If you read the Texas DraftKings Projections article last week, you’ll remember that I said we could very easily have a surprise winner again–and that’s exactly what happened, as Austin Dillon took the checkered flag in the Lone Star State.
This week we’re at Kansas Speedway and, once again, we could have a surprise winner, although favorite Kevin Harvick is on the pole (click here for the starting lineup). Kansas is another cookie cutter 1.5-mile track and Goodyear is bringing the same right side tires this week that were ran at Texas, Kentucky, and Las Vegas. The left sides, though, will be the same from the Charlotte races, probably because those were at night as well. Yep, we have a Thursday night race this week! And not as much time between the qualifying draw and the race so let’s go into the article.
My driver-by-driver DraftKings breakdown for this race will be up soon! I will include the link here once it is complete. Thanks for your patience!
Speed Report in 2020 After Texas
If you’re surprised that Ryan Blaney had the best Green Flag Speed at Texas last week, then you probably haven’t been paying attention this year. He also had the best Green Flag Speed at Las Vegas and Kentucky, where the same time combination was used. As far as the rest of the drivers in 2nd through 4th in Green Flag Speed at Texas, they deserve an asterisk mark. Unfortunately early wrecks can mess with a driver’s Green Flag Speed average, so we saw Buescher, Stenhouse, and Custer ranked up there. We just have to do what we can with the data we have. In all reality, Almirola should have ranked 2nd in Green Flag Speed, then Harvick, then Kyle Busch, then Logano rounding out the top 5.
Over the last six races here are the fastest drivers in terms of Green Flag Speed:
- Aric Almirola (6.2 average rank)
- Kevin Harvick (6.7 average rank)
- Denny Hamlin (7.0 average rank)
- Ryan Blaney (8.3 average rank)
- Kyle Busch (8.3 average rank)
You can click here to check out the updated Cheat Sheet on Green Flag Speed and see how every driver ranks in that category plus more, not only for the last six races but for the whole season.
Additionally, this week I have updated the best drivers at 1.5-mile tracks this season, and you can click here to see that. In case you couldn’t tell by, I post a lot of information for each race, and these are all best used in conjunction with each other. I know it’s a pain to have so many different pages for everything, but it’s the best way I can get you the information without making one super, super long post. That 1.5-Mile Track Cheat Sheet includes these statistics:
- Avg. DraftKings points on 1.5-mile tracks
- Avg. DraftKings dominator points on 1.5-mile tracks
- Avg. Finish on 1.5-mile tracks
- Avg. Fastest Laps on 1.5-mile tracks
- Avg. Laps Led on 1.5-mile tracks
- Avg. Starting Position on 1.5-mile tracks
DraftKings Strategy for Kansas
The overall strategy for low wear 1.5-mile tracks this season should be pretty clear by now: you have to nail the dominator(s), and then just hope the rest of your lineup gets good track position after the late caution. That may seem crazy to think about but it’s been the case at Las Vegas, Kentucky, and Texas, which compare closest to Kansas this week. You also have to include the races at Charlotte this year when running comps, especially since those were at night as well, but don’t forget we had a late caution change the outcome of the Coca-Cola 600 this year.
Here’s how the dominators have broken down at 1.5-mile tracks this year. Last week at Texas was the first time that we really had one main dominator in Ryan Blaney. I’m including pole sitter Aric Almirola and his teammate Kevin Harvick down below because they both had over 20 dominator points, but for a 500 mile race, those amounts are lower than we’ve seen this season.
- Las Vegas = Elliott with 41.5 total DraftKings dominator points, Harvick with 38.5, and Logano with 54 laps led and the win
- Charlotte-1 = Bowman with 67 DraftKings dominator points, Truex with 49.75, Elliott with 34.5
- Charlotte-2 = Harvick had 34.25 DraftKings dominator points, Bowman had 26.75, then Elliott got the win with 15.5 dominator points (remember this was a short race)
- Atlanta = Harvick had 57.25 DraftKings dominator points, Truex had 42.75, and Clint Bowyer had 29.5
- Homestead = Hamlin had 49.75 DraftKings dominator points, Blaney had 31, Reddick had 24.75, and Elliott had 20.75
- Kentucky = Almirola had 50 DraftKings dominator points, Truex had 27.75, and Blaney had 21
- Texas = Blaney had 80.5 DraftKings dominator points, Almirola had 29.75, Harvick had 21
Potential Dominators on Sunday
Kevin Harvick ($11,500) is on the pole, so it’s not a question of if he will dominate, it’s how much he will dominate. Over the last 13 races at Kansas, Harvick has led 60+ laps in over half of the events (seven), and he’s led 100+ in three of them. He also has seven finishes inside the top 3 during that span. This season on the 1.5-mile tracks, Harvick is averaging 22.6 DraftKings dominator points per race, which is second only to…
Ryan Blaney ($9,900). There’s no doubt the #12 Ford has been fast on the 1.5-milers this year, and on the low wear tracks of that length, Blaney is averaging a ridiculous average rank of 2.6 in Green Flag Speed. When you throw all of the 1.5-milers in, his average is 3.6. Both are series-best. Blaney rolls off the grid from 4th and is the 2nd-most likely dominator in my book Thursday night.
You also can’t count out Aric Almirola ($8,700), who is on a tear right now and rolls off from 3rd in the Super Start Batteries 400. Even though he only led 35 laps from the pole at Texas last Sunday, Almirola still put up 42 fastest laps in that race, which was 2nd-most to Blaney’s 86 in that race. Martin Truex, Jr. ($10,500) is also a threat to dominate, as he’s led 91+ laps in five races here at Kansas, plus he excels at night.
Of course, rolling off 2nd on Thursday night is Joey Logano ($9,300) and he could have a similar day as he had at Texas, where he led 22 laps and had 12 fastest laps, but there’s a reason he’s only averaging 11.5 DraftKings dominator points on 1.5-mile tracks this season. The same is true for his teammate, Brad Keselowski ($9,500), as he’s averaging just 8 dominator points per race on this track type in 2020. Kez frequently has an off-sequence pit strategy which puts him up front leading a handful of laps in most races. He led 15 laps at Texas and 34 at Kentucky.
The biggest question mark for me this week is Chase Elliott ($11,000), who has clearly lost a little speed lately. It could be the tracks we’re visiting, but the slower speed is noticeable. Still, he has to be considered as a possible dominator, but I wouldn’t call him a threat for a significant dominator like Harvick, Blaney, and Almirola. Other people in Elliott’s dominator category are: Alex Bowman ($8,500), Kyle Busch ($9,700), and Denny Hamlin ($10,200).
Kansas DraftKings Projections
The following chart takes into account the very basics: the starting position and the projected finish of each driver. The projected finishes are averaged from five different ranking systems. Also included are projected laps led and fastest laps for each driver. You can click the headers below to sort the chart by that attribute. By default it is sorted by average projected FPTS.
|Driver||Starting Position||DraftKings Salary||Avg Proj FPTS||Avg. Projected Finish||Proj Laps Led||Proj Fastest Laps||Dollar Per FPT|
|Martin Truex Jr||5||$10,600||56.9||05.0||29||20||$186|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr||25||$7,000||33.5||18.0||0||1||$209|
|John H. Nemechek||30||$6,800||23.0||26.0||0||2||$296|