Hollywood Casino 500
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The Sprint Cup Series visits Kansas Speedway this weekend, and since Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 will be the third race of the Chase at a 1.5-mile track, you can expect to use a familiar strategy when building a DFS NASCAR lineup for this weekend's race.
Granted, there are just 267 laps on tap this weekend, so there are fewer points available in the laps led and fastest laps run categories than there have been the last three weeks. However, history says you can still count on one driver leading a big chunk of laps.
In each of the last five races at Kansas, one driver has led at least 95 laps. Four of those drivers have started in the top five, so building around one or two studs starting up front is recommended.
On the flip side, the track has been known to produce some upsets. Three races at Kansas have been won by non-Chasers, so you should be able to find a couple of valuable sleepers starting deeper in the field who score a substantial amount of points in the place differential category. Five of the 21 races here have been won by a driver starting 19th or worth.
Make sure to check back after practice and qualifying are on the books for final picks and lineup strategies. Qualifying is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. ET Friday, and the race can be seen Sunday at 2:00 p.m. ET on NBC.
Martin Truex Jr. ($11,100)
Truex was cruising to a win at Kansas in May before a lugnut issue derailed a dominating performance. He still managed to lead a race-high 172 laps, and he has led the most laps in three of the last nine races at Kansas, including two of the last three. Truex has been the most impressive driver at 1.5-mile ovals in 2016, so he is one of the best bets to finish as the top scorer Sunday.
Kevin Harvick ($10,900)
His 7.0 average finish in the last ten races at Kansas ranks second in the series, and he has finished either first or second in four of his last six races at the track. Harvick has also led more than 20 laps in five of his last six starts here, so you can expect him to earn his share of bonus points on top of delivering a strong finish.
Jimmie Johnson ($10,600)
He has led the most laps since the Chase began, leading at least 90 laps in three of the four races. Johnson has 16 top 10s in 20 starts at Kansas, winning three times. He also ranks first in fastest laps run and second in laps led at the track. His resurgence should continue this weekend, and Johnson should be one of the top scorers again
Matt Kenseth ($8,700)
Kenseth's salary this weekend is nothing short of bizarre. He has a 4.5 average finish since the Chase began, and his 6.8 average finish at Kansas over the last ten races is the best in the series. Kenseth also led the most laps at the track last season, and he ranks first in laps led at the track overall. He is an absolute bargain, so take advantage in all formats.
Kasey Kahne ($8,500)
His late-season surge continued at Charlotte with a third-place run at Charlotte, and Kahne has now reeled off eight straight top 15s. His 9.3 average finish at Kansas over the last ten races ranks fifth in the series, and during the stretch, he had five top-five finishes, including a fourth-place run last fall. Look for Kahne to continue his hot streak and remain one of the top mid-priced plays.
Austin Dillon ($8,200)
Dillon has shown top 10 speed at the 1.5-mile ovals dating back to last season, and he was running in the top five at Kansas last fall when he cut a tire. He logged a career-best sixth-place finish at the track earlier this year so that you can expect a solid finish from Dillon this weekend. He should be worth a look regardless of where he qualifies.
Ryan Blaney ($7,500)
It is a small sample size, but Blaney seems to have a great feel for Kansas. He finished seventh at the track last fall, and he logged a fifth-place finish earlier this year. Blaney could provide a 30-point effort on finishing position alone, and if he has added upside through place differential, he should be one of the top mid-priced plays.
A.J. Allmendinger ($7,000)
The 1.5-mile ovals usually aren’t his forte, but Allmendinger has had several strong runs at Kansas. He has finished in the top 15 in three of his last four starts here, gaining at least nine spots three times. In May, Allmendinger was the steal of the race after he started 29th and finished eighth. He offers intriguing upside if he qualifies toward the back.
Aric Almirola ($6,800)
Almirola is enjoying a decent stretch of racing, and he has finished 17th or better in each of the three races leading up to Kansas. He also owns a solid record at Kansas. He finished 18th at the track in May, and he has finished 11th or better four times in the last seven races. If he starts in the back half of the field, he will be a safe, low-priced option to target, especially in cash games.
Paul Menard ($6,400)
He has been an underrated driver at Kansas, and over the last ten races, he has a rock solid 15.3 average finish. He has nine top 20 finishes during that stretch, including four top 10s. If he qualifies outside the top 20, he should provide a solid point total for a bargain price.
Brian Scott ($5,200)
Scott has found a little bit of speed the last couple of weeks, finishing 21st at Dover and 22nd at Charlotte. He has also had two decent runs at Kansas, finishing 12th last fall and 22nd in the May race this year. Scott has routinely qualified outside the top 30, so he could have some room to pad his score through place differential. If Scott starts deep in the field again this weekend, he could be an excellent source of cap relief in cash games.