Driver Picks: Hollywood Casino 400
Going to keep it short and sweet! Here are some quick picks for Kansas!
Martin Truex JR: $11,100
Bad luck bit MTJ back in the spring race here at Kansas after dominating much of the race. A loose wheel after a pit stop forced Truex to pit, an event he was not able to recover from. We have really seen Martin turn it on this season, especially over the last few races. In the last six races, he has three wins and four Top 5’s. Further, he has five Top 10’s and has not finished outside of the Top 20. His average finish of 4.33 and 581 laps led are far and away the best in the field in that stretch.
After a stretch of three straight Top 5’s at Kansas, MTJ only has one Top 5 in his last six here. Had it not been for the lug-nut issue last race here, no doubt he would have a win. His numbers at 1.5 mile tracks this year are ridiculous; three wins, 845 laps led, and an average finish of 7.8. Starting fourth puts Martin in perfect position to get out in front early and dominate once again. He is the most expensive driver this week for a reason, he has been absolutely dominate and I don’t see that changing. There is enough value throughout the field to feel confident with playing MTJ, even at this price tag.
Kyle Busch: $10,000
Kyle is due for a win and this is one of his best shots to make that happen. After a stretch of 11 races here where he did not record a Top 10, he has finished no worse than fifth in the last three. In that time he has one win, which came last year in which he led a total of 69 laps. His 6.5 average finish is third best among all drivers over the last six races of this season. In that time he has two Top 5’s, five Top 10’s, all while leading 128 laps.
Kyle has shown great speed in all of the practice sessions. He was first, eighth, and fifth in the three sessions respectively when it came to fastest laps. I am more impressed with his 10 lap averages as he was first and third overall in this category in the last two practice sessions. This shows that the car has long run speed, and if Kyle can get out front early it could be a long day for the rest of the field. You can very easily stack KB with his teammate below and feel comfortable with your line-ups. It’s been a long time since we have seen Kyle come out and dominate a race, and I think that changes this week.
Matt Kenseth: $8,700
Kenseth is way, way too cheap this week and I have no explanation why. In the last 12 Kansas races, Matt has nine Top 10 finishes. In that same stretch he has five Top 5’s and two wins. Three times he has led 78 or more laps and led 163 laps in the only race he started on the pole. In the last six races this year, Kenseth has three Top 5’s and five Top 10’s. He seems to be finding his groove as the championship progresses and is one of my favorite plays tomorrow.
Matt’s car was fast enough in qualifying to take the pole position. Not only was he fast in qualifying, but translated that speed into practice as well. He was 11th, 5th, and 1st overall in the three sessions respectively. Kenseth was 8th and 5th overall in 10 lap averages in the last two practice sessions respectively. I would like to see him nearer to the top in that category, but he is still a viable option. His price this weekend allows you to save some salary on a driver who is a stud. You can easily pair him with his teammate who starts on the front row for a JGR mini-stack. Both KB and Kenseth have the ability to lead a ton of laps, so pairing them is a great option.
Brian Scott: $5,200
If you’re looking for a crazy cheap value play tomorrow, he here is. Scott only has two career races at Kansas, but has been very strong in both races. In those two races he finished no worse than 22nd, with a best finish of 12th. In both of those instances he recorded at least four place differential points. Starting 32nd has me all over Scott this weekend, as he has had strong finishes over the last few races. He has not finished outside of the Top 25 over the last two races this season, and is poised for another good finish on Sunday.
Scott had a ton of speed in the first practice session, running a lap good enough for 20th overall. While he struggled in the last two sessions, I am not worried. All we need is for Scott to crack the Top 25 to pay off, but he has Top 20 upside. If he can come away with a Top 20 he will surely shoot you up the standings.
Other Drivers I Like:
Jimmie Johnson: $10,600
Chase Elliott: $9,500
Kyle Larson: $9,400
Kasey Kahne: $8,500
Aric Almirola: $6,800