Kansas STP 400 Fantasy NASCAR Preview and PicksA= Really, Really Good Pick

Carl Edwards – This is his home track and there’s no reason to think he won’t be the favorite. In 2008 he finished second to Jimmie Johnson but I think the roles will be reversed this time. (Yahoo A Driver)

Jimmie Johnson – In three out of the last four years Johnson has had finishes of first, second and third. His other finish in this time span was 9th. Earlier this year at California which is essentially Kansas but just half a mile longer Johnson came home with a second place finish. (Yahoo A Driver)

Greg Biffle – Can you say safe pick? Since 2004 Greg Biffle has only finished worse than third once. His average driver rating over this time span is an impressive 122.6. Last fall Biffle took the checkered flag and led 60 laps. (Yahoo A Driver)

Matt Kenseth – Look for this Texas winner to be tough at Kansas. His stats are weighed down heavily by bad finishes but trust me you can’t go wrong by picking him this week. In the last six years he has three top seven finishes at Kansas. (Yahoo A Driver)

Kevin Harvick – In three out of the last four Kansas races Harvick has finished in the top six. Last fall he had a career best finish of third. His win at Auto Club Speedway was a huge testament for how good the 29 team is on intermediate tracks. His win at Charlotte was big also but fuel mileage wildcard wins don’t provide the best fantasy data. (Yahoo A Driver)

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A- = Really Good Pick

Clint Bowyer – Bowyer’s finished in the top 15 in 80% of his races at Kansas. In 2007 he finished second but actually crossed the finish line first (Video). What I really like about Bowyer is how strong he was at Texas (finished second). (Yahoo B Driver)

Denny Hamlin – Hamlin only has one top ten at Kansas but he does have three straight top twelve finishes. On intermediate tracks this year he’s shown some flashes that make me believe he’ll be good this week. At Las Vegas he started in the back and drove all the way up to seventh. At Auto Club Speedway he was competitive before he blew up. Check out his Yahoo! chart from that race. (Yahoo A Driver)

B+ = Good Pick

Kyle Busch – Kyle Busch is very capable of putting on a good showing at Kansas but something always seems to happen. Last year he was the victim of David Reutimann’s bonzi retribution accident. In seven races at Kansas Kyle Busch only has one top ten finish. (Yahoo A Driver)

AJ Allmendinger – SLEEPER ALERT, look for AJ Allmendinger to be competitive once again. Pick him while he’s hot. It would be fitting for this team to win the STP 400. (Yahoo B Driver)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. – His record isn’t quite as bad as his 19.1 average finish would lead you to believe. In ten races at Kansas Earnhardt Jr. has five top thirteen finishes. In 2009 he was very competitive and led 41 laps, got penalized on pit road and then later his engine blew up. (Yahoo B Driver)

Kasey Kahne – Kahne has two top tens at Kansas in the last four years. Last year he led 27 laps but was involved in an accident. This team has momentum (from good performances not good finishes) on their side and if you go by trends he’s finished in the top ten every other year going back the last half decade. (Yahoo B Driver)

David Reutimann – Reutimann was somebodies hero last year. He ran good but was involved in an incident with Kyle Busch. He later returned and paid Kyle Busch back. In 2009 he finished 8th at Kansas but what I really like is his win at Chicagoland last year (sister track). (Yahoo B Driver)

Marcos Ambrose – Ambrose’s stats are terrible at Kansas but that’s really what you shouldn’t be focusing on this week. Focus on how well he’s run at other 1.5 mile intermediate tracks this year. (Yahoo B Driver)

B = A Tier Below The Good Picks

Tony Stewart – In his last two trips to Kansas Stewart has come home with a win and a fourth place finish. Tony Stewart has been a serious competitor at many high speed intermediate track this year but one thing or another has kept him out of victory lane. He was strong at Las Vegas, Texas and California. He’s been uncompetitive in recent weeks but don’t sour on him to much. (Yahoo A Driver)

David Ragan – Ragan has three top sixteen finishes at Kansas in four starts. Will he be able to replicate that feat? I don’t know but as always proceed with caution when it comes to picking Ragan. (Yahoo C Driver)

Brian Vickers – Intermediate tracks are Brian Vickers thing so there’s lots of potential for him to get a good finish at Kansas. In five races at Kansas Vickers has finished in the top twenty 80% of the time. At Las Vegas and California this year Vickers finished in the top ten. Both of those tracks have similar characteristics. (Yahoo B Driver)

Juan Pablo Montoya – If you want to know how good Montoya will be at Kansas you need to look at how well he’s performed on similar tracks this year. His track history is terrible here because when the 42’s bad there really bad. In 2009 he finished fourth but all of his other finishes are 20th or worse. This year he finished ninth at Las Vegas, tenth at Auto Club Speedway, and thirteenth at Texas. He sounds worth the risk to me this week. (Yahoo B Driver)

B- = You Can Pencil Them In For Around 20th

Jeff Gordon – Gordon has four straight top fives at Kansas, 2 wins and an impressive 8.5 average finish at Kansas but I have no plans to pick him. On intermediate tracks this year something is wrong with this team. He’ll enter the race as a contender in many peoples eyes but when the green flag waves he’ll be a pretender. (Yahoo A Driver)

Mark Martin – Martin’s in the same boat Gordon’s in this week. Both have struggled at 1.5 mile tracks this year. The 24 & 5 shop is behind technologically at the moment. Martin won at Kansas in 2005 and his average finish is 12.6. (Yahoo B Driver)

Joey Logano – Logano has improved each race at Kansas. In 2008 he finished 39th, in 2010 he finished 28th and last year he finished 17th. If this trend continues then I think he should finish sixth. I don’t see this trend continuing though. (Yahoo B Driver)

Paul Menard – Menard has been a quality sleeper pick almost every intermediate track race this year. Once again he’ll be the top sleeper on many people’s radars. Last fall at Kansas he finished 8th. All three of his other finishes are 27th or worse. Like I started saying a little while ago I think this ship is going to sink soon. (Yahoo C Driver)

Jeff Burton – Kansas has never been a good track for him. Burton’s been in every Kansas race and he only has two top ten finishes and one top ten starting position to show for it. In all of his races combined here he’s led a grand total of 7 laps. (Yahoo B Driver)

C+ = Proceed With Caution

Kurt Busch – The last time Kurt had a top ten at Kansas he won the championship. He showed improvement at Charlotte but up until that race things have been tough for the 22 team. (Yahoo A Driver)

Ryan Newman – In Newman’s first three races at Kansas he finished second, second and first. If his career ended there then he would be an A plus pick this week. Last fall he finished ninth which is his only top fifteen finish since 2003. He’s had some success on similar tracks this year but I think he’s starting to fade. (Yahoo B Driver)

Martin Truex Jr. – Martin’s been getting closer to closing the deal in recent weeks but Kansas has been tough on him. His average finish is 25.6 and he doesn’t have a single top ten. In 2008 he was competitive and led 27 laps but guess where he finished, thats right 43rd. Does that type of day sound familiar to you? (Yahoo B Driver)

C = I’m Not Picking Them

Jamie McMurray – McMurray’s got two top tens at Kansas but to find them you need to look all the way back to his rookie and sophomore seasons. Last fall he finished 11th which is his only other top fifteen finish. (Yahoo B Driver)

Brad Keselowski – No reason to pick him. In 2009 he finished 13th in Hendrick equipment but last year in Penske equipment he finished 23rd. He looked competitive at Charlotte but who isn’t a better alternative? (Yahoo B Driver)