FOX Fantasy Picks: FedEx 400 at Dover International Speedway
Welcome to Week 13 of the FOX Fantasy Auto Racing season! This is the final race for the FOX broadcast team, but it also marks the end of the first of the three-part fantasy season.
After this weekend's race at Dover International Speedway, the picks will reset for the next 13 races and you can use each driver at most four times. So, hopefully you've planned out your season and have some of the best drivers left for Sunday's race at Dover.
Just like each week, these are simply suggestions, so pick your team wisely and best of luck. If you haven't done so yet, be sure to sign up for FOX Fantasy Auto Racing, create your team and start playing today!
Captain: Jimmie Johnson
Dover stats: 8 wins; 12 top 5s; 17 top 10s; Average finish: 8.7
If you thought Jimmie Johnson was good at Charlotte Motor Speedway, wait until you see his stats for the Monster Mile. Johnson leads all drivers with eight victories at Dover, and is always a threat when the series heads to the one-mile concrete oval.
In the last 20 races at Dover, Johnson's worst finish is 32nd (June 2004) and he has finished outside the top 13 just six times. In addition, the No. 48 Chevrolet has led 143 laps or more in nine of the last 10 races.
Johnson proved last week in the Coca-Cola 600 that there is nothing wrong with the six-time champion and his Chad Knaus team. Now that they have found Victory Lane, the No. 48 team will be a threat for the win week-in and week-out, starting with Sunday's 400-miler at Dover.
Driver #2: Matt Kenseth
Dover stats: 2 wins; 13 top 5s; 19 top 10s; Average finish: 13.4
While Jimmie Johnson broke into Victory Lane last weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Matt Kenseth and his No. 20 are just as hungry to earn their first win of the season. That first victory may very well come Sunday at Dover.
Much like Johnson, Kenseth is an ace at Dover, although the win totals certainly do not match up. However, Kenseth has more top fives and top 10s than Johnson.
The poor finishes of 35th in Sept. 2012 and 40th in June 2013 are not the norm for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver. Kenseth has seven finishes of fourth or better in the last 12 Dover races, including a win in May 2011.
While Johnson joined the group of Sprint Cup winners last weekend, Kenseth could very easily join that group this Sunday. If not, he should still produce a solid fantasy day.
Driver #3: Clint Bowyer
Dover stats: 0 wins. 1 top 5; 9 top 10s; Average finish: 12.6
Although he has yet to record a Dover win, Clint Bowyer has always been strong at the Monster Mile. Bowyer has six consecutive top 10 finishes at Dover, with Richard Childress Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing.
This has been an up-and-down kind of year for Bowyer and his Brian Pattie-led team, but it would be no surprise if the No. 15 Toyota were a contender for the win on Sunday.
Driver #4: Ryan Newman
Dover stats: 3 wins; 6 top 5s; 12 top 10s; Average finish: 12.9
Once a dominant force at Dover, Ryan Newman has struggled a bit over the past few races at the Monster Mile. After scoring three wins from 2003 to 2004, Newman's Dover stats fell off.
In the last six Dover races, Newman has finished 15th or worse in five events, posting his first top 10 since 2010 last during last September's Chase race.
However, Newman was fast in Friday's opening practice session, posting the fourth-fastest time.
Newman has been lackluster in his first year with Richard Childress Racing, but Sunday's race could be the breakthrough weekend he and crew chief Luke Lambert need to jump start the season.
Driver #5: Kyle Larson
Dover stats: Making Sprint Cup Series debut
Rookie Kyle Larson may not have a Sprint Cup Series start at Dover, but he should be a solid fantasy pick for Sunday's race.
The Chip Ganassi Racing driver has two NASCAR Nationwide starts at the Monster Mile, a 10th in his debut and a runner-up finish to Joey Logano last Sept.
Larson has shown already this year that his learning curve is very short, so it would come as no surprise to see the No. 42 Chevrolet racing up front for much of the day on Sunday.
Again, this is the final weekend of the first 13-race block of the season. Use up the drivers you want this weekend, because everything will reset for the next 13-race stretch.
As always, these are simply suggestions, so do your research, pick wisely, and best of luck. If you put more faith in the Las Vegas odds, check out this week's "Let it Ride" segment from NASCAR Race Hub.