NASCAR Fantasy: Who's Hot at Lowes Motor Speedway

Ben BombergerSenior Writer IMay 19, 2009

CONCORD, NC - MAY 16:  Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 16, 2009 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Get your Fantasy notebooks out NASCAR Nation. This weekend, the Sprint Cup Series remains in Charlotte for the Coca-Cola 600.

While Jimmie Johnson and the Lowe's Chevy team dominated this track between 2003 and 2005, they have not visited Victory Lane since.

Will 2009 be the year that Johnson and Crew Chief Chad Knaus redeem "their house?" Or will teammate Jeff Gordon pad his points lead with win No. 6 at the track just outside of Charlotte?

How about Kasey Kahne, who dominated the field last year, one week after winning the Sprint All-Star Race.

And then there is Tony Stewart, who is coming off his first win as an owner-driver, but still hungry for that first points paying win.

Here is a look at the Driver Ratings for Lowe's Motor Speedway.

 

Driver Rating at Lowe’s Motor Speedway 

Jimmie Johnson            117.1

Kyle Busch                   100.4

Kasey Kahne                 97.6

Mark Martin                   92.1

Jeff Burton                     91.8

Greg Biffle                     90.3

Carl Edwards                 89.0

Dale Earnhardt Jr.          88.6

Brian Vickers                 87.5

Jeff Gordon                    85.9

Note: Driver Rating compiled from 2005-2008 races (8 total) at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

If that isn't enough to help you select your Fantasy roster for this weekend's event. Here are a few notable drivers and their statistics at LMS:

Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford)
• Two top fives, five top 10s
• Average finish of 18.3
• Average Running Position of 16.5, seventh-best
• Driver Rating of 90.3, sixth-best
• Average Green Flag Speed of 175.647 mph, third-fastest
• 1,824 Laps in the Top 15 (62.0%), fifth-most

 

Jeff Burton (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet)
• Three wins, eight top fives, 15 top 10s
• Average finish of 14.4
• Average Running Position of 13.8, fifth-best
• Driver Rating of 91.8, fifth-best
• 1,865 Laps in the Top 15 (63.4 percent), fourth-most
• 313 Quality Passes, fourth-most

 

Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M's Toyota)
• Three top fives, four top 10s; one pole
• Average finish of 21.4
• Average Running Position of 12.2, third-best
• Driver Rating of 100.4, second-best
• 183 Fastest Laps Run, third-most
• 495 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most
• Average Green Flag Speed of 176.233 mph, second-fastest
• 2,210 Laps in the Top 15 (75.1 percent), third-most
• 400 Quality Passes, second-most

 

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 AMP Energy Drink/National Guard Chevrolet)
• Five top fives, nine top 10s; one pole
• Average finish of 17.3
• Average Running Position of 17.7, 12th-best
• Driver Rating of 88.6, eighth-best
• 111 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most
• 508 Green Flag Passes, seventh-most
• Average Green Flag Speed of 175.566 mph, fifth-fastest
• 1,597 Laps in the Top 15 (54.3 percent), seventh-most
• 272 Quality Passes, sixth-most

 

Carl Edwards (No. 99 Aflac Ford)
• Three top fives, six top 10s
• Average finish of 10.8
• Average Running Position of 16.8, eighth-best
• Driver Rating of 89.0, seventh-best
• 61 Fastest Laps Run, 13th-most
• Series-high 604 Green Flag Passes
• 1,518 Laps in the Top 15 (51.6 percent), 10th-most
• 271 Quality Passes, seventh-most

 

Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet)
• Five wins, 15 top fives, 18 top 10s; seven poles
• Average finish of 16.1
• Driver Rating of 85.9, 10th-best
• 122 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most
• Average Green Flag Speed of 175.464 mph, eighth-fastest
• 1,416 Laps in the Top 15 (48.1 percent), 12th-most
• 234 Quality Passes, 10th-most

 

Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet)
• Five wins, eight top fives, 12 top 10s; two poles
• Average finish of 8.9
• Series-best Average Running Position of 7.2
• Series-best Driver Rating of 117.1
• Series-high 279 Fastest Laps Run
• 540 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most
• Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 176.608 mph
• Series-high 2,640 Laps in the Top 15 (89.8 percent)
• Series-high 425 Quality Passes

 

Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge)
• Three wins, four top fives, five top 10s
• Average finish of 12.9
• Average Running Position of 12.9, fourth-best
• Driver Rating of 97.6, third-best
• 238 Fastest Laps Run, second-most
• 591 Green Flag Passes, third-most
• Average Green Flag Speed of 175.041 mph, 12th-fastest
• 1,763 Laps in the Top 15 (59.9 percent), sixth-most
• 329 Quality Passes, third-most

 

Mark Martin (No. 5 Cheez-It/CARQUEST Chevrolet)
• Four wins, 17 top fives, 22 top 10s; two poles
• Average finish of 15.9
• Average Running Position of 11.9, second-best
• Driver Rating of 92.1, fourth-best
• Average Green Flag Speed of 175.539 mph, sixth-fastest
• 2,255 Laps in the Top 15 (76.7 percent), second-most
• 308 Quality Passes, fifth-most

 

Tony Stewart (No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet)
• One win, six top fives, 11 top 10s
• Average finish of 13.1
• Average Running Position of 17.0, 10th-best
• Driver Rating of 84.0, 11th-best
• 135 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most
• 476 Green Flag Passes, 13th-most
• Average Green Flag Speed of 175.573 mph, fourth-fastest
• 1,531 Laps in the Top 15 (52.1 percent), eighth-most

My Take

As I ponder my decision for the upcoming weekend's Creature vs. Creature picks, I'm torn between two drivers: Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson.

Johnson dominated this track from 2003-05, winning five out of six events. He has, however, not visited Victory Lane since then.

That could be seen as a positive or a negative. On one side, he and Team 48 are hungry for a win at the track that bears the name of their primary sponsor.

On the other side, could it mean that the competition has caught up with Johnson and surpassed him at Team 48's "house?"

My other driver I'm considering this weekend is Stewart. After an impressive start to the season and a win in the All-Star Race, it's hard to vote against this guy right now.

Stewart is on a mission to become the first owner-driver to wins a points paying event since 1998 and first owner-driver to lead the points since 1992.

Other drivers in consideration include: Gordon (hard to vote against this guy right now) and Kyle Busch (who can win in a cardboard box with spiked wheels driving in the sand.)

Check out our Creature vs. Creature picks on Friday to see who me—and our other six writers—select for the Coca-Cola 600.