KASEY KAHNE (LEAVINE FAMILY RACING) CHEVY
2018 DRIVER FANTASY RANKING: 23RD
2017 FANTASY NASCAR RANK: 16TH
2017 RECAP: Kasey Kahne did something in 2017 that he had not done in a long time… He won a race. Kahne did not have a great season last year but he was able to make the playoffs and that is more then what most people expected. Kahne had six finishes in the top 10 (Daytona, Atlanta, Talladega, Indianapolis, Charlotte and Talladega). He was at his best on the Superspeedways and once again ran well at his favorite track in Charlotte.
2018 Preview: Kasey Kahne was replaced at Hendrick Motorsports by William Byrum. It surprised me to see Kahne find a seat at Leavine Family Racing while Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch remained unsigned. Kahne brought crew chief Travis Mack with him from Hendrick Motorsports. The No. 95 team will once again have an alliance with Richard Childress Racing. They will use Earnhardt Childress Racing (ECR) engines and their new Camaro will be built by Richard Childress Racing.
Fantasy teams should expect a decline in fantasy value from Kahne in 2018. If Kahne could not run up front consistently in Hendrick Motorsports cars, it will be hard to imagine he can do it at Leavine Family Racing. Last year Michael McDowell had some success in the No. 95 car and I expect the same from Kahne. He will have a few top-10 finishes but most of the races he will run outside the top 15.
INTERMEDIATE TRACL VALUE
Kasey Kahne was decent on the Intermediate tracks (1.5-mile and 2-mile ovals) in 2017. He ranked 19th in fantasy value at these tracks. Kahne will not have the horsepower in 2018 that he had in 2017. I doubt he will run as well as he did last year at these tracks. Kahne will still have some fantasy value at Charlotte, Kansas and Las Vegas. The cookie-cutter tracks are his favorite so he should be considered for your fantasy team at these tracks.
SUPERSPEEDWAY TRACK VALUE
Fantasy teams got the most out of Kasey Kahne on the Superspeedways (Daytona and Talladega) last year. He ranked 8th in fantasy value at these tracks. Kahne finished 7th in the Daytona 500 and 18th in the July race at Daytona. Kahne finished both races at Talladega in the top eight (5th in May and 8th in October). If Kahne is going to win a race in 2018 it will probably be at either Daytona or Talladega. He is a good fantasy driver for your team at these tracks.
FLAT TRACK VALUE
Kasey Kahne did not set the track on fire at the flat tracks (Phoenix, Richmond, Martinsville and Loudon) in 2017. He had a couple of top-20 finishes but no finishes in the top 10. Kahne ranked 20th in fantasy value at these tracks last year. If he is going to have any success this season it will probably happen at Richmond. Kahne has an 11.3 average finishing position in the last six races at Richmond.
STEEP TRACK VALUE
Fantasy teams can consider Kasey Kahne when the MENCS visits the Steep tracks (Bristol, Dover and Darlington). The Monster Mile ranks as the best track for Kahne and he has had some recent success at Darlington as well. Although he has won a race at Bristol before, he did not finish either race inside the top 20 last year. Kahne has a lot of fantasy value at Dover, a little at Darlington and I would fade him at Bristol.
ROAD COURSE TRACK VALUE
Kasey Kahne is a good road course driver. He could be one of the best picks in fantasy depending on what his price is in salary cap games. Kahne ranked 20th in fantasy value at the road courses last year. He has finished five of his last six races at Sonoma in the top 10. Michael McDowell ran well at the road courses in the No. 95 car so I think Kahne can have fantasy value as well.
Best Tracks to for Kasey Kahne: 1) Dover, 2) Richmond, 3) Sonoma, 4) Charlotte, 5) Kansas
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