Fantasy NASCAR Picks for Sprint Cup Series at Dover

Chad Robb@@MrFantasyNASCARCorrespondent ISeptember 23, 2013

Jun 2, 2013; Dover, DE, USA; A view of the track during the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will head to Dover, Del., for the AAA 400 on Sunday.

The race in June at Dover was dominated by Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson. Busch started third and led 150 laps before finishing fourth. Johnson started 24th and raced his way to the front to lead 143 laps. Tony Stewart won the race, so there will not be a repeat winner this week.

Dover is often referred to as “Bristol on steroids.” The high-banked race track makes Dover race like a Super Speedway. The 13 Chase drivers will be the favorites to dominate the race Sunday afternoon.

Here are my top 25 picks and stats from the NASCAR Media Center based upon the driver’s career statistics at the Dover. If your fantasy team no longer has any allocations with my selections for Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing, simply select the next driver on the list for your team this week.

Racing for the Win

1. Kyle Busch has been great at Dover in his career. He has two wins, eight top-five finishes and 11 top-10 finishes in his 17 career starts at the race track. In the June race at Dover, he started third and finished fourth, while leading 150 of the 400 laps. Busch is my pick to visit Victory Lane on Sunday.

2. Jimmie Johnson is another driver who dominates at Dover. Johnson has a series-best 127.7 driver rating in the last five races at the race track. He needs a good race Sunday in order to climb to the top of the standings. He will just miss out winning his fifth race of the season.

3. Matt Kenseth looked like one of the drivers to beat in the June race at Dover. He started fourth and finished 40th due to engine failure. Toyota is further along with their engine program than they were in June. Look for Kenseth to finish inside the top five this week.

4. Jeff Gordon is one of the best drivers at Dover. He has four wins, 16 top-five finishes, 23 top-10 finishes and four poles in his 41 career starts at the race track. He will add another top-five finish to his resume Sunday.

5. Clint Bowyer has a history of running well at Dover. In June, he started 15th and finished sixth. Bowyer has the fifth-best driver rating over the last five races at the race track. He could be a surprise winner this week, but a top-five finish is more likely.

6. Brad Keselowski won this race last year and could compete for the win again Sunday. In the June race, Keselowski started eighth and finished fifth. He will just miss out on a top-five finish. 

7. Kevin Harvick is better in the summer race at Dover than he is in the fall race, but that does not mean he will not finish in the top 10. Harvick has the fourth-best driver rating at Dover. He will run inside the top 10 again this week.

8. Kasey Kahne usually races well at Dover, but he has a hard time finishing the races up front. In the last two races at the race track, Kahne has started up front and finished outside the top 10. Kahne and crew chief Kenny Francis will find a way to finish in the top 10 this week.

9. Carl Edwards has been a top-10 machine at Dover. In his career, his average starting position at the race track is 15th and his average finishing position is eighth. Edwards will easily finish inside the top 10 this week.

10. Brian Vickers has helped out fantasy NASCAR players by running well in the No. 55 car and providing another option for fantasy teams. Vickers has not competed in a race at Dover since 2011. That year he finished both races in the top 15. This week he will finish in the top 10. 

Don’t Overlook

11. Joey Logano has a streak of three top-10 finishes at Dover. In June, he started inside the top 10 and finished seventh. He will just miss out on extending his streak to four consecutive top-10 finishes at Dover.

12. Mark Martin has competed in 54 races at Dover. His average starting position is 12th and his average finishing position is 12th. He is a good bet to finish near 12th again this week.

13. Martin Truex Jr. started the June race on the front row, but had engine problems and finished 38th. He will bounce back this week with a top-15 finish.

14. Kurt Busch ran in the top 15 for most of the race in June. He started the race in the 13th position and finished in the 12th position. Look for the same type of performance from Busch on Sunday.

15. Juan Pablo Montoya is my sleeper pick this week. In June, Montoya started 14th and finished second. It was his second top-five finish at the race track. Montoya should easily finish inside the top 15, but do not be surprised to see him inside the top 10.

16. Denny Hamlin is very good at Dover, but this is not been a good year for Hamlin. He won the pole for the last two races at Dover and could make it three in a row. In June, he started first and finished 34th. He will perform better Sunday. 

17. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is not a great pick this week. He could surprise his fans and finish in the top 10, but he is more likely to finish in the top 20. Earnhardt has only nine top-10 finishes in his 27 career starts at Dover.

18. Jeff Burton always finishes higher than he qualifies at Dover. In June, he started 29th and finished 11th. If Burton qualifies in the top 10, he would be a great sleeper pick for your team.

19. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has two starts at Dover in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He finished both races in the top 20. He will make it three in a row Sunday. 

20. Aric Almirola has started three races at Dover and has never finished outside the top 20. He will finish inside the top 20 again this week.

Trying to Stay on Lead Lap

21. Greg Biffle is not very good at short race tracks. He has only one finish inside the top 15 in his last six races at Dover. Expect Biffle to finish just inside the top 20 Sunday.

22. Ryan Newman is a better selection at other race tracks. In the last five races at Dover, Newman has only one top-20 finish. He will finish outside the top 20 Sunday.

23. A.J. Allmendinger will be in the No. 47 car this week. He missed the June race at Dover, but he started 23rd and finished 16th in 2012. Allmendinger should easily finish inside the top 25 this week.

24. Marcos Ambrose is another driver who could surprise fans Sunday. He has finished four of his 10 races at Dover in the top 15. You could gamble with Ambrose this week, but the smarter strategy is to play it safe and choose another driver this week.

25. Paul Menard is a much better on the 1.5-mile race tracks than he is at race tracks like Dover. Save Menard for next week at Kansas.

Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing Picks

Group A: Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth

Group B: Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Brian Vickers, Mark Martin

Group C: A.J. Allmendinger, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Fantasy Live Picks

Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ryan Truex

If you need any further advice with your team, look for me on Twitter @MrFantasyNASCAR

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