Fantasy Live Picks for Kansas

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The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series have begun and Kyle Larson was the first driver to punch his ticket into the Round of 12. Who will join him with a win Sunday at Kansas Speedway? The racing on the 1.5-mile intermediate tracks has been exciting this year. There have been many lead changes and a lot of drivers having a chance to win the races. Bubba Wallace was able to shock the Cup Series with a win at Kansas last year. It should be fun to see who can find Victory Lane Sunday in the Hollywood Casino 400.

 

FANTASY LIVE PLAYOFF FORMAT

There are 10 races in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. We can use each driver 5 times. Each driver will score points the same way they scored points in the regular season game. The difference is that the 4 drivers competing for the 2023 NASCAR Championship will NOT score Stage Points at Phoenix. The rest of the field will score Stage Points if they finish in the top-10 of the Stage.

I decided to not to use Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Larson (that was a mistake) at Darlington because they qualified deep in the field. This means I have an extra allocation with Truex and Larson to use. These two are in play this weekend, along with the other drivers who ran well at Kansas in May, posted fast laps in practice and qualified up front for the Hollywood Casino 400.

 

PRACTICE SPEEDS

The Cup Series had 20-minutes to shake down their cars for the Hollywood Casino 400. The tires do not wear-out as quickly at Kansas as they did last week at Darlington, but there is still some falloff throughout a long run. We can learn a lot by looking at the single-lap and long-run speed from practice Saturday.

 

 

 

FANTASY LIVE LINEUP

KYLE LARSON (5): Larson dominated the race at Kansas in May. The No. 5 car won the pole, scored Stage Points in both Stages, led the most laps (85) and finished second. Larson’s good run in the Heartland should not be a surprise to anyone. He has finished either first or second in three of the last four races run at Kansas Speedway. There is a good chance that Larson will finish in the top-five again Sunday with the upside to win the race.

DENNY HAMLIN (4): Hamlin has been a beast at Kansas. He won the race in May and he finished second in the playoff race in the Heartland last year. The No. 11 car looks fast again this weekend. Hamlin should have won last week at Darlington. He should have a good chance to win Sunday “if” the No. 11 team can avoid mistakes.

MARTIN TRUEX JR. (5): Truex is the safest driver in the field this week. He has finished his last eight races at Kansas in the top-10, with a sixth-place average finishing position. The No. 19 car looks fast again this weekend. Truex had one of the best cars on the long-runs in practice and the No. 19 car qualified third for the race. Truex has the speed to finish in the top-five, with the upside to win the Hollywood Casino 400.

TYLER REDDICK (4): Kansas Speedway is a progressively banked track. That means there are many different lanes to race in and the drivers must search the track for grip as their tires wear out. Typically the field runs up against the wall at the end of a fuel run at Kansas. This type of racing fits Reddick’s driving style perfectly. He qualified fifth and finished ninth at Kansas in May. His car looks a lot faster this weekend.

CHRISTOPHER BELL (5): Bell is a “boom or bust” driver, but we have to take a chance with the No. 20 car. Speed has never been a problem for Bell. He was fast in practice and won the pole for the race. Can he keep his track position? He started up front last week and he had Ty Gibbs pit crew (the third-fastest in the Cup Series). He struggled in the race though. I am willing to give Bell another chance Sunday and if he has problems, I will put the No. 20 car in the Garage.

 

GARAGE DRIVER: WILLIAM BYRON (4): I originally had Bubba Wallace in this spot because it was reported that Byron would start from the back for an unapproved adjustment. NASCAR then came out and said the part that failed on the No. 24 car was not the team’s fault. It was a faulty part provided by NASCAR’s distributor. That means Byron will start 9th Sunday. His car had top-five speed in practice and Byron finished third at Kansas in May. I will have Byron in the Garage Sunday.

 

Good luck and be sure to follow me on Twitter @MrFantasyNASCARI will send out a Tweet during the race to let you know if I plan to swap out one of my drivers for my Garage pick.

 

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