Daily Fantasy NASCAR: Current Form, Track History, and Betting Odds for the Hollywood Casino 400
No matter which split you want to emphasize, we'll have good data for Kansas.
Kansas -- the site of Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 -- checks a couple of common boxes on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit. It is a 1.5-mile track, features low tire falloff, and has lower banking. All of those characteristics are things we've seen often and recently.
This will be the third playoff race at a 1.5-mile track, following last week in Texas and earlier in Las Vegas. Those tracks both also feature lower tire falloff, making them great corollaries. Vegas also has lower banking, making it effectively a twin track to Kansas.
If drivers were fast at Vegas and Texas, they're probably going to have some giddy-up again on Sunday.
The data sheet below attempts to give the full picture of these relevant races. The six races in the current form section all check at least two key boxes between running the 550-horsepower package, having lower tire falloff, and featuring lower banking. The best comp will be the second Vegas race, but looking at these races all together will be a key indication of the legit contenders.
As always, the number listed is each driver's average running position rather than their finish. That's especially key for Ryan Blaney ($11,000 on FanDuel), who has had some truly rotten luck at Kansas. Despite having a top-8 average running position in 8 of the past 9 Kansas races, he has finished outside the top-20 spots 5 times in that span. A healthy number of the issues were no fault of his own. We should trust the speed he has shown when trying to predict how he'll run this week.
The other data you'll see is each driver's starting spot, FanDuel salary, and win odds at NASCAR odds. The win odds are in fractional form, so Kyle Larson's ($14,500) being listed at 2.6 means he's +260 to win.
|Martin Truex Jr.||$10,500||14||7||10||9||14||14||7||5||9||10||4|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||$5,800||170||28||33||21||20||12||15||16||19||20||35|
In terms of laps-led juice, Larson puts the field to shame. He is the focal point once again this week, even with his ticket to the championship race in Phoenix already punched.
If you want to offset Larson's salary a bit, you can do so by jumping down the salary chute for your second lap-leader. All three of Blaney, William Byron ($11,500), and Brad Keselowski ($10,000) deserve our attention there.
Blaney has the aforementioned stellar track history, and he has also been a threat in the 550-horsepower package this year. He won in both Michigan and Atlanta, and he had a fifth-place average running position last week. Don't be surprised if Blaney's speed at Kansas carries over into this week.
Byron was the one guy who was able to keep pace with Larson in Texas. He had a 2nd-place average running position and led 55 laps. Byron's one win this season came in Homestead, which has much more tire degradation than Kansas but does have similar banking. Due to last week's speed, I'd give Byron the slight edge over Blaney.
Keselowski is a risk because he's departing Team Penske after the season, potentially causing his performance to lag down the stretch. Still, though, he has finished seventh and fourth in the two playoff races at 1.5-mile tracks, and he's a two-time winner in Kansas. Even with the salary discount, I'd rank him below Byron and Blaney, but I'm finally willing to buy back in on Keselowski.
The other route for offsetting Larson's salary is by zeroing in on lower-salaried plays. The one who stands out most is Chris Buescher ($6,700).
Buescher finished eighth here back in the spring despite some wild circumstances. He was leading during green-flag pit stops when a tire rolled into the infield. Rather than throwing the caution, NASCAR let the race run green until the cycle had completed. Because Buescher had stayed out long, hoping for a caution, he lost a lot of ground during that time. He still managed to climb his way back for a solid finish.
That was one of 3 top-10 runs for Buescher on the 1.5-mile tracks this year, with another coming at the low-tire-falloff track in Charlotte. Buescher starts 21st, giving him a decent bit of place-differential upside, as well. You've got other low-salaried options in Bubba Wallace ($6,200) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($5,800), but Buescher is the clear star among those with salaries below $7,000.