Martin Truex Jr. – In six races at Las Vegas Truex has only finished in the top ten once. Fortunately for him that was in last years race (6th). Truex ended 2011 with good finishes on this track type (3rd at Homestead, 8th at Texas) but I think the risk level in picking him is high. Picking him is like messing with fire and I don’t do it.
Clint Bowyer – In the last three Las Vegas races Bowyer has finished 15th, 8th and 2nd. Reutimann had success in this equipment at Vegas so why can’t Bowyer? Since the track reconfiguration he’s averaged 27 points per race at Vegas. Equipment liability has often been an issue for MWR at this type of track so pick him at your own risk.
Paul Menard – Last year Paul Menard finished 12th in the #27 Menard’s car. I think if you pick him in the Kobalt Tools 400 you can expect another finish right around that range again. In last years race he had a 10th place average running position and he ran in the top fifteen for 92.9% of the race. 2012 has been horrendous for him so beware.
AJ Allmendinger – Allmendinger has finished better every year at Las Vegas. With a best performance of 19th last year there’s room for improvement. He did perform slightly better than his finish suggested (14th place avg. running position). AJ’s a good intermediate track driver and I would expect him to finish somewhere between 10th and 20th. One area of concern is the struggles Penske Racing as a whole has had at LVMS.
Juan Pablo Montoya – Montoya was a contender in this race last year. He finished 3rd and had a 5th place average running position. I believe he’s a capable intermediate track driver but I’m not sure EGR is up to the task. In his other Las Vegas races he’s finished 22nd, 19th, 31st, and 37th. Montoya had two top tens on intermediate tracks last year and coincidentally they were in the first two intermediate track races of 2011. That doesn’t make me very confident about picking him.
Aric Almirola – I think if the #43 car is tuned to his liking good things can happen for Almirola in the Kobalt Tools 400. When he replaced Kasey Kahne at RPM in 2010 he finished 4th in RPM equipment at Homestead. That performance wasn’t a fluke. If he looks good in practice don’t be afraid to put him in your fantasy lineup. If you’re wondering who looks good in practice make sure you read Jordan’s weekend fantasy NASCAR content.
Check out the full spectrum of my Las Vegas Fantasy Rankings
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