1) Kevin Harvick (Starting – 11th)
Chicagoland Fantasy Spin – Kevin Harvick will be the driver to beat at Chicagoland. It’s a phenomenal track for him and this weekend he has a great car. In Happy Hour he had the best ten lap average and the 3rd best overall average speed. In practice #1 his overall average speed ranked as the 2nd best. This year at 1.5 mile tracks which translate to success he’s been the class of the field. On Sunday look for Harvick to finish in the top five and compete for the win.
Chicagoland Track History – Chicagoland is a great track for Kevin Harvick and it’s arguably his best 1.5 mile track. He’s won here twice and finished in the top five 53% percent of the time. Over the last five races “Performance Wise” I think he’s been top five good. Last year he had a great car. When the checkered flag waved he finished 3rd, had a 2nd place average running position, finished 2nd in Stage #1 & 2, earned the 2nd best driver rating and led 59 laps. In 2016 I thought he was extremely competitive but his race wasn’t incident free and he finished 20th after getting burned by a caution during the pit cycle. In 2015 Harvick was likely top 3 good, but unfortunately his race wasn’t incident free. While he was racing with Johnson for the lead on lap 135 they had contact which cut his tire and sent him into the wall hard leading to his 42nd place finish. In the two races prior to that he had results of 3rd and 5th.
2018 Similar Track Success – This year at 1.5 mile tracks Kevin Harvick has been a fantasy ace. At these venues minus Charlotte (crashed while running in the top five) he has 3 wins, has finished in the top two every race, has a 3.5 average running position and has averaged leading 140 laps per race. Kansas and Las Vegas are the two most similar 1.5’s visited and at both venues he won in convincing fashion.
DraftKings $11,800 / FanDuel $12,300
2) Martin Truex Jr. (Starting – 36th)
Chicagoland Fantasy Spin – Momentum matters in fantasy NASCAR and Martin Truex Jr. has it. In 4 of the last 5 races heading into the weekend he’s finished in the top two. At Chicagoland he’s thrived and currently has back to back wins. When you combine that with how strong he’s been at 1.5 mile tracks you know he’ll be a contender. In practice Truex Jr. showed a lot of speed. In practice #1 his ten lap average ranked as the best. In Happy Hour he had the best overall average speed. On Sunday look for Truex to finish in the top five and be a serious threat to win despite starting 36th. Last year he had to overcome adversity and I think he’ll do so on Sunday.
Chicagoland Track History – Martin Truex Jr. has back to back wins at Chicagoland and has performed at a very high-level. Last year he had a great performance and raced his way to victory lane even though his race wasn’t incident free. On lap 42 while he was running in 2nd he was caught speeding on pit road. Even with that problem he finished 10th in Stage #1. In Stage #2 he finished 3rd. During the final Stage when he got up to the lead he never looked back and easily cruised his way to victory lane. In addition to winning he earned the best driver rating, led 77 laps and was the fastest driver in every loop data speed stat. In 2016 Truex Jr. had a great car and won, but it should be noted if there wasn’t a late caution that he was able to take advantage of he probably would’ve finished 2nd. Additionally, he earned the 2nd best driver rating and led 32 laps. In 2015 he had a great car and was top five good but finished 13th. There was a late restart and it was very detrimental to him. In that race he earned the 4th best driver rating, had a 5th place average running position and led 39 laps.
2018 Similar Track Success – Martin Truex Jr. has thrived at 1.5 mile tracks and going back to last year he’s won 7 of the last 15. This year he’s been shut out of victory lane, but he’s been no slouch. At these venues minus Texas, he has a 3.3 average finish and has finished in the top five every race. At the last two 1.5’s he’s finished runner-up.
DraftKings $10,900 / FanDuel $12,800
3) Kyle Larson (Starting – 18th)
Chicagoland Fantasy Spin – Kyle Larson will be a driver who should be on your short list of favorites at Chicagoland. Out of the “Big Three” of Harvick, Truex and Kyle Busch he’s likely the next best option. Kansas and Las Vegas are the two most similar tracks visited and at both venues he finished in the top five. On Sunday I would look for Larson to compete for another top five. In Happy Hour his ten lap average speed ranked as the 3rd best.
Chicagoland Track History – Kyle Larson has been very competitive at Chicagoland. In 3 of his 4 races he’s finished in the top 7. Last year he had a great car. He finished 5th, had a 6th place average running position and earned the 7th best driver rating. Additionally, he finished 8th in Stage #1 and 4th in Stage #2. In 2016 he had a strong showing but finished an asterisk mark 18th. With 7 laps to go while he was running in 7th he had a tire issue and made an unexpected pit stop under green. In the two Chicagoland races prior to that he had results of 7th and 3rd.
2018 Similar Track Success – Kyle Larson has thrived at 1.5 mile tracks this year. In 2018 at these venues minus Texas where he had problems like almost everyone else he has a 5.8 average finish, a 6.0 average running position and has finished in the top 9 every race. Las Vegas and Kansas are the two most similar tracks visited and at those venues he had results of 3rd (Las Vegas) and 4th (Kansas).
DraftKings $10,400 / FanDuel $11,400