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Cap Considerations

Caps After Bristol

by Dan Beaver
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

NASCAR’s bullrings have earned the reputation of being wild card races, but with the durability of the latest body styles that status was rapidly coming into question. Until the Food City 500 Supporting Steve Byrnes and Stand Up to Cancer. One day before the NASCAR community lost the eponymous honoree, he was treated to one of the least predictable and most action-packed race seen in recent years.

Six of the top-10 finishers, including the winner Matt Kenseth, third-place Jeff Gordon, and fourth-place Ricky Stenhouse Jr. earned their season-best results. Tony Stewart (sixth), Kyle Larson (seventh), Justin Allgaier (eighth), and Austin Dillon (10th) joined that list—as did the 20th- through 22nd-place drivers: Alex Bowman, Matt DiBenedetto, and Michael McDowell all had solid runs that made them great values at their salary cap level.

Not all of those drivers experienced a bump in salary because of the unique nature of the Bristol race and the capriciousness of momentum, but Stenhouse, Allgaier, McDowell, Bowman, and DiBenedetto are climbing a little higher up the chart and deserve the recognition.

Kurt Busch continues to seek his proper level. He was strong for most of the Food City 500, so even with an accident at the end of the race he still earned the fourth-most points. He is creeping up on the $25 mark with a current value of $24—and when he passes that magical barrier, then sub-10th-place results might be a concern, but for now he is worth every penny.

Danica Patrick was another notable driver to gain this week. She is still seeking back-to-back top-15s for the first time in her career, but she has come close during the past three weeks with a pair of top-10s and a worst of 16th at Texas. With a 25 cent increase and a still modest cap of $13.25 she remains a good value going forward, especially since the next race on the schedule is a short track and she now has consecutive top-10s on that track type. Patrick surpassed Janet Guthrie on the all-time top-10 list for female drivers with her sixth such finish.

NASCAR is a zero sum game, and those spots among the top 10 that were claimed by drivers with their season-bests did not come without a cost. Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, and Martin Truex Jr. all saw their seven-race, top-10 streak end at Bristol—mostly because of crash damage. That is the first sign of weakness any of them have shown all season and it motivated a slight drop in value. Harvick still earned the second-most points at Bristol, but it was not enough to warrant his previous demand of $29.

Brad Keselowski also saw a streak of six consecutive top-10s on unrestricted speedways come to an end at Bristol and since his was the spin that claimed both Penske Racing drivers, he needed an adjustment as well.

Truex did not undergo an adjustment, however, because his overall value in the past several weeks has been such that he is still looking for a high water mark.

Kasey Kahne was the other significant driver who lost value this week and that came as the result of a negative point total at Richmond. He did not earn enough before his accident to offset the place differential hit that he took and he continues to seesaw around the $25 mark. He is decreasing in part so that Kurt Busch can increase because there is only so much money to go around.

Three short track races in the span of four weekends will come to an end at the close of the Toyota Owners 400 and the caps will adjust once more, but be aware that the next three weeks are on entirely different track types, so the changes will not be severe. There are horses for courses and it’s time to see which of them run fastest.

 

Gainers and Losers this week

Driver

Diff

 |

This weeks’ cap

Gainers

Kurt Busch

 $     0.25

 |

 $    24.00

Ryan Newman

 $     0.25

 |

 $    23.25

Aric Almirola

 $     0.25

 |

 $    20.25

Danica Patrick

 $     0.25

 |

 $    13.25

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

 $     0.25

 |

 $    12.75

Trevor Bayne

 $     0.25

 |

 $    12.00

David Gilliland

 $     0.25

 |

 $    10.50

Justin Allgaier

 $     0.25

 |

 $    10.25

Cole Whitt

 $     0.25

 |

 $      9.50

Brett Moffitt

 $     0.25

 |

 $      8.75

Michael McDowell

 $     0.25

 |

 $      8.00

Alex Bowman

 $     0.25

 |

 $      7.25

Chris Buescher

 $     0.50

 |

 $      7.00

Matt DiBenedeto

 $     0.25

 |

 $      6.00

Mike Bliss

 $     0.25

 |

 $      5.75

Losers

Kevin Harvick

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    28.75

Joey Logano

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    28.00

Brad Keselowski

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    27.50

Kasey Kahne

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    24.75

Carl Edwards

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    21.25

Greg Biffle

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    21.00

AJ Allmendinger

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    17.75

Sam Hornish Jr.

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    15.50

Josh Wise

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      6.75

Jeb Burton

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      6.50

Ron Hornaday

 $    (0.50)

 |

 $      6.50

 

Dan Beaver

Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 20 years with a little help from his >650,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.