Fantasy picks from @Stevietpfl that are better than bourbon

Photo by Getty Images via NASCAR

By Steve Young, @Stevietpfl

This weekend we head to Kentucky for Saturday night racing. It’s the first cup race on the repaved surface, and after watching both races (Truck/XFINITY) this weekend, I think it’s going to be tough to pass the leader. I’m going to focus on guys starting up front, and mix in a couple value guys that could pick up five to seven spots. I think two guys will dominate the laps led this weekend, and I’m going to focus on three guys starting up front.

Kevin Harvick – $10,600 – With qualifying rained out, the field will be set on owner’s points. Harvick is at the top, and should lead a good portion of this race. Track position is going to be so important, and Harvick gets the benefit of the best pit stall. Harvick went from 29th to 5th at Michigan with this same package. He’s so good at 1.5-mile tracks, and has finished in the top ten in all five 1.5-mile races this season. I like Keselowski a lot as well, and will likely pair both of them together in cash games.

Kyle Larson – $8,300 – Larson is my favorite play this weekend, and I actually think he has a chance to win this race. In both races (All-Star, Michigan) with this new package, he’s run up front with a chance to win the race. His past history here is bad, and I hope that scares some people off him this weekend. He’s starting 20th, and I think he has a great chance for a top ten finish. Larson had the fastest 10-lap run in final practice, which is the closest  practice to race conditions. I think it will be tough to pass, but Larson is very good at finding grip in multiple lanes.

Matt Kenseth – $8,700 – Kenseth is really under priced this weekend, and he should be very popular in cash games. With his struggles earlier this season, he will roll off in 11th position tonight. He comes in with the fourth highest driver rating, and the third highest average running position. In five career races here, he’s run 92.1% of his laps in the top 15. One of my favorite stats is quality pass percentage, and Kenseth has an 80.6% quality pass percentage, which is 21.6% higher than the next best. JGR showed a lot of speed in practice, and I expect them to do well Saturday night.

Greg Biffle – $6,600 – He’s having a rough season, and this leads to his 23rd starting position. Final practice was the closest practice to race conditions, and Biffle showed some solid speed in happy hour. He has the 10th fastest 10-lap run in that practice, and comes in with three straight top 20 finishes. I have him projected to finish 15-17, and I like that solid place differential for a guy at his price tag. You’ll need some of these $6,000 guys to fit in the top options tonight, and I actually think Biffle is a safer option here.

Ty Dillon – $6,400 – It’s always nice when Dillon gets a spot start in the cup series, and I really like his value in tonight’s race. Dillon has finished 25th or better in all seven starts in the cup series this season. With running in both series this weekend, Dillon was able to have extra time on the track. I really think this plays to his advantage, and I really like his chances for 5+ place differential points. At his price tag, I will gladly take the positive place differential points. Ty ran really well at Michigan with this package, and was able to run around 20th the entire race. Outside of punting with Buescher, I think Dillon is a very solid cash game option.

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