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Fantasy

Kevin Harvick Is A Lock For A Top-Five Finish At Loudon


Kevin Harvick

ADAM ANSELL’S TOP 25 FOR LOUDON

1.  Jimmie Johnson: Johnson won his fourth race of 2013, leading 94 of 161 laps in a dominating performance at Daytona. In 22 starts at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Johnson has three wins (2003 sweep, 2010), eight Top 5s and 15 Top 10s with an Average Finish of 9.5. He’s led at least one lap in eight of his last nine starts. Since the inception of Loop Data in 2005, Johnson ranks third in Driver Rating (105.8) and in Average Running Position (9.7). He holds an ARP of 6.6 on the season and is perhaps the most dominant he’s looked in his entire career. There’s no safer start with higher upside in all formats right now than the No. 48.

2.  Clint Bowyer: Despite an ARP of 22.9, Bowyer finished fourth at Daytona, giving him three-straight Top 5s. In 14 starts at Loudon, Bowyer has two wins (2007, 2010), four Top 5s, six Top 10s and one pole with an Average Finish of 15.1. He’s led at least one lap in four of his last five starts. Bowyer ranks fifth in DR (97.2) and sixth in ARP (12.0). He ranks second in Laps Led (475). He’s been one of the most consistent drivers all season and is due for a win. Fantasy owners should continue to ride his hot streak, especially in Tiered/Grouping formats.

3.  Kurt Busch: Busch posted his third-straight Top 10 finish (sixth at Daytona), jumping up to ninth in the Cup standings. In 24 starts at New Hampshire, Busch has three wins (2004 sweep, 2008), seven Top 5s and 11 Top 10s with an Average Finish of 14.8. He’s led at least one lap in six of his last eight starts. Busch ranks 11th in DR (89.6) and 10th in ARP (13.7). Fantasy owners are advised to add the No. 78 driver in Salary Cap leagues while his price remains reasonable.

4.  Kasey Kahne: Despite a 32nd-place finish at Daytona, Kahne posted a DR of 95.4 and ARP of 6.9, which demonstrates he ran into some bad luck. In 18 NHMS starts, Kahne has one win (2012), three Top 5s and eight Top 10s with an Average Finish of 16.2. He’s led at least one lap in each of his last four starts. Kahne ranks ninth in DR (91.8) and 15th in ARP (14.7). Kahne won in Fall 2012 race at Loudon and is a very good value play in Tiered/Grouping formats.

5.  Kevin Harvick: Harvick finished third at Daytona, bouncing back from two horrific 2013 40th-place-or-worse finishes at restrictor-plate tracks. In 24 Loudon starts, Harvick has one win (2006), five Top 5s, 12 Top 10s and one pole with an Average Finish of 13.7. He led 196 laps in his Fall victory at the site. Harvick ranks eighth in DR (92.8) and in ARP (12.7). No one has been more consistent than the No. 29, finishing worse than 14th just twice (listed above) this season. He’s as safe a start as there is in Fantasy NASCAR.

6.  Tony Stewart: Stewart returned to the Top 5 last weekend, finishing second at Daytona. In 28 starts at NHMS, Stewart has three wins (2000, 2005, 2011), 14 Top 5s, 17 Top 10s and one pole with an Average Finish of 11.4. He’s led at least one lap in 10 of his last 11 starts. Stewart leads all competitors in DR (111.7) and Laps Led (887). He ranks second in ARP (9.2). He’s only led 27 laps all season and is clearly grinding his way through races, but the No. 14 knows how to get by when he’s not at his best. Fantasy owners should consider Smoke a high-risk-high-reward play for Loudon.

7.  Kyle Busch: Busch started from the pole and led 29 laps but ultimately finished 12th at Daytona. In 16 starts at Loudon, Busch has one win (2006), four Top 5s, six Top 10s and one pole with an Average Finish of 16.7. He’s led at least 48 laps in each of his last two starts. Busch ranks 12th in DR (89.6) and 16th in ARP (15.0). Aside from some bad luck at Sonoma (35th) he’s been extremely consistent since early June and can be trusted in Tiered/Grouping formats.

8.  Jeff Gordon: Gordon took some damage and ended up finishing 34th at Daytona. In 36 New Hampshire starts, Gordon has three wins (1995, 1997, 1998), 16 Top 5s, 21 Top 10s and four poles with an Average Finish of 10.5. He’s led at least two laps in each of his last five starts. Gordon ranks second in DR (109.9). He leads all drivers in ARP (7.2), Laps in the Top 15 (4,333), Fastest Laps Run (410), Average Green Flag Speed (124.796 mph) and Quality Passes (562). He’s 12-points out of a Chase spot and desperately needs a win to feel safe about making the playoffs. Despite the excellent Loop Data stats, consider him high-risk high-reward.

9.  Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Junior finished eighth at Daytona, posting a season-high 198 Quality Passes. In 27 starts at NHMS, Earnhardt Jr. has seven Top 5s and 11 Tops 10s with an Average Finish of 16.1. He’s led at least two laps in nine of his starts. Earnhardt Jr. ranks sixth in DR (96.9) and fifth in ARP (11.9). He is what he is at this point, a consistent finisher with limited upside in terms of win potential and laps led potential. He’s a perfect play for Fantasy owners nursing a lead in their leagues.

10.  Ryan Newman: Newman finished 10th at Daytona despite an ARP of 30.6. In 22 starts at Loudon, Newman has three wins (2002, 2005, 2011), six Top 5s, 15 Top 10s and six poles with an Average Finish of 12.7. He’s led at least 66 laps in each of his three wins. Newman ranks seventh in DR (94.9) and in ARP (12.6). He’s logged four Top 15s in his last five Cup starts and will provide solid value in Tiered/Grouping formats.

11.  Denny Hamlin: Two wins (2007, 2012), seven Top 5s and 10 Top 10s with an Average Finish of 7.9 in 14 Loudon starts. 104.8 DR.

12.  Brad Keselowski: Two Top 5s, four Top 10s and one pole with an Average Finish of 14.0 in seven NHMS starts. 81.4 DR.

13.  Matt Kenseth: Five Top 5s and 12 Top 10s with an Average Finish of 14.0 in 14 New Hampshire appearances. 78.6 DR.

14.  Carl Edwards: Two Top 5s and three Top 10s with an Average Finish of 14.5 in 17 starts at the site. 86.3 DR.

15.  Joey Logano: One win (2009), two Top 5s and four Top 10s with an Average Finish of 15.3 in nine starts at NHMS. 72.9 DR.

16.  Martin Truex Jr.: 86.5 DR.

17.  Jamie McMurray: 64.1.

18.  Greg Biffle: 87.5.

19.  Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: DR N/A.

20.  Paul Menard: 57.2.

21.  Brian Vickers

22.  Jeff Burton

23.  Aric Almirola

24.  Marcos Ambrose

25.  Juan Pablo Montoya

Value Village

1.  A.J. Allmendinger: One Top 10 and three Top 15s in his last four starts at Loudon.

2.  Casey Mears: Coming off a season-best ninth-place finish at Daytona. Posted back-to-back to Top 10s at NHMS in 2006-07.

3.  David Ragan: Finished seventh with one lap led in the September 2011 race at Loudon.

2013 NASCAR.com Fantasy Live Lineup for Loudon (Salary Cap)

Jimmie Johnson        $27.75
Clint Bowyer               $27.00
Kurt Busch                  $19.75
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  $13.25
A.J. Allmendinger    $ 9.50

Total: $97.25

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