Matt Kenseth – Matt Kenseth will have limited fantasy value at Kentucky in the #6. I think he’ll likely be a high-teens driver, and if he has a really good race he might be mid-teens good. Anything better than that would be surprising. Charlotte is the lone 1.5 mile track he’s raced at this year and at that venue he finished 17th and had a 22nd place average running position. Kentucky has been a great track for Kenseth, but keep in mind he’s not in the #20 anymore. Last year at Kentucky, Kenseth was competitive but finished an asterisk mark 17th after wrecking during the final lap while running around 10th. Additionally, he had a 7th place average running position, earned the 9th best driver rating, finished 6th in Stage #1 and 3rd in Stage #2. In 2016 Matt Kenseth was very fast and ranked as one of the strongest performers. In the race he earned the 4th best driver rating, had a 4th place average running position and finished 8th. I will note if fuel strategy didn’t enter the equation late he had a great chance to finish 2nd.
Ryan Newman – At Kentucky I’m not going to set the benchmark high for Ryan Newman. This year at 1.5 mile tracks he hasn’t showed a lot of potential. At tracks of this length minus Las Vegas (finished 11th) and Chicagoland (15th) all of his other results are 22nd or worse. It’s hard being confident picking a driver since that’s the case. Last year at Kentucky, Newman didn’t run well and finished 22nd. Additionally he had a 21st place average running position and earned the 23rd best driver rating. In 2016 at Kentucky, Newman was able to stretch his fuel and as a result he finished 3rd. Over the last quarter of the race he was a consistent top ten performer. Realistically performance wise I would say he was really about 8th place good. On Saturday night I would look for Newman to come home with a high-teens finish.
Bubba Wallace – Last year at Kentucky, Bubba Wallace drove the #43 and made his final start of the 2017 season. It was a quality performance for him and I think it largely earned him his current ride. He was a steady performer throughout the event. When the checkered flag waved he finished 11th, earned the 14th best driver rating and had a 16th place average running position. I will note he wasn’t quite as good as his result. Realistically he was about mid-teens good and he benefited from some late attrition. This year “Performance Wise” at 1.5 mile tracks he’s typically been a high-teens to low-twenties driver and on Saturday night I would look for him to finish within that range.