Driver Group Game Picks Kansas


The Cup Series travels to the Heartland this week to compete at Kansas Speedway. This is race No. 12 on the schedule. The season will be nearly halfway through the regular season when the checkered flag is waived Sunday. That means we have more data to work with for our picks and less races to climb to the top of our league standings. The Driver Group Game picks are performing OK. We still have not had the perfect race, so hopefully a trip to my home track will be what is needed to post the top scores in our leagues. The AdventHealth 400 can be seen Sunday at 3 pm ET on FS1.



I map out the picks for each race before the season begins. Usually, it is easy for me to pick the drivers for the Driver Group Game, because many of the drivers I have penciled in before the season starts, end up in my lineup once we reach the race weekend. That is not the case this week. Group A and Group B were pretty easy to figure out. I expected the Hendrick Motorsports and the Toyota’s to be the best picks for Kansas before the season started and that is still the case this week. Any of the drivers from Hendrick Motorsports or Joe Gibbs Racing will be good picks for Groups A and C. Group B is where it gets tricky…

I had Alex Bowman penciled in, circled and highlighted for this race. Now he is not going to be in the car. I need to find a replacement driver. Martin Truex Jr. and Bubba Wallace were also in my lineup for Kansas before the season began and there is no reason to change those picks. I need two other drivers and there are four drivers to choose from. Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and Tyler Reddick are the four drivers worth using with Truex and Wallace in Group B. I know the drivers I choose will likely stink, and the drivers I fade will likely finish in the top-five. That has just been my luck this year.

Here are the picks for the AdventHealth 400





KYLE LARSON (7): Larson has been good on the intermediate tracks this year and he has been the best driver at Kansas. The No. 5 car likely would have destroyed the field last week if qualifying did not get rained out and he did not get “Chastained” during the race. Larson has the best Driver Rating (120.6), led the most laps (291) and has the third-best average finishing position (7.5) over the last six races at Kansas. He said after the race last week, “I have the fastest car every week, but we just have had bad luck in the races.” Sooner or later his luck is going to turn around and I expect it happens this week at Kansas.


WILLIAM BYRON (6): I had Denny Hamlin penciled in for the race at Kansas before the season started because he finished second in the last race at Kansas, and he owns the cars that won both races at the track last year. Hamlin just makes too many mistakes in the pits, so I will pivot to Byron. The No. 24 car led 176 laps and went to Victory Lane at Las Vegas. Byron also led 193 laps and finished fourth last week at Dover. That speed should carry over to Kansas, so I will play two drivers from Hendrick Motorsports in Group A this week.

(CONTRARIAN PICK) ROSS CHASTAIN (8): The stats scream “Play Ross Chastain!” I just cannot do it. I am not a big fan of the way he drives. It really does not make sense though, because I was a big fan a Dale Earnhardt Sr. and their driving styles are similar. The difference is that Chastain gets out of the car and says, “I’m sorry, I did not mean to do that.” Earnhardt got out of the car and said, “He was in my way, so I helped him get out of the way.” I just wish Chastain would own his driving style, instead of making excuses…. He is a good pick this week though. Chastain finished seventh in both races at Kansas last year. He also finished second last week at Dover and third at Auto Club earlier this year. You can do worse in Group A than using Chastain Sunday.

GROUP A DRIVER RANKINGS: 1) William Byron 2) Kyle Larson 3) Ross Chastain 4) Christopher Bell 5) Denny Hamlin 6) Chase Elliott 7) Ryan Blaney 8) Joey Logano



MARTIN TRUEX JR. (6): The monkey is off his back. Truex finally ended his winless streak. Does that mean he will go on a hot streak and win some more races? Maybe. Truex finished 11th at Auto Club, seventh at Las Vegas and won the race last week at Dover. That is a 6.3 average finishing position in the aero package they will run Sunday. Truex also has a sixth-place average finishing position in the last six races at Kansas. The No. 19 car finished fifth and sixth in the two races in the Gen-7 car at Kansas last year. Truex should have a great chance to finish in the top-five again Sunday.

BUBBA WALLACE (9): You almost have to take a chance with Wallace this week. Kurt Busch won the spring race at Kansas last year. 23XI Racing gave Wallace the same car to run the fall race. Guess how he finished? Wallace brought that car to Victory Lane. So will 23XI Racing have the same car this week? I doubt it, because the front-end of the Toyota’s were reconfigured before the season. He should have a car with similar speed though. Wallace finished fourth at Las Vegas earlier this season. That speed should translate into speed at Kansas this weekend.

KYLE BUSCH (6): Busch used to be an automatic fade in Fantasy NASCAR whenever the Cup Series competed at Kansas. Then Joe Gibbs Racing hired Carl Edwards, and everything changed. Edwards taught Busch how to get around the bumps and navigate the wind in turn four. Busch has been good at Kansas even since. Rowdy led 18 laps, scored 19 Stage Points and finished third in this race last year. I will have him in my lineup just in case he unloads with a lot of speed in practice Saturday.

TYLER REDDICK (6): I originally had Brad Keselowski in this spot for Group B, but I am going to pivot to Tyler Reddick. The reason for the switch is because of the weather forecast and I did not research and Reddick’s name kept popping up. It is forecasted to be hot and slick this week. The people I talk to who work in the garage said that the hotter it gets, the higher the cars will run on the track. Who is the best driver at running the wall? Kyle Larson and Tyler Reddick both know how to make fast laps against the wall. Also, Reddick has the team that won this race last year. I at least wont Reddick as an option Sunday.

BRAD KESELOWSKI (7): The only reason why I am fading Tyler Reddick and Kevin Harvick is because of allocations. I need to save Reddick for the road courses and the tracks where drivers ride the wall (Darlington and Homestead). I only have five allocations left with Harvick and there are five better tracks to use the No. 4 car. I will pivot to Keselowski. He won the first race I ever attended at Kansas in 2011. He has a 10th-place average finishing position in his last six races at the track. The No. 6 team continues to show improvement this year, so I will take a chance with Keselowski this weekend.

(CONTRARIAN PICK) KEVIN HAVICK (5): If you do not want to use Tyler Reddick, Brad Keselowski would be my pick. Harvick should be good too. The Fords sucked at Kansas last year, but it seems like the No. 4 team has found some speed in 2023. I will save Harvick for next week at Darlington. He is a good pick if you want a Ford in your lineup.

GROUP B DRIVER RANKINGS: 1) Martin Truex Jr. 2) Bubba Wallace 3) Kyle Busch 4) Tyler Reddick 5) Brad Keselowski 6) Kevin Harvick 7) Daniel Suarez 8) Chris Buescher 9) Austin Cindric 10) Chase Briscoe



JOSH BERRY (7): You need to continue to use Berry to save allocations with Ty Gibbs, if Berry is available in your league. If he isn’t, you need to be asking your commissioner to add him. Berry will be driving the car that finished fourth and ninth in the two races at Kansas last year. Alex Bowman was also able to lead 107 laps in the No. 48 car in the fall race at Kansas. Hendrick Motorsports has a history of running well in the Heartland. Berry is the best choice in Group C this week.

TY GIBBS (8): Gibbs needs to be your choice is Josh Berry is not available. Kansas ranks as his best track when Gibbs was in the Xfinity Series. He finished first and third in his two races at the track and led the most laps in both races. Kansas is also a good track for Joe Gibbs Racing. Gibbs has been showing improvement in each race. I would not be surprised if he finished in the top-five Sunday.

 (OTHER CHOICE) RICKY STENHOUSE JR. (8): Stenhouse has always been my go-to-driver in DFS contests at Kansas because he is cheap and for some reason, Stenhouse runs well at this track. He finished eighth in this race last year. The No. 47 team is running better this year than they were in 2022. It would be a good idea to pair Stenhouse with Ty Gibbs in Group C, if Josh Berry is not available in your league.

GROUP C DRIVER RANKINGS: 1) Josh Berry 2) Ty Gibbs 3) Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 4) AJ Allmendinger 5) Michael McDowell

* Be sure to check back Sunday morning for my starting lineup.





Good Luck This Weekend!

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