And we’re off to another 1.5-mile track! At this point you probably either love the random endings or you hate them because they’re somewhat unpredictable, and a big factor with which side you on probably lies with how good your doing in Fantasy NASCAR on them (ha!). Kansas Speedway is the site of Thursday night’s race, and as far as the tire combination, we have the same left sides from Charlotte earlier this year and the same right sides from Texas, Kentucky, and Las Vegas. Now let’s get to the picks, since we’re short on time this week thanks to the Thursday race! You can click here for the full starting lineup for Thursday night’s race at Kansas if you need it.
*Please note: the picks and suggestions below are my opinions and strategy for the Slingshot Fantasy Auto Contest. These are not meant to sway your thinking in any way, but rather give you insight into the drivers I am most likely to pick on race day.*
Slingshot Fantasy Auto Contest Picks for Kansas
Kevin Harvick ($13,200) – This might be the first time all year I’m taking the pole sitter in the Slingshot Fantasy Auto Contest. Typically my golden rule is to not do that, but when you have someone like Harvick starting 1st, it’s worth the risk in my mind. Harvick is averaging a finish of 6.6 on the low wear 1.5-mile tracks this season (2nd-best in the series) and here at Kansas he’s finished 1st or 2nd in eight of the last ten Stage breaks. He’s also led 70+ laps in three of the last four races here. What I’m saying here is Harvick is very likely to get at least a top 5 finish (if not win) and could also sweep the Stages in addition to leading the most laps. Just sweeping the stages and leading the most laps equals 31 fantasy points in the Slingshot Fantasy Auto Contest.
Kurt Busch ($10,600) – Mr. Consistent rattled off another top 10 finish at Texas last Sunday and now has finished 8th or better in each of the last four races on low wear 1.5-mile tracks. This week at Kansas, Kurt starts in 9th, which is a little higher than I’d like, but that just gives him an opportunity to get some Stage points along the way. Here at Kansas Speedway, Kurt has finished 8th or better in four of the last five races and has also been inside that mark in seven of the last ten. He’s a safe Fantasy NASCAR option this week.
Erik Jones ($10,400) – As we’ve come to expect out of Erik Jones, he came back with a 6th-place finish at Texas last week right when everyone was losing confidence in him. Now, he hasn’t had back-to-back top 10s since Darlington back in May, but there’s definitely a chance that Jones competes for a top 5 again here at Kansas on Thursday night. In terms of track history, Erik is batting 1.000 since joining Joe Gibbs Racing in 2018, as he hasn’t finished worse than 7th at this track in the four races. He starts back in 21st on Thursday night and could get some Stage points as well in addition to the place differential.
Tyler Reddick ($9,000) – I also don’t mind Jimmie Johnson ($8,900) in this spot, but I’m going to go with Reddick. Remember, Tyler actually has Cup Series experience at Kansas Speedway, as he raced the #31 Chevrolet here last season and finished 9th after starting 21st. He had the 14th-best driver rating in that race. This year, Reddick is averaging a finish of 10.6 on the low wear 1.5-mile tracks (7th-best in the series) and on all 1.5-milers his average is 10.4 (5th-best). The #8 Chevrolet starts back in 23rd on Thursday night but Reddick has top 10 finishing potential.
Michael McDowell ($6,800) – At this point, a top 20 out of Michael McDowell is almost expected, whereas it would be a surprise in previous years. But thus far in 2020, he’s averaging a finish of 19.4–by far his career best–and since NASCAR has returned in May, McDowell has posted nine finishes of 18th or better in the fourteen total races. He also has just one finish worse than 25th, and that was a 40th at Pocono when he wrecked. Here at Kansas, McDowell did finish 13th and 18th back in 2017 when running for Leavine Family Racing, and in his Front Row Motorsports car since then he’s finished between 20th and 27th each race. McDowell starts back in 27th on Thursday night.