NASCAR Picks for Las Vegas
Kyle Busch, #18 Mars Brands/Interstate Batteries, Joe Gibbs Racing [Yahoo Class B]
We are just two races into 2013, Kyle Busch has had two engine issues and shows no signs of avoiding the horrible luck that plagued him most of last season. He does have three top-three finishes at his home track, including a win, but given the seemingly ongoing engine troubles, Busch's tremendous potential comes with some risks.
Ryan Newman, #39 Quicken Loans/Haas Automation, Stewart-Haas Racing [Yahoo Class B]
After a somewhat unspectacular career at Las Vegas, Newman has delivered back-to-back top-five finishes at the 1.5-mile track. Another strong run isn't out of the question, but given the fact that Newman just doesn't pile up a lot of top-five finishes, a top-15 finish is a much more reasonable and safe expectation.
Joey Logano, #22 Shell-Pennzoil, Penske Racing [Yahoo Class B]
It has been a rough start for Logano at Penske Racing, but he could get on track this weekend at Las Vegas. The 1.5-mile oval has been one of his better intermediate tracks, and Logano has compiled a 14.5 average finish in four career starts. He could certainly back up his career numbers this weekend and deliver a top-15 finish for owners.
Jeff Burton, #31 Caterpillar/Cheerios, Richard Childress Racing [Yahoo Class B]
While Carl Edwards' stock rose a ton after his win at Phoenix, Burton's 10th-place run was encouraging, as well. After struggling the past two seasons, it was refreshing to see the veteran provide a decent finish. Burton is definitely worth watching going forward, and considering his 10.9 average finish at Las Vegas is the third best in the series, owners may want to take a chance on him as early as Sunday.
Paul Menard, #27 Menards, Richard Childress Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Menard has been trending in the right direction at Las Vegas. He has finished 17th, 12th and seventh in his last three starts at the 1.5-mile track, and his seventh-place run last year was his best career finish at Vegas. You can never call Menard a safe bet for a top-10, but he could be a solid sleeper option this weekend given his recent performances.
Mark Martin, #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1, Stewart-Haas Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Despite seven career finishes of sixth or better at Las Vegas, Martin isn't a lock to finish near the front. The veteran has struggled in his last two starts at the track, failing to crack the top 15. If anything, owners may want to keep an eye on Martin during the practice sessions to see if he has recaptured the feel for the 1.5-mile track before deciding whether or not to make room on their rosters.
Marcos Ambrose, #9 Stanley/Dewalt Power Tools, Richard Petty Motorsports [Yahoo Class B]
Owners looking for a surprise sleeper this weekend may want to take a chance on Ambrose. In four starts at the track, he has a 12.8 average finish and has finished in the top 20 in all four starts. Although 1.5-mile tracks normally aren't his strong suit, Ambrose could provide a useful finish this weekend.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., #17 Best Buy/Valvoline/Zest, Roush Fenway Racing [Yahoo Class C]
The rookie is off to a solid start, finishing 12th and 16th in the two races thus far. Now, he gets to head to a Las Vegas track that should fit both his strengths and the strengths of his Roush Fenway Racing team. This ranking is a little conservative because of the unknowns that come with rookies, but in Yahoo! leagues, Stenhouse is a C-List option that could produce great results.
Trevor Bayne, #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane, Wood Brothers Racing [Yahoo Class C]
He only runs a limited schedule, but Bayne is worth adding this weekend for owners looking for a potential sleeper. After finishing 20th in his Las Vegas debut in 2011, Bayne finished a solid ninth at the track last year. Even if you split the difference, he should be in the mix for a top-15 on Sunday.
Martin Truex, Jr., #56 NAPA Auto Parts, Michael Waltrip Racing [Yahoo Class B]
His 17.4 average finish says it all. Truex hasn't been terrible at Las Vegas, but he hasn't had a lot of strong runs either. In fact, he has just a single top 10 in seven career starts at the track. The lack of any serious upside makes Truex a somewhat uninteresting fantasy option this weekend.
Jamie McMurray, #1 McDonald's/Cessna, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing [Yahoo Class B]
On the plus side, McMurray has three top-10s in his last six starts at Las Vegas. However, he also has three finishes of 25th or worse during the stretch. More importantly, McMurray just doesn't offer much in the way of value for fantasy owners. His bad finishes far outweigh his occasional solid runs, and the potential reward just isn't worth the risk.
Kurt Busch, #78 Furniture Row, Furniture Row Racing [Yahoo Class B]
The Nevada native has always had issues at his home track. Busch has a 21.9 average finish at Las Vegas for his career, and in his last six starts, he has five finishes outside the top 20. Maybe it is the pressure of performing well in front of family and friends, but for some reason, Busch just doesn't have much success at Las Vegas.
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