1) Kevin Harvick Homestead-Miami Fantasy NASCAR Spin – Kevin Harvick will be a good fantasy NASCAR pick to win the Homestead Ford EcoBoost 400. He always runs well at Homestead and for him to have a bad performance it would be an outlier and shouldn’t be expected. At Homestead Harvick has been the model of consistency and on the current track configuration he’s only once finished outside the top ten. The main attribute I like about Kevin Harvick is how well he’s performed at 1.5 mile tracks this season. In the last five races at tracks of this length he has the best driver rating, led the most laps, has the best average running position (3.8) and a 7.8 average finish. In the two most recent races at 1.5 mile tracks he’s had results of 1st and 2nd. In practice Kevin Harvick looked really good and had a lot of speed. In the respective practice sessions on Saturday his ten lap averages ranked as the 4th and 7th best.
Starting Position – 5th
Track History – Homestead has been a great track for Kevin Harvick and he’s been very strong here. Currently he has six straight top tens. In this stretch he has the 4th best driver rating and a 5.7 average finish. Last year at Homestead Kevin Harvick didn’t have an incident free race (tires were on backwards around the midpoint) but he rebounded finishing 10th. If he didn’t have that issue he probably could’ve potentially finished in the top five. In 2012 he finished 8th. His next four most recent Homestead results are 8th, 3rd, 3rd and 2nd.
Similar Track Performances – This season at 1.5 mile tracks Kevin Harvick has arguably been the strongest performer. He doesn’t have all the results to show for it but he does have the best driver rating. His last two 1.5 mile track results are finishes of 1st and 2nd.
Momentum – Kevin Harvick has lots of momentum heading into the season finale fresh off his clutch performance at Phoenix. Since Charlotte minus Martinsville he has a 3.3 average finish. In the Chase Kevin Harvick has the best driver rating.
Chassis Selection – On Sunday Kevin Harvick will be using a chassis he tested with at Homestead last month. This chassis also seen track time at Auto Club Speedway (fast but had multiple tire problems), the All-Star Race (had the best car but had a slow final pit stop), Kentucky (finished 7th) and Bristol (very strong but got a pit road penalty).
NASCAR Odds To Win – 9/2
Thanks for visiting ifantasyrace.com this season and making it the way you fantasy race. Also I would like to note ifantasyrace.com doesn’t go dormant in the off-season. After the checkered flag waves at Homestead preparations and content for the 2015 season will commence.
2) Jeff Gordon Homestead-Miami Fantasy NASCAR Spin – Look for Jeff Gordon to be very competitive at Homestead and be one of the drivers to beat. In the season finale he’s has no other agenda than winning. That could prove to be a big advantage because he won’t have any teammates who he’ll have to play second fiddle to. Homestead has a worn out surface and tire wear is high. That’s a big plus for Gordon because it will play into his strength. At tracks this season where that’s been the case he’s been one of the best performers. Another strength of Gordon’s this season is being good over long runs. At Homestead you can always count on a long run because it’s not a high-attrition venue. At Homestead Jeff Gordon has been an elite performer and has only finished lower than 11th once since 2007. One attribute I really like about Jeff Gordon this week is the speed he’s shown at high-speed intermediate tracks this season. In Happy Hour Jeff Gordon had the 21st best ten lap average. I wouldn’t be overly concerned about that because it’s likely tied to the set of tires he was using.
Starting Position – 1st
Track History – At Homestead Jeff Gordon has been one of the most consistent performers. Since the track was reconfigured he’s only finished lower than 11th twice and one of those bad results is due to an engine failure. Since 2007 minus his 2010 engine failure he has the 3rd best driver rating, a 5.2 average finish and an 8.8 average running position. Last season at Homestead Jeff Gordon had a good performance. He earned the 8th best driver rating, had an 8th place average running position and finished 11th. In 2012 Jeff Gordon had enough fuel to go the distance and emerged victorious in the season finale. In that race he was top five good but if it didn’t come down to fuel mileage there was no chance he was going to win. In that event he started in 15th, had a 7th place average running position and earned the 4th best driver rating. In 2011 Jeff Gordon finished 5th. In the three Homestead races prior to his 2010 engine failure he had results of 6th, 4th and 4th.
Similar Track Performances – This season at 1.5 mile tracks minus Texas #2 where he was wrecked late he has a 6.7 average finish.
Momentum – It’s hard to say Jeff Gordon has momentum. He hasn’t had good back to back races in the Chase. Every other race in the playoffs he’s finished in the top 2 or poorly. In his non-first or second place weeks his average finish is 23.75. Last week he finished 2nd so if this trend holds true be wary of picking him.
Chassis Selection – On Sunday Jeff Gordon will be driving a brand new chassis.
NASCAR Odds To Win – 5/1
Further Recommended Reading – Post Practice Predictions, 10 Lap Average Speed Cheat Sheet, Happy Hour 10 Lap Averages, Happy Hour Practice Notes, Practice #2 Speeds, Practice #2 Notes, PROS Rankings, Scouting Report, Starting Lineup, Pit Stall Selections
3) Brad Keselowski Homestead-Miami Fantasy NASCAR Spin – Although he’s not contending for the championship he prepared like he would’ve. He used one of his allocated tests here and he’s using his Chicagoland chassis which went to victory lane. At Homestead look for Brad Keselowski to be a team player and do whatever is needed to help Joey Logano win the championship. Penske Racing isn’t above giving out team orders. This could potentially hurt fantasy racers especially if for whatever reason he suddenly has to drop back in the running order. It’s certainly not unfathomable. Penske Racing did that type of funny business at Richmond in 2013. The main attribute fantasy racers have to like about Keselowski this week is how strong he’s been at 1.5 mile tracks this year. He’s been fast at every one of these venues and has won nearly a third of the races. In both practices on Saturday Keselowski has shown good speed. In Happy Hour his ten lap average ranked as the 5th best.
Starting Position – 4th
Track History – Homestead hasn’t been a place of great success for Keselowski. He has a 17.0 average result and has only finished in the top ten once. Fortunately his lone top ten came in last season’s race. In 2013 Keselowski started in 4th, just like this year. In that event he earned the 4th best driver rating, had a 6th place average running position, finished 6th and led 9 laps. In 2013 he drove an ultra-conservative race and he finished 15th. In terms of speed in that event he easily had top ten potential. In 2011 Keselowski wasn’t bad at Homestead. His 20th place result is misleading. He had a 9th place average running position and led 11 laps. His downfall was his teams pit strategy at the end.
Similar Track Performances – This season at 1.5 mile tracks Brad Keselowski has been very strong and has won three races. As long as he has an incident free race he’s been a lock for a good result. On this track type minus Atlanta and Kansas #2 he has the best driver rating, a 6.8 average running position and a 7.5 average finish.
Momentum – In three of the last four Chase races Keselowski has finished in the top 3.
Chassis Selection – On Sunday Brad Keselowski will be using his race winning Chicagoland chassis. This chassis was new for that event.
NASCAR Odds To Win – 7/1