The MENCS competes at Kansas Speedway this week. My Fantasy Live picks have been performing well. They are currently ranked 103rd overall. I plan to move into the top 100 this week and make a march for to the No. 1 spot overall. It will be important to use the correct combination of drivers in the last 13 races so we do not run out of allocations.
Points for leading laps and position differential will no longer be awarded. Fantasy teams will score points for finishing the Stage in the top 10 and where they finish the race. Because of this; it is no longer important to select drivers starting in the back. Just pick the best team you can.
* There is also a garage driver this year. Fantasy players can put this driver into their lineup at any time before the end of Stage 2. You will lose the Stage points from the driver you take out of your lineup though. I only plan to make a change if one of my driver crashes and that is likely to happen this week. If I make a change I will post a message on my Twitter account: @MrFantasyNASCAR
Kevin Harvick (4): Guess what? The No. 4 team showed up in Kansas with the fastest car. I am not surprised. It is obvious this team has an aerodynamics advantage over the competition. I am quickly running out of allocations with Harvick. I have been playing Fantasy NASCAR for a long time and I have seen people save allocations with a driver who is winning every race only to have to play him when he is not running as well. There is no guarantee that Harvick will be this dominant all season so I am playing him while he is on a hot streak.
Martin Truex Jr. (6): Truex won both races at Kansas last year and this has historically been his 2nd-best 1.5-mile track behind Charlotte. The No. 78 team did not have the speed that some of the other teams did in practice but Cole Pearn said he was setting his car up for the night race and not for the race conditions in Friday’s practice. He did that at Fontana and Truex won the race.
Joey Logano (3): Logano is a two-time winner at Kansas and his car was fast in final practice. Logano did not make any qualifying trim runs in practice so you need to focus on his long run speed which was 7th fastest. Logano has finished five consecutive races on the 1.5-mile tracks in the top 7. He should add another top-10 finish to his 2018 resume Saturday night.
Ryan Blaney (7): This is the best track for Blaney and the switch from the Wood Brothers Racing to Team Penske did not slow him down. Blaney had the 9th fastest speed, 5th-fastest 10-lap speed, 4th-best 15-lap speed and the 5th-best 20-lap speed. The No. 12 car gets faster as it gets deeper into a run. Blaney is an excellent pick this week.
Aric Almirola (10): The No. 10 car has been very fast this weekend. Almirola had the fastest time in race trim in practice and he was 3rd-fastest on the 10-lap speed chart, 3rd-fastest on the 15-lap average speed chart and 2nd-fastest on the 20-lap average speed chart. He finished 8th in the last race at Kansas and that was in a Richard Petty Motorsports car. He should perform a lot better in his Stewart-Haas Racing Ford.
Garage Driver: My Garage Driver this week will be Kurt Busch (5). Busch has a history of running well at Kansas. He qualified 15th and finished 2nd at Kansas last October. Stewart-Haas Racing is running a lot better now than they were last October. Busch has run well at the 1.5-mile tracks this season so I will be confidant knowing I have a good insurance policy in the garage. It is not a bad idea to have 3 Stewart-Haas Racing cars on your team this week.
* I would love to use Kyle Busch but I am running out of allocations with him. I will Busch for another track.
* Trust me on the allocations. I have each driver mapped out for the season so we use them at their best tracks. We will have plenty of allocations to get us through the season.
Here are my picks for the Kansas…
Driver 1: Kevin Harvick (4)
Driver 2: Martin Truex Jr. (6)
Driver 3: Joey Logano (3)
Driver 4: Ryan Blaney (7)
Driver 5: Aric Almirola (8)
Garage Driver: Kurt Busch (5)
STAGE 1 WINNER: Kevin Harvick
STAGE 2 WINNER: Kevin Harvick
PICK TO WIN: Kevin Harvick
Good luck this week!
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