ADAM ANSELL’S TOP 25 FOR DOVER
1. Jimmie Johnson: Johnson recorded his second-straight Top 5 (fourth at Loudon) of the Chase, leading one lap in the process. In 23 starts at Dover International Speedway, Johnson has seven wins (2002 sweep, 2005, 2009 sweep, 2010, 2012), 11 Top 5s, 16 Top 10s and three poles with an Average Finish of 9.0. He finished 24th in the June race despite leading 143 laps. He’s led at least 43 laps in each of his last nine starts at Dover, including 289 in his June 2012 victory at the site. Since the inception of Loop Data in 2005, Johnson leads all competitors in Driver Rating (119.6), Average Running Position (7.1), Laps Led (2,066), Laps in the Top 15 (5,862), Fastest Laps Run (923) and Average Green Flag Speed (144.091 mph). If he’s going to make it six championships it starts this weekend, when Fantasy owners should expect the No. 48 to post a track-record eighth win at Dover.
2. Matt Kenseth: Kenseth won his second-straight race, leading 106 laps last weekend at Loudon. In 29 starts at Dover, Kenseth has two wins (2006, 2011), 13 Top 5s, 18 Top 10s and one pole with an Average Finish of 13.6. He posted his worst finish of 2013 in the June event (40th). He’s led at least two laps in four of his last five starts. Kenseth ranks second in DR (107.3), ARP (9.4) and Laps in the Top 15 (5,429). He now has three wins in his last five Cup starts. He’s arguably the man to beat for the real life championship and a good bet to assist many Fantasy owners to theirs. He’s an excellent start in all formats.
3. Kyle Busch: Busch finished second last weekend at New Hampshire, though he failed to lead a lap. In 17 DIS starts, Busch has two wins (2008, 2010), eight Top 5s and 11 Top 10s with an Average Finish of 13.3. He finished fourth and led 150 laps back in the June event. He led 302 laps in the September 2012 race. Busch ranks third in DR (105.6) and sixth in ARP (11.2). He’s finished behind JGR teammate Kenseth in both races, but is running very disciplined and patient races. He’s a major championship contender and needs to be started in all Tiered/Grouping formats.
4. Jeff Gordon: Gordon posted an ARP of 8.7 but finished 15th at NHMS. In 41 starts at Dover, Gordon has four wins (1995, 1996 sweep, 2001), 16 Top 5s, 23 Top 10s and four poles with an Average Finish of 11.8. He finished third in the June event. He’s led at least one lap in each of his last two starts. Gordon ranks eighth in DR (92.7) and ninth in ARP (12.8). He’s led at least 17 laps in each of his last four Cup starts. While he’s not really a contender for the title, he has been very hot. Fantasy owners should consider him a top value play in all formats.
5. Carl Edwards: Edwards posted a ninth-place finish a week ago at Loudon. In 18 starts at DIS, Edwards has one win (2007), eight Top 5s and 12 Top 10s with an Average Finish of 8.6. He started 18th and finished 14th back in June. He’s led at least 116 laps in two of his last five starts. Edwards ranks fourth in DR (102.9) and third in ARP (10.3). He leads all drivers in Quality Passes (469). Edwards is posting solid enough finishes that he should be in all provisional Tiered/Grouping format lineups.
6. Greg Biffle: The Biff jumped up to fifth in the Chase standings thanks to a third-place finish in New Hampshire. In 22 starts at Dover, Biffle has two wins (2005, 2008), six Top 5s, 10 Top 10s and one pole with an Average Finish of 12.5. He finished 19th back in June. Biffle ranks fifth in DR (101.4) and in ARP (10.7). While Biffle hasn’t been great at Dover his past eight starts (one Top 10), from 2007-09 he logged four straight Top 3s. Consider him another high quality value play in all formats.
7. Kevin Harvick: Harvick finished a disappointing and potentially championship-killing 20th at NHMS. In 25 starts at DIS, Harvick has three Top5s and 11 Top 10s with an Average Finish of 15.6. He finished eighth and led a single lap in the June race. Harvick ranks 14th in DR (83.1) and in ARP (16.0). He remains a value play in all formats as the drivers listed above are going to get most of the Top-Tier attention.
8. Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Junior led 17 laps and finished sixth at Loudon last weekend. In 27 DIS starts, Earnhardt Jr. has one win (2001), five Top 5s and nine Top 10s with an Average Finish of 17.0. He finished 10th in the Summer race. He’s led at least one lap in two of his last five four starts. Earnhardt Jr. ranks 17th in DR (78.7) and 20th in ARP (18.8). Last weekend was probably the ceiling for Junior’s Chase potential – a Top 10 with laps led. The good news is his floor is probably a Top 15. The No. 88 is a low-risk Tiered/Grouping format option.
9. Kurt Busch: Busch finished a middling 13th at NHMS a week ago. In 26 Dover starts, Busch has one win (2011), six Top 5s and eight Top 10s with an Average Finish of 18.1. He finished 12th and led eight laps in the June event. He led 90 laps in his October 2011 win. Busch ranks seventh in DR (93.6) and eighth in ARP (12.7). His streak of Top 5s made things fairly interesting, but last weekend was probably his last chance to make any Chase noise. Regardless, he remains a very solid Salary Cap format option.
10. Ryan Newman: Newman finished 16th and led two laps at Loudon last weekend. In 23 starts at Dover, Newman has three wins (2003 sweep, 2004), six Top 5s, 11 Top 10s and four poles with an Average Finish of 13.1. Newman posted his worst career DIS finish in the Summer race (36th-place DNF). Newman ranks 11th in DR (88.4) and seventh in ARP (12.7). He’s led at least one lap in each of his last four Cup starts and remains a solid middle-Tiered option.
11. Clint Bowyer: One Top 5 and eight Top 10s with an Average Finish of 12.7 in 15 starts at DIS. 91.1 DR.
12. Kasey Kahne: One Top 5 and five Top 10s with an Average Finish of 21.5 in 19 Dover starts. 80.2 DR.
13. Joey Logano: One Top 5 and five Top 10s with an Average Finish of 16.8 in nine starts at Dover. 76.2 DR.
14. Brad Keselowski: One win (2012) and two Top 5s with an Average Finish of 13.0 in seven appearances at DIS. 85.3 DR.
15. Martin Truex Jr.: One win (2007), six Top 10s and two poles with an Average Finish of 17.1 in 15 DIS starts. 89.9 DR.
16. Brian Vickers: 72.1 DR.
17. Denny Hamlin: 82.4.
18. Mark Martin:
19. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.:
20. Jamie McMurray:
21. Paul Menard
22. Marcos Ambrose
23. Aric Almirola
24. Juan Pablo Montoya
25. Jeff Burton
1. A.J. Allmendinger
2. Casey Mears
3. Ryan Truex
4. Reed Sorenson
5. David Ragan
2013 NASCAR.com Fantasy Live Lineup for Dover (Salary Cap)
Jimmie Johnson $28.25
Matt Kenseth $27.75
Kurt Busch $19.75
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. $13.25
A.J. Allmendinger $10.75