Fantasy NASCAR: Matt Kenseth showing championship form
By Steve T. Gorches 314-3797 or email@example.com July 4, 2013 7:16PM
Coke Zero 400 - Practice
The annual Post-Tribune Fantasy NASCAR contest has almost completed a sixth season. Each week readers pick five drivers and points are based on the same system NASCAR uses in its standings. Lineup entries can be submitted via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (219-314-3797). Entries can also be texted to that cell number. No faxes, please. With your entries, please include your name, hometown and a contact number. First and second place each week will be entered into a drawing in two weeks for two tickets to the Brickyard 400.
Top 10 readers this week
Sheila Smith 195
Wayne Cates 192
Sonja Ison 189
Bob Curtis 185
Gary Hartkorn 182
Chuck Green Sr. 180
Kyra Dockter 180
RuthAnne Slamka 180
Randy Glans 180
Sam Conley 179
Steve T. Gorches picks
KENTUCKY: Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Martin Truex Jr., Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr.; Total points: 153; DAYTONA: Carl Edwards, David Gilliland, Juan Montoya, Michael Waltrip, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Updated: August 6, 2013 6:30AM
Who knew Matt Kenseth could be this dominant? Granted, he’s only fifth in the NASCAR points standings so far this season, but that doesn’t matter once the Chase starts as long as he’s in.
What does matter is those four victories he’s accumulated — the latest coming Sunday at Kentucky after the race was delayed a day due to weather.
Kenseth did win the Sprint Cup title back in 2003, but it was one of the fluke titles that caused NASCAR to go to the current Chase system.
He won the crown with only one race victory, but he had 11 top-5s and 25 top-10s. He wouldn’t have won the title now because victories matter so much more with bonus points (each driver receives 10 points per win during the first 26 races to begin the Chase).
Kenseth’s got a great start to the Chase already, and he still has a couple months to get more wins.
As for the Post-Tribune’s sixth annual Fantasy NASCAR contest, readers only have a couple more weeks left to qualify for our drawing for two tickets to the Brickyard 400 on July 28. And one of our regular entries over the last few years qualified for the first time this season.
Sheila Smith of Porter had Kenseth, along with Joey Logano (fourth), Kyle Busch (fifth), Jeff Gordon (eighth) and Kasey Kahne (11th) for 195 points. Smith edged Wayne Cates, who had 192 points for his second runner-up finish this season and second qualifying spot for the drawing, which will take place the week after he New Hampshire race next Sunday.
As for this week’s race, it’s another Saturday night event, and we’re back to the restrictor plate racing, which means unpredictability returns, as well as some pretty big crashes. Or at least if I were a betting man, I’d wager on accidents galore.
This past week, so many readers fell short because they had a combination of Denny Hamlin (35th), Greg Biffle (34th) or Brad Keselowski (33rd) in their lineups. A combo of those three won’t work this week either. Going back to our first year of Fantasy NASCAR, my advice holds true — well-known, popular drivers don’t finish well collectively in resrictor plate events.
There will always be a David Ragan or Michael Waltrip or Aric Almirola or Jamie McMurray (who finished second in Kentucky) who finishes in the top five or top three. Ragan won the last restrictor plate race, so keep that in mind.