1) Martin Truex Jr. (Starting – 1st)
Kansas Fantasy Spin – Pole sitter Martin Truex Jr. will be the favorite at Kansas. He raced his way to victory lane this spring, and he’s been a super elite performer at 1.5 mile tracks this year. Over the 8 combined races at 1.5 mile tracks he has 5 wins, a 3.0 average finish, a 4.1 average running position and has led 856 laps. In the last three races at these tracks he’s won. With Martin Truex Jr. already locked into the next round of the Playoffs look for him to go all out for another win.
Kansas Track History – Kansas has been a great track for Martin Truex Jr. He raced his way to victory lane this spring, and he’s been good enough to win a couple other recent races. This spring he had a great car. In addition to finishing first he earned the best driver rating, had a 2nd place average running position and led a race high 104 laps. Last fall Truex Jr. had some major fueling issues so you can’t read into his performance too much. In that race he finished 11th and earned the 9th best driver rating. In spring 2016 he was the class of the field but victory lane eluded him. He had some problems late, and had to make a second pit stop during a pit cycle. In the race he earned the best driver rating, led 172 laps and finished 14th. In fall 2015 he was around 10th place good but finished 15th after getting a late pit penalty. In spring 2015 he earned the best driver rating, had a 2nd place average running position, led 95 laps and finished 9th. That result is very misleading and is the product of bad late pit strategy, followed by a bad restart.
Yahoo A Driver / DraftKings $10,800
2) Kyle Larson (Starting – 13th)
Kansas Fantasy Spin – Kyle Larson will be one of the drivers to beat at Kansas. The main reason why he should be prominent on your fantasy radar is because he’s been a super elite performer at 1.5 mile tracks this year. At tracks of this length minus the spring Charlotte race he has a 4.1 average finish, 5 runner-up results and has finished in the top 10 every race. At Kansas, Larson doesn’t have the best track record on paper, but he’s had some really good races. In practice Kyle Larson had a great car and was really fast running the high-line. On Sunday look for Larson to compete for a top five finish and be a factor to win.
Kansas Track History – Kyle Larson runs well at Kansas, but he’s had a tough time in many of the recent races. This spring he had a good performance. He finished 6th, had a 6th place average running position and earned the 5th best driver rating. In the three Kansas races prior to that he had problems. Last fall he was likely about mid-teens good but on lap 177 he got into the wall hard and that led to his 30th place finish. In spring 2016 he had a great car and had top five potential, but he was taken out in a late wreck when Denny Hamlin decided to go three-wide.
Yahoo B Driver / DraftKings $9,800
Further Recommended Reading: Kansas Post Practice Predictions (another fantasy take), Practice Notes/Practice Speeds Center, Kansas Speed Cheat Sheet, Kansas Starting Lineup, DraftKings Playability Value Chart, Likely Finish Ranges, DraftKings Start Page, Yahoo Start Page
3) Kevin Harvick (Starting – 2nd)
Kansas Fantasy Spin – Kevin Harvick has been a super elite performer at Kansas. He’s the defending fall champion, and in 4 of the last 5 races here he’s finished in the top 3. With him starting on the front row I would look for him to run up front all race long. In practice his car was very quick. In both Happy Hour and Practice #2 he had the best ten lap average. He’s also said to be really happy with his car. In the Playoffs at similar 1.5 mile tracks Harvick’s shown speed and has finished 3rd both races. On Sunday look for Harvick to finish in the top five and compete for the win.
Kansas Track History – Kansas has been a great track for Kevin Harvick and in recent races he’s arguably been the best driver. Over the last five races he has the best driver rating, the best average running position (5.2) and the second best average finish (4.8). This spring, Harvick had a strong showing. He finished 3rd, earned the 4th best driver rating and had an 8th place average running position. Last fall, Kevin Harvick had a fast car and raced his way to victory lane. In the race he earned the best driver rating, had a 3rd place average running position and led 74 laps. In spring 2016 he had a great car. When the checkered flag waved he finished 2nd, earned the 3rd best driver rating and had a 6th place average running position.
Yahoo A Driver / DraftKings $9,600