DraftKings / Fantasy Live Preview for Kentucky

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There is nothing better in NASCAR than Saturday night racing…IMO. It just seems the action picks up when the lights go down. Mother Nature ruined the night race at Daytona so we will try it again this week. Kentucky Speedway is one of the fastest 1.5-mile tracks since it was repaved and reconfigured. The 2019 aero package has produced some tight racing this season on the intermediate tracks. I expect another exciting race under the lights. The Quaker State 400 can be seen Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Net.

NASCAR will have a condensed schedule this week. There will be two practices and qualifying Friday. The first practice is at 11:30 p.m. ET (NBSN) and final practice will be at 1:30 p.m. ET (NBCS). Qualifying will be Friday evening at 6 p.m. ET (NBSC). Our Fantasy Live pole pick needs to be submitted before qualifying Friday.

* NASCAR will inspect the cars Saturday afternoon (around 3 p.m. ET). Any car that fails once will go to the back and be scored from the back in Fantasy NASCAR. Be sure to check the website Saturday evening for my updated picks. I may have to change some drivers depending how the inspection goes.

This week the cars will have the 550 HP engines, aero ducts, 2” splitter and 8” spoiler. This aero package has promoted drafting during the race so practice speeds have not meant as much in 2019 as they have in the past. It will be important to check out the Garage Talk Notes Friday to see which drivers have the best handling cars. These drivers should be the best picks for your Fantasy NASCAR team.

Martin Truex Jr. completed dominated the race at Kentucky for the second straight season. Truex won the pole, led 174 of the 267 laps, won both Stages and won the 2018 Quaker State 400. It was the second straight season Truex started on the front row, led over 150 laps, won both Stages and won the race at Kentucky. Truex has simply been unstoppable at this track. Other drivers who ran well at Kentucky last year include Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott and Erik Jones.

Race Rewind at Kentucky: Quaker State 400 (2018) 

 

DraftKings NASCAR Preview

There are 267 laps scheduled for the race Saturday night. That means there are 66.75 points available for leading laps and 133.5 points available for fastest laps. The trend on the 1.5-mile tracks this season is for one driver to lead 120 laps and another driver to lead 75 laps. These two drivers usually score the most fastest laps. It will be important to find at least one of the main dominators for our lineups at Kentucky. If we are able to have both dominators, we should win a lot of money.

The drivers I expect to dominate the race Saturday night include: Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick

 

Top 15 DraftKings Drivers in Last 2 Races at Kentucky

Driver

Avg. Finish Pos. Laps Led

DK Points

1.      Martin Truex Jr.

1st

326

123.75

2.      Kyle Larson

5th

0

74.00

3.      Kyle Busch

4th

112

69.50

4.      Denny Hamlin

9th

0

47.00

5.      Aric Almirola

8th

0

44.00

6.      Joey Logano

9th

12

43.50

7.      Chase Elliott

8th

0

43.00

8.      Kevin Harvick

7th

0

42.00

9.      Erik Jones

6th

0

41.50

10.   Clint Bowyer

12th

0

32.00

11.   Kurt Busch

18th

45

28.50

12.   Chris Buescher

19th

0

28.00

13.   Paul Menard

16th

0

27.00

14.   David Ragan

21st

0

27.00

15.   William Byron

20th

0

26.00

I will post my final DraftKings picks no later than Saturday morning.

 

Fantasy Live Preview

The Fantasy Live picks moved up in the standings after the race at Daytona. That is about all you can hope for at a Superspeedway. My picks went from beating 99.1% of the competition to beating 99.3%. My goal each season is to finish in the top 99.9%. I did it the last 3 seasons and I have 8 races to get the job done again.

 

*Pick for the Pole*: Our pick for the pole needs to be in before qualifying at 6 ET Friday. My pole pick will be posted after the final practice Friday.

Here are the drivers I have penciled in right now…

 

5 Starting Drivers

Martin Truex Jr. (4): You must have Truex on your team this week. Most people consider the road courses or Charlotte his best tracks but the results at those tracks do not compare to what he has done at Kentucky. Truex has led at least 156 laps, scored almost the maximum bonus points for qualifying, scored the maximum bonus points for the Stages and won both races. Truex dominated the race at Charlotte this season. I expect the same from the No. 19 car Saturday night.

Joey Logano (3): Logano has been the hottest driver on the last three intermediate track races. He finished 2nd at Charlotte, won the race at Michigan and finished 3rd at Chicagoland Speedway. Logano has been very consistent at Kentucky Speedway. He has finished five of the last six races in the Bluegrass State in the top 10. The No. 22 car should run up front, score a lot of Stage points and finish in the top five Saturday night.

Ryan Blaney (5): Blaney is always good on fast tracks. Kentucky Speedway is one of the fastest intermediate tracks since it was repaved. The surface is smooth and most of the bumps were taken out. Blaney went through a slump in the spring but he is starting to heat up again. He finished 6th at Chicago and this tracks suites his driving style better. Blaney finished 2nd at Kentucky last year. He should be up front again this week.

Alex Bowman (8): Bowman has been too good on the intermediate tracks to fade right now. He has finished the last four races on intermediate tracks in the top 10, including a win at Chicago and a 2nd place finish at Kansas. Hendrick Motorsports has their 1.5-mile track program under control right now and Bowman has been their best driver. I have no problem using another allocation with the No. 88 car Saturday night.

Jimmie Johnson (6): Kentucky is one of the tracks where Johnson has never been to Victory Lane. He said winning at this track is high on his list of stuff he wants to accomplish before he retires. Johnson has run well on the 1.5-mile tracks since March. He finished 5th at Texas, 6th at Kansas, 8th at Charlotte and 4th at Chicago. Most people expected Johnson to get up off the mat at sometime and return to the driver he once was. It looks like the standing 8 count for the 7-time champion is just about complete and he is ready to get back to Victory Lane.

 

Garage Driver

My Garage Driver this week will likely be Kyle Larson (7). I really like the Hendrick Motorsports engines. At one time at Chicagoland Speedway seven of the top eight drivers had HMS engines. Chip Ganassi Racing uses the HMS engines so the No. 42 car should be fast this week. Larson is on the playoff bubble so he needs points. The No. 42 car will likely stay out to score Stage points and his car should be fast enough to finish in the top 10. Larson finished 2nd and 9th in his last two races at Kentucky. He also finished 2nd in the last 1.5-mile track race at Chicago. Larson will be a good insurance policy to have in the Garage Saturday night.

 

Bonus Picks

My Bonus Picks will be updated after I see the cars on the track this weekend. Here are my thoughts right now…

Pick for the Pole: Kevin Harvick

Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr.

Stage 2 Winner: Martin Truex Jr.

Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr.

Winning Manufacture: Toyota

 

 

*Stats from Driveraverages.com, Racing-Reference.Info and NASCAR Media.

** Photos from NASCAR Media

 

If you need any further advice with your team, look for me on Twitter @MrFantasyNASCAR

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