Kevin Harvick 2018 Fantasy NASCAR
Photo Credit: NASCAR Media

Kevin Harvick – Two-time Kansas winner Kevin Harvick will be a favorite to win. He’s performed at an elite-level at Kansas and this year at 1.5 mile tracks he’s been the class of the field. When you combine those two variables its clear he’ll be tough to beat. At Kansas, Kevin Harvick has run exceptionally well and in 6 of the last 9 races he’s finished in the top 3. Over that nine race stretch he has the best driver rating by a wide margin, the best average finish (5.2), best average running position (5.3) and has led the most laps. Last fall Kevin Harvick had a strong car but finished a misleading 8th. “Performance Wise” he was top 3 good but he used some pit strategy late that burned him when a caution came out shortly after he pitted. Just before pitting he was running in 3rd. From the race it should be noted he finished 2nd in Stage #1, 2nd in Stage #2, earned the 3rd best driver rating, had a 5th place average running position and led 37 laps. Last spring Harvick had a strong showing. He finished 3rd, earned the 4th best driver rating and had an 8th place average running position. In fall 2016 Harvick had a great 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 one of the fastest cars over long runs. When the race reached its conclusion he finished 2nd, earned the 3rd best driver rating and had a 6th place average running position. This year at 1.5 mile tracks nobody has been better than Harvick. He’s won twice and has one second place result.

Kyle Busch – Kansas was once a rough spot on the schedule for Kyle Busch, now its one of his best tracks. Over the last six races he’s finished in the top ten every race, has 1 win, 5 top fives, the best average finish (5.2), the 2nd best average running position (5.6), led the 2nd most laps (240) and has the 3rd best driver rating. Last fall he had a great car but finished a misleading 10th. Late in the race he pitted from 2nd but shortly after that a caution came out which dropped him back in the running order. Additionally it should be noted he won Stage #1, finished 5th Stage #2, earned the 2nd best driver rating, had a 4th place average running position and led a race high 112 laps. Last spring he had a very strong car. He earned the 3rd best driver rating, had a 4th place average running position, finished 5th and led 59 laps. In fall 2016 he was also strong. When the checkered flag waved he finished 5th and earned the 5th best driver rating. In spring 2016 he raced his way to victory lane. In addition to finishing first he earned the 2nd best driver rating, had a 4th place average running position and led 69 laps. In the two races prior to that he finished 3rd and 5th. Texas is the most recent 1.5 mile track visited and at that venue he raced his way to victory lane. Las Vegas is the most similar track visited this year and he finished runner-up there. On Saturday night look for Busch to finish in the top five and compete for the win.

Martin Truex Jr. – Martin Truex Jr. pulled out the broom last year at Kansas and on Saturday night he’ll be tough to beat. He’s a super-elite performer at 1.5 mile tracks and this year in every race on this sub-track type he’s been a top five contender. He finished 4th at Las Vegas, 5th at Atlanta and was running in 2nd at Texas when he had a sudden flat tire which marked the end of his race. Last fall Truex Jr. had an impressive performance and won from the pole. He certainly didn’t make it easy on himself. On lap 32 while leading he got a restart violation penalty and then later on lap 92 he made an unexpected pit stop for a loose wheel. Despite his self-inflicted problems he earned the best driver rating and led 91 laps. Last spring Truex Jr. was also impressive. In that race he finished 1st, earned the best driver rating, had a 2nd place average running position and led a race high 104 laps. In quite a few of the Kansas races prior to that he was the driver to beat, but walked away with a misleading result. In fall 2016 he was solid. He finished 11th and earned the 9th best driver rating. In that race it should be noted he had some major fuel problems which held him back. In spring 2016 nobody was better than him. If he didn’t have to pit a second time during a late pit cycle under green he likely would’ve raced his way to victory lane. In the race he earned the best driver rating, led 172 laps and finished 14th. On Saturday night look for him to finish in the top five and be a serious threat to win.

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