Commentary

Good, Bad and Ugly: Camping World RV 400 presented by Coleman

Updated: September 25, 2008, 8:23 PM ET
By Mark Garrow | Jayski.com

Mark Garrow provides drivers' trends for Sunday's Camping World RV 400 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan.

* Driver needs to qualify for the race based on time.
# Driver is eligible for the champion's provisional.

• Allmendinger is making his first Cup series start at Kansas. He has one prior start here, when he finished 25th in last year's Nationwide event.
• Allmendinger is on the spot this weekend because he learned this week that he won't be back with Team Red Bull next season. He will try to impress potential new employers, so he will drive like a man possessed. The outcome will be better than normal or might end with him on the end of a hook. On the 1.5- to 2-mile tracks, Allmendinger has turned into someone you can count on to finish between 14th and 20th.

• Ambrose is attempting to make his first Cup series start at Kansas. He has one prior Nationwide start here, and he finished 39th last year.

• Biffle has won the past two Chase races and is the defending winner at Kansas. He'll drive the same car he drove to a 13th-place finish earlier this year at Pocono.
• If anyone would have asked me before the Chase where Greg Biffle would have the best chance to break his long losing streak, I would have said Kansas. Biffle has averaged a fifth-place finish at Kansas in the past three years. As hard as it is to win three races in a row, I still ranked Biffle first.

• Blaney has made six Cup starts at Kansas during his career. He has finished as high as 10th and has scored two top-15s at the track. He has finished outside the top 25 only once at this track. He's driving the same car he finished 12th with last week at Dover.
• His value is attractive if you think he can duplicate last year's finish, but I do not. Then again, he did finish 12th at Dover, and it was the first time he'd finished in the top 20 in nine races. Do I see last week as the beginning of a trend? No, not really. I see Blaney finishing from 20th to 25th.

• In two starts at Kansas, Bowyer has a strong 5.5 finishing average. He's driving the same car he drove to top-10s at California, Atlanta and Texas earlier this season.
• No one will be up on the wheel more than Bowyer. He wants to win in his home state in the worst way. He's finished fifth to 12th the past five races and has finished ninth and second in his two Kansas races. Bowyer is a good buy this week.

• In seven starts at Kansas, Burton has one top-5 and four top-15s. He has a 19.8 finishing average. He's driving the same car with which he finished 11th at Michigan earlier this year.
• With finishes of fourth, sixth and ninth the past three races, Burton's team has stepped it up in time for the playoff. But Kansas has not been one of his best tracks. His average finish is 19.6, and he has only one top-10. Last year, he finished 37th. It appears that either of his teammates, Bowyer or Harvick, could be a better pick this weekend.

• Busch has seven starts here with two top-10s and finished 11th here last year. He's driving the same car with which he finished 39th at Michigan.
• He got wrecked last week, else Dover would have become his third straight top-10. Kansas, though, has not been kind to Busch; his average finish at Kansas is 19.6. Plus, his performances on the 1.5-mile tracks this year leave a lot to be desired.

• Busch has four starts here with a top-10 and an average finish of 26.5. He finished the Cup series race here last year in 41st.
• Busch needs to race well to get back in the hunt, so I think he and his team will throw caution to the wind. That will make the young driver very dangerous. I have him ranked fifth this week because if he has an average day, he'll wind up with a top-5 or top-10. But the little birdie keeps chirping in my ear cautioning that Busch might not have the maturity to put behind him what happened the past two weeks. If he can, he could contend for the win. If he doesn't, another disaster could occur.

• Carpentier is making his first Kansas start this weekend.

• In seven Cup starts at Kansas, Junior has four top-10s. He's driving the same car he took to a fifth-place finish at the Coke 600 earlier this year.
• Junior is a big risk for a Kansas race because you really don't and won't have a good feel for how strong he will run. Dover was a disaster after top-5s at Richmond and Loudon. He was 10th in this race a year ago, but if you look at his record on the 1.5-mile tracks this year, it's been all over the place. You'll need a lot more confidence that Junior can get the job done before you take the gamble on him.

• Edwards' average finish is 17.0 in four races at Kansas. In his previous four starts this season across all NASCAR series races, Edwards has one top-5 and two top-10s.
• I have Edwards second in my rankings because he should be a lock for a top-5 and could win. He's been on fire in the past nine races with three wins and average finish of 4.4.

• Elliott has four starts here with two top-5s. His most recent start here was in 2006, when he finished 16th.

• Gilliland has an average finish of 28.0 at Kansas.
• On the plus side, Gilliland is inexpensive. On the negative side, he has finished 22nd and 38th at Kansas and has done virtually nothing good on the 1.5-mile tracks this year.

• Along with his wins at Kansas in 2001 and 2002, Gordon has four top-5s and five top-10s in seven starts.
• I think Gordon has too high of a value to put him on a SCC team with such big question marks surrounding his possible performance on the 1.5-mile tracks. He has top-10s in three of the past five races, but in the other two has struggled to finish in the top 15. He was fifth a year ago in this race, but I don't think Gordon will duplicate that. He hasn't raced well enough this season to warrant a similar finish.

• Gordon has six starts here with an average finish of 22.5. He finished 19th here last year.
• He's a dark horse who has top-20 potential. But he's too risky for the little reward you might get.

• Hamlin has three starts here with an average finish of 26.3. He's driving the same car he drove to third-place finishes at Indy and Pocono this season.
• I'm officially swearing off this guy because he has killed me the first two weeks of the Chase. Everyone talks about how good he was going into the races at Loudon and Dover, but he was a total bust. there's no telling what kind of performance you'll get out of him.

• In seven starts at Kansas, Harvick has tallied two top-10s and has an average finish of 16.1. He's driving the same car he drove to a sixth-place finish last week at Dover.
• Harvick is money in the bank these days. He has top-10s in each of the past eight races. I think he'll continue to finish in the top 10, and I can see him finishing anywhere from fourth to eighth on Sunday.

• Hornish will make his Kansas Cup debut this weekend. He has a total of seven IndyCar Series starts here with a record of one win (2006), three top-5s and five top-10s.

• Johnson has made six starts at Kansas and has posted one top-5 and four top-10s. He has led 127 laps at the site. He is driving the same car with which he won from the pole position both at Fontana and Indy earlier this year.
• The two-time champ has it going right now and, like Edwards, feels like a lock every week to finish in the top five. In the past four races, Johnson has finished first, first, second and fifth. He and Edwards will be this consistent every week. If I have to choose between the two, I'll take Johnson. He's been in the pressure cooker before and has Chad Knaus as his crew chief.

• In four starts at Kansas, Kahne has one top-10. He scored a career-best ninth-place finish at Kansas in 2007.
• Take out the eighth-place finish at Fontana, and the past six races have really been ugly for Kahne. He's had only one really good run on a 1.5-mile track this year, his May win at Charlotte.

• In seven starts at Kansas, Kenseth has one top-5 and two top-10s.
• I got back on the Kenseth bandwagon last week, and it paid off nicely when he finished in second place. I don't think he'll finish that high again this week. But because this is a such a strong track for Roush Fenway Racing, Kenseth might be able to make a run at a top-5 finish, and he feels like a top-10 lock. Because of the disasters at Richmond and New Hampshire, some people have lost sight of the fact that he's finished in the top five in three of the past six races.

• Kvapil has an average finish of 20.5 at Kansas.

• In seven starts at Kansas, Labonte has an average finish of 26.0 with three DNFs. He finished 42nd here last year.
• At 17.9, Labonte is way overvalued and is definitely not worth the risk.

• Logano is making his first start at Kansas this weekend.
• He's here only to make laps and stay out of people's way, just like he did at New Hampshire.

• Martin has seven starts here with three top-10s, two top-5s, a win and an average finish of 12.4. He finished 12th here last year.
• I loved Martin going into last week's race, and he didn't disappoint. (He finished fourth.) His worst outing in his past four starts was an eighth-place finish. I think he's someone you want on your team this week, but remember, he will not run next week at Talladega. Aric Almirola will take over then.

• McDowell is making his first NASCAR start at Kansas.

• McMurray has five starts here with two top-10s and an average finish of 19.8. He finished 24th here last year.
• I recommended McMurray as the low-dollar pick to use as your "floor" last week, and I was looking good until Robby Gordon wiped him out. You couldn't see that coming. But I'm not sold very high on McMurray going into Kansas, where he hasn't had a good run the past three years. Plus, on the 1.5-mile tracks this year, he's been at best a top-25 car.

• In five starts at Kansas, Mears has posted two top-5s and three top-10s. He has scored more points here in the past two races than any other active driver.
• I like Mears a lot this week at 16.3 as potentially my "floor" for Stock Car Challenge. If not for getting wrecked at Loudon, he would have three straight top-15s. Plus, in the past three Kansas clashes, he's finished eight, second and fourth. This team should continue to run strong, and Mears even might win one more race before he leaves the employ of Rick Hendrick.

• Menard has one prior Cup series start here. He finished 27th in this race last year.

• JPM has one start here. He finished 28th last year.
• Montoya has run better of late but doesn't really have the finishes to prove it. His 17th-place finish at Loudon is his only finish in the top 20 during the past four races.

• Nemechek has seven starts here with two top-5s and a win from the pole in 2005. He has an average finish here of 19.1 and finished 25th last year.

• Newman has one win, three top-5s and three top-10s in seven Kansas starts. He's driving the same car he finished 10th with at Chicago.
• At best, Newman has been a top-15 car in the past four races. He is not trending well. Plus, his best finish in his past four outings at Kansas is 23rd.

• Petty has six starts here with an average finish of 25.8. He finished 21st here last year.

• Ragan has one prior Cup series start here, when he finished 16th last year.

• His past four races haven't been that great, but the 13th-place finish at California should bode fairly well for Sunday. I think Ragan is someone who can finish eighth to 12th this week, and I have him 11th in my rankings.

• Raines has four starts here with an average finish of 28.2. He finished 18th here last year.

• Reutimann has five combined starts in the Truck and Nationwide series at Kansas. He has posted one top-5 and two top-10s in his three Truck starts and two top-20s in the Nationwide Series.
• The way he's run lately, Reutimann is a very attractive value. He ran much better at Dover than 17th would indicate, and in the three races before that finished ninth, ninth and 15th. I can picture him finishing 12th to 15th this week.

• Riggs has four starts here with an average finish of 25.8. He finished 13th here last year.

• In seven previous starts, Sadler has earned one top-5 and two top-10s. He has led three laps in his career at Kansas.
• Sure, he's inexpensive, but his performances in the past five races have been absolutely terrible. His best finish was 24th and average finish was an even uglier 28.8.

• Sauter has one prior Cup series start here. He finished 23rd at Kansas last year.

• Smith is making his first start at Kansas this weekend. He has two Nationwide starts here with an average finish of 29.5.

• Sorenson has two Cup starts here. He finished seventh here last year and finished in the top 10 in both his Nationwide starts.
• Sorenson arouses a little curiosity each week with his affordability. That has killed a bunch of people who took a giant leap of faith with their fantasy teams. His 27.5 average finish this year is no accident, and he didn't finish in the top 25 at Kansas last year.

• Stewart has seven starts here with five top-10s, three top-5s, a win and an average finish of 11.1. He finished 39th here last year.
• Big Orange has had only one so-so performance in the past five races, but that was a 22nd-place finish at the 1.5-mile Fontana. Still, I have him 10th in my rankings, and when you look at what he's done at other 1.5-mile tracks such as Atlanta, Texas and Chicagoland, he might be worth the risk.

• Truex has two starts here with an average finish of 24.5. He's driving the same car he drove to a 24th-place finish at Indy earlier this year.
• Other than a seventh-place finish at Loudon, Truex really has stunk up the joint lately. I have him ranked 18th this week and don't see any reason to risk him at Kansas.

• In three starts here, Vickers has a top-10 and an average finish of 12.7. He failed to qualify for this race last year and finished eighth in 2006.
• Things haven't gone that well for Vickers lately, but I like the fact that he finished sixth at Chicagoland. I can see him finishing as high as eighth and as low as 15th.

• Waltrip has seven starts here with an average finish of 31.3. He has an 11th-place finish at Kansas, but the rest of his starts resulted in finishes of 26th or worse.
• I can't believe I'm saying this, but coming off a 10th-place run at Dover, you need to give Waltrip a little thought this week. I'm not recommending a "buy," but at least kick the tires.

Mark Garrow covers fantasy racing for ESPN.com.

Mark Garrow

Fantasy Racing
Mark Garrow covers fantasy racing for ESPN.com.