The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will be back to Saturday night racing in the Heartland. Kansas Speedway has been lightning fast since it was repaved following the 2012 season. The 550 HP engines with the 2” splitter, 8” spoiler and aero ducts will be used this week. That should make the corner speeds really fast and promote close racing under the lights. The Digital Ally 400 can be seen Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.
One of the changes this season for the Driver Group Game is that your league commissioner has the ability to change to number of allocations for each driver and can place drivers into any group they choose. My picks will be based on the default settings (8 allocations per driver and the original group settings).
* NASCAR will inspect the cars Saturday afternoon (It is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. ET). Any car that fails will start in the back and be scored in Fantasy NASCAR from his qualifying position. If I need to update my picks I will post a message on my Twitter account (@MrFantasyNASCAR) and my Fantasy NASCAR FB Page.
Here are my picks for Kansas…
Driver Group Game A Picks
Kevin Harvick (6): Should we use Harvick this week? He won this race last year and the No. 4 team brought a fast car back to the track for the race Saturday night. Harvick had the fastest car that did not make a qualifying run in the morning practice, 4th fastest in final practice and he was fastest on the 10-lap, 15-lap and 20-lap speed charts. Oh…and he starts from the pole. You do not need to be a Fantasy NASCAR expert to know Harvick is a great pick this week.
Group A Driver Rankings: 1) Kevin Harvick 2) Martin Truex Jr. 3) Chase Elliott 4) Brad Keselowski 5) Kyle Busch 6) Joey Logano 7) Kyle Larson
Driver Group Game B Picks
Kurt Busch (7): Busch should have a good chance to run up front Saturday night. Busch had the fastest car in final practice and the 4th-fastest 10-lap average speed. Busch has finished all 5 races on the intermediate tracks in the top 10 this season. He finished 8th in this race last year. I will roll the dice with the Global Poker car Saturday night.
Erik Jones (6): I sure wish I had Almirola this week. I had him in my lineup but changed the pick to Erik Jones at the last minute. That sucks, but I still think Jones will be good this week. Joe Gibbs Racing has been fast on the 1.5-mile tracks but Jones has had some bad luck. He did finish 4th in the last race at an intermediate track (Texas). Jones was 12th fastest in final practice with the 9th fastest 10-lap speed. I will use an allocation with the No. 20 car Saturday night.
Group B Driver Rankings: 1) Aric Almirola 2) Kurt Busch 3) Clint Bowyer 4) Erik Jones 5) Denny Hamlin 6) Alex Bowman 7) Daniel Suarez 8) Ryan Blaney 9) William Byron 10) Jimmie Johnson
Driver Group Game C Picks
Daniel Hemric (5): Hemric said he liked the way his car drove in practice. Richard Childress Racing has been one of the best teams at qualifying this season but their cars have performed poorly in the race. The team changed their strategy for the race this week. They dialed back the speed and put more handling into their cars. I expect the No. 8 car to drive well and finish inside the top 20.
Group C Driver Rankings: 1) Daniel Hemric 2) Chris Buescher 3) Ty Dillon 4) Tyler Reddick 5) Matt DiBenedetto
Driver Group Game Team
Group A: Kevin Harvick (6)
Group B: Kurt Busch (7), Erik Jones (6)
Group C: Daniel Hemric (5)
If you need any further advice with your team, look for me on Twitter @MrFantasyNASCAR
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Good luck this week!
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