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DraftKings NASCAR: Go Bowling 400

C.J. Radune

Radune covers NASCAR, Formula 1 and soccer for RotoWire. He was named the 2015 Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.

Go Bowling 400

Location: Kansas City, Kan.
Course: Kansas Speedway
Format: 1.5-mile tri-oval
Laps: 267

Race Preview

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. snatched his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series victory last week at Talladega Superspeedway but will have to approach the Go Bowling 400 differently if he intends to maintain that momentum. Kansas Speedway is a 1.5-mile oval, the bread and butter of the Cup series schedule where the traditional top drivers and teams often reign supreme. The circuit had traditionally been a challenge for Kyle Busch, but he overcame the demons in this race last season to score his first Cup victory at the track after recording four DNFs and just two top-10s in his first 14 visits. He has yet to pull into Victory Lane this season despite looking destined to win on multiple occasions. In fact, the Toyota contingent has been frustrated as a whole this season with just one win from Martin Truex Jr. That victory came at another 1.5-mile tri-oval, however. Kyle Larson retained the points lead after last week’s race, and is the first to surpass 400-points scored so far this season. The rest of the field will continue their quest to track him down this Saturday night under the lights in Kansas.

Key Stats at Kansas Speedway

Number of previous races: 22
Winners from pole: 4
Winners from top-5 starters: 9
Winners from top-10 starters: 12
Winners from 21st or lower starters: 2
Fastest race: 144.122 mph

Last 10 Kansas Winners

2016 fall - Kevin Harvick
2016 spring - Kyle Busch
2015 fall - Joey Logano
2015 spring - Jimmie Johnson
2014 fall - Joey Logano
2014 spring - Jeff Gordon
2013 fall - Kevin Harvick
2013 spring - Matt Kenseth
2012 fall - Matt Kenseth
2012 spring - Denny Hamlin

Kansas Speedway is one of the more challenging 1.5-mile tri-ovals on the Cup schedule. The track favors momentum and handling throughout a fuel run. Drivers have to adjust their line throughout a stint as tires wear down and overall grip changes throughout the event. Maintaining corner speed is a key aspect of running up front, and mastering those two aspects will give drivers the ability to fight for the win. Like any other 1.5-mile oval, track position and fuel strategy often become factors. Passing can be difficult, which makes any spots gained on pit road an advantage. Right-front tires have been known to be pushed to their limits on the long turns, and teams will have to keep an eye on tire wear to avoid suffering any failures that will send their machine hard into the outside wall. Finally, getting good restarts after caution periods could make or break a driver's evening. We've seen the fastest cars in the closing segment of multiple races lose out on restarts this year, and no one will want to have it happen to them Saturday night.

DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS
(Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values

Brad Keselowski - $10,700
Kevin Harvick - $10,400
Jimmie Johnson - $10,100

DraftKings Tier 2 Values

Kyle Larson - $9,900
Joey Logano - $9,500
Kyle Busch - $9,400
Chase Elliott - $9,100

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Matt Kenseth - $8,400
Ryan Blaney - $8,000
Kasey Kahne - $7,800
Erik Jones - $7,700

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Trevor Bayne - $7,100
Chris Buescher - $6,500
A.J. Allmendinger - $6,200
David Ragan - $5,400

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Kevin Harvick - $10,400
Joey Logano - $9,500
Matt Kenseth - $8,400
Kasey Kahne - $7,800
Trevor Bayne - $7,100
Chris Buescher - $6,500

This week’s lower-risk lineup has a good distribution of manufacturers and teams. We’ve seen Ford and Chevrolet dominate the wins column so far this season, but Toyota remains strong and close to a breakthrough. Harvick and Logano lead the Ford contingent in this roster option. Logano is fighting for redemption after losing the playoff benefits attached to his Richmond win, while Harvick seeks his first 2017 victory. Both are two-time Kansas winners. Kenseth is also a two-time Kansas victor looking for his first 2017 win, and finished ninth at Las Vegas earlier this season on a similar circuit. The current season has been pretty good for Kahne, and he picked up his second top-five last week at Talladega. Despite not having a Kansas win he has started from pole twice and landed five top-5s and nine top-10s from his 19 starts at the track. With Stenhouse’s win last week, we now know Roush Fenway Racing's improvement is not an illusion. Bayne will be hungry to equal that victory. Fantasy players should look for a top-15 from him this week, and Buescher can play the supporting role as he works toward playoff contention with regular top-15s as well.

Higher-Risk Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Jimmie Johnson - $10,100
Martin Truex Jr. - $9,700
Kyle Busch - $9,400
Erik Jones - $7,700
Ty Dillon - $6,700
A.J. Allmendinger - $6,200

The higher-risk lineup for Kansas banks a little more on Toyota having a breakthrough race. Johnson adds some balance to the roster by virtue of his two wins so far this season and his three track victories. He scored three top-fives here in the last four races. Truex is the only Toyota driver to have a win this far in the season. His win came on the similar 1.5-mile oval of Las Vegas, and he was fast out of the box on Friday. Fantasy players know the struggles Busch has endured this season, but his win will surely come soon. This track used to be his nemesis, but he overcame it by winning this race last year. Winning again this week could open the floodgates for him. Jones is the last Toyota in this roster, and he does have Cup experience at the track. He qualified 12th before colliding with the wall and finishing 40th in 2015. He has much more experience this time, with the equipment to race at the front of the field. With his teammate winning in Las Vegas it would stand to reason that Jones should be a good play on Saturday. Finally, Dillon and Allmendinger round out our selections. Allmendinger has enjoyed his time at this track and picked up two eighth-place finishes last season while Dillon also raced here in 2015. He fared better than Jones by finishing 26th, and he is beginning to score consistent top-15 finishes this season. That is exactly what fantasy players should expect.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. C.J. Radune plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: cjradune, RaceDayScore: cjradune.