NASCAR Picks for Homestead
Length: 1.500 miles
Location: Homestead, Florida
It began back in February, and this Sunday, the 2014 Sprint Cup Series season will come to a close. Homestead-Miami Speedway will host the season finale, and while Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newmanare battling it out for the Cup Series title, fantasy owners will be trying to claim titles in their own leagues, as well.
Strategy for Sunday's finale is mainly dependent on where you rank in your particular league. If you have positioned yourself atop the standings, feel free to take a safer approach and seal the deal. If you are within striking distance of the top spot, you may want to gamble on a sleeper or two in order to run down the leader. After all, you aren't going to stage a comeback by picking the same lineup as the fantasy owners you are chasing. Last but not least, those owners that have struggled up to this point may just want to pull a Hail Mary and try to gain as many spots as you by loading up on several high-risk, high-reward options. What's the worst that can happen if you are already well off the pace?
Whatever strategy you adopt for Sunday's race, make sure you enjoy setting your lineups. After all, the next time you set a fantasy NASCAR lineup won't be until Daytona in February of next year.
Kevin Harvick, #4 Budweiser/Jimmy Johns, Stewart-Haas Racing [Yahoo Class A]
While he has yet to win at Homestead, he has been one of the steadiest performers at the track. His 8.1 average finish is the second best in the series, and in 13 starts, he has 11 Top-10s, including six straight. Harvick also has five Top-5 finishes at Homestead, including three Top-3 finishes in his last six starts.
Jeff Gordon, #24 Drive to End Hunger/Axalta, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class A]
Gordon won at Homestead in 2012, and he owns a 5.8 average finish in his last three starts at the track. For his career, Gordon's 10.6 average finish at the 1.5-mile oval ranks fourth in the series, and he has amassed 11 Top-10s, including seven Top-5 finishes, in 15 starts.
Joey Logano, #22 Shell-Pennzoil, Team Penske [Yahoo Class B]
He was average at Homestead until joining Team Penske last year, and in his first start at the track with the organization, he logged a career-best eighth-place finish. This season, Logano has scored a series-leading 388 points and six Top-5 finishes at 1.5-mile tracks so there is a great chance he has a career day at Homestead Sunday.
Brad Keselowski, #2 Miller Lite, Team Penske [Yahoo Class B]
Keselowski notched a career-best sixth-place finish at Homestead last year, and he has three Top-15s in his last four starts at the track. More importantly, he has series-high three races at 1.5-mile tracks in 2014 and ranks second with 490 laps led. Keselowski should deliver in all fantasy formats.
Denny Hamlin, #11 FedEx, Joe Gibbs Racing [Yahoo Class B]
He is the defending winner of this weekend's race, and Hamlin has enjoyed a lot of success at the track throughout his career. He has seven Top-15s in his last eight starts at the 1.5-mile oval, and during the stretch, Hamlin has four finishes of third or better, including a pair of victories.
Jimmie Johnson, #48 Lowe's/Kobalt Tools, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class A]
His numbers at Homestead are a little skewed because the six-time champ has had the luxury of taking a conservative approach in the finale during several of his title runs. Still, Johnson has managed nine Top-15s in 13 starts at the track, including eight Top-10s. He has also finished as high as second at Homestead on two occasions.
Matt Kenseth, #20 Husky/Dollar General, Joe Gibbs Racing [Yahoo Class A]
Kenseth is a former winner at Homestead, and he is currently enjoying the most consistent stretch of racing at the track. He has seven Top-15s in his last nine starts, and during the stretch, he has five finishes of sixth or better, including a second-place finish last season.
Clint Bowyer, #15 5-Hour Energy, Michael Waltrip Racing [Yahoo Class A]
He hasn't performed at an elite level on a consistent basis this year, but Bowyer could be a great pick in the finale. After all, he has finished 12th or better in seven of his last starts at the track, and in his last three starts, Bowyer has compiled a brilliant 4.3 average finish.
Kyle Larson, #42 Target, Chip Ganassi Racing [Yahoo Class C]
The rookie actually made his debut at Homestead last year, and he came away with a Top-15 finish. This time around, Larson has a year's worth of experience under his belt, and more importantly, his 196 points scored in the last five races at 1.5-mile tracks are the most in the series.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #88 National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class A]
His 20.7 average finish at Homestead isn't exactly inviting, but Junior has been dialed in at the track in recent years. He finished 11th in 2011, 10th in 2012 and a career-best third last season. Expect Junior to challenge for another Top-10 at Homestead this weekend.
Kyle Busch, #18 Mars Brands/Interstate Batteries, Joe Gibbs Racing [Yahoo Class A]
After struggling at Homestead early in his career, Busch seems to have figured out the 1.5-mile oval. He managed just one Top-15 in his first seven starts at the track, but he has finished fourth and seventh at the track the past two years. Throw in the fact that Busch has scored the second-most points at 1.5-mile tracks in 2014, and he should make for a solid option this weekend.
Carl Edwards, #99 Fastenal/Aflac/UPS/Subway, Roush Fenway Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Edwards has been one of the most reliable options at Homestead throughout his career. In fact, his 6.6 average finish at the track is the best in the series, and in 10 starts, he has never finished outside the Top 15. Edwards is also a two-time winner at Homestead. Granted, he hasn't been dominant this year, but you have to like his chances of delivering a solid finish this weekend.