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Fantasy NASCAR: Could Montoya be turning the corner?

Jeffrey D. Nicholls/Post-Tribune  

Post-Tribune sports writer Steve Gorches

Jeffrey D. Nicholls/Post-Tribune Post-Tribune sports writer Steve Gorches

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Top 10
readers

Susan Zart 188

Rickey Cross 183

Michael Rich 182

John Daras Sr. 180

Ken Cates 180

Jim DeReamer 178

Christine Kerr 178

Matt Bodamer 176

Joe Slamka 176

Dave Turnipseed 176

Steve T. Gorches picks — RICHMOND — Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski. Total points: 121; TALLADEGA: Danica Patrick, David Ragan, Jeff Gordon, Jamie McMurray, Juan Pablo Montoya

The annual Post-Tribune Fantasy NASCAR contest has returned for 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 (fantasy@post-trib.com) 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 July for tickets to the Brickyard 400.

Updated: June 4, 2013 6:48AM



Hey, where did that guy come from who finished in fourth in Richmond?

“That guy” would be Juan Pablo Montoya, who has made a habit of finishing somewhere between 25th and 40th this season after some pretty good seasons in the recent past.

He only has two victories — both on road courses — in six-plus seasons in NASCAR after coming over from Formula One. He had his first win on an oval in his sights Saturday night at Richmond, but a late caution cost his since he had to get fresh tires.

Montoya’s had some bad luck this season, so fourth is better than 25th. The effort moved him from 27th to 24th in the point standings, meaning he needs several more top-5 or top-10 finishes to make the Chase, which he’s only done once in six previous seasons.

Does that mean he’s a failure in NASCAR? Not really. He’s just on a team that doesn’t have the same resources and tree of success as others, such as Hendrick, Roush or Penske. I predict Montoya gets another victory this season, maybe two with one on an oval.

Then again, based on my point total this week in our Fantasy NASCAR contest, any prediction from me may be worthless. With 121 points, I wasn’t even close to being competitive. But neither were most of our readers with none topping the 190-point mark. It was a tough week with popular picks like Mark Martin (38th), Brad Keselowski (33rd) and Kyle Busch (21st) not having good weeks.

The result was Susan Zart of Crown Point earning the top spot with 188 points. She had race winner Kevin Harvick, runner-up Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards (sixth) and Matt Kenseth (seventh), who led the most laps for the second straight week.

Finishing second was Rickey Cross of LaPorte with 183 points. Both readers earn spots in our drawing in July for Brickyard 400 tickets.

Next up: This week it’s Talladega, meaning that awesome restrictor plate racing is back. For those who are new to our contest, here’s my frequent restrictor advice: Don’t go with five popular drivers, because more often than not at least a couple of them wind up crashing. The top 10 will be littered with lesser drivers because the unexpected can always be expected at Talladega or Daytona.



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