Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet | 2017 Kansas Speedway, Hollywood Casino 400
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2017 Kansas Speedway, Hollywood Casino 400

Once again a restrictor plate race has a major impact on the playoffs. In my opinion, if NASCAR really wants to crown the best driver of the playoffs as the champion they have to get rid of these races during the playoffs. Most of the playoff contenders were eliminated from the race in the “Big One” that they had no control over. It’s true that every driver has the same chance to get in the wreck here, but is it really keeping the best drivers in the hunt.

HOLLYWOOD CASINO 400

Anyway, the series heads to the Kansas Speedway for the running of the Hollywood Casino 400 this week. This is the second elimination race of the playoffs and after the checkered flag waves there will only be eight cars and drivers who will be eligible to win this year’s championship. This is another of the mile-and-a-half tracks on the playoff schedule and we all know who has dominated these races this season. Can Martin Truex Jr. win another of these races and add five more playoff points to his resume?

Kyle Busch: I am going to pick Kyle to stop Martin’s dominance this week at Kansas and move himself into the third round with the win, so he doesn’t have to worry about getting in on points after two terrible finishes in the first two races of this round. Kyle has a win and five straight top five finishes at this track and I believe he will do it once again this week.

Kevin Harvick: In his last six starts at this track, Kevin has two wins, three runner-up finishes and a third place finish. This team hasn’t been showing the speed in the second half of the season that they have shown over the past few years. However, when he needs to win a race he usually has a good chance of doing just that. As this race plays out, Kevin will be able to determine just how hard he has to drive to make the third round of the playoffs.

Martin Truex Jr.: Martin won the race here in May and has dominated these races all season. Even though I think Kyle will win here this weekend and Kevin will be right there with him, I still have to have Martin as my starter because of how consistent he has been. Doesn’t make much sense, does it? I will be going with Kyle and Martin as my drivers and see how they qualify and practice and then decide who I need to take a chance on by my position in my leagues to see if I need to take a chance to move up or go with the consistency to hold my position.

Ryan Blaney: Ryan is another driver who will have to maximize his finishing position in this race to continue on. He has run well here in only five starts at this track coming away with two top five and three top ten finishes in those five starts. He has run well and shown a lot of speed on the intermediate tracks. His only downfall might be his inexperience in these situations and he seems to take some chances that he might not have to take when he does.

Jimmie Johnson: Jimmie leads all active drivers with three wins at Kansas and this is the time of year this team turns it on. I just think that every driver who doesn’t have a win in this round almost needs to try and win this race and do as well as they can in each stage as points are going to be really big this week. With Chad Knaus on the pit box this team seems to make the right calls and keep each others emotions in check.

Matt Kenseth: Matt might be the only driver still in the playoff without a win in this round who probably will not be worried about getting a win this weekend. He is always so calm in the car and takes what the track and other drivers give him and stays out of trouble by letting faster cars go early in the race. He will be informed of where he sits in the standings and will know exactly who he needs to beat and how many positions he needs to make up. He has two wins here in his career and has finished in the top ten in more than half of his twenty-three starts.

Brad Keselowski: After a great race at Talladega once again for Brad the pressure is off of him in this race. However, this is one driver who doesn’t want to worry about points he just wants to go out and win races. He will do everything he can to pick up as many playoff points as he can in this race and might be able to take a few chances with pit strategy if he needs to so that he can position himself for the win and the five playoff points that go with it.

Kyle Larson: Kyle has been fast all year and at all types of tracks. He has only run seven races at this track in his young career coming away with a second place finish in his second start here. He finished sixth in the race here earlier this year and will most likely make it into the third round on points. All he needs to do is stay out of trouble early in the race and then he can go for the win at the end if he has the car that is capable of doing that.

Chase Elliott: Once again Chase came very close to winning a race for the first time in this series this past weekend at Talladega. This team has run very well every week of the playoffs and that is very encouraging for them and makes them believe they can win this championship. He has only run three races here with his best finish being a ninth place finish in his first start. No matter what he has done in those three races, this team is at the top of their game right now and they are showing they have the speed to compete with the best right now.

Daniel Suarez: Daniel has been running great over the past six races finishing in the top twelve in each of those races. He was out front at Talladega late in the race last week before wrecking and taking himself out of contention. Even though they aren’t in the playoffs they are running hard looking for their first win. In his only start here in May, he finished seventh and will use that to boost his confidence as he tries to improve on that finish.

YAHOO! FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR KANSAS SPEEDWAY

Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Kyle Busch
  • Martin Truex Jr.

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Ryan Blaney
  • Chase Elliott
  • Kyle Larson
  • Kasey Kahne

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Ty Dillon
  • Erik Jones

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY

  1. Kyle Busch
  2. Martin Truex Jr.
  3. Kevin Harvick
  4. Chase Elliott
  5. Jimmie Johnson

Dark Horse: Ryan Blaney

Stay Away From: Joey Logano

Big 18: Ryan Blaney

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  • Trick Pickle

    What’s the best bang for the buck for jones and suarez if I’ve got one start left?

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      I think I use Suarez at Phoenix and save Jones for Homestead.

      Reply
      • Kenneth

        That’s my plan. Hoping Ty can give me some Top 20s until then.

        Reply
  • Doug

    I’m going to save 1 start for the 24 at Honestead. Which is s better start for him at Texas or Kansad?

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      Have him on your roster this week and see how he does in practice and qualifying. If he is up towards the front all the time use him this week otherwise save him for Texas.

      Reply
  • Andy

    Would you recommend going the 27 or 3 car for a bench spot. Already have 21, 5, and 24, but only 1 start for 24 that I am hoping to save for Texas.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      The 27 hasn’t shown anything all year. Go with the 3

      Reply
  • Brent

    I’m hesitant to use Truex because he doesnt need the win. I’m worried he’ll play it safe and wont go all out for the win like he normally would.

    Reply
    • Brent

      I’ve got 3 more races available for Truex and 1 for Kyle. I’m the only guy in my league who saved a solid # of races for Truex, Kyle Busch, Larson, and Elliot for the playoffs. I’ve got a nice lead so far in the playoffs.

      Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      He wants the win and has nothing to lose by going for it. If he wins he gets another 5 playoff points, so he is going to try and win and with nothing to lose he can take chances. Second place means nothing to him.

      Reply
  • JIM

    what are your thoughts on rick stenhouse

    Reply
  • JIM

    I WAS MEANING TO SAY, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON RICKY STENHOUSE FOR THIS WEEKEND
    SORRY

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      I think this team has the speed in the car and Ricky runs better on the intermediate tracks than the short tracks, so I think he might do alright.

      Reply
  • Brent

    Thanks Jeff!

    Reply
  • AJ

    Hi Jeff
    I have to use a driver from 17 on down that aren’t in the chase. I only can use 2 from the chase meaning 16 and above. I picked Boyer…What’s your thoughts on this at Kansas.

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      I like Suarez and Jones more than Bowyer right now.

      Reply
  • Doug

    Do you think the 1 can do anything this week?

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      He has been better this year than in past years, but I am concerned with him only finishing in the top ten here 4 times in his 21 starts.

      Reply
  • Derek lee

    With one start left for Jones and Suarez and 2 starts left with ty where should I run these guys and who should be my other driver I target?

    Kansas Dillon or ragan
    Martinsville?
    Texas?
    Phoenix-Suarez
    Homestead-Jones

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      Suarez and Jones look to be in the right spot. I would probably use Dillon at Kansas and Texas and then go with Ragan or McDowell at Martinsville.

      Reply
  • Scott E

    Does mcmurray still start at ninth or does he have to go to the back because of failing inspection first time around? Thanks

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      Not as far as I know. He passed inspection before qualifying so he should keep his spot unless something changes in the last two practices today.

      Reply
  • Paul

    Hi Jeff,

    In your opinion who should I start this week?

    Kyle Busch (3 starts left)
    Truex Jr. (5)

    Blaney (4)
    Elliott (2)
    Kahne (7)
    Larson (1)

    Dillon (3)
    Eric Jones (2)

    I’m in first place in the overall standings and have a 68 point lead over 2nd.

    The 2nd place team has the following cars as options for this week.

    #4, #78
    #14, #1, #42, #21
    #19, #77

    Thanks,
    Paul K.

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      You need to start Truex for sure because your opponent is going to start him. That way you have a push there and the way Truex has run on the intermediate tracks makes him the odds on favorite when he is starting on the pole. I start Elliott. Then you have to decide if you think Blaney can come from the back of the field or not. He has to start in the back because he didn’t pass post qualifying inspection. If you don’t want to take a chance on him you should start Kahne and save Larson because he will get you some bonus qualifying points the rest of the season. I would probably start Jones here and then save his last start for Homestead.

      Reply
  • Scott E

    Should I worry about blaney(2) starting at back? He still looks fast in practice. I also have mcmurray(2) , kurt B(1) , and stenhouse(6). Trying to decide what two I want.

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      Blaney has to get back towards the front to advance in the playoffs and they will probably do it with speed and a little strategy. I think he will be fine today. Then I would probably go with Stenhouse as McMurray hasn’t been very good at this track (Only 4 top ten finishes in 21 starts)

      Reply
  • Joe

    What do you think Jeff? This is what I have for this week and who I am starting.

    18 over the 48
    41 and 21 over the 5 and 31
    19 over 13

    Would you change any of it?

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      I don’t like the 41 this week. Kurt has run alright on the short tracks, but has really struggled on the intermediates this season. I would probably go with the 5 instead. Otherwise it looks good to me.

      Reply
  • Duane Robert Jones

    Based on practice, do I start Busch or truex?

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      I wouldn’t worry too much about practice. Truex has won the majority of the mile and a half races this year and is starting on the pole. Go with Truex.

      Reply
  • Matt20Fan

    A round of applause for Jeff! You guys sure put him to the test this week. lol

    Reply

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