Are you ready for the Go Bowling 400 at the Kansas Speedway. We’re here to help you with your Fantasy NASCAR needs.
In terms of restrictor plate tracks, this past weekend’s Talladega race was fairly tame. We saw only one real incident when AJ Allmendinger shoved Chase Elliott, directing the 24 car into the outside wall and collecting a handful of cars in the process. We likely needed one more “Big One” for the suggested strategy in last week’s write up to come through for us. I wasn’t counting on a tame plate track race and I won’t next time either. Plate tracks are extremely volatile and stacking the back is still going to be the profitable strategy going forward. In terms of the actual race, “Wrecky” Stenhouse Jr. overtook Kyle’s Busch on the exciting final lap to capture the first win of his career.
Kansas Preview Go Bowling 400
Race 11 is our first night race of the season. I’m a sucker for night races; the kids are (mostly) in bed and I don’t feel as bad throwing back a few adult beverages on a Saturday night versus day drinking on a Sunday while actively avoiding Lego and Play-Doh bombs. We will be at Kansas Speedway on Saturday night at 7:30pm for the Go Bowling 400. Kansas is a 1.5 mile D-shaped oval and the drivers will circle 267 laps. That’s a fairly low-ish lap count so we will need to nail the lap leaders for the “fast points” and sprinkle in the place differential plays for the optimal lineup. In looking at the historical data over the last 8 races here my model is telling me to insert the pole sitter into my lineup. The pole sitter has led 38.66% of the laps over the last 8 races here. I’m pretty sure that’s the largest number we’ve this season which tells me there will generally be one groove and it will be difficult to pass the car out in front. I’m looking at targeting two lap leaders in my cash games this week and it might be as simple as taking two of the cars starting inside the top four as they have combined to lead 63.74% over the last 8 races with significant drop off in correlation after the top four spots.
Top Tier (over $9,000)
Jimmie Johnson at $10,100 starting 29th is a free square this week. Play him in all formats for the big place differential points.
Martin Truex Jr. starting 3rd and wicked fast in practice (1st and 3rd), Joey Logano starting 2nd with worse practice runs (16th and 23rd) but better track history than Truex Jr. with a 110.4 driver rating over the past 8 versus Truex’s 101.5. To be fair both numbers are fairly elite as Logano’s rating is 2nd best in the field and Truex’s is 4th best. These guys are going to challenge for the leader position all day.
Brad Keslowski starting 17th also offers some place differential upside, but he’s also the most expensive driver so I might fade him this week. Kevin Harvick has some elite level track history here with a 123.8 driver rating over the last 8 races. If we put this in a context similar to quarterback rating, we’re talking Aaron Rodgers level to close out the regular season when he went on that crazy run. That’s Harvick at Kansas at he’s starting 8th. I think he’s a fine gpp option but probably not cash.
So for me the mid-tier is easy to break down this week. Ryan Blaney is starting on the pole on a track where the pole sitter has historically led a slew of laps. Blaney might not quite be on par with some of the other drivers that had led laps from the pole but we saw him in a similar position a few weeks back at Texas where he started 2nd and drove by Harvick to lead just about every lap in the 1st stage. He’s shown the ability to run up front so fire him up in gpps but I’d reserve the cash game exposure.
Then we have 4 drivers in this tier starting 30th or worse which is absolute gold:
Dale Jr. hasn’t been great this year, I get it. But he’s getting a $1,100 price drop from last week ($8,300), he’s starting 33rd with good track history (94.7 driver rating over the past 8 races here) and ran 6th and 9th during the practice sessions. At $9,400 the 88 car is another solid place differential option starting this deep in the field; we just need him to simply finish the race and the points should be there.
Other elite options here are Clint Bowyer starting 30th, Kasey Kahne starting 31st, and Erik Jones starting 32nd. I will have anywhere from 3 to 5 of these drivers in most of my lineups. They are in play for both gpps and cash games…love the value here and the expected place differential.
Bottom Tier ($6,900 and under)
Given the stud options in the mid-tier I’m not interested in a ton down here. Two guys I’ll sprinkle in my lineups will be Michael McDowell starting 35th and Landon Cassill starting 36th. These guys are the cream of the poopy crop and playing one of them allows you to fit in an expensive lap leader option and 4 of the mid-tier guys we like. Other reasonable options here include Menard, Almirola, and Allmendinger who are all starting closer to the front but should also finish better than the pure punt plays of McDowell and Cassill.
Given the strong mid-tier this week and the Jimmie Johnson free square I’m likely to roll something like this out in cash games:
Jimmie will be in every lineup for me this week. Risky? Sure, but it’s the right move. I’ll swap Bowyer in with Dale Jr., Kahne, Jones in gpps then I’ll maybe sprinkle some punts like McDowell or Cassill that allow me to get my lap leader or two like Truex, Logano, or Blaney to fit.
It looks like it will be a fun Saturday night under the lights at Kansas!
Good luck this week PAS-Holes and I’ll see you in the winner’s circle.