Dan Beaver

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Fantasy Live: Kansas

Tuesday, May 8, 2018


Following two short track courses, another contest on a one-mile, high-banked track, and a restrictor-plate, superspeedway “Pick ‘Em”, it’s great to get back on a track with a wealth of statistics. Ten races each year get contested on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks and the drivers who excel on them are the cream of the crop.

Don’t worry about dark horses this week, because they are not going to earn top-10s – and the best of them will be happy with a top-15.

Allocation management comes into play, but with so many drivers posting significant streaks on this track type, it is fairly easy to top-load the roster. Here are our five favorite picks.



Kyle Busch
It is hard to imagine that Kyle Busch will have three bad finishes in a row. Standing in the garage area last week after breaking a drive shaft, he said he knew what caused it. That means the team can fix it, and Busch will rebound automatically on a track where he has five top-fives in his last six attempts and a worst finish of 10th in that span.

Kevin Harvick
As it has for most of the year, the battle for supremacy is going to come down to Busch and Kevin Harvick. Dating back to last fall’s Texas Motor Speedway race, Harvick has three wins and a second-place finish in his last four races on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks. Stretching back to the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas – a race he won – Harvick has finished outside the top 10 on this track type only once in 15 starts.

Joey Logano
Joey Logano has been the model of consistency all year with only a few minor hiccups. Last week was one, but he would have earned another top-10 if not for loose lugnuts on the final pit stop. On similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks, he has finished between sixth and eighth in six of the last eight races, but now he has confidence gained from his Talladega Superspeedway win and should easily contend for a top-five.

Martin Truex Jr.
Martin Truex Jr. was the king of the so-called "cookie-cutter" courses last year. He won six of the 10 races including both at Kansas. Entering this spring’s O'Reilly 500 at Texas, he had a 13-race, top-10 streak in which he boasted an average finish of 3.0. Simply put, there are few better on this track type and Truex has the capability to rival Busch and Harvick for the win.

Ryan Blaney
While the competition is focusing primarily on the top drivers of each team, you can sneak up on them with Ryan Blaney. He was a solid pick last year on the similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks with eight top-12 finishes in 10 races. That streak included a pair of top-fives. This year, he finished 12th at Atlanta Motor Speedway and then fifth in back-to-back events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Texas. Coming off a solid showing at Dover International Speedway – a track where he was not expected to run well – he has momentum on his side and should contend for a result in the mid, single digits.

Garage Pick

Chase Elliott
Last week was an eye-opener. If Chase Elliott could struggle at Dover – a track on which he has been practically perfect during his career – then he is not going to be a certainty anywhere in the new Chevrolet Camaro. He deserves attention this week, however, because he was so strong on the similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks last year with eight top-10s in 10 races. This included a four-race streak of top-10s. Two of his races ended in second-place finishes. We still think he can win in 2018. In three races on this track type this season, however, he has a 10th and an 11th as his high water mark.

Red Flag

Denny Hamlin
Based on his seven-race streak of top-fives on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks that ended with a 17th in the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas, we could just as easily make Denny Hamlin a favorite. Unfortunately, this is a driver prone to making mistakes in the pits and that means he could turn a solid run into an also ran in the blink of an eye.

 

Driver

Segment Points

Segments earning points

Segment Wins

Kyle Busch

133

19

2

Brad Keselowski

130

18

4

Kevin Harvick

107

17

6

Joey Logano

104

18

2

Kurt Busch

96

17

2

Martin Truex Jr.

76

13

2

Clint Bowyer

75

14

 

Ryan Blaney

68

10

2

Kyle Larson

58

10

 

Denny Hamlin

53

11

1

Jimmie Johnson

39

10

 

Aric Almirola

37

7

 

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

33

7

 

Chase Elliott

31

9

 

Paul Menard

29

6

1

Erik Jones

23

6

 

Michael McDowell

17

3

 

William Byron

16

4

 

AJ Allmendinger

14

3

 

Daniel Suarez

13

3

 

Alex Bowman

13

2

 

Ryan Newman

13

2

 

Austin Dillon

7

3

 

Darrell Wallace Jr.

5

2

 

David Ragan

5

1

 

Ty Dillon

5

1

 

Trevor Bayne

4

2

 

Jamie McMurray

4

1

 

Kasey Kahne

2

1

 

 



Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 12 years with a little help from his >500,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.
Email :Dan Beaver



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