The NASCAR Cup Series heads to my favorite track on the schedule, and frankly a lot of people’s favorite… Kansas. The Advent Health 400 on Sunday is a return to the great intermediate racing we’ve become fond of in the Next Gen car as well as at Kansas specifically. Why is the racing so great at Kansas? How are we using race trends to build for the Advent Health 400? What are the top NASCAR DFS drivers we’re looking at for DraftKings and FanDuel? All that plus a full pool of drivers for building DFS lineups for the Advent Health 400!

Kansas NASCAR Race Trends

If you watched, or listened to the podcast this week you’d have heard us describe Kansas as a multi-groove, driver’s track, with a bit of a free-wheeling nature about it. However, when we look below it’s not exactly the picture of a wild card track. Both can be true. It can be a driver’s track that lets them race well on track while also still having hallmarks of similar intermediate tracks. Starting with top-10 finishers, they’re coming from top-10 starting spots. In the last five races here the most top-10 finishers to come from worse than P10 was last Fall with four. In addition to that 83-percent of the laps led in the last five races have come from the top-10 starting spots. The interesting part about that is that only once has the pole-sitter led more than 38 laps. Passing is possible with regularity here in terms of position differential upside. However, it’s unlikely that everyone starting in the back is moving up to the top-20 or top-15. The scoring history charts will show you that as well as the trends table below as well.

Positive Place Differential201821192119.8
Six+ Place Differential Spots1291110910.2
Double-Digit Place Differential664655.4
Double-Digit Fast Laps878677.2
20+ Laps Led444544.2
50+ Laps Led222121.8
100+ Laps Led001110.6
Lead Lap Finishers242216231520
Top-10 Finishers Start>P124233228%
Laps Led From Top-1016624222622525383%

Advent Health 400 Practice and Qualifying Results

The following shows the practice and qualifying results from Saturday’s Cup Series practice and qualifying. It shows both single-lap and long-run speed rankings and then averages them to compare against the qualifying spot. It’s a way to see who might move up and who may fall during the course of the race.

DriverAvg. Prac to QualQual1-Lap5-Lap10-Lap15-Lap20-Lap25-Lap
Christopher Bell-9111711   
Ross Chastain-921291015127
Noah Gragson-5341012865
Kyle Larson049421  
Kyle Busch-15667753
Ty Gibbs-462014663 
Austin Cindric-24735343322  
Michael McDowell-2810813   
Chase Elliott-198139   
Chase Briscoe-410151816118 
Joey Logano-12113228251814 
Chris Buescher-61222191713  
Martin Truex Jr5131612554 
Denny Hamlin1114534321
Tyler Reddick13151134  
Austin Dillon-1216312626   
Josh Berry51713111514118
Alex Bowman-9182132    
Jimmie Johnson-1719383634   
Corey Heim-32025252417  
Ricky Stenhouse Jr8217152016139
Carson Hocevar7221420181210 
Bubba Wallace1723358974
Zane Smith-824333330   
Todd Gilliland125242722   
Ryan Blaney52617172920  
Daniel Suarez627192223   
Corey Lajoie728232119   
John H. Nemechek52927242125  
Brad Keselowski18301816141096
Harrison Burton131262936   
Ryan Preece03237353223  
Daniel Hemric333283131   
Austin Hill83430302719  
Justin Haley835292328   
William Byron3436221212
Riley Herbst43734373526  
Derek Kraus7383638372715 

DraftKings Scoring Trends at Kansas

The following chart shows the average points per race by starting spot over the last five Kansas races. It doesn’t take into account who was in each starting spot nor why/how they started there. It’s designed to show the strategy for building lineups at this track.

FanDuel Scoring Trends at Kansas

The following chart shows the average points per race by starting spot over the last five Kansas races. It doesn’t take into account who was in each starting spot nor why/how they started there. It’s designed to show the strategy for building lineups at this track.

NASCAR DFS Strategy and Roster Construction

So based on everything we’ve seen and read above, how are we building lineups for the race on Sunday? The first thing we’re focusing on is laps led. We have 267 laps scheduled for Sunday’s 400-miler which means there’s a decent amount of dominator points available for our lineups. We should be looking at two dominator builds. Harkening back to the race trends section, there’s only been a total of three drivers to lead 100 or more laps total in the last five races. That means we’re more likely to see two drivers leading in the 80-95 lap range with a couple others in the 15-20 lap range. We also need to be aware that it’s uncommon for more than a couple of drivers are likely to move up into the top-10 from outside the first six rows of the grid. I’d say this race has the possibility for more of that than average with how qualifying shook out but that’s still going against trends.

For Cash games: We’re looking at a lot of PD plays with a couple of laps led drivers. These are the lineups where we can take a few more chances on the guys starting deeper in the field and “chalky” plays. If the chalky and/or PD plays don’t hit the way we expect, they’ll hurt a lot of people’s lineups the same way.

For GPP games: We’re looking to build the lineups with more guys starting in the top-half of the field. Most of the high scorers on average start there, including the top-six scoring averages coming from P11 or better. With more than three-quarters of laps led coming from the top-10 and more than 70-percent of the top-10 starting and finishing there if the same thing happens again, most of the points are coming from the top-15-to-20 starters.

Top Tier Driver Plays

Kyle Larson

Larson was great in every metric in practice and then qualified P4. The only real decision in this part of this range is if you play Denny Hamlin or Larson since we can’t fit both, comfortably. Larson has the better shot at leading laps in chunks while Hamlin has the PD upside and a chance to win without leading a ton of laps thanks to starting further back and needing a very long run to start outrunning others. Larson did win at Vegas earlier this year when having a similar setup on the car.

Tyler Reddick

The guy who won here last Fall and has a win to his credit this year is looming in P15 to start. The 45-car was fast in practice, running inside the top-five. Reddick is perhaps a tad cheaper than we were expecting but that helps our builds out so who are we to complain. If Reddick’s speed and history show up, he’s a clear threat for a top-five finish if not a sneaky win candidate.

William Byron

CHALK ALERT. It’s pretty clear who the top play is going to be in this range. Just look at the PTQ table above. Byron was dominant in practice on the short and long run but brushed the wall in qualifying which killed his lap. The PD upside is huge here and don’t be shocked if he gets up to the top-10 in the first stage before being a threat to lead laps and win later in the race. For those playing Cash games, Byron is nearly a must play, for tournaments you can play him or fade him, the choice is yours but either way it might be the most frustrating/vindicating decision of the race.

Mid-Tier Driver Plays

Bubba Wallace

Wallace has a win here in the past and Toyotas as a whole do well here too. The speed was top-five in practice despite the worse starting spot in qualifying. That’s enough to make him a value proposition even at the most-expensive price tag for him this year. The PD will make him a common piece in a cash lineup while the price tag might take some off of him in GPPs as there’s more work to do for him to hit 6x value compared to just 5x for cash games.

Kyle Busch

It was just last week that we saw him in the playbook thanks to a being on the pole at Dover. He’s back this week at a track he’s done well at in a car that has speed once more. They appear to have found something of late on the 8-car team as the qualifying spot matched the practice speed for once. Busch could lead laps mid-race if the long run speed hangs around but even if he just holds the spot, there’s value here.

Brad Keselowski

On the podcast I said wasn’t terribly intrigued by Keselowski or Chris Buescher this week. Then Keselowski went out and qualified poorly but ran similar practice times to Buescher. So here we are. Keselowski is likely to be the popular play in this range for PD so if you want to pivot, not only does Daniel Suarez (below) work but so does Ricky Stenhouse Jr who is far cheaper but also riskier as to what he actually brings come race day. Keselowski is perfect for both builds and did finish P13 at Vegas and P2 at Texas.

Daniel Suarez

Suarez has been very consistent at tracks like Kansas in the Next Gen era. In the 13 similar races in that time, Suarez has averaged a finish better than 17th and hasn’t finished outside the top-16 in the last 10-straight races. He’ll start P27 thanks to a sketchy qualifying lap but ran a bit faster than that in practice. Sure we’d love to see better overall speed but the history has to carry weight and give us hope that with long runs he can find the speed to move up well.

Noah Gragson

Yes, I did put him in this write-up following qualifying. Him starting P3 is interesting to me as a guy who could get us cheap laps led considering he was arguably faster in practice over the long run and short run than the guys starting ahead of him. Even if he doesn’t lead the laps, if he can hold a top-10 spot, we can see him hit value with some fastest laps in his pocket. You can make the argument that Gragson is the best Ford on track most of the weeks so far this year and it could be that way again this week.

Value Tier Driver Plays

Corey Heim

Heim was able to keep the car clean at Dover last week, a tough task. Plus he moved up and brought it home in 25th. That’s good enough for us to be intrigued again this week. This is another track were Erik Jones has been good at previously and it seems like the setup tips have helped Heim. He qualified P20 which might be a tad high, however, the speed is there to hold the spot and with his history here in the lower series, he should be able to nab a top-15 at a cheap price.

Austin Hill

Hill has been good here in the Truck series including having a win. He’s also in a third RCR entry  which should be similar in setup and speed to Austin Dillon’s 3-car, at least based on practice speeds. Hill will roll off P34 on Sunday which offers some PD upside for a guy that might be overlooked in this range thanks to not a great showing in his last Cup race.

Justin Haley

Haley is dirt cheap and he’s been productive. That’s all we really need to justify this play. He’s also moved up well in similar races and packages this year. Haley showed that ability at practice too on Saturday. For everyone trying to get one more high-priced driver in the builds, Haley will be popular.

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