The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will travel to Kansas City, Kansas this week for the SpoungeBob SquarePants 400.
Kansas Speedway is a very fast track. Just when the surface was starting to get worn out, providing some exciting racing, NASCAR decided to repave and reconfigure the track with progressive banking. The speeds are lightning fast, but there is only one groove in the track so passing has become difficult.
This will be the fifth race this season on the intermediate tracks. Fantasy teams should have a good idea by now which drivers are good and which will struggle Saturday night. The best group of drivers on this type of track includes Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski.
Here are my picks for the SpongeBob SquarePants 400 at Kansas.
Yahoo Group A Picks
The drivers from Group A of Yahoo Fantasy Auto Racing have won the last eight races at Kansas. Fantasy teams should have no problem finding a good driver for their team this week.
Matt Kenseth is the best pick this week if you want to take the conservative rout. Kenseth has two wins and eight top-10 finishes in the last nine races at Kansas. He is almost a lock for another top-10 finish.
My sleeper pick in Group A is Brad Keselowski. He has finished in the top 10 in all of the races this season on the intermediate tracks and he is a former winner at Kansas. Keselowski will have a good chance to visit Victory Lane again Saturday night.
Here are the two drivers I selected for Group A.
Harvick is the best pick in the field this week. His worst finish this season on intermediate tracks is second. Harvick has a series-best driver rating and a series-best average finishing position in the last four races at Kansas. He has led 388 laps on this type of track this season. Harvick is my pick to go to Victory Lane Saturday night.
Logano has been very good at Kansas the last two seasons. He won the last race at Kansas and has a streak of three consecutive top-five finishes at the track. Logano has yet to win on an intermediate track this season, but he has finished all four races in the top-10. Do not be surprised to see Logano start on the Pole for the SpongeBob SquarePants 400.
Other good choices: Matt Kenseth,Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski and Jeff Gordon
Yahoo Group B Picks
It should not be very difficult to pick your drivers for Group B this week. Three drivers have stood out over the rest. Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Kasey Kahne have six top 10 finishes this season on the intermediate tracks. The problem is your competition will probably have the same three drivers.
If you want to go against what your competition selects, Kyle Larson is your driver. He only has one finish in the top 10 on intermediate tracks this season, but he has had success at Kansas. Last year Larson started 18th and finished second in this race.
My sleeper pick for Group B is Paul Menard. He always runs well on the intermediate tracks in the first half of the season. If you plan on using him for your team, this would be a good week to select Menard.
Here are the four drivers I selected for Group B.
It is almost a guarantee that Busch will show up with one of the fastest cars at Kansas. Each week Kevin Harvick and Busch unload from their haulers and go straight to the top of the speed chart. Busch does not have a lot of success at Kansas, but his past stats have not mattered much this season. He will run up front Saturday night.
Martin Truex Jr.
Truex is one of the best picks for Group B this week. He has finished all of the races on the intermediate tracks in the top 10 this season. Truex has also been very good at Kansas. He finished four of the last six races in the top five at the track. Keep using Truex at the 1.5-mile tracks and enjoys the points he will earn your team.
Kahne has been good but not great on the intermediate tracks this season. He only finished one race in the top 10 (Texas), but his results do not reflect how well he has run in those races. Kansas has been a good track for Kahne. Since joining Hendrick Motorsports, Kahne has finished four of the six races in the top 10. He is an excellent choice this week.
Edwards has run well at his home track but he has yet to visit Victory Lane. He has the fourth-best average finishing position and the sixth-best driver rating in the last four races at Kansas. Edwards has a streak of three consecutive top six finishes at Kansas. He will be looking to extend his streak Saturday night.
Other Good Choices: Kyle Larson, Paul Menard and Clint Bowyer
Yahoo Group C Picks
There are many interesting choices for Group C this week. David Ragan will be driving the No. 55 car for Michael Waltrip Racing, while Erik Jones takes over the No. 18 car for Joe Gibbs Racing. Brett Moffitt will be making his first start in the No. 34 car for Front Row Motorsports. Each of these drivers is worth consideration this week.
My sleeper pick for Group C is Justin Allgaier. He is the most underrated driver in this group, but one of the most consistent. Allgaier is worth a look if you want to go against what your competition may have selected.
Here are the two drivers I selected for Group C.
Patrick is the best choice for Group C this week. Last year she ran very well at Kansas. Danica finished seventh in the spring race and 16th in the fall. If she can produce the same results Saturday night, most fantasy teams will be happy.
Jones may not be in the No. 18 car for Joe Gibbs Racing very long. It would be smart for fantasy teams to try and get a start out of Jones while they can. He does not have much experience, but he has had some success in the Xfinity Series on the intermediate tracks. He won the race at Texas and finished third at Fontana. Joe Gibbs Racing would not hand him the keys to the car if he could not drive.
Other Good Choices: David Ragan,Justin Allgaier and Brett Moffitt
Fantasy Live Picks
Last week the strategy for Fantasy Live was to select drivers who started in the back since track position is not important at Talladega and this would give your team the best chance to score bonus points for finishing differential.
Fantasy teams will want to use a different strategy this week. Since passing at Kansas is so difficult, selecting some drivers who start up front will be important. This will give your team a chance to earn bonus points for leading laps.
The wild card pick this week will be Erik Jones. If his price for Fantasy Live is under $10, he should be considered for your team. Do not overpay for Jones since this will be his second race in the Sprint Cup Series.
Here are the five drivers I selected for Fantasy Live for the race at Kansas:
Driver 1: Kevin Harvick $28.75
Driver 2: Kurt Busch $24.50
Driver 3: Carl Edwards $21.25
Driver 4: Martin Truex Jr. $20.25
Driver 5: Matt Dibenetto $5.25
Pick to Win: Kevin Harvick
* Driver prices based on prices at Talladega
Fox Fantasy Racing
Fox Fantasy Racing does not award as many points as Fantasy Live for leading a lap, so fantasy teams will want to select some drivers who start in the back. If these drivers are able to make their way to the front Saturday night, your team will score many bonus points for finishing differential.
Here are my selections for Fox Fantasy Racing for Kansas:
Driver 1: Kevin Harvick $11,400
Driver 2: Matt Kenseth $10,900
Driver 3: Martin Truex Jr. $10,200
Driver 4: Kurt Busch $8,400
Driver 5: Carl Edwards $8,600
* Driver prices based on prices at Talladega
If you need any further advice with your team, look for me on Twitter @MrFantasyNASCAR
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