Jimmie Johnson Fantasy NASCAR
Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images

1. Jimmie Johnson – Jimmie Johnson will be a popular fantasy pick for the Kentucky Quaker State 400. Today in practice I thought the #48 car was the star of the show. They ran some of the quickest lap times of the day in race trim. In happy hour his 10 lap average ranked as the best in the session. Also I think Johnson is quite happy with his car and when that’s the case it’s game over for the competition. Johnson has a very good track record at Kentucky. In the inaugural race at this flat 1.5 mile track he finished 3rd. In last season’s race he had a very good car. He ran the third most fast laps, had a 4th place average running position, led 21 laps and finished 6th. He would’ve finished better but during a late restart his tires were dirty and he lost a ton of track position. This season on 1.5 mile tracks Johnson has been good but at the last venue of similar length visited (Charlotte) Chad Knaus told him that they were behind some teams at the moment. On 1.5’s this season he has 1 top five and three top tens. On Saturday night Johnson will start in third.

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2. Kyle Busch – In the combined Kentucky races nobody has been more impressive than Kyle Busch. He’s led the most laps by a healthy margin (+96 over Keselowski), has a 3.5 average running position and a 5.5 average finish. In the inaugural race he was absolutely dominant. In that event he started on the pole, led 125 laps, had a second place average running position, and earned the best driver rating by 25.8. Last year at this venue he had a good car but Brad Keselowski reeled him in multiple times over the course of a long run. In the event last season he led 118 laps, had a 5th place average running position and finished 10th. The race was far from trouble free for him. Around the midpoint of the event he hit the wall hard and broke a shock. Luckily for him he was saved by a caution that allowed his team time to fix the problem. This weekend at Kentucky the #18 team is in R&D mode. Their using a new car and a new setup. On Saturday night Kyle Busch will start in 4th.

Recommended Reading: Kentucky Qualifying, Kentucky Practice Speeds and Kentucky Practice Notes

3. Denny Hamlin – If you’re a fantasy racer who doesn’t like negative momentum Denny Hamlin probably makes you a little nervous. In three of the last four races he’s finished 23rd or worse. Sometimes though in fantasy racing it pays to have a short memory. This season Hamlin has participated in two races on 1.5 mile tracks. At Charlotte he was very impressive. He finished 4th and had the 4th best driver rating. At Las Vegas he had a good car but finished 15th due to a pit penalty. Last year at Kentucky Hamlin had one of the best cars. He finished 3rd, had a 3rd place average running position, led 58 laps and earned the 2nd best driver rating. When darkness set in the #11 car really came to life. On Saturday night Hamlin will start in 6th.

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