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DFS NASCAR: Kentucky Cup Picks and Preview
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There are now eight races remaining before the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs begin, including this week’s Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway. KS is one of the newest tracks in the Cup Series, as there have only been seven races at the site. But it does share a lot of similar characteristics with other 1.5 Mile Intermediate tracks such as Chicagoland Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway.

CUP SERIES PREVIEW FOR QUAKER STATE 400

Post-Qualifying Friday Update: Martin Truex Jr captured his fourth pole of the season at Kentucky. He had the seventh-best 10 Consecutive Lap Average in final practice and dominated last year’s race at the track. Truex is one of the favorites to win this race and he will lead a good amount of laps.

 

A driver that is a must-start due to Place Differential potential is Denny Hamlin ($9,500 on DraftKings, $10,400 on FanDuel). Hamlin has placed in the Top 5 in two of the last three Kentucky races. He was 16th in first practice, 20th in final practice, had the best 10 Consecutive Lap Average in final practice and starts 36th after his qualifying time was disallowed. He was faster than a lot of drivers starting ahead of him throughout practices, making him the ideal pick to score plenty of points from PD.

Joey Logano and Kyle Larson ($10,100 on DraftKings, $11,500 on FanDuel) are other picks to consider for PD. Logano had the 12th-best 10 Consecutive Lap Average in final practice and starts 19th. Larson placed second in his last Kentucky start. Larson was first in first practice, had the sixth-best 10 Consecutive Lap Average in final practice and starts 18th. Both drivers have displayed practice speeds better than those starting ahead of them and will be solid choices for PD. All other driver outlooks remain much the same.

TOP-PRICED PICKS

Kevin Harvick ($11,600 on DraftKings, $12,500 on FanDuel) is one of the top favorites to win this week’s race. Harvick has placed in the Top 10 in each of the last five Kentucky races and his worst finish at the site is 16th. He has won half of the races on 1.5 Mile Intermediate tracks this season and has the second-best Average Finishing Position of all drivers at the track type (8.0). Harvick had the third-best 10 Consecutive lap average in first practice, was 11th in first practice, and 12th in final practice. Harvick is at his best on 1.5 Mile Intermediate tracks this season and even though Kentucky is not one of his best tracks, he will be a fine pick for a great finish based on his practice speeds.

Martin Truex Jr. ($11,200 on DraftKings, $12,500 on FanDuel) dominated the race at Kentucky last season, winning and leading the most laps (153). In seven starts at the track, Truex has four Top 10 finishes and led laps in his last two races. Since 2015 at Kentucky, Truex has the third-best ARP (5.1), the most Fastest Laps (154), and the second-best DR (120.9). He was fifth in first practice and 14th in final practice. Truex has the fourth-best AFP of all drivers at 1.5 Mile Intermediate tracks (9.0). Truex feels more confident on 1.5 Mile Intermediate tracks compared to any other track type and his practice speeds point to a Top 10 finish. Truex is a solid choice this week.

Kyle Busch ($11,000 on DraftKings, $12,500 on FanDuel) won the last race at a 1.5 Mile Intermediate track two weeks ago at Chicagoland. Kyle Busch dominates most of the loop data categories at Kentucky since 2015, as he ranks first in Average Running Position (3.7), Laps Led (275), Laps in the Top 15 (793), and Driver Rating (128.1). He has placed in the Top 5 in five of seven races at Kentucky Speedway and his worst finish at the site is 12th. Kyle Busch was fourth in first practice, third in final practice, and he had the second-best 10 Consecutive Lap Average in final practice. Kentucky is one of Kyle Busch’s best tracks and he has looked better than most throughout practices. If fantasy owners want to cash in this week with a strong lineup, Kyle Busch is one of the essential drivers to pick.

Kentucky is one of the best track in the Cup Series for Brad Keselowski ($9,800 on DraftKings, $10,700 on FanDuel). In seven starts at the site, Keselowski has three wins, which is the most of all drivers, five Top 10 finishes and 483 Laps Led. Keselowski has the eighth-best AFP of all drivers on 1.5 Mile Intermediate tracks this season (11.3). He was sixth in first practice and 11th in final practice. Keselowski has been known for his consistency at Kentucky and he is a driver that can be counted on to deliver a good finish in the Top 10 based on practice speeds.

Joey Logano ($9,300 on DraftKings, $10,600 on FanDuel) is one of the standout picks for Kentucky this week. Logano has placed in the Top 10 in four of his last five starts at the track and he has led laps in three of the last four races there. He has quietly been one of the most consistent at 1.5 Mile Intermediate tracks this season, as Logano has placed in the Top 10 in all but one of the races on the track type. Logano was third in first practice and 23rd in final practice. Logano’s consistency at 1.5 Mile tracks this season, his first practice speed, and performance in recent races at Kentucky makes him worth considering.

MID-RANGE PRICED PICKS

Ryan Blaney ($8,500 on DraftKings, $10,000 on FanDuel) is a solid play for Kentucky. Blaney placed 10th in his last start at the site and he has led the fifth-most laps at 1.5 Mile Intermediate tracks this season (74). Blaney was second in both practices. Blaney has two Top 5 finishes at 1.5 Mile Intermediate tracks this season and has generally ran well at the track type before experiencing bad luck that made him finish outside of the Top 10. Look for Blaney to compete for a Top 5 finish based on practice speeds.

Erik Jones ($8,300 on DraftKings, $9,700 on FanDuel) is one of the best choices for Kentucky. He placed sixth in his only start at the site last season. Jones won last week’s race at Daytona and he has the fifth-best AFP of all drivers this season at 1.5 Mile Intermediate tracks (9.2). Jones was eighth in first practice, first in final practice, and had the fourth-best 10 Consecutive Lap Average in final practice. Jones looked better than most throughout practices and has improved in performance since joining Joe Gibbs Racing this season. Look for Jones to place in the Top 5.

Kurt Busch ($8,100 on DraftKings, $10,100 on FanDuel) is one of the better picks for Kentucky. In seven starts at the site, Kurt Busch has four Top 10 finishes. Kurt Busch has scored Top 10 finishes in four of the six races at 1.5 Mile Intermediate tracks this season. He was 12th in first practice, 13th in final practice, and had the fifth-best 10 Consecutive Lap Average in first practice. Kurt Busch usually is pretty good at 1.5 Mile Intermediate tracks like Kentucky and his practice speeds point to a finish around the Top 10.

Daniel Suarez ($7,700 on DraftKings, $8,300 on FanDuel) placed 18th in his only start at Kentucky. Suarez has three Top 15 finishes on 1.5 Mile Intermediate tracks this season. Suarez was 10th in first practice and eighth in final practice. Suarez continues to improve at 1.5 Mile Intermediate tracks the more he races on them and his practice speeds indicate a finish in the Top 10.

BARGAIN VALUES

Chris Buescher ($6,500 on DraftKings, $6,500 on FanDuel) picked up his personal-best finish of 16th in his last start at Kentucky. He has four Top 25 finishes and a pair of Top 15 finishes on 1.5 Mile Intermediate tracks this season. Buescher was 26th in first practice and 17th in final practice. Look for Buescher to compete for a Top 20 finish based on his practice speeds.

Michael McDowell ($6,100 on DraftKings, $6,700 on FanDuel) scored his best finish of 23rd at Kentucky last season. McDowell has placed 21st or better in each of the last four races on 1.5 Mile Intermediate tracks this season, with his best finish being 14th at Texas. McDowell was 29th in first practice, 19th in final practice, and had the sixth-best 10 Consecutive Lap Average in first practice. McDowell will compete for a Top 20 finish with the possibility of placing in the Top 15 based on practice speeds.

Ty Dillon ($5,600 on DraftKings, $5,500 on FanDuel) has one Top 25 finish in two starts at Kentucky. Dillon has three Top 25 finishes on 1.5 Mile Intermediate tracks this season. He was 25th in first practice and 21st in final practice. Based on practice speeds, Dillon will finish in the Top 25.

XFINITY SERIES PREVIEW FOR ALSCO 300 (DRAFTKINGS ONLY)

Kyle Busch ($14,100), Paul Menard ($9,400) and Ty Dillon ($8,800) are the Cup regulars participating in this week’s Xfinity race at Kentucky. Busch has won the last two Kentucky races and has placed in the Top 5 in each of his last seven starts at the site. Menard has four Top 10 finishes in seven starts at Kentucky. Dillon has five finishes of seventh or better in seven starts at Kentucky. Busch was fifth in first practice, fourth in final practice, and had the best 10 Consecutive Lap Average in final practice. He is one of the favorites to win this week. Menard was 17th in first practice and seventh in final practice. He will compete for a Top 10 finish based on practice speeds. Dillon was 10th in first practice, sixth in final practice, and had the sixth-best 10 Consecutive Lap Average in final practice.

Daniel Hemric ($9,200), Matt Tifft ($8,000), and Austin Cindric ($7,800) are some of the Xfinity regulars that will do well at Kentucky. Hemric placed in the Top 10 in two starts at Kentucky. Tifft has three Top 10 finishes in four starts at Kentucky while Cindric is making his Xfinity Series debut at the site. Hemric was third in both practices and had the second-best 10 Consecutive Lap Average in final practice. He will finish in the Top 3. Tifft was fourth in first practice, fifth in final practice and had the fourth-best 10 Consecutive Lap Average. He will place in the Top 5. Cindric was 11th in both practices and had the 10th-best 10 Consecutive Lap Average in final practice.

The best bargains this week are Ty Majeski ($7,100), Ryan Sieg ($6,900), and Jeremy Clements ($6,700). Majeski is making his first start at Kentucky. Sieg has five Top 20 finishes at Kentucky while Clements has placed in the Top 20 six times at the site. Majeski was 18th in first practice and first in final practice. Sieg was 20th in first practice and 19th in final practice. Clements was 19th in first practice and 18th in final practice. All three drivers will finish in the Top 20 based on practice speeds.

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