This article is part of our DFS NASCAR series.
Hollywood Casino 400
Location: Kansas City, Kan.
Course: Kansas Speedway
Format: 1.5-mile tri-oval
The NASCAR Cup Series faced a wet circuit last week at the Charlotte road course, but that wasn't enough to stop Chase Elliott from extending his streak of consecutive road course wins to four. The Hendrick Motorsports and playoff driver overcame the conditions as well as a loose wheel to drive back to the front, holding off Joey Logano to take the win. That put Elliott alongside Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin as playoff drivers to lock themselves into the found of eight by winning. That penultimate round of playoff eliminations begins this week at Kansas Speedway. These next three races will determine the final four drivers eligible to race for the championship in a winner-take-all race to finish the season in Phoenix.
Denny Hamlin won the last two races at Kansas Speedway. He led 153 of 277 laps in this race last fall and then led 57 laps to win again in July. The eight remaining playoff drivers will all be aiming to secure their spot in the finale as soon as possible with visits to Texas and Martinsville next in line, and all eight will bring the field to green this week. Chase Elliott and Joey Logano start on the front row with the other six championship contenders in close tow.
Key Stats at Kansas Speedway
- Number of races: 29
- Winners from pole: 6
- Winners from top-5 starters: 13
- Winners from top-10 starters: 17
- Winners from 21st or lower starters: 3
- Fastest race: 152.057 mph
Previous 10 Kansas Winners
2020 spring - Denny Hamlin
2019 fall - Denny Hamlin
2019 spring - Brad Keselowski
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
Kansas Speedway has been won from one of the top 10 starters nearly 60% of the time. The track rewards track position and pit strategy. The less abrasive surface should allow some teams to opt for two-tire stops to make sure they are as close to the front as possible for restarts. Drivers will typically choose the outside line for those restarts, but others may gamble for the low line to make up ground using the "choose rule." Teams will probably be planning for a late caution, and those late yellows can throw a wrench into the race's outcome. Many 1.5-mile ovals have given us unexpected wins this season due to that circumstance. Staying out as long as possible and hoping for that caution to pit under yellow will be the aim. However, in the absence of cautions fantasy players should expect the quickest playoff drivers to separate themselves from the field as they leverage that track position and clean air to extend their lead on the rest of the field through long green-flag runs.
DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)
DraftKings Tier 1 Values
DraftKings Tier 2 Values
DraftKings Tier 3 Values
DraftKings Long-Shot Values
MY PICKS THIS WEEK
Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Martin Truex Jr. (DK $11,000, FD $12,500) will kick off the round of eight behind the cutline. He has just one win so far this season but finished in the top five at Kansas, Kentucky, and Las Vegas this season. He has two prior Kansas wins and led 33 and 44 laps in the last two races at the track respectively. Joey Logano (DK $9,500, FD $11,600) seems to be the Penske Racing driver with the most wind in his sails as the moment. He was second last week in Charlotte and led 27 laps at Kansas last time out before crashing. He starts on the front row this weekend. Erik Jones (DK $8,400, FD $10,200) has heated up since the playoffs got underway. Despite missing the championship battle Jones has scored top-10 finishes in all but one playoff race thus far. He was fifth at Kansas in his last visit and hasn't missed the top-10 at the track since 2017. Matt DiBenedetto (DK $7,700, FD $8,500) may be overlooked by fantasy players this week. He has never finished in the top 10 at Kansas, but was in position to do so before crashing in July. He will start Sunday's race 18th, too. Austin Dillon (DK $7,500, FD $7,800) wasn't able to maintain his early playoff speed but remains a potent competitor at tracks like Kansas. Richard Childress Racing has the speed to compete at these types of tracks and finished fourth at Las Vegas this season prior to the pandemic. Austin's brother Ty Dillon (DK $5,900, FD $5,000) used a well-timed stop for dry tires in Charlotte to drive to the lead. He won't have the same chance this week, but can be relied on as a top-15 finisher by fantasy players. He finished 15th there in July and will start 25th this Sunday.
Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Kevin Harvick (DK $10,400, FD $13,200) was relatively quiet through the last round of playoffs, but fantasy players should expect him to return to his winning ways as Phoenix approaches. Kansas should be a good venue for him, too. He won three races at the track and finished fourth there earlier this season. William Byron (DK $9,000, FD $9,400) may not be part of the championship picture, but he can be an asset to fantasy rosters this week. He finished fifth and 10th in the last two Kansas races and led 27 laps at the track last time out. Championship contender Kurt Busch (DK $8,200, FD $10,700) was one of the unexpected 1.5-mile oval winners. His Las Vegas win was what put him into this round of playoff eliminations and 12 top-10s in 29 Kansas starts shows he can be a factor this week, too. Rookie Tyler Reddick (DK $7,800, FD $9,000) has scored top-15 finishes in four of the last five races. He has two series starts at this track with finishes of ninth and 13th. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (DK $7,400, FD $6,300) has had a few weeks of bad luck on tracks where he should have outperformed. His value for fantasy players might be overlooked this week, though. He dropped out of July's race at the track, but is a regular top-15 finisher at Kansas with two 11th-place finishes in the last five. Joining Reddick on the lineup is fellow rookie Christopher Bell (DK $7,200, FD $7,400). He only finished 23rd in July but Toyota has been quick at the circuit. His seventh-place finish in Kentucky earlier this year proves he could be a factor this week, though.