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Power Rankings

Power Ranking After: STP 500

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

The STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway was less of a wild card race than it could have been. This race typically has a ton of cautions and a lot of mayhem, but this Monday, there was only one yellow flag that waved over an incident. Three drivers managed to lead more than 100 laps apiece as Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, and Clint Bowyer dominated individual stages. The last segment was the longest and that is when Clint Bowyer had his car dialed in the best, so it was fitting that he won.

With an off-week on the calendar and then another race on one of the similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks, the short track rhythm is going to be interrupted, but fans of the little courses will soon be rewarded with a race at Bristol Motor Speedway and Richmond Raceway. For that reason, it is important to take some good notes from Martinsville and prepare.

1. Martin Truex Jr.
Scoring NASCAR Fantasy points isn’t always about picking the winner. Overall, Truex has been the most dominant driver in the field with a sweep of the top-five in five races since the Daytona 500. His average of 3.8 makes him a must have in any keeper league; he’s also hard to overlook in allocation management games.

2. Kyle Busch
Yeah, yeah… we know: second-place sucks. But fantasy owners might be surprised to note that Busch’s average finish of 3.2 is actually better than Truex’s. Unfortunately his Fantasy Power Rankings is affected by a worse Daytona 500 finish as well the fact that the No. 78 has that one elusive win.

3. Denny Hamlin
Hamlin was well on his way to another short, flat track top-five last week before he was brake-checked by Harvick. He was forced to make two pit stops to repair damage late in the STP 500 and could not overcome the lost track position, but he was generally much stronger than most of his competitors.

4. Kevin Harvick
The last two weeks may have revealed the chink in Harvick’s armor. He lost his composure at Auto Club Speedway and wrecked himself while trying to prove a point to Larson. He survived last week’s loss of temper with Hamlin, but one has to wonder just what the next week is going to reveal.

5. Brad Keselowski
Keselowski faded in the closing laps of the STP 500, but he was still fantasy relevant in games that offer points for NASCAR’s new segments. Sixteen markers for finishing second in stage one and fourth in stage two gave him 43 for the week and that was the fourth-best in the field.

6. Joey Logano
With the exception of the TicketGuardian 500 at ISM Raceway the entire Team Penske organization has been solid. Equally important, their results have mostly fallen in a narrow range of one another after they consistently ran with the leaders. That has placed all of them in the Fantasy Power Rankings top 10 one on top of the other.

7. Ryan Blaney
Last week was one of Blaney’s best opportunities to win his second career race; it won’t be his last. In general, he is going to be the third driver in a three-man organization, but so long as they are sweeping the top 10, that is not going to matter to fantasy players.

8. Kurt Busch
Busch continues to slowly slip down the rankings, falling from seventh to eighth this week. His 11th-place finish in the STP 500 wasn’t bad, but it didn’t set the world on fire. Six races into the schedule, Busch still has not earned a top-five, but four of those efforts ended between eighth and 14th. That makes him a solid pick for the final roster slot each week.

9. Clint Bowyer
Now that he has won, expectations for Bowyer are going to be on the rise. Stewart-Haas Racing has placed three of their four drivers in the top 10 on our modest list with Aric Almirola sitting 11th. That means the organization is strong and they deserve notation every week.

10. Kyle Larson
Not much was expected of Larson last week. That’s good because he did not make any noise whatsoever. He managed to stay on the lead lap until the final green flag segment, however, and a 16th-place finish allowed him to stay among the 10-best. He could struggle while short tracks races dominate the schedule, but he will be solid once NASCAR returns to the unrestricted, intermediate speedways.

Big Mover Outside The Top 10

24. AJ Allmendinger
Sometimes a performance like Allmendinger had last week can be the beginning of a streak. Sometimes, it’s an anomaly. Either way, it allowed him to jump seven positions up the chart. Fantasy players who noticed the ‘Dinger’s record on this track and responded appropriately were rewarded with a rare top-10 on something other than a restrictor-plate, superspeedway or road course.  

 

This Week

Driver

Avg Finish

Last Week

Difference

1.

Martin Truex Jr./p>

5.50

1

0

2.

Kyle Busch

5.93

2

0

3.

Denny Hamlin

7.13

4

1

4.

Kevin Harvick

7.18

3

-1

5.

Brad Keselowski

7.22

6

1

6.

Joey Logano

7.40

5

-1

7.

Ryan Blaney

8.19

8

1

8.

Kurt Busch

9.00

7

-1

9.

Clint Bowyer

9.11

10

1

10.

Kyle Larson

10.05

9

-1

 

11.

Aric Almirola

13.09

12

1

12.

Erik Jones

13.27

11

-1

13.

Chase Elliott

13.65

13

0

14.

Paul Menard

14.55

15

1

15.

Ryan Newman

14.70

14

-1

16.

Alex Bowman

15.07

16

0

17.

Austin Dillon

17.13

18

1

18.

Jimmie Johnson

17.79

20

2

19.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr./p>

18.59

17

-2

20.

Daniel Suarez

18.97

19

-1

21.

Brendan Gaughan

19.80

21

0

22.

Jamie McMurray

20.53

23

1

23.

William Byron

20.67

22

-1

24.

AJ Allmendinger

22.06

31

7

25.

Kasey Kahne

22.71

24

-1

26.

Trevor Bayne

23.90

25

-1

27.

Michael McDowell

24.03

27

0

28.

Darrell Wallace Jr./p>

24.30

26

-2

29.

David Gilliland

24.60

29

0

30.

Chris Buescher

24.76

28

-2

31.

Justin Marks

24.80

30

-1

32.

David Ragan

26.83

32

0

33.

Ty Dillon

28.03

34

1

34.

Matt DiBenedetto

28.45

33

-1

35.

Danica Patrick

29.20

35

0

36.

Cole Custer

29.25

36

0

37.

JJ Yeley

29.25

 

 

38.

Cole Whitt

29.74

39

1

39.

Mark Thompson

31.00

38

-1

40.

Ross Chastain

31.32

37

-3

41.

DJ Kennington

32.33

40

-1

42.

Jeffrey Earnhardt

33.68

42

0

43.

Gray Gaulding

33.69

41

-2

44.

Timmy Hill

34.90

44

0

45.

Harrison Rhodes

35.22

43

-2

46.

Reed Sorenson

35.60

45

-1

47.

Joey Gase

35.75

46

-1

48.

Corey LaJoie

36.18

47

-1

49.

Landon Cassill

37.50

 

 

 

Power Rankings
After Auto Club 
After Phoenix 1 
After Las Vegas 1 
After Atlanta 
After Daytona 1

 

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.