The NASCAR Cup Series enters the Round of Eight this week at Kansas Speedway. That means there are only four races left in the 2020 season. The last round was filled with unpredictable racetracks. This round should be easier to score well, and if we manage our allocations right, we should be able to climb to the top of our league standings. The Hollywood Casino 400 can be seen Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC.
Here are my picks for the Hollywood Casino 400 …
Driver Group Game A Picks
Denny Hamlin (Start): I have one allocation left with Denny Hamlin and I am using it Sunday. Hamlin won the last two races at Kansas. He led 57 laps on his way to Victory Lane in July. Hamlin has led a series-high 209 laps and scored 29 Stage points in his last two races at Kansas. The No. 11 car should score a lot of Stage points and have a great chance to get to Victory Lane. Hamlin is my pick to win the Hollywood Casino 400.
Martin Truex Jr. (Bench): Martin Truex Jr. has been good on the 1.5-mile tracks this season. His 108.4 Driver Rating is a series-best. Truex has a 5th-place average finishing position at Kansas in his last 8 races at the track (including two wins). He had another good race at Kansas in July. Truex led 44 laps, scored 11 Stage points and finished 3rd. If you are out of allocations with Denny Hamlin, Truex is your next best choice.
Group A Driver Rankings: 1) Denny Hamlin 2) Martin Truex Jr. 3) Kevin Harvick 4) Brad Keselowski 5) Chase Elliott 6) Kyle Busch 7) Joey Logano
Driver Group Game B Picks
Kurt Busch (Start): Kurt Busch has been good at Kansas in his career. This tack ranks as his best 1.5 mile track. Busch has finished 9th, 4th and 7th in the three races using the 550 HP aero package at Kansas. He started 9th and finished 9th in the race at Kansas in July. He should be fast enough to finish in the top-10 again Sunday. I have one allocation left with Busch and this is the best track left on the schedule to use it.
Erik Jones (Start): Erik Jones made his Cup Series debut at Kansas in 2015 when he filled in for an injured Kyle Busch. People say you never forget your first and Jones is always good at the track where he made his Cup Series debut. He has finished 5th, 7th, 3rd, 4th and 7th in his last 5 races in the Heartland. Jones started 21st, scored Stage points in both Stages and finished 5th in the July race. He should score a lot of Stage points and finish in the top 10 Sunday.
Ryan Blaney (Use if you can): Ryan Blaney has been the best driver from Group B on the 1.5-mile tracks and it is not even close. I only have one allocation left with the No. 12 car and I decided to save it for Texas. Blaney started 4th, led 15 laps, scored 16 Stage points but finished 20h because he got into the wall while battling Brad Keselowski for the lead in the July race at Kansas. He won Stage 1 and Stage 2, led 150 laps and finished 7th at Texas. I rather have him in the Lone Star State. Use Blaney over Erik Jones if you have two allocations left with the No. 12 car.
Aric Almirola (Use if you can): Aric Almirola had a great race at Kansas in July but he was on a hot streak at the time. Almirola had a streak of 8 consecutive top-10 finishes entering the last race at Kansas. He kept the hot-streak going. Almirola started 3rd, scored 11 Stage points and finished 6th. He has cooled off a lot since that race so it is hard to expect another top-six finish from Almirola Sunday. He should be good enough to finish just inside the top 10 though.
Group B Driver Rankings: 1) Ryan Blaney 2) Kurt Busch 3) Erik Jones 4) Alex Bowman 5) Aric ALmirola 6) Clint Bowyer 7) Matt DiBenedetto 8) William Byron 9) Austin Dillon 10) Jimmie Johnson
Driver Group Game C Picks
Cole Custer (Start): Cole Custer entered the race at Kansas in July after a trip to Victory Lane at Kentucky. He had another good race in the Heartland. Custer started 24th and slowly worked his way through the field. He did not score any Stage points but Custer was able to finish 7th. It was his third-best finish of the season. Custer is a sneaky good pick Sunday.
Tyler Reddick (Bench): Tyler Reddick had some experience at Kansas entering the July race at the track. Reddick raced in the Cup Series at Kansas in 2019. He surprised everyone with a 9th place finish in a 3rd car for Richard Childress Racing. Reddick started 23rd and quickly went to the front in July. Reddick finished 6th in Stage 1 and 13th in the race. He is a slightly better choice then Cole Custer, but I only have one allocation left with Reddick. I will use Custer this week and Reddick at Texas.
Group C Driver Rankings: 1) Tyler Reddick 2) Cole Custer 3) Christopher Bell 4) Matt Kenseth 5) John H. Nemechek
Driver Group Game Team
Good luck this week!
*Stats from Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet Pro
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