If you got to see Monday’s finish of the Talladega race you know what I mean when I say it was a crap shoot and I really couldn’t give individual advice on individual drivers. Using lesser used drivers is always rule number one when it comes to restrictor plate races. Rule number two is don’t feel good when all of your drivers are running in the top ten with five laps to go because none of them might end up there.
HOLLYWOOD CASINO 400
This week the series heads to the Kansas Speedway for the running of the Hollywood Casino 400. This is the last race of the second round of the playoffs. This will be a short week for the drivers and the teams with the finish of the Talladega race delayed until Monday afternoon. However, the good news is the teams will all bring a whole new car to the track this week, so it shouldn’t be too big of a deal. The big deal will be the fight for the final spots in the top eight to move on to the third round.
Martin Truex Jr.: Martin is my pick to win the race this weekend. He was hot in the first round of the playoffs and now he is at a track where he can dominate. He swept both races here in the 2017 season and has finished in the top five in four of his last five starts here. When a driver is rolling you need to stick with him and that is what I am going to do.
Kyle Larson: Kyle is another driver who has been running very well lately and this is one of those tracks he loves to run on. He has four top ten finishes in his last five starts at Kansas and wants to keep his momentum strong as he gets ready for the third round. Anything short of a win doesn’t mean much to this team right now other than maybe winning stages in the race.
Kyle Busch: Kyle has struggled a bit in the later stages of the season and the first couple of rounds of the playoffs. This team was so good early in the year and now they seem like they are of kilter a little bit. I’m not going to worry about them too much because of how quickly they can turn the switch and win multiple races in a row. Kyle has six top five and eight top ten finishes at this track over his last nine starts here.
Chase Elliott: Chase won this race last season and has finished in the top five in three of his last four starts here. He really needs a great run here and maybe even a win to make it to the third round of the playoffs. If he can make it in he could win one of the next three races and propel himself into the championship round.
Brad Keselowski: Brad won the spring race here and we have seen the speed the Penske teams have shown all year. Brad runs very well on most of the mile and a half tracks and they really know how to get the job done be it with a fast car or pit strategy that seems to have them contending at the end of races. I look for him to be a contender once again late in this race.
Kevin Harvick: Kevin struggled to get a win early in the season and then came on strong late in the year and showed that this team can get the job done on the intermediate tracks. He has four top three finishes in his last seven starts at Kansas including last spring and the fall race in 2016. They aren’t going to go away quietly this year either.
Erik Jones: Although he was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs and has had some bad luck the past few weeks this is a track where Erik could pick up another win on the season. He has finished in the top seven in each of his three starts here with Joe Gibbs Racing and usually comes away with stage points in each round. He is one to keep on your radar this weekend.
Ryan Blaney: This is one of Ryan’s best tracks. He has three top five and five top ten finishes in his nine career starts at Kansas and is really impressive gaining stage points. He has finished in the top five in six of the last ten stages he has finished at this track. Anyone who can run up front in the early stages that consistently will be a contender at the end of the race too.
Alex Bowman: In his four races he has run here for Hendrick Motorsports, Alex has come away with three top ten finishes. All of the Hendrick teams have made great gains in the last half of the season with their speed on the intermediate tracks and any of them could win a race at one of these tracks now. As a matter of fact, Alex finished second in the spring race here and lead sixty-three laps in that race.
Joey Logano: Joey won two fall races here and has seven top five finishes in his last twelve starts here. Those are very impressive stats. He might need to win this race to move on to the third round in the playoffs and if he needs to he is going to go all out for it. That could be good news or bad news for him because one wrong move could take him out of the race.
DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR KANSAS SPEEDWAY
Driver Group Game Group A
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Kevin Harvick
Driver Group Game Group B
- Ryan Blaney
- Alex Bowman
- Aric Almirola
- William Byron
Driver Group Game Group C
- Chris Buescher
- Daniel Hemric
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Kevin Harvick
- Kyle Larson
- Kyle Busch
- Joey Logano
Dark Horse: Alex Bowman
Stay Away From: Daniel Suarez
Big 18: Alex Bowman