The NASCAR Cup Series returns to midweek points-paying action at Kansas Speedway for 400 miles under the lights. Two straight surprise winners at 1.5-mile tracks show that anything can happen in the Cup Series, but this is still the exception, and not the rule.
Look for the top drivers to contend for the win in tonight’s Super Start Batteries 400 (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).
The cars will be running the same left side tires as Charlotte, and the same right side tires as Las Vegas, Kentucky and Texas. That means all four of the low-to-medium tire wear tracks are going to be useful for analyzing driver performance.
I’ll lean heavily on these races, as well as some Kansas track history to offer my top plays of the slate.
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NASCAR at Kansas DraftKings Dominator DFS Picks
Kevin Harvick drew the pole for tonight’s starting lineup. He should be heavily favored as the top dominator thanks to his Kansas track history. Harvick has finished first or second in the opening two stages in six of the last eight tries and also won the first Kansas race in 2018.
Ryan Blaney is also in consideration for dominator points. He starts on the outside of the second row, meaning he’ll be right at the front early on. Blaney was once again the fastest car at Texas, meaning he’s been the fastest car on the track for Las Vegas, Kentucky and Texas. Look for him to press Harvick for the lead in the early going.
Martin Truex Jr. should be considered the third-most likely dominator. He led laps in each of the past two 1.5-mile tracks and also finished second in each of the two opening stages at the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. Truex also tends to perform better under the lights.
I have one sneaky dominator pick for tonight’s race that should fly under the radar. Alex Bowman led three of the five opening stages at the two Charlotte races, before fading at the end of each race. Both of these races were night races. If the left side tires that were run at Charlotte play into his favor, along with night-time conditions, he could be a sneaky dominator at $8500.
Other dominator candidates (in order of preference): Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Aric Almirola, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch.
NASCAR at Kansas DraftKings DFS Value Picks
Jimmie Johnson ($8900) – Johnson starts the race from the 20th position, which means plenty of place differential potential. The seven-time series champion had a second-place finish taken away from him at the Coca-Cola 600, and was also one of the fastest cars this past weekend before he ran into trouble.
If people shy away from him because they feel burned, feel free to capitalize on that recency bias.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($7000) – Like Johnson, Stenhouse burned DFS players last weekend. However, Stenhouse has shown upside on both tire combinations, with a third-place finish at Las Vegas and a fourth-place finish at Charlotte.
He has more upside than John Hunter Nemecheck who should be significantly higher owned because he starts five places further back than Stenhouse, but at a $200 discount.
Ryan Preece ($5800) – Preece is a chalky cheap play, but for good reason. His 12th-place finish at Kansas last year was his second-best finish at a track other than Daytona or Talladega. He has failed to finish each of the races at Las Vegas, Kentucky and Texas, but in the two Charlotte races he picked up 22nd- and 24th-place finishes.
Look for him to have a car good enough to finish at least that high if no troubles arise. That means he’s capable of a double-digit place differential day.