex Jr Texas
Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images

Martin Truex Jr. – Last year at Kansas Martin Truex Jr. finished 2nd twice. In the spring race he started in 6th, led 173 laps (65% percent of the race) but was passed by Hamlin late. That finish is largely irrelevant due to the resurfacing though. In the fall race as I earlier mentioned Truex Jr. once again finished 2nd. His car was very strong in the event and he was able to pass cars in traffic. He had to because during a pit cycle he just pitted from the top five and then Aric Almirola brought out the caution and this trapped him back in the high twenties. From there he had to earn his second place finish the hard way. Martin Truex Jr. has been one of the best 1.5 mile intermediate track drivers recently and for that reason you should strongly consider picking him.(Yahoo! B Driver)

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Aric Almirola – Aric Almirola had the best car in my eyes last fall. If you need a sleeper I think he’s the driver to pick. Last fall he started in 5th but by lap #7 he was in the lead. Just 31 laps into the event Almirola built up a 5 second lead! Then in the middle of a pit cycle on lap #122 he was leading but had a blown tire and got into the wall. This brought out a caution that changed the complexion of the race. He battled back from that incident though and with 95 laps to go he was battling Mark Martin for the lead. Unfortunately trouble found him again and he spun on his own. Then later in the race with #54 laps to go he was running in 13th but his throttle hung and he got into the wall hard. There was no bouncing back from that incident. At Texas Almirola looked really good which is an encouraging sign for the STP 400. (Yahoo! B Driver)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Last fall Dale Earnhardt Jr. missed the Kansas race due to a concussion (second of the season). I wouldn’t be concerned that he missed the race though. Prior to the event he participated in testing at Kansas and learned the nuances of the track. Unfortunately during testing he got into the wall hard and got his first concussion of the 2012 season. In October Regan Smith was his replacement driver. Smith didn’t have a good qualifying effort and started deep in the field. He overcame that problem and drove the #88 up to a 7th place finish. What I like about Dale Earnhardt Jr. is how strong he’s been on intermediate tracks this year and last year (ran well at Texas before problems). For that reason alone he ranks as an attractive fantasy racing option for the STP 400. One concern I have about Dale Earnhardt Jr. is that momentum (FRCS External link) matters in fantasy racing and since he became the points leader at Auto Club Speedway he’s found problems every race since. (Yahoo! B Driver)

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