The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series hit the track Friday at Kansas Speedway in preparation for Saturday night’s Go Bowling 400.
There were a number of cars unable to pass through pre-qualifying inspection in time to lay down a lap. Among the group were some big name drivers, including Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Clint Bowyer. Keep those names in mind when looking for darkhorses starting at the rear of the field (note I’m already recommending one below).
The DraftKings strategy for intermediate tracks is all about finding “dominators” for your roster. A dominator is a driver who will run up front, lead laps, and generate fast laps for extra bonuses.
Alternatively, for the middle to backend of lineups, it’s crucial to find a someone that performed poorly in qualifying and could work his way up the field for those coveted position differential points.
Here are two drivers that are hot-starts for Saturday’s DraftKings contests.
Jimmie Johnson ($10,100)
Starting Position: 29th
Johnson will be starting in the back half of the pack due to inspection woes. This setback makes him a tremendous favorite for position differential potential. If he can make his way up inside the top 10, he will post a minimum of 19 positive points.
The seven-time series champion sits atop most categories when it comes to Kansas. It’s the type of consistency you’d be looking for, no matter where he starts. He is tied with Jeff Gordon in most all-time wins with three. He is second all-time behind Gordon with nine top fives and owns the most top-10 finishes in track history with 17 in 21 attempts. His 8.9 is also the best average finish among all active drivers.
Johnson’s last win at Kansas came in the spring of 2015, but he does have two top-five results in the three races since. His 17th-place finish in the spring race last season is one of only two results outside the top 10 since 2006.
Johnson already has two wins on the season and will look to add another notch in his belt on the way to a record-setting eighth championship.
Martin Truex Jr. ($9,700)
Starting Position: Third
Truex has arguably been the best Cup Series driver on 1.5-mile tracks over the past year and a half. He led the most laps on intermediate tracks last season, earning three victories. He’s already picked up a win at one in 2017 (Las Vegas).
In the past ten races at Kansas, Truex is averaging a 10th-place finish, six positions higher than his career average. He led 172 laps in the spring race last season, over 100 more than the eventual race winner, Kyle Busch. On the final round of pit stops, a loose screw found its way inside the wheel, preventing the tire to be put on tight. Truex was forced to pit again from the front, and ultimately, it cost him the win.
Truex sits second in series points, leading laps in six of ten races held thus far. Chances are he entered the weekend ready to bounce back after a Talladega wreck ruined his Sunday.
On-track action has already proven that point. He was the fastest in first practice, then the third fastest in final practice. Starting on the second row, Truex is in prime position to lead laps early.
This week’s fantasy forecast is backed by DraftKings, the No. 1 platform for Daily Fantasy Sports. You can jump in on all of the daily fantasy NASCAR action at Kansas this weekend by signing up here for a free entry into one of this weekend’s contests. All you have to do is make a $5 deposit to get started!
Optimal DraftKings Lineup Example:
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