Now there are only four races and eight drivers left to decide this year’s champion. There really wasn’t any excitement in last week’s race as the top eight remained in the top eight and the bottom four remained there and were eliminated from the playoffs.
HOLLYWOOD CASINO 400
This week the series heads to the Kansas Speedway for the running of the Hollywood Casino 400. This is the first of back to back intermediate tracks the drivers will race at in the third round of the playoffs. So, two straight mile and a half tracks to open up this round followed by a short track in the elimination race.
Kevin Harvick: I have to go with Kevin to win this week and lock himself into the championship race without having to worry about points. He has won two of the last eight races run here and hasn’t finished worse than sixteenth in his last twenty starts at this track. He has been the most consistent driver no matter what type of track the series has run on this season.
Martin Truex Jr.: Martin has been close for a while now and he knows it’s time to step up his game a little bit. He has won two of the last seven races at this track and has also finished in the top six in six of those races. No one wants to try and point their way into the championship race, so you’re going to see some more aggressive driving now.
Denny Hamlin: Denny has won the last two races here including this July. He also has finished in the top five in four of his last six starts here. He has been almost as consistent as Kevin has this season although he has had a few more ups and downs. I think the first three I mentioned will all make the championship race.
Chase Elliott: Last week’s winner, Chase won this race two years ago and has finished in the top five in four of his last six starts at Kansas. He needs to get back to running on the intermediate tracks like he did in the middle of the season so he can try to pick up another win and lock himself into a chance to win a championship.
Brad Keselowski: Brad won the spring race here last year and finished second to Denny in the July race this year. I think he is going to be a contender once again this week even though he’s hasn’t been the most consistent driver throughout the year. He has won a championship before so he knows what it takes to get the job done.
Kurt Busch: Kurt surprised some people by winning a race in the second round and moving into the third round. He shouldn’t be a surprise contender this week as he has run very well at Kansas in his career. Even though he is still looking for his first win here he has finished in the top ten in eight of his last eleven starts at this track.
Erik Jones: Erik has run better since announcing that he wouldn’t be back with Joe Gibbs Racing next season. He has also been very good at Kansas lately with five straight top ten finished there. Maybe the pressure is off him now and he can just relax and it’s helping his racing. He might already have a deal to drive for another top tier team next season and is just waiting to announce it.
Kyle Busch: I keep waiting for Kyle to break back into the win column and believe that even with his struggles this year he could pull off a win at any time. He has finished in the top five in seven of his last eleven starts. With those kind of stats it’s hard not to believe he can get the job done this week. Maybe like Erik the pressure is off Kyle now that he has been eliminated from the playoffs and he can just concentrate on his racing.
Alex Bowman: A lot of people were surprised to see Alex’s name in the top eight as we head to the third round of the playoffs. He has been improving all year and he has shown he is good at the intermediate tracks. He finished second here last May and this team seems to have figured out how to communicate with each other.
DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR KANSAS SPEEDWAY
Driver Group Game Group A
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Denny Hamlin
Driver Group Game Group B
- Erik Jones
- Kurt Busch
- William Byron
- Austin Dillon
Driver Group Game Group C
- Cole Custer
- Christopher Bell
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY
- Kevin Harvick
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Denny Hamlin
- Brad Keselowski
- Chase Elliott
Dark Horse: Alex Bowman
Stay Away From: Matt Kenseth
Big 18: Clint Bowyer