By admin | April 19, 2013
By Richard Allen
Iâ€™m introducing a new feature this season. The RacingWithRich.com Sprint Cup Power Rankings and Fantasy Picks will serve as my own personal system for rating drivers throughout the season and will also reveal my weekly fantasy picks for the upcoming race.
The Power Rankings will not necessarily mirror the Sprint Cup standings. A number of factors will be weighed in determining who gets ranked where. Certainly, the standings will be taken into consideration. But also, race wins will be considered and weighted more heavily than the current points system used by NASCAR may allow. Further, winning particular races may serve to boost a driverâ€™s position in the rankings. For example, winning a big race such as the Daytona 500 or the Southern 500 will be viewed more favorably than winning at Phoenix or Dover.
Aside from race wins and the standings, a driver who has had strong runs but suffered from bad luck may be ranked higher than the standings will allow. For example, a driver may lead half the laps of a particular race but then lose out in the end due to fuel mileage or may be caught up in a late race crash. That driverâ€™s strength throughout the day will be taken into consideration.
But ultimately, this writerâ€™s opinion of the driverâ€™s performance throughout the season will be the deciding factor.
In terms of my fantasy selections, I play the â€˜ESPN Stock Car Challengeâ€™ game on ESPN.com. That game allows each player a budget of $100 with each driver having a value based on his performance and the overall market demand. Players are allowed to make trades each week as long as they stay within their budget. A playerâ€™s budget may fluctuate weekly as the value of drivers rises and falls.
All content below is for discussion purposes only and not meant for the purpose of gambling. Your picks are your own.
RacingWithRich.com Power Rankings for the weekend of April 21, 2013- STP 400 at theÂ Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, KS:
1. Jimmie Johnson: This driver has been atop the Power Rankings since its inception earlier this year. His two wins, which include the Daytona 500, and his leadership of the Sprint Cup standings keep him at #1. (Last Week- 1st)
2. Kyle Busch: This driver didn’t take the lead in the Power Rankings, but he definitely closed the gap. Since getting off to a poor start early in the season, Busch has reeled off five top-5s along with two wins. (Last Week- 2nd)
3. Carl Edwards: A solid 3rd place result in Texas moves this driver up. His win in Phoenix and his 5th place in the Sprint Cup standings allow for his placing this week. (Last Week- 7th)
4. Greg Biffle: His first top-5 of the seasonÂ in Texas moved him to 3rd in the Sprint Cup standings. Even without a victory, that is good enough to boost him up this week’s Power Rankings. (Last Week’s- 8th)
5. Brad Keselowski: A tumultuous 9th in Texas was somewhat remarkable considering what happened in pre-race inspection. His point reduction won’t affect him in these rankings, but the loss of key members might later. (Last Week- 3rd)
6. Kasey Kahne: An 11th in Texas has him in 7th in the Sprint Cup standings. That, combined with an early season win in Bristol, keeps him in the top-6 of the Power Rankings. (Last Week- 5th)
7. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.: Texas proved a disappointment when mechanical troubles set in to spoil a potentially good run. Still, his five top-5s have him 6th in the Sprint Cup standings. (Last Week- 4th)
8. Matt Kenseth: He was a contender for the win seemingly every week in the early season but has had a couple of mediocre runs of late. His Vegas win and 10th place in the standings place him here. (Last Week- 6th)
9. Clint Bowyer: No wins but his three top-10s place him in the 8th spot of the Sprint Cup standings. Heads home to Kansas this week seeking that first victory of 2013. (Last Week- 9th)
10. Joey Logano: Like Keselowski, his crew had to scramble to get his car on the starting grid in Texas. However, he moved through the pack to post a 5th in that race. (Last Week- 12th)
11. Paul Menard: Still remains as one of only three drivers to have completed every lap of competition this season(Keselowski and Biffle). He’s 9th in the overall Sprint Cup standings. (Last Week- 11th)
12. Ryan Newman: He added his fourth top-10 of the season in Texas. He only ranks 17th in the Sprint Cup standings but he shows strength when he stays in the race. (Last Week- NR)
Outside looking in: Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon, Jamie McMurray
My fantasy picks for the STP 400:
For the first time this year, I made no changes to my team from the previous week. After the Sprint Cup Series raced on a somewhat similar 1.5 mile track last week, I saw no need to make major changes.
1. Jimmie Johnson- At $23.6, he’s expensive. I picked him up a few weeks ago before his price shot up. I plan to keep him for as long as it makes sense to do so. He has two wins and an average finish position of 8th at the Kansas Speedway.
2. Greg Biffle- At $22.1, his valuation seems a bit high for a driver who hasn’t won this season. But he has been consistent and Kansas is one of his better tracks. He’s had two wins and an average finish of 9.5 here.
3. Matt Kenseth- At $21.9, his valuation seems appropriate even though he is coming off of two mediocre performances. He won the last race held in Kansas while driving for Roush Fenway RacingÂ and placed his Joe Gibbs Racing car on the pole for this race.
4. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.- He is priced at $21.1. He had a good run going last week until mechanical issues derailed his efforts. He’s had six top-10s in Kansas.
5. Brian Vickers- At $15.4, he’s still a bargain driving the #11 JGR car. He proved his worth last week with a top-10 run in Texas.
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