1) Kevin Harvick (Starting – 2nd)
Las Vegas Fantasy Spin – Kevin Harvick is a recent Las Vegas winner who should be on your short list of favorites. He runs extremely well here and ranks as one of the strongest performers. At 1.5 mile tracks he’s one of the best in the series. He’s fresh off a win at Atlanta, and last year at tracks of this length he scored the 2nd most points, had 1 win, finished in the top five 55% percent of the time and finished in the top ten 91% percent of the time. Currently Harvick has 10 straight top tens at 1.5 mile tracks. In Happy Hour Harvick had a great car. He was happy with how his car performed and he had the best 15 & 20 lap averages. On Sunday I would look for Harvick to finish in the top five and be a threat to win.
Las Vegas Track History – At Las Vegas, Harvick has been a strong performer. Since 2012 in incident free races he has a 5.8 average running position and a 7.0 average finish. Last year Harvick had a fast car but finished a misleading 38th. In the race he started mid-pack in 19th but had no trouble driving his way up thru the running order. Everything was going well for him until lap 68 when he had a flat tire and shot into the wall while running in 6th. If he didn’t have that problem I think he was a top five contender and he probably would’ve been a factor to win. In 2016 he finished 7th, had a 5th place average running position and earned the 4th best driver rating. In 2015 Harvick started in 18th and raced his way to victory lane. In addition to winning he earned the best driver rating, had a 4th place average running position and led a race high 142 laps.
2) Martin Truex Jr. (Starting – 4th)
Las Vegas Fantasy Spin – Martin Truex Jr. will be the favorite to win at Las Vegas. He’s a super-elite performer at 1.5 mile tracks and he’s also the defending Las Vegas champion. Last year over the 11 races at tracks of this length he had 7 wins, a 2.5 average finish, a 4.5 average running position and had a result in the top 8 every race. After his strong 5th place finish from the rear of the field at Atlanta I think it’s safe to assume he hasn’t lost a step. At Las Vegas, Truex Jr. ranks as one of the best performers and on Sunday I would look for him to finish in the top five, and be a serious threat to win. In Happy Hour Truex Jr. liked his car and in both sessions on Saturday his ten lap average ranked as the 3rd best.
Las Vegas Track History – Las Vegas has been a great track for Martin Truex Jr. Over the last five races he has the 3rd best driver rating, a 7.2 average finish and a 6.8 average running position. Last year he was exceptionally strong. He won Stage #1, Stage #2, and of course won the race. Additionally he earned the best driver rating, had a 2nd place average running position and led a race high 150 laps. In 2016 he was a solid low-double digits performer. In the race he finished 11th, earned the 11th best driver rating and had a 12th place average running position. In that race it should be noted his crew chief was suspended. In 2015 Truex Jr. had a great car and was a consistent front runner. He finished 2nd, earned the 3rd best driver rating and had a 6th place average running position.
Further Recommended Reading – Las Vegas Practice Notes/ Practice Speeds Center, DraftKings Playability Value Chart, Likely Finish Ranges, Speed Cheat Sheet, DraftKings Start Page, Fantasy NASCAR Start Page, Las Vegas Starting Lineup
3) Kyle Larson (Starting – 5th)
Las Vegas Fantasy Spin – Kyle Larson is an elite performer at intermediate who’ll be tough to beat at Las Vegas. He runs extremely well on this track type and is almost always a factor to win. Last year at tracks of this length he scored the 3rd most points and had four runner-up finishes. One of his runner-ups was here so you know the #42 team is capable of performing at a high-level. Recently testing was held at Las Vegas and Larson had the fastest car and was said to be impressive. In practice Larson had a great car In Happy Hour he was pleased with his handling and his 15 lap average ranked as the second best. His ten lap average that session ranked as the best. On Sunday I would look for Larson to compete for a top five and be a factor to win.
Las Vegas Track History – Las Vegas has been a pretty good track for Larson. Last year he had a great car and was a consistent front runner. He finished 2nd, earned the 4th best driver rating and had a 5th place average running position. Additionally he finished 2nd in Stage #1 and 3rd in Stage #2. In 2016 during his off-year he had all sorts of problems and finished 34th. In 2015 he was solid. He finished 8th, had an 8th place average running position and earned the 8th best driver rating. Performance wise I thought he was slightly better than his result.