Photo Credit: NASCAR
Photo Credit: NASCAR

Kyle Busch – Kyle Busch will miss the old Kentucky surface. On it he won twice, finished in the top ten every race and had a 3.8 average result. Even though the track is vastly different I think he’ll still be one of the drivers to beat. He’s a smart driver, and “smart drivers” win firsts. A few notable “first” victories Kyle Busch has on his resume are the first race with the COT at Bristol, he won the first race at Kentucky, he won at Kentucky last year when the low down-force package debuted, and he won last summer at Indy in the first race with the high-downforce package. It’s certainly not a coincidence he’s winning these firsts even though every circumstance is different. This year at 1.5 mile tracks Kyle Busch ranks as one of the best. At these venues minus Charlotte where he had top ten potential but got into the wall late he’s won twice, finished in the top five every race and has a 2.3 average finish. The two tracks that I think are the most similar to Kentucky are Kansas and Las Vegas. At Kansas he raced his way to victory lane and at Las Vegas he finished 4th. (Yahoo A Driver)

Joey Logano – Joey Logano is poised for a strong showing at Kentucky. He excelled on the old surface with three straight top tens and I expect him to be equally strong on the new layout. The #22 team is one of the best in the series and 1.5 mile tracks are an area of strength. This year at 1.5 mile tracks minus Kansas where he was top five strong but was taken out in a wreck he has a 6.5 average finish and a 6.8 average running position. I think Kentucky might very well race like Las Vegas and he was extremely strong at that venue earning the best driver rating, finishing 2nd, having a 3rd place average running position and leading a race high 74 laps. One attribute I like about Logano that also needs to be noted is that he races really well at tracks with relatively new surfaces (Kansas and Michigan). At Michigan when the “Lower Down Force” package was first used Logano had a dominant performance. He started 1st, finished 1st and led a race high 138 laps. (Yahoo A Driver)

Further Recommended Reading – How to approach Kentucky, 1.5 Mile Track Stats, Who tested at Kentucky

Kevin Harvick – Kevin Harvick will be one of the drivers to beat at Kentucky. When testing was conducted a month ago his crew chief was pretty happy with how the test went. When his crew chief if happy it’s typically a pretty good sign that he’ll be really good. This year at 1.5 mile tracks he’s been one of the strongest performers and belongs in the conversation of being the best. At tracks of this length in 2016 he’s scored the 2nd most points, has a series best 5.4 average result and is one of just two drivers who have finished in the top ten every race. In the last two races at tracks of this length he’s finished 2nd. I’ll note Kentucky might very well race like Kansas and at that venue he finished runner-up this spring. Additionally in 4 of the last 6 races there he’s finished in the top two. (Yahoo A Driver)

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