June 10, 2009

Trucks: Peters headed to Red Horse

Immediately on the heels of the announcement that Johnny Benson Jr. would lose his ride in the No. 1 Red Horse Racing team for lack of funding, Timothy Peters announced he would bring his sponsor Strutmasters and crew chief Chad Kendrick to the team, according to SceneDaily.com.

Our View: Peters will inherit the points from the No. 1 team, but this will be renumbered 17. Look for his results to improve slightly.

More Camping World Truck Series Newsbreakers

Said gets ride for Infineon

Boris Said will try to get the No. 08 EM Motorsports car into the show at Infineon, according to SceneDaily.com.

Our View: This is great news for EM Motorsports, but don't look for Said to be particularly competitive even if he makes the show. This part time team simply does not have the funding to run in the front half of the pack.

More Cup Series Newsbreakers

Week 24 Unified Power Rankings

Yawn. Jenson Button won again in the Turkish Grand Prix, which is his sixth victory in seven races and picking a winner in that series is now officially a no brainer. Until Button stumbles—and at this point, it seems unlikely he's going to do so all season—place him on your roster and hold him there.

For the first time this year, however, his wingman Rubens Barrichello had a bad finish. A pair of spins in the Turkish GP caused him to finish outside the points for the first time this season and he plummeted seven spots in the Unified Power Rankings from second to ninth.

That allowed a pair of winners to climb the grid. Tony Stewart had to overcome rolling out a backup car and his shotgun to the field start, but after practice, he was confident he had the ponies under the hood to get the job done. Stewart used a little strategy and a lot of power to hold off Carl Edwards and earn his first victory as an owner driver. He's now second on this chart.

One of the keys to Stewart's success in the Pocono 500 was a strong pit stop, and that is also how Helio Castroneves got in front of Ryan Briscoe late in the going at Texas Motor Speedway. Once in the lead of the Bombardier Learjet 550k, he was untouched and scored his second victory in the last three races. Castroneves sits third.

Jason Leffler continues to be the strongest Nationwide Regular in NASCAR's second series. With most of the top spots typically going to Cup drivers, last week's Federated Auto Parts 300 in Nashville was an opportunity race. Only two Claim Jumpers made the long commute, so even though Kyle Busch won the race and Edwards finished third, Leffler was able to pick off a fifth-place finish and climb two spots on the Unified Power Rankings grid from eighth to sixth.

Success in any fantasy racing league is reliant on finding dark horses. In the Camping World Truck Series, check out Jason White, who has been 14th or better in his last four races. And on the strength of his eighth-place finish at Texas last week and a fourth at Dover the previous week, he jumped an amazing 28 spots last week and 10 spots the prior week to land in the top 50—50th to be exact. Matt Crafton is the highest ranked Truck driver. He sits 19th on the grid.

Unified Power Rankings
Top 50

RankDriverPointsLast week+/-
1Jenson Button110.5710
2Tony Stewart97.3331
3Helio Castroneves95.8041
4Jimmie Johnson90.8262
5Ryan Briscoe90.6772
6Jason Leffler87.9082
7Dario Franchitti87.6792
8Ryan Newman87.20113
9Rubens Barrichello87.142-7
10Mark Martin87.00100
11Mark Webber85.29154
12Scott Dixon84.50164
13Kurt Busch83.555-8
14Danica Patrick83.3313-1
15Brad Keselowski83.2014-1
16Jeff Gordon80.55171
17Kyle Busch79.46181
18Carl Edwards79.24213
19Matt Crafton79.00278
20Matt Kenseth78.69200
21Jeff Burton78.63221
22Timo Glock78.4319-3
23Denny Hamlin78.1812-11
24Dan Wheldon78.1723-1
25Joey Logano77.1524-1
26Greg Biffle76.93282
27Juan Montoya75.64314
28Fernando Alonso74.0025-3
29Kasey Kahne73.2726-3
30Nico Rosberg72.57333
31Sebastian Vettel72.00365
32David Reutimann70.854311
33Marco Andretti70.004411
34Tony Kanaan69.83351
35Jason Keller69.3030-5
36Steve Wallace69.10382
37Marcos Ambrose68.365417
38Justin Allgaier67.60391
39Dale Earnhardt Jr67.0732-7
40Jarno Trulli66.295313
41Johnny Benson Jr66.00476
42Ron Hornaday Jr65.8029-13
43Brian Vickers65.4034-9
44Clint Bowyer65.3640-4
45Rick Crawford65.206217
46Jamie McMurray64.9145-1
47Sam Hornish Jr64.736316
48Martin Truex Jr63.8242-6
49Kevin Harvick63.0037-12
50Jason White62.807828

Previous Unified Power Rankings:

Week 23
Week 22
Week 21
Week 20

Gordon loves Michigan

Jeff Gordon lists Michigan International Speedway as one of his favorite tracks , according to SceneDaily.com.

“The track is big, wide, and it’s fast. The corners have multiple grooves, so you can run from the white line all the way to the wall. And you can change your angles in and off the corners," Gordon said.

Our View: He has two victories there and 15 top-fives, the last of which came in August 2006. Unfortunately, his lat three efforts there have been 18th or worse.

More Cup Series Newsbreakers

N'Wide: Logano to pull double duty

Joey Logano will be one of the drivers making the long commute from Michigan International Speedway to Kentucky Speedway this week, according to SceneDaily.com.

Our View: Logano is the defending winner at Kentucky. That was his first Nationwide win, which he took from the pole.

More Nationwide Newsbreakers

IRL: Lloyd leaves Ganassi

Alex Lloyd is leaving Chip Ganassi Racing, according to a Tweet from @IndyCarPR, saying that if he is going to explore his options, he needs to be a free agent.

Our View: So far, Lloyd has made only one start this season in the 33-car Indy 500 field where he finished 13th, so it's hard to say what kind of fantasy value he will be when he finds another ride.

Roush one short of record at Michigan

Roush-Fenway Racing is one win away from tying the Wood Bros. for the most victories at Michigan International Speedway, according to a Tweet from @NASCARSays, the official NASCAR PR account. The current record stands at 10 victories.

Our View: This track has been completely dominated by Roush in recent years and their drivers have at least one win per season since 2002. Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle all have to be considered favorites to either win or finish in the top 10.