KYLE BUSCH (JOE GIBBS RACING) TOYOTA
2020 DRIVER FANTASY RANKING: 1st
2019 FANTASY NASCAR RANK: 1st
2019 RECAP: Kyle Busch won the 2019 NASCAR Championship but he was not the most dominant driver in Fantasy NASCAR. Busch saw his number of wins go down from eight in 2018 to five last year. His top-five finishes decreased from 22 to 17 and his average finishing position decreased from 7.4 in 2018 to 12.3 in 2019. The reason why Busch took home the trophy was because of the success he had in the first-half of the season. His average finishing position through the first 11 races was 4.8 and that included wins at Phoenix, Auto Club and Bristol. Busch was inconsistent through the summer but he had enough bonus points to easily advance in the playoffs. Busch got hot in the Round of Eight and won the race at Homestead. Can a driver improve on a championship season? I think so.
2020 Preview: Kyle Busch made it clear last year that he hated the 2019 aero package. It is amazing that a driver who hated how the cars ran on the track so much was able to have the most success. The good news is that NASCAR decided to change the aero package for the 2020 season. The Short tracks and Road Courses will have a reduced spoiler and be similar to what the Cup Series races in 2018. This change plays right into the hands of Busch. The No. 18 car scored the most fantasy points on the Steep tracks last year. Busch should score the most points on the Flat and Steep tracks in 2020 because of the rule changes.
Busch has the ability to be the best driver to ever compete in NASCAR. In my opinion (Do not kill me for this Rowdy Nation), the only thing holding him back is his attitude. Last year Joe Gibbs asked him before every race, “How’s the car? Are we ready for today?” Busch often replied, “I have no idea. These cars suck.” Really man? If he was more positive, the field would have no chance against him. I would feel a lot better about Busch if he said, “Coach, we always have great cars. I am going to win this race for you today.” Maybe someday he will mature, like his brother did.
INTERMEDIATE TRACK VALUE (1.5 / 2-Mile Ovals)
There is not an Intermediate track on the circuit where Kyle Busch is not one of the favorites to win. He has been to Victory Lane at all of them. He usually starts off fast so you may want to use him at Atlanta, Las Vegas, Auto Club and Texas. Busch is also good at leading laps. His 506 laps led were the second-most behind Kevin Harvick on the Intermediate tracks. Busch did lead the Cup Series in fastest laps and average running position on these tracks in 2019. Joe Gibbs Racing said they are going to focus on qualifying better in 2020 so their drivers can start closer to the front and lead more laps. I like saving my allocations with Busch in season long games (Fantasy Live and the Driver Group Game) for the shorter tracks but he is a must play in DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports) at these tracks. (Kyle Busch ranked 3rd in fantasy points scored on the Intermediate Tracks in 2019)
SUPERSPEEDWAY TRACK VALUE (Daytona / Talladega)
Kyle Busch has had a lot of bad luck on the Superspeedways, including breaking his leg at Daytona in 2015. The only thing he has not done yet in the Cup Series is win the Daytona 500. Last year he pushed his teammate, Denny Hamlin to Victory Lane. Sooner or later he is going to win the Great American Race. I would not be surprised if it is this year. I do not recommend using Busch at Daytona or Talladega in season long games though. His allocations are too important at the smaller tracks. You can use Busch in DFS if he qualifies outside the top 15. (Kyle Busch ranked 4th in fantasy points scored on the Superspeedways in 2019)
FLAT TRACK VALUE (Richmond / Phoenix / Martinsville / Loudon)
Kyle Busch is one of the best drivers in the Cup Series on the Flat tracks. He has six wins at Richmond, three wins at Loudon, two wins at Martinsville and three wins at Phoenix. He finished first and second in the two races at Phoenix last year. Be sure to use him at both races in the desert this year. Busch has finished eight of the last nine races at Martinsville in the top five. He is a lock to run well at the paperclip-shaped track this year. His average finishing position at Richmond since 2017 is third. Make sure Busch is in your lineup at all races in Virginia. Busch has a third-place average finishing position in his last three races at Loudon. Too make it simple… Just use Busch at all of the Flat tracks in 2020. (Kyle Busch ranked 3rd in fantasy points scored on the Flat Tracks in 2019)
STEEP TRACK VALUE (Bristol / Dover / Darlington)
There is no driver in the sport as good as Kyle Busch at Bristol. He has won three of the last five races in Thunder Valley and led 374 laps. He should be in all fantasy lineups every time the Cup Series competes at Bristol. He has a lot of wins at Dover but he was not himself at the Monster Mile last year. Busch finished 10th in the spring and sixth in the fall. He was only able to lead one lap at Dover. The new aero package should help him tame the Monster Mile in 2020. Busch only has one win at Darlington and it was way back in 2011. There are better choices for your fantasy team at the Track Too Tough to Tame. (Kyle Busch ranked 1st in fantasy points scored on the Steep Tracks in 2019)
ROAD COURSE TRACK VALUE (Sonoma / Watkins Glen / Roval)
Kyle Busch is no stranger to Victory Lane at Sonoma and Watkins Glen. He has won twice at both tracks. His average finishing position in his last five races at Watkins Glen is 5.8. His average finishing position in his last five races at Sonoma is 3.8. The only track where Busch has not won at is the Charlotte Roval. He finished 32nd in 2018 and 37th last year. His luck needs to turn around at the Roval before I decide to use him in my fantasy lineups. (Kyle Busch ranked 15th in fantasy points scored on the Road Courses in 2019)
Best Tracks to for Kyle Busch.: 1) Phoenix, 2) Auto Club, 3) Charlotte, 4) Richmond, 5) Homestead
*Stats from FantasyRacingCheatSheet.com
* Team Information from Jaysky.com
* Fantasy NASCAR Video from nascar.com
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