Weekly Fantasy Favorites: Kentucky
By Zachary Lange
July 9, 2016
DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.
After a hectic week under the lights at Daytona, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will look to cool down this summer under the lights again at Kentucky Speedway.
Qualifying was cancelled and set by the rule book this week as NASCAR opted to use the time allotted for practice as Kentucky is a recent recipient of a track repave.
Pair the track repave with a new downforce package for the season, and drivers like Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson have already been claimed by the Bluegrass State oval and will be forced to backup cars. Here is the full list of drivers to look to and avoid for your lineup this Saturday night.
No. 18 Kyle Busch
Busch at Kentucky is one of the most sound picks of the entire 2016 season in fantasy racing. In the past five races, Busch has four top-five finishes and an average finish of fourth (3.8). Unsurprisingly, Busch claimed the checkered flag in the XFINITY race on Friday. In addition, Busch has finished top five in two of the three practice sessions this weekend. Seriously, fantasy owners would be missing out in not picking Busch this weekend.
No. 78 Martin Truex Jr.
1.5-mile ovals have been Martin Truex Jr.’s bread and butter this season. In the 820 laps Truex Jr. has led this season, 739 of those have been on a track like Kentucky. Most important about this, his dominance at Charlotte will carry over in results. Truex Jr. finished second in Happy Hour and will roll off seventh.
No. 15 Clint Bowyer
It seems as though Bowyer has found himself in the “SELL” category a lot this season. Bowyer is coming off a top-ten run at Daytona, but the good results have been few and far between for a driver caught in flux at HScott Motorsports this season.
Bowyer notched a third place finish at Kentucky in 2013, his best finish at Kentucky besides that? 16th. With one DNF and two mid-20’s finishes in tow. If there was a week to start Bowyer, it isn’t this one.
No. 10 Danica Patrick
For those expecting to see progression from Danica Patrick this season, it simply just hasn’t come yet. Her average finish is 23rd (23.3) which is nearly identical to the previous two seasons in Sprint Cup. Of her six career top ten’s, only two are from 1.5 milers. Her finishes this year at 1.5 mile tracks are in the 20’s and in three career Kentucky races her best finish is 21st. Simply put, fantasy owners have to see more than just a cheap price tag to start Patrick if they need a stopgap.
LOW RISK, HIGH REWARD
No. 95 Ty Dillon
An excellent pick this week the younger Dillon brother. He has finished seventh twice at Kentucky in XFINITY (including Friday’s result) and seems to take a liking to cookie cutter ovals. Dillon starts 30th but finished fourth in second practice. Dillon has shown speed all weekend, and barring a rookie mistake, Dillon should finish considerably better than 30th which could lead to a nice fantasy points day for owners.
No. 34 Chris Buescher
Another cheap, but reliable for fantasy owners is Chris Buescher. Ironically, he too has finished seventh twice in Xfinity races at Kentucky, and 1.5 milers aren’t a weak spot. Buescher is another driver starting in the back at 34th, but showed speed throughout the weekend finishing 14th in Happy Hour. If you buy both Truex Jr. and Busch, you’ll need cheap drivers to mend the cost gap, and Buescher is an excellent driver for that role.
Zach’s Draft Kings Lineup
No. 78 Martin Truex Jr. $10,400
No. 18 Kyle Busch $10,200
No. 19 Carl Edwards $9,600
No. 3 Austin Dillon $7,900
No. 95 Ty Dillon $6,400
No. 34 Chris Buescher $5,200
Total Cost: $49,700/$50,000