Kyle Busch – Kyle Busch will be poised as a favorite to win on Saturday night. Kentucky has been a great track for him and this year at 1.5 mile tracks he’s been one of the premiere performers. This year over the six combined races at tracks of this length he has 3 wins, 4 top fives and is the only driver who’s finished in the top ten every race. Additionally, he has the best average finish (3.7), the best average running position (5.2) and has the 2nd best driver rating. At the last two 1.5 mile tracks visited he’s won in impressive fashion. Kentucky has been a stellar track for Busch, but for fantasy purposes you don’t need to go back anymore than the last two races since the track was recently reconfigured/repaved. Last year, Kyle Busch had a great performance from the pole. He finished 5th, earned the 2nd best driver rating, had a 3rd place average running position, led 112 laps and finished 2nd in the first two Stages. “Performance Wise”, Busch had the 3rd best car but late restarts were detrimental. In 2016 at Kentucky Busch ran well but finished a misleading 12th. Performance wise he was top five good but the fuel strategy element at the end hurt him. Additionally in the race Busch earned the 5th best driver rating and had a 6th place average running position. On Saturday night look for Busch to finish in the top five and compete for the win.
Martin Truex Jr. – Martin Truex Jr. will be a factor at Kentucky. On Saturday night I would look for him to finish in the top five and compete for the win. He’s the defending champion and you have to love how he’s performed at 1.5 mile tracks this year. In 2018 at tracks of this length minus Texas he’s finished in the top five every race, has a 3.4 average finish and a 7.2 average running position. Last year at Kentucky, Truex Jr. was the class of the field and easily raced his way to victory lane. With 15 laps to go he had a 14.1 second lead. Additionally, he won the first two Stages, earned a near perfect driver rating, had a 2nd place average running position and led 152 laps. In 2016, Truex Jr. was very strong. He earned the 3rd best driver rating, had a 5th place average running position, finished 10th and led 46 laps. Strength wise he was easily top five good but he got a costly pit road penalty while running in 2nd and then fuel mileage entered the equation late.
Kevin Harvick – Kevin Harvick has never won at Kentucky, but on Saturday night I could see that changing. This year at 1.5 mile tracks he’s been a fantasy ace. At those venues minus Charlotte, he’s won 3 of the 5 races, has finished in the top 3 every race and has a 3.6 average running position. At Kentucky, Harvick has been a strong performer and in the two races on the current configuration he has back to back 9th. In both of those races he was better than his result. Last year at Kentucky, Harvick had a strong showing. He earned the 3rd best driver rating, had a 4th place average running position, finished 4th in the first two Stages and then finished 9th when the checkered flag waved. I will note if there wasn’t a late caution he was poised to finish 5th (Was caught speeding on pit road). In 2016 Harvick was extremely strong. When the race reached its he earned the best driver rating, led a race high 128 laps and finished 9th. If fuel mileage didn’t enter the equation late he has a lock for a top 3 finish.