The Setup – Hollywood Casino 400
By Tyler Miller

This weekend NASCAR heads to Kansas Speedway for a triple header playoff weekend with the Trucks, Xfinity, and Cup series in action. Kansas Speedway is an intermediate, 1.5 mile, track. After a wild couple of weeks at Talladega and the Charlotte ROVAL, we are back to a “normal” race where I recommend playing mostly cash games and single entry tournaments. Chase Elliott will start from the pole on Sunday as Denny Hamlin will try to win his third straight race at Kansas from the 7th starting position. Let’s get started.

Race Distance: 267 laps, Stage 1 ends on lap 80, Stage 2 ends on lap 160.
Lineup Lock 2:30 pm eastern Sunday
Spring Winner: Denny Hamlin (Started 10th)
Spring Pole Sitter: Kevin Harvick (Finished 4th)
Last year’s winner: Denny Hamlin (Started 23rd)
Last year’s pole sitter: Daniel Hemric (Finished 31st)

Prior race winners:
2019 Spring: Brad Keselowski (4th)
2018 Fall: Chase Elliott (13th)
2018 Spring: Kevin Harvick (1st)
2017 Fall: Martin Truex Jr. (1st)
2017 Spring: Martin Truex Jr. (3rd)

Roval Recap:
What went right?

I would summarize the Roval by saying “So close, yet so far away.” Chase Elliott was my top play on Sunday. He led 27laps, won the race, and scored the second most points on Fan Duel behind Ryan Blaney. Clint Bowyer was a solid play, leading 9 laps and finishing 10th. Jimmie Johnson and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. were good plays, finishing 8th and 9th respectively in Fan Duel scoring. It was close, but it wasn’t a good day overall.

What went wrong?
I should have written up Ryan Blaney. My most difficult decision in my personal lineup on Sunday was between Bowyer, Blaney, and Michael McDowell. I ended up writing Bowyer and McDowell up in the article, and I played McDowell which completely killed my lineup. I needed to play Blaney. It was almost too obvious. I also completely missed on Cole Custer which would have been a fantastic play in tournaments. I thought McDowell was a must play and he was doing well until he spun out twice on the same lap late in the race.

My Fan Duel Lineup was Elliott, Johnson, Bell, Stenhouse, and McDowell which scored 203.3 and failed to cash.
My Draft Kings Lineup was Elliott, Johnson, Bell, Stenhouse, McDowell, and Buescher which scored 228.5 and also failed to cash.

What Vegas thinks (Opening lines via MGM)
Hamlin and Harvick are tied atop the list at 17-4. I prefer Hamlin over Harvick, in fact, I would bet Truex over Harvick on Sunday. My favorite longshot for Sunday would be Alex Bowman at 22-1. Bowman made the round of 8 and knows that wining a race is probably his only hope of racing for a championship at Phoenix. Bowman has been solid at times at 1.5 mile tracks over the past two seasons. Clint Bowyer at 50-1 would also be a great storyline as this is his last race at his home track.
Denny Hamlin 17-4
Kevin Harvick 17-4
Martin Truex Jr. 5-1
Chase Elliott 13-2
Brad Keselowski 8-1
Ryan Blaney 11-1
Joey Logano 14-1
Kyle Busch 14-1

Driver Ratings at Kansas:
1. Kevin Harvick 108.6
2. Matt Kenseth 101.4
3. Jimmie Johnson 100.9
4. Martin Truex Jr. 100.7
5. Chase Elliott 95.2
6. Ryan Blaney 95.0
7. Brad Keselowski 92.8
8. Kyle Busch 92.6
9. Denny Hamlin 90.4
10. Erik Jones 89.4
11. Kurt Busch 88.6
12. Joey Logano 87.4
13. Tyler Reddick 83.3
14. Cole Custer 80.9
15. Clint Bowyer 80.3

Average Running Position
1. Kevin Harvick 8.906
2. Ryan Blaney 9.750
3. Matt Kenseth 11.009
4. Martin Truex Jr. 11.215
5. Jimmie Johnson 11.289
6. Erik Jones 12.294
7. Chase Elliott 12.294
8. Brad Keselowski 12.645
9. Denny Hamlin 13.004
10. Kyle Busch 13.056
11. Tyler Reddick 13.870
12. Kurt Busch 14.196
13. Joey Logano 15.234
14. Cole Custer 16.026
15. Clint Bowyer 16.995

Laps Led
1. Kevin Harvick 816 (12.3% of laps run)
2. Martin Truex Jr 803 (12.6)
3. Matt Kenseth 760 (13.0)
4. Jimmie Johnson 581 (8.8)
5. Joey Logano 431 (7.3)
6. Kyle Busch 380 (6.0)
7. Denny Hamlin 284 (4.5)
8. Kurt Busch 267 (4.0)
9. Brad Keselowski 247 (4.4)
10. Ryan Blaney 171 (5.8)

Spring Top 10:
1. Denny Hamlin
2. Brad Keselowski
3. Martin Truex Jr.
4. Kevin Harvick
5. Erik Jones
6. Aric Almirola
7. Cole Custer
8. Alex Bowman
9. Kurt Busch
10. William Byron

2019 Fall Top 10:
1. Denny Hamlin
2. Chase Elliott
3. Kyle Busch
4. Kurt Busch
5. William Byron
6. Martin Truex Jr.
7. Erik Jones
8. Clint Bowyer
9. Kevin Harvick
10. Jimmie Johnson

2019 Spring Top 10:
1. Brad Keselowski
2. Alex Bowman
3. Erik Jones
4. Chase Elliott
5. Clint Bowyer
6. Jimmie Johnson
7. Kurt Busch
8. Kyle Larson
9. Tyler Reddick
10. Chris Buescher

2018 Fall Top 10:
1. Chase Elliott
2. Kyle Busch
3. Kyle Larson
4. Erik Jones
5. Martin Truex Jr.
6. Brad Keselowski
7. Ryan Blaney
8. Joey Logano
9. Alex Bowman
10. Aric Almirola

Denny Hamlin ($13,500/10,600) Hamlin is my pick to win the race. I’m not going out on much of a ledge, Hamlin has ran well at intermediate tracks dating back to the first race at Kansas this summer (which he won). Hamlin is starting 7th, I’d expect a strong showing from all the Gibbs cars on Sunday.

Martin Truex Jr. ($12,500/11,000) Truex’s pricing is interesting because he is cheaper than Hamlin on Fan Duel and more expensive on Draft Kings. Truex has had success at Kansas with laps led in each of his past two races at the track including a 3rd place finish in the first race this year. I think Hamlin is a solid pivot away from Hamlin, but I like Hamlin over Truex.

Kyle Busch ($11,200/9,900) Kyle Busch is a must play on both sites for Kansas. Busch is starting 20th and despite the lackluster season he is experiencing (he was eliminated from the playoffs last week), he is still motivated to go after wins. Busch has one win at Kasnas (Spring of 2016) and 9 top 10 finishes in his past 11 races at the track. I like Kyle to compete inside the top 5 and be a top 3 points scorer in DFS on Sunday.

Erik Jones ($10,200/8,400) Kansas is a really good track for Erik Jones. Jones is close to announcing plans for the 2021 season as he will not be back in the 20 car next year (probably heading to the 43 to replace Bubba Wallace). After missing the playoffs, Jones has put together really good finishes during the playoffs: 4th at Darlington, 22nd at Richmond, 3rd at Bristol, 8th at Las Vegas, 2nd at Talladega, and 3rd last week at the Roval. Jones has finished inside the top 10 in his last 5 races at Kansas, including 3 top 5 finishes. Starting 11th, I think so DFS players will overlook Jones on Sunday. There is limited potential for differential points, but I like Jones to finish 4th-8th on Sunday.

Alex Bowman ($11,000/8,600) I would put Alex Bowman in the same boat as Erik Jones but with more risk of negative differential. Bowman is starting 6th and could easily run inside the top 10 all race long. Bowman has finished 11th or better in his last 4 races at Kansas, including a runner up finish in the spring 2019 race where he led 63 laps. There is a part of me that thinks Bowman could find his way to victory lane on Sunday at seriously change the complexion of the championship 4 at Phoenix. I don’t know if he fits in a cash game lineup, but I think the possibility is there for Bowman to compete for the win.

John Hunter Nemechek ($5,500/6,100) In my opinion, John Hunter Nemechek is the only value driver that should be considered on Sunday. Nemechek finished 19th at Kansas in July. In two Xfinity races at Kansas he won and finished 8th and in three truck series races at Kansas he has 2 top 5 finishes. I don’t know if Nemechek can finish inside the top 20, but I think a finish in the low 20s is a possibility which would make him a solid value play on Sunday.

Michael McDowell ($7,200/5,700) Michael McDowell is too expensive to play on Fan Duel, but I think he makes sense as your 6th guy on DK to finish out a lineup. McDowell is starting 26th and he finished 16th at Kansas in July. I don’t expect McDowell to finish top 15, but on DK, he could get a couple differential points and finish in the top 25. I might be suffering from recency bias because McDowell cost me a lot of money last week at the Roval.

There are two drivers that I think are locks for Sunday, Kyle Busch and John Hunter Nemechek. I like Hamlin to win the race. I like the current hot streak that Erik Jones is on plus his solid record at Kansas. That leaves me with one spot to fill on Fan Duel. I am likely going to play Jimmie Johnson. This is one of those tracks that Johnson was really good at before 2017 but he hasn’t done much in the past 7 races at the track. Johnson finished 32nd in July due to the damaged vehicle policy. That’s where I am at, good luck to all our subscribers this weekend!

Leave a Reply