DraftKings NASCAR: Hollywood Casino 400
DraftKings NASCAR: Hollywood Casino 400

This article is part of our DraftKings NASCAR series.

Hollywood Casino 400

Location: Kansas City, Kan.
Course: Kansas Speedway
Format: 1.5-mile tri-oval
Laps: 267

Race Preview

Aric Almirola grabbed his second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series victory and his spot among the final eight championship contenders last week at Talladega Superspeedway. The race was dominated from the green flag by the Stewart-Haas Racing teammates, and Almirola was the one who came out on top. The race also crystallized the needs of the remaining players in the championship battle as we head to the final race in the round of 12 at Kansas Speedway this weekend. Drivers will feel more in control of their result this weekend versus last, but those at the bottom of the standings will be feeling the pressure of needing a top result to remain in the championship hunt. Alex Bowman, Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski are in the elimination zone with one race to salvage their championship dreams, while the one dominant Martin Truex Jr. sits just 18 points ahead of the cut line. Truex and the other two consistent title favorites throughout this season should be feeling pretty confident ahead of this week's race, though. The trio split the last five wins at the circuit among themselves.

Key Stats at Kansas Speedway

Number of previous races: 25
Winners from pole: 6
Winners from top-5 starters: 12
Winners from top-10 starters: 15
Winners from 21st or lower starters: 2
Fastest race: 144.122 mph

Last 10 Kansas Winners

2018 spring - Kevin Harvick
2017 fall - Martin Truex Jr.
2017 spring - Martin Truex Jr.
2016 fall - Kevin Harvick
2016 spring - Kyle Busch
2015 fall - Joey Logano
2015 spring - Jimmie Johnson
2014 fall - Joey Logano
2014 spring - Jeff Gordon
2013 fall - Kevin Harvick

This weekend's Hollywood Casino 400 represents a return to the traditional 1.5-mile oval races that make up the majority of the NASCAR Cup series schedule. Kevin Harvick won there earlier this season leading 79 of the 267 laps. Truex won this race last season leading 91 circuits. Kyle Busch's only win at the track came in the spring of 2016, but he has not failed to finish in the top 10 there since 2014. The impact of those statistics means it will be difficult for fantasy owners to choose among those three favorite drivers. Roster choices will come down to practice and qualifying results. Only one driver has won at Kansas without starting in the top 15 in the last 13 races. The track rewards drivers that hit the setup for their car early in the weekend, and those drivers are also likely to lead the majority of laps throughout the race distance. Track position and restarts are likely to weigh heavily on the outcome of Sunday's race. Track position is influenced by strategy and pace, and relies heavily on crews being mistake free on pit road.

DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS
(Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values

Kevin Harvick - $12,300
Kyle Busch - $11,800
Kyle Larson - $11,500
Martin Truex Jr. - $10,800

DraftKings Tier 2 Values

Chase Elliott - $9,900
Clint Bowyer - $9,600
Denny Hamlin - $9,100
Ryan Blaney - $8,700

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Jimmie Johnson - $8,300
Alex Bowman - $7,600
Ryan Newman - $7,400
William Byron - $7,000

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $6,700
Regan Smith - $6,300
A.J. Allmedinger - $6,200
Matt DiBenedetto - $5,400

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Kevin Harvick - $12,300
Martin Truex Jr. - $10,800
Jimmie Johnson - $8,300
William Byron - $7,000
David Ragan - $5,700
Michael McDowell - $5,600

There are enough bargain-priced drivers deep in the field to structure a lineup for Kansas that contains two of the favorites. Harvick and Truex have been among the very best at this track in the past few seasons, and they are both expected to be fighting for the win again on Sunday. Harvick had a fast car early in practice, which should bode well for Sunday. Johnson has taken steps forward in competitiveness as this season entered its final weeks, and with three top-10 finishes in the last five races he should be poised to run up front again this week despite his 19th-place finish at the track earlier this year. Johnson's teammate Byron has been struggling to score top finishes recently, and crashed out at Kansas already this season. His pace in practice and qualifying that weekend suggest he should be capable of a top-15 finish this weekend if he avoids mistakes, though. Ragan's Talladega visit last week was a big letdown, but he is also surprisingly good at Kansas. Ragan finished 13th there earlier this season and has three consecutive top-20s at the track. Lastly, McDowell could deliver a nice haul of points to fantasy rosters this week if he continues his trend of finishing better than where he starts at Kansas. He started 30th or worse in the last six Kansas starts, but amassed an average finish of 22.8 and starts 24th on Sunday.

Higher-Risk Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Kyle Busch - $11,800
Clint Bowyer - $9,600
Kurt Busch - $8,900
Alex Bowman - $7,600
A.J. Allmendinger - $6,200
Ty Dillon - $5,900

Kyle Busch has mastered Kansas Speedway after starting off his career at the track poorly. He won here in 2016 and is on a run of seven consecutive top-10 Kansas finishes. Kyle Larson would be a good swap for fantasy owners not sold on Busch. Larson will be starting deep in the field in a must-win situation. Clint Bowyer's two top-fives and six top-10s make him a good choice for higher-risk lineups because he tends to qualify poorly and still get those results here. Selecting him should offer plenty of finish differential points. Teammate Kurt Busch has never won at the track, but did score back-to-back top-10s in the last two Kansas races. Next in line is Alex Bowman, who is in a must-win situation to keep his championship hopes alive this season. At this point he has nothing to lose and should be gunning for the win. A.J. Allmendinger continues his audition for future employment this weekend, and his respectable record at the track is a nice confidence booster for fantasy owners. He finished 16th here earlier this season and has four top-10s from 17 starts. Similar to Michael McDowell in the roster option above, Ty Dillon is a driver fantasy owners should look to this weekend to add points for finish differential. Dillon increased his finish position an average of nine places in his first three Kansas starts before crashing out in his fourth try in the spring.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. C.J. Radune plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: cjradune, RaceDayScore: cjradune.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
C.J. Radune
Radune covers NASCAR, Formula 1 and soccer for RotoWire. He was named the 2015 Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.
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