1) Kevin Harvick (Starting – 10th)
Auto Club Fantasy Spin – Kevin Harvick will be tough to beat at Auto Club Speedway as he vies for 4th straight win of the 2018 season. Momentum matters in fantasy NASCAR and he has it. At the two intermediate tracks visited this year he’s put on a display of domination and easily raced his way to victory lane. Between those two events he has a near perfect driver rating, a 2.5 average running position and has led 395 laps. At Auto Club Speedway Harvick performs at an elite level and in his last two incident free races he’s finished runner-up. In Happy Hour, Harvick had a great car. He had the best 10 and 15 lap average speed. On Sunday look for Harvick to finish in the top five and compete for the win.
Auto Club Track History – Auto Club Speedway is a great track for Kevin Harvick. He’s a former winner and over the last 9 races minus 2014 he has a 5.1 average finish. Last year he finished 13th, but I wouldn’t read into his result. He damaged his car on lap #1 and after that he never really ran well. In 2016 he had a great car and if there wasn’t a late caution he likely would’ve won. When the checkered flag waved he finished 2nd, earned the best driver rating and led a race high 142 laps. In 2015 he also performed at a high-level. He finished 2nd, he had a 2nd place average running position, earned the 2nd best driver rating and led 34 laps.
2) Kyle Busch (Starting – 2nd)
Auto Club Fantasy Spin – Kyle Busch should be on your short list of favorites at Auto Club Speedway. It’s a great track for him and he’s arguably the best performer here. Since 2011 he has the best driver rating, best average finish (6.7), best average running position (4.5) and has led the most laps (368). In 4 of his last 6 races here he’s finished in the top 3. This year at intermediate tracks Busch has been strong and is one of six drivers who have finished in the top ten both races. He finished 2nd at Las Vegas, and 9th at Atlanta. In Happy Hour, Kyle Busch had a great car. He had the 4th best ten lap average and the 3rd best 15 lap average speed. On Sunday look for Kyle Busch to finish in the top five and compete for the win.
Auto Club Track History – Auto Club Speedway is a great track for Kyle Busch and ranks as one of his best. He’s a three-time winner who’s finished in the top five 42% percent of the time, and in the top ten 68% percent of the time. Early in 2017 Joe Gibbs Racing was lacking speed but Busch still had a solid performance at Auto Club. In that event he finished 8th, had a 6th place average running position and earned the 6th best driver rating. In 2016 he was top five good but finished a misleading 25th. With 3 laps to go while he was running in 2nd he had a flat tire and got into the wall hard. In 2015 he missed the race due to injury. In 2014 and 2013 he raced his way to victory lane. In the two races prior to that he finished 2nd and 3rd.
Further Recommended Reading – Auto Club Practice Notes/ Practice Speeds Center, DraftKings Playability Value Chart, Likely Finish Ranges, Speed Cheat Sheet, DraftKings Start Page, Fantasy NASCAR Start Page, Auto Club Starting Lineup
3) Martin Truex Jr. (Starting – 1st)
Auto Club Fantasy Spin – Pole sitter Martin Truex Jr. will be a factor at Auto Club Speedway. At high-speed intermediate tracks he’s a fantasy ace and currently has 11 straight top six results. This year at the two intermediate tracks visited him and Kevin Harvick are the only drivers who swept the top five. Truex Jr. finished 4th at Las Vegas, and 5th at Atlanta. Last year at 2.0 mile ovals Truex Jr. ranked as one of the best. Over the combined three races he had the 2nd best average finish (4.0), led the second most laps (192) and had the best average running position (4.3). At Auto Club Speedway Truex Jr. performs at a high-level and has been top five good “Performance Wise” the last two races. In Happy Hour Truex Jr. had a great car. He had the 3rd best 10 lap average and the 5th best 15 lap average. On Sunday look for Truex Jr. to compete for a top five.
Auto Club Track History – Martin Truex Jr. has performed well in recent Auto Club races. Last year he had a strong showing. He finished 4th, earned the 2nd best PROS Ranking, earned the 2nd best driver rating, had a 3rd place average running position and led 73 laps. If there wasn’t a late caution he was a lock to finish 2nd. Additionally Truex finished 2nd in Stage #1 and won Stage #2. In 2016 he finished a misleading 32nd. With 51 laps to go while he was running in 5th Logano had contact with him and it led to the #78 pounding the wall. In that race he led 21 laps. In 2015 he finished 8th, earned the 10th best driver rating and had an 11th place average running position.