Qualifying spots lists are NOT ACCURATE following Saturday's inspections. To see the actual starting lineup check the Practice to Qualifying Table in the Practice Notes!
For the first time in six weeks, five races, we’re at a 1.5-mile track on Saturday night for the Digital Ally 400. The last 1.5-mile track was Texas and the last time we ran a 400-mile race at this distance was Las Vegas, where this same package made its season debut on the cars. Like with other 1.5-mile tracks, position differential is the name of the game here as there simply aren’t enough laps to really bank on more than one laps led dominator with just 267 laps in the scheduled race. In terms of position differential, there are drivers at each tier that are capable of providing it and it’s possible at this track since there are multiple racing grooves with the progressive banking in place in the corners that goes from 17 degrees by the apron to 20 degrees up by the wall.
In general, this track has been a pretty fair test for the drivers in the past and especially since being repaved before the 2014 season. That being said, six of the 26 winners have come from the pole position including Kevin Harvick in this race a year ago. Dating back to the start of the 2016 season here, every race has featured one driver leading 100 or more laps and the second highest driver in laps led clearing the 70 laps led mark as well. So with that kind of history, it’s clear that most of your point will come from drivers moving up through the field and if you can bank the two drivers that dominate the laps led category then your points total will really take off.
At practice on Friday, there was definitely a racy feel on the track and many drivers said afterward that the cooler temps and the improved grip from the new tire combination on the cars will keep the cars pretty close throughout the night and should produce quite a bit of passing chances. Just to be clear this is the 550-horsepower with aero ducts package that has been run at Las Vegas, Auto Club, and Texas this season (Atlanta used brake ducts instead of aero ducts so it wasn’t quite the same package). The stages are 80-80-107 on Saturday night and weather shouldn’t be a factor at all this weekend.
Prop Bet Challenge
- Which driver will finish higher? Denny Hamlin or Brad Keselowski? I’m going to take Denny Hamlin even though he’s starting about eight spots behind Keselowski. It’s really a toss up between these two drivers. Both are very talented and in the top tier. Keselowski has four straight Top 15 finishes at Kansas over the last two years. In Hamlin’s last three races at Kansas he has two Top Five finishes. It’s really splitting hairs, but I’m going to roll with Hamlin as his practice-to-qualifying numbers are just a little bit better than Keselowski’s.
- O/U 1.5 drivers lead over 80 laps at Kansas? This prop burned me last week at Dover, but I’m again going to take the Under. There are 267 laps at this track, and I’m of the mindset that this will be dominated by one driver or evenly spread out. I don’t see two drivers leading over 80 laps as tempting as it is to take the over because 80 is reasonable.
- Martin Truex Jr. has four straight top five finishes at Kansas. Does this streak continue? I’m going to say Yes even though in these props it’s better to play the field. But Truex is on fire lately. He’s coming off his second win this year and he’s starting sixth with a phenomenal history at Kansas. He won both races at Kansas in 2017 and finished second a year ago. Truex in the Top Five? Yes please.
- O/U 42.5 race points for Ryan Blaney? I’m going to take the Over here because in his last four races at Kansas he’s registered stage points in every single stage while finishing in the top ten three times. He’s starting 19th and shouldn’t have any trouble moving up in the pack.
- Three of the past four Kansas winners have started in the top four. Will Saturday’s winner start in the top four? So the drivers starting in the top four are Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola, Clint Bowyer, and Daniel Suarez. I have faith in Harvick finishing top ten, maybe top five, but I don’t think he’ll win. That doesn’t mean I won’t have exposure in DFS. I’m going to say No and take the field. If Truex was in the first four I’d be more inclined to say yes.
- Will all three Team Penske cars finish in the Top 10? So Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, and Ryan Blaney would need to finish in the top ten. All three are certainly capable of such a feat. But all three in the top ten is a lot to ask. I’m going to say No and assume one finishes outside the top ten.
- O/U 15.5 lead changes at Kansas? I’m going to go the conservative route and say Under even though I know there will likely be more passing this week than at Dover.
- Which driver will score more stage points at Kansas? Joey Logano or Kyle Busch? Bit of a toss up with this one. Both have finished well at Kansas and both have a good history with registering stage points here. I think they’ll both register Stage 2 points, but with Busch starting 13th and Logano starting 20th I’ll bet on Busch registering more Stage 1 points. And with that I’ll take Kyle Busch for more total stage points than Logano.
- O/U 19.5 lead lap finishers at Kansas? I’ll take the over on this prop. Personally I feel like this aero package puts more drivers on the lead lap even towards the end of the race so I’ll stick with that theory for tonight’s race as well.
- Kurt Busch has an average finish of 10.5 the last six races at Kansas. Will he finish in the top 10 on Saturday? The elder Busch is always a solid play. He’s very consistent and over his last ten races in 2019 his worst finish is 13th and that came last week. He’s always flirting with the Top 10 so I’ll say Yes he’ll finish in the Top 10 on Saturday.