The Monster Energy Cup Series will travel to the Bluegrass State for some Saturday night racing. This track was reconfigured and resurfaces a couple of years ago. Both ends of the track are now completely different and it makes setting up the car very difficult. Crew chiefs who can adjust their cars throughout the race usually finish up front. It should be another exciting race on a 1.5-mile tri-oval track. The Quaker State 400 can be seen Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.
There are 8 races left in the regular season of the Fantasy Live game. I have all of my allocations mapped out for the rest of the season so we are using the best drivers at their best tracks. Saving allocations is important but the cream usually rises to the top at the intermediate tracks. This is not the race to hold back your top drivers.
* NASCAR will inspect the cars Saturday afternoon (around 3 p.m. ET). Any car that fails once will go to the back and be scored from the back in Fantasy NASCAR. Be sure to check the website Saturday evening for my updated picks. I may have to change some drivers depending how the inspection goes.
Fantasy Live Starting Drivers
I really like Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch this week but I have 1 allocation left with Harvick and 3 with Busch. I am saving Busch for the short tracks and Harvick is my pick to win but I still think I need to save his start. I would use them if you have 3 or more with Harvick and 4 or more with Busch.
Martin Truex Jr. (4): What to do with Truex this week? He has absolutely dominated the last two races at Kentucky. He won every Stage, led 60% of the laps and went to Victory Lane in both races. The problem is that he hated his car in final practice. The No. 19 car was 20th fastest and he did not make any 10-lap runs. Crew Chief Cole Pearn told Truex on the radio not to worry about the car; it will be fast under the lights. Do we believe him? I have a hard believing Truex will suck this week. If the No. 19 team has a bad night I will put Truex in the Garage.
Brad Keselowski (3): Everything is lineup up for Keselowski to win the race Saturday night. Keselowski has won 3 of his 8 races at Kentucky. The No. 2 car posted the fastest lap in final practice and Keselowski was 4th fastest on the long runs. Keselowski will start 3rd so he should score a lot of Stage points. This is a good race to use an allocation with the Blue Deuce.
Daniel Suarez (10): The word in the Garage is that Suarez has the car to beat. Stewart-Haas Racing wants to move Suarez up in the point standings so they gave him the car Kevin Harvick won the pole with and finished 4th at Las Vegas. Well, Suarez won the pole. Does that mean he will finish 4th too? Suarez had the fastest 10-lap and 15-lap average speed in practice. Suarez should at least score a lot of Stage points and finish in the top 12 Saturday night.
Aric Almirola (5): I need to save allocations somewhere so I will use Almirola so I can save Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch for other tracks. Kentucky ranks as the second-best track for Almirola. Last year he finished 8th at Kentucky in his first season with Stewart-Haas Racing. Almirola was only 24th fastest in final practice but the team did not make a qualifying run because they were focused on their long run speed. Almirola was 11th fastest on the 10-lap average speed chart. Track position is huge this year. Almrila should be able to stay up front long enough to score some Stage points and finish in the top 10.
Jimmie Johnson (6): Johnson really liked his car in practice. The TV announcers and many of the spotters made comments about how well Johnson ran both the top and bottom of the track. Will the speed during the heat of the day translate into speed under the lights? I think so. Johnson has been good on the 1.5-mile tracks this season. He finished 5th at Texas, 6th at Kansas, 8th at Charlotte and 4th at Chicago. The No. 48 car should score another top 10 Saturday night.
My Garage Driver this week will be Kurt Busch (7). Busch has been good at Kentucky in his career. The only drivers to lead more laps at the track than Busch over the last two seasons is Martin Truex Jr. and his brother Kyle Busch. The No. 1 car qualified 6th. I like Busch’s chances of running in the top 10, scoring a lot of Stage points and finishing in the top 10 Saturday night. I like having the veteran in the Garage as an insurance policy.
Fantasy Live Picks for Kentucky
I am picking Kevin Harvick to win and Toyota as my manufacturer to try and ensure I get some bonus points Saturday night.
** Photos from NASCAR Media
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Good luck this week!
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