NASCAR Picks for Watkins Glen
Clint Bowyer, #15 5-Hour Energy, Michael Waltrip Racing [Yahoo Class A]
While Sonoma has typically been his stronger road course, Bowyer has been solid at Watkins Glen as well. He has a 15.6 average finish at the track for his career, and he has been even better recently. Bowyer has finished 11th or better in three of his last four starts at the road course, including a career-best fourth-place run last year.
Ryan Newman, #39 Quicken Loans/Haas Automation, Stewart-Haas Racing [Yahoo Class B]
In his first career start at Watkins Glen, Newman managed to finish second despite losing power steering. However, he has not finished in the top five in his 10 starts at the track since and hasn't had a top-10 in his last six starts. Granted, he has finished 16th or better in his last three starts at The Glen, but Newman is probably a top-15 option at best.
Brian Vickers, #55 Aaron's Dream Machine, Michael Waltrip Racing [Yahoo Class B]
A blown engine in the opening laps at Watkins Glen last year prevented Vickers from getting a chance to show his stuff at the road course. However, he has been stout at Sonoma in each of the past two seasons, finishing fourth and 13th. Vickers usually delivers at least a top-15 finish when he takes his turn in the Michael Waltrip Racing No. 55, and it should be more of the same this weekend.
Greg Biffle, #16 3M/Bondo, Roush Fenway Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Biffle has had several strong runs at Watkins Glen in recent years, but he also offers fantasy owners almost no middle ground. He finished sixth at the road course last year and has three top-10s in his last six starts. However, Biffle has failed to crack the top 20 in his other seven starts at The Glen. He is the definition of a boom or bust pick.
Kasey Kahne, #5 Farmers Insurance/Quaker State, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class A]
He may be coming off a win at Pocono, but momentum alone won't be enough to help Kahne at Watkins Glen. In nine starts at the road course, he has never managed to crack the top 10. Kahne does have six top-20s at the track, but fantasy owners have come to expect a lot more out of him and can get a lot more out of him by saving him for a different week.
Joey Logano, #22 Shell-Pennzoil, Penske Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Although he has finished outside the top 15 in three of his four starts at Watkins Glen, Logano has shown some potential on the road courses in his young career. He has finished 11th or better in three straight starts at Sonoma, and he has finished as high as fifth at The Glen. Logano isn't the safest pick this weekend, but he does have top-10 potential for those willing to gamble a bit.
Denny Hamlin, #11 FedEx, Joe Gibbs Racing [Yahoo Class A]
Since opening his career with four straight top-10s at Watkins Glen, Hamlin has had horrible luck at the track. He has finished outside the top 30 in three straight starts, compiling a 36.3 average finish during the stretch. Yes, Hamlin has potential this weekend, but given his recent luck both at The Glen and in general, the risk probably outweighs the reward in most formats.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #88 National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class B]
Early in his career, Junior actually managed to string together some solid finishes at Watkins Glen. The success had disappeared lately, and he has failed to crack the top 10 in his last seven starts at the track. Worse yet, Junior has only managed one top-15 finish in the last seven races at The Glen.
Jamie McMurray, #1 McDonald's/Cessna, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing [Yahoo Class B]
In 10 starts at Watkins Glen, McMurray has only managed two top-10s in between several poor outings. He has been particularly bad at the road course recently, finishing outside the top 15 in five of his last six starts at the track. During the stretch, he has finished outside the top 30 on three occasions.
Jeff Burton, #31 Caterpillar/Cheerios, Richard Childress Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Although Burton actually finished ninth at Watkins Glen in both 2010 and 2011, his career numbers tell the true tale of his road racing ability. He has a 21.1 average finish in 19 starts at the track and has only cracked the top 10 on five occasions. Meanwhile, Burton followed up the back-to-back top-10s with a 30th-place effort at the track last season, and fantasy owners shouldn't expect much more than a top-20 this weekend.
Casey Mears, #13 GEICO, Germain Racing [Yahoo Class C]
Fantasy owners looking for a serious sleeper that can get the job done this weekend need to strongly consider Mears. After all, he has five straight top-20 finishes at Watkins Glen, including a 16th-place run last year. In survivor-style leagues, this could be a good chance to use Mears.
Max Papis, #14 Bass Pro Shops, Stewart-Haas Racing
The veteran road racer will replace the injured Tony Stewart this weekend, and while he has finished as high as second in a Nationwide road course event, his last Cup start came in 2010. Still, he knows his way around Watkins Glen, and he will probably be behind the wheel of the best Cup car he has ever driven. A top-20 isn't out of the question for "Mad" Max.
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