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Fantasy NASCAR Picks for Charlotte Motor Speedway

To help guide you through the 2013 Fantasy NASCAR season, Athlon Sports contributor Geoffrey Miller will be offering his best predictions for each race. And because Yahoo's Fantasy Auto Racing game is arguably the most popular, he’ll break down the picks according to its Sprint Cup Series driver classes — A-List, B-List, C-List. The main picks are designed to make optimal use of Yahoo!’s nine-start maximum rule over the course of the season.

NASCAR Numbers Game: 6 Amazing Stats for Charlotte Motor Speedway

Have yourself a day, Kevin Harvick.

The lame-duck, beer-and-sandwich-stealing vulture turned NASCAR’s Chase on its head when he tamed the unpredictable Kansas Speedway last weekend, , by leading over half of the race as his competition spent the weekend executing more triple axels than you’d see at a figure-skating event.

Harvick wins a wild one in Kansas; Busch's NASCAR Chase hopes take hit

Kevin Harvick won from the pole at Kansas Speedway on Sunday. It was clear he and sixth-place finisher Jimmie Johnson had the fastest cars. But for half the race, they were battling mid-pack, stuck in traffic and on restart roller coasters while the rest of the field took delight in seeing them trapped.

It didn’t have to be that way. Correct that, it should never have been that way.

NASCAR Chase searching for "water cooler moment" in Kansas

1. Still waiting for a Chase water cooler moment
A palpable buzz is non-existent heading to Sunday’s race at Kansas Speedway. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ championship fight is now four races old, yet the potential drama of a season-ender at Homestead-Miami Speedway seems months away.

Fantasy NASCAR Picks for Kansas Speedway

To help guide you through the 2013 Fantasy NASCAR season, Athlon Sports contributor Geoffrey Miller will be offering his best predictions for each race. And because Yahoo's Fantasy Auto Racing game is arguably the most popular, he’ll break down the picks according to its Sprint Cup Series driver classes — A-List, B-List, C-List. The main picks are designed to make optimal use of Yahoo!’s 9-start maximum rule over the course of the season.

Dover Dominance: Johnson wins, tightens NASCAR Chase battle

“I think Jimmie is probably the most underrated champion we have in this industry. He is by far the most powerful driver over the course of the last 25, 35 years in this sport.”

Hendrick Motorsports crew chief Chad Knaus is not known for his use of hyperbole. Knaus is thoughtful, measured and well-spoken when interacting with the media. And the man’s a genius at his trade: making cars go fast.

So when the champion crew chief heaps that sort of praise on a driver — even if it’s his own — people have a tendency to stop, look and listen.

Will Dover throw curve at NASCAR's Chase favorites?

1. Jimmie Johnson has to be the early favorite
There were two surprising events for Jimmie Johnson during the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Dover International Speedway in June. But it was the second one that bit harder.

First, Johnson turned in his worst qualifying performance at Dover since 2007 when his lap of 155.206 mph left him nearly a half-second off of Denny Hamlin’s pole-winning pace and starting the 400-mile race in 24th. It ultimately didn’t matter; Johnson took the lead just after the race’s halfway point.

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