Hollywood Casino 500
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Yahoo: Top 30 Drivers
The second round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup continues this weekend with a return trip to Kansas Speedway. Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 will be the second race in a row and third race of the Chase at a 1.5-mile oval, so the drivers who have fast the last few weeks should be fast again this weekend.
There is a good chance Sunday's race will be somewhat predictable, and the top drivers from the top teams will likely battle for the win. However, last weekend's race at Charlotte was a reminder that there is no such thing as a sure thing. Mechanical failures and crashes caused five Chase drivers to finish 30th or worse.
While it is an extreme longshot that so many Chasers will have trouble again this weekend, it should at least give hope for struggling fantasy owners. This late in the season, the only way to gain ground is to go with contrarian options and hope the popular picks struggle. Loading up on big names is still the preferred option, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
1. KEVIN HARVICK, #4 BUSCH BEER/JIMMY JOHNS, STEWART-HAAS RACING [YAHOO CLASS A]
He was the runner-up at Kansas in May, and over the last six races at the track, he has finished either first or second four times. Over the last 10 races here, has finished worse than 12th just once, and his 7.0 average finish in that stretch ranks second in the series.
2. MARTIN TRUEX, JR., #78 FURNITURE ROW, FURNITURE ROW RACING [YAHOO CLASS B]
A lugnut issue derailed a dominating performance from Truex at Kansas back in May. He led a race-high 172 laps but had to settle for a 14th-place finish, and he has now led the most laps in two of the last three races at Kansas. Truex should already have a win or two here, and as well as he has been running recently, he might finally seal the deal this weekend.
3. KYLE BUSCH, #18 MARS BRANDS/INTERSTATE BATTERIES, JOE GIBBS RACING [YAHOO CLASS A]
Kansas used to be a house of horrors for Busch, but it's safe to say he has figured out the 1.5-mile oval. He is going for a season sweep after winning the May even earlier this year, and he has cracked the top five in each of his last three starts at the track.
4. MATT KENSETH, #20 DOLLLAR GENERAL/DEWALT, JOE GIBBS RACING [YAHOO CLASS A]
He has been the model of consistency at Kansas, reeling off 10 straight top 15s and logging a series-best 6.8 average finish during the stretch. Kenseth also has six finishes of sixth or better in his last 10 starts here, including a pair of wins, and he led the most laps in the fall event last year. If you have burned up your starts from the typical A-List standouts, Kenseth is an excellent alternative.
5. JIMMIE JOHNSON, #48 LOWE'S/KOBALT TOOLS, HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS [YAHOO CLASS A]
He has a lackluster run at Kansas in May, but Johnson's overall record at the track is encouraging. He is a three-time winner here, and his 9.2 average finish is the best in the series. In the last 10 races, he has cracked the top 10 eight times, finishing third or better five times. Coming off a win at Charlotte, Johnson is rounding into top form down the stretch.