The NASCAR Cup Series will travel to the Heartland this week to race at Kansas Speedway. This will be the second race for the Cup Series on a 1.5-mile intermediate track. The first race was in March at Las Vegas. The track this week will be hot and slick, so we should be in for an exciting race and a good chance to win some cash in our DFS contests. The AdventHealth 400 can be seen Sunday at 3 pm ET on FS1.
KANSAS PRACTICE SPEEDS
The Cup Series had a 20-minute practice Saturday to shake down their cars for Sunday’s race. Some of the drivers were able to make some long runs, so we do have some data to work with this week. The cars lined up for qualifying after practice, so the teams did not have much time to make many adjustments and they will not be able to make many adjustments before the race starts Sunday.
Here are the practice speeds for the AdventHealth 400 at Kansas…
CUP SERIES STATS AT KANSAS
The Cup Series raced twice last year in the Gen-7 car at Kansas Speedway. It is a good idea to look at the data from those two races and combine it with the data from the three intermediate track races this year (Las Vegas, Auto Club and Dover). This should give us an idea of which drivers are good in the Gen-7 car at Kansas and which drivers are good with the current aero package on the intermediate tracks.
Here are the driver’s average DFS Points from the two races at Kansas last year and the three intermediate tracks in 2023…
The race Sunday is scheduled for 267 laps. That means there are 66.75points available for leading laps and 120.15 points available for fastest laps (186.9 total dominator points). The trend in the Cup Series race at Kansas is for one driver to lead roughly 110 laps and score 34 fastest laps (42.8 dominator points). A second driver leads 48 laps and scores 22 fastest laps (21.9dominator points). A third driver leads roughly 34 laps and score 20 fastest laps (17.5 dominator points). A fourth driver leads around 25 laps and cores 17 fastest laps (13.9 Dominator Points). We need to top dominator and at least one of the other three dominators in our lineup Sunday. I plan to pay up for the drivers who I think can lead the most laps at Kansas.
The drivers with the best chance to dominate the race Sunday include William Byron, Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr. and Ross Chastain
The drivers with the best chance to score place differential points are Chase Elliott, Christopher Bell, Kyle Busch, Bubba Wallace, Josh Berry, Brad Keselowski, Chase Briscoe, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Todd Gilliland and Justin Haley
DRAFTKINGS MODEL (Prediction Based on Stats)
Finish = Finishing Points PD = Position Differential Fastest = Fastest Laps Led = Laps Led
* The number in front of the driver is his projected finishing position based on stats.
FANDUEL MODEL (Prediction Based on Stats)
CORE DRIVERS FOR KANSAS
TOP-TIER DRIVERS: KYLE LARSON ($11.2K / FD $14K), WILLIAM BYRON ($10.9K FD $13.5K), DENNY HAMLIN ($10.7K FD $12K), TYLER REDDICK ($10.4K FDK $11K), CHRISTOPHER BELL ($10.2K FD $10.5K), MARTIN TRUEX JR. ($10K / FD $11.5K), CHASE ELLIOTT ($9.8K FD $12.5K), ROSS CHASTAIN ($9.6K FD $13K), BUBBA WALLACE ($9K FD $8.2K),
VALUE-TIER DRIVERS: KEVIN HARVICK ($8.7K FD $8.5K), JOEY LOGANO ($8.4K FD $8.2K), BRAD KESELOWSKI ($8.2K / FD $7.8K), DANIEL SUAREZ ($8K FD $8K), TY GIBBS ($7.8K FD $7.2K), JOSH BERRY ($7.7K FD $7.5K), CHASE BRISCOE ($7.5K / FD $6.2K) AJ ALLMENDINGER ($6.1K FD $4.5K)
PUNT PLAYS: , MICHAEL MCDOWELL ($5.9K FD $5K), COREY LAJOIE ($5.6K FDK $3.5K), TODD GILLILAND ($5.4K / FD $3K)
DRAFTKINGS CASH CONTEST LINEUP
DENNY HAMLIN ($10,700): It is dangerous to fade the two Hendrick Motorsports cars (William Byron and Kyle Larson) on the front row, but I like what I saw from the Toyota’s in practice. Hamlin said before practice, “This practice session will represent the most similar race conditions we have seen all year.” If he is right, he should win. Hamlin had the fastest speed in practice and the No. 11 car was the fastest on every long run speed chart. He also has the second-best average finishing position in the last six races at Kansas. Hamlin should be a good pick for all types of lineups Sunday.
MARTIN TRUEX JR. ($10,000): Truex has momentum after his win last week at Dover. I think it is time for Truex to go on a hot streak. Truex has the car to beat if you believe Clint Bowyer. He said during practice that Truex had a car that did not falloff much over the long runs. He thought Truex was a bit better than Hamlin. The stats for Truex at Kansas are insane. He hasn’t finished outside the top-10 at Kansas once in the last 12 races in the Heartland. That makes Truex a great pick Sunday.
BUBBA WALLACE ($9,000): Wallace won at Kansas last year. His team (23XI Racing) swept the races at the track. Can Wallace win again this week? The No. 23 car has a lot of speed, but so do a lot of other cars. Wallace starts 17th and he should finish inside the top-10. That is good enough for our Cash Contest lineups.
TY GIBBS ($7,800): I Tweeted out during last week’s race, “We need to start treating Gibbs like a $9K driver in DraftKings contests, because that is how he is running right now.” I still believe that to be true. Gibbs has one of the better cars on the long run, just like his teammates. Kansas was the best track for Gibbs in the Xfinity Series. Gibbs has top-five upside Sunday.
RICKY STENHOUSE JR. ($7,000): Stenhouse is having one of his best seasons in the Cup Series. He has finished 15th, 16th, 8th and 4th in his last four races. He also finished 8th in this race last year. It was one of his best races of the season. Stenhouse starts 33rd Sunday. All I need is a top-20 finish from Stenhouse for him to be a great pick for the Cash Contest lineup.
TODD GILLILAND ($5,400): Gilliland is one of the most underrated drivers in the Cup Series. He is actually having a good season. Gilliland has an average finishing position of 18.8 in 2023. He starts 32nd Sunday. I just need Gilliland to finish near his average and he will be one of the best values on the slate.
DRAFTKINGS TOURNAMENT SINGLE-ENTRY CONTEST
WILLIAM BYRON ($10,900): The most dominant driver this year has been Byron. He led 176 laps at Las Vegas (another 1.5-mile track) earlier this season and he led 193 laps last week at Dover (another intermediate track). Now Byron starts on the pole and has the No. 1 pit stall. The No. 24 car should lead a lot of laps Sunday and have a great chance to finish in the top-five.
CHRISTOPHER BELL ($10,200): I like Bell because he has a good chance to score place differential points from his 12th starting position and he has a good chance to score dominator points based on his practice speeds. Bell finished 3rd and 5th in the two races at Kansas last year. Bell should finish in the top-five with the upside to win the race Sunday.
MARTIN TRUEX JR. ($10,000): I will pair Truex with William Byron and Christopher Bell so I have three potential dominators in my lineup. We will win a lot of money if they are the three top dominators. Truex will be my highest owned driver this week because of his price and his speed in practice.
TY GIBBS ($7,800): I thought about pivoting to Josh Berry with this pick since Berry starts deep in the field and has a good chance to score place differential points, but I trust Gibbs to finish up front Sunday. This is his best track and it was the best track for Toyota last year. Bubba Wallace shocked people when he went to Victory Lane at Kansas last year. I think Gibbs has a chance to do the same Sunday.
COREY LAJOIE ($5,600): There really is no reason to pick LaJoie when you look at his track history, but he was 14th fastest in practice and he is showing a lot of improvement this year. I doubt many people will own LaJoie this week. I will take a chance with the No. 7 car from the 24th starting position.
TODD GILLILAND ($5,400): I will play Gilliland in the Cash and Single-Entry Tournament Contest lineup this week. He has been exceeding expectations all season. All I need Gilliland to do is to run like he has all season, and this pick should work out fine.
DRAFTKINGS TOURNAMENT MULTI-ENTRY CONTEST
KYLE LARSON ($11,200): Larson is my pick to win Sunday. He has had a fast car in about every race this year. I would not be surprised if he took the early lead from William Byron and led a lot of laps Sunday. Larson ranks first in almost every stat category at Kansas. I will have a lot of ownership of the No. 5 car Sunday.
MARTIN TRUEX JR. ($10,000): I put all of my eggs in the Chase Elliott basket last week and it backfired. I am doing the same this week with Truex. I expect this pick to work out better than what we had with Elliott last week.
ROSS CHASTAIN ($9,600): There is a lot to like about Chastain Sunday. His car was ninth-fastest in practice and it looked awesome in qualifying. Chastain also looked really fast last week at Dover. The No. 1 car finished both races at Kansas in the 7th position last year. Chastain gives us another potential dominator in our lineup.
RYAN BLANEY ($9,200): There really is no reason to pick Blaney Sunday. That is exactly why he is in the lineup. I expect Blaney to be low owned because he was not very good in practice and he wasn’t very good at Kansas last year. Blaney is coming off back-to-back top-five finishes. Would you be surprised if Blaney got up front and offered our lineup some dominator points? I wouldn’t.
TODD GILLILAND ($5,400): I think you know by now that I like Gilliland as a “punt play” Sunday. His average finishing position greatly exceeds his starting position. That is what you want in your DFS contests.
BREENAN POOLE ($4,600): Poole was having a good race last week at Dover until he got “Chastained.” I expect there will be more wrecks Sunday that we have seen in some of the recent races. Poole starts 34th and he could move up 8-10 spots just from attrition in the race. That will allow Poole to return value in our lineups.
FANDUEL CASH CONTEST LINEUP
FANDUEL TOURNAMENT CONTEST LINEUP
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