Draft Kings NASCAR: Digital Ally 400
Draft Kings NASCAR: Digital Ally 400

This article is part of our DraftKings NASCAR series.

Digital Ally 400 

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

Race Preview

Martin Truex Jr. endured a delayed race last week to get his second win of the season in a run from the back to the front of the field. He won by nearly 10 seconds over the Chevrolet of Alex Bowman and led the second most laps on his way to Victory Lane. The man who led the most laps Monday afternoon was Bowman's teammate Chase Elliott. Elliott walked away with a top-five, indicating that Hendrick Motorsports and Chevrolet's success at Talladega wasn't an anomaly. While the fight to get the most wins is consolidating among the Joe Gibbs Racing teammates, Chevrolet and Hendrick are finding their footing. That step forward has come at the expense of Ford. Kevin Harvick was the only Ford to finish in the top five at Dover, which is a departure from earlier in the year when Ford-powered drivers dominated the top finishers. The Penske and Stewart-Haas Racing teams now need to rediscover their early season advantage or run the risk of being completely eclipsed by Chevrolet in the race to catch the Gibbs cars. The last race to do so before an extended stay in Charlotte for the All-Star weekend is this week at Kansas Speedway. Elliott and Harvick won the two races there last year and will be working to keep the Gibbs drivers out of Victory Lane again. 

Key Stats at Kansas Speedway 

• Number of previous races: 26 
• 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: 152.057 mph 

Last 10 Kansas Winners 

2018 fall - Chase Elliott
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

The Digital Ally 400 marks the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series return to 1.5-mile ovals. Las Vegas is arguably the closest circuit that the series has visited so far this year, and Penske teammates Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski finished in the top two spots. The advantage they enjoyed that afternoon may not exist this week, though. These types of tracks tend to favor track position and minimal mistakes. Like last week at Dover we could see teams try to move off sequence on their pit stops to take advantage of cautions and move forward in the running order. Managing tires and keeping a car balanced throughout a fuel run will enable teams to stay up front and be in a position to battle for the win. Tire wear shouldn't be too much of an issue, and hasn't been for much of the season, but restarts and traffic could play roles in the outcome this week. Harvick overcame Truex's strategy to move forward by catching traffic better than his opponent to get that spring victory last season. This is the last opportunity for teams and drivers to grab one more ounce of momentum before their two-week residency at Charlotte. 

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

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Kyle Busch - $11,900 
Martin Truex Jr. - $11,400 
Chase Elliott - $11,000 
Kevin Harvick - $10,600 

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Kurt Busch - $9,600 
Ryan Blaney - $9,300 
Kyle Larson - $8,700 
Clint Bowyer - $8,500 

DraftKings Tier 3 Values 

Daniel Suarez - $8,000 
Ryan Newman - $7,800 
Chris Buescher - $7,600 
Paul Menard - $7,100 

DraftKings Long-Shot Values 

Alex Bowman - $7,000 
Matt DiBenedetto - $6,800 
William Byron - $6,500 
Tyler Reddick - $6,300 

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap) 

Martin Truex Jr. - $11,400 
Denny Hamlin - $9,100 
Kyle Larson - $8,700 
Aric Almirola - $8,100 
Alex Bowman - $8,100 
Michael McDowell - $5,600 

The lower-risk lineup option for Kansas includes a number of drivers on an upswing in momentum. Not least of those is Martin Truex Jr., who just won his second race of the season last week and is a former Kansas winner as well. Teammate Denny Hamlin also has the might of the Joe Gibbs Racing organization behind him and has two top-fives from his last three Kansas starts along with a 2012 win at the circuit. Luck hasn't been on Kyle Larson's side this year, but that tide may have shifted. He finished third at Dover last week and finished fourth and third in the two trips to this track last season. Aric Almirola has been performing well for fantasy owners most weeks this season and has a streak of three consecutive top-10 finishes at Kansas heading into this weekend's race. Leading laps is all that he lacks to be a contender for the win. Alex Bowman is currently riding high on the wave of momentum from Hendrick Motorsports' resurgence. With Bowman's two top-10s in his last three Kansas starts, fantasy owners should take notice. Lastly, Michael McDowell is a good driver to watch considering his top-15 at Texas earlier this year. He was 20th in this race last year after starting 36th. 

Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap) 

Chase Elliott - $11,000 
Joey Logano - $10,200 
Daniel Suarez - $8,100 
Ryan Newman - $7,800 
William Byron - $6,500 
Tyler Reddick - $6,300 

Chase Elliott has been on a surge since the break and being the winner at Kansas last fall will give him even more confidence this week. He led the most laps in Dover last week and has a 2019 win in his pocket. Joey Logano will be hoping to regain some of the ground Penske Racing seems to have lost to the competition. He has two Kansas wins, two top-10s in the two races here last year, and a pole from the fall race. Daniel Suarez is another Ford driver looking to regain some ground against Chevrolet and Toyota. His best Kansas finish was in his debut at the track in 2017 when he finished seventh after starting 15th. The season has been a big step forward for Roush Fenway Racing with Ryan Newman, and the veteran driver is well within contention of a spot in the playoffs. With three of the last four races producing finishes of 11th or better for him, he should be a driver fantasy owners seriously consider this weekend. Another driver looking to take advantage of Hendrick's resurgence is William Byron. He is seven points out of the playoffs, but added his first two top-10 finishes to this season's record in the last five races. He'll have to first finish Saturday's race to take more steps forward. The final driver to add to this lineup is Tyler Reddick. He was third in the Xfinity series race last weekend at Dover and makes his second Cup series start this week. He won earlier this year at Talladega and looks to gain some more experience on the highest rung of the NASCAR ladder this week.

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 Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association in 2012 and 2015.
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