Left Turns: Quaker State 400 @ Kentucky


Track: Kentucky Speedway

Type:  Intermediate (1.5 miles)

Time: Saturday, 7:30 pm EST on NBCS

Keys to this race:

And we’re back for another week of NASCAR racing, this time for the Quaker State 400 in Sparta, Kentucky at the Kentucky Speedway. This is a 1.5 D-Oval track that relates very closely to Chicago, Kansas and Las Vegas. Fortunately, the Aero package has been run on both of those tracks so we should have some reliable information for how these cars can race. We do have 8 previous races here to look at in Kentucky, but they have really been dominated by the same drivers. I think that we will be looking at those drivers again this year as well as some other names to help fill out our rosters.

Keep an eye on practicing this week and those 10-Lap averages. Definitely take into account the stats from Chicago, Kansas, and Las Vegas as they will be the closest to this race, but Chicago and Kansas more as they are most recent. We have the possibility of 2 dominators here if those previous races show us anything. Rostering one will definitely help you to maximize points in your lineup. Once you have that driver, you may want to balance the rest of your roster with mid priced drivers. If we have mid priced drivers starting in the back with quick cars they should be the targets. One more thing, this is an impound race. If some of the top drivers go to the back, that may put more of them in play. Drivers in the first row have a decent history of winning here though.

Weather by Chris Rothar

Sparta, Kentucky

Saturday night will feature clear skies and light winds. Temperatures falling into the upper 60’s to low 70’s.

The Dominators

12k+ guys (FD) 10k+ guys (DK), listed in order as I like them.

Kevin Harvick

Harvick comes into this race with 132 laps led in Chicago, 104 led in Kansas, and 88 in Las Vegas. I think we can expect more led laps from him here in Kentucky. He actually sat the pole in 2 of those races and started 2nd in Chicago. 6 top 10 finishes here in the 8 races at Kentucky make him a pretty solid pick to finish high. I think a top 5 isn’t out of the question and some solid dominator points should be the expectation for him in this race.

After both practice and qualifying today there was really no reason to change this opinion, he finished top 10 in both practices, and qualified 5th. It was the text book definition of a consistent day.  Could be a nice run for him coming up.

Brad Keselowski

Kes has a great history in Kentucky with 3 wins with 6 top 10 finishes. He’s also done really well in the comparison races with a win in Kansas, 5th in Chicago, and 2nd in Las Vegas. He loves these types of tracks but was the leader for only 29 of the laps total in those races. I think this is a race where he can turn that around though, having led 521 total laps here in his 8 races in Kentucky.

Martin Truex Jr

MTJ has won the last 2 races here in Kentucky, with a combined 326 laps led. That’s a ton of dominator points. He has 5 total top 10 finishes on this track, and the way he’s been racing lately makes him a easy choice to possibly win this race. I think he could easily be a dominator here with that track record, and a top 5 finish are definitely possible in this race.  We might want to look past Truex’s practice performances, they weren’t very good, but he did end up qualifying 8th.  This is his kind of track, and he can win here.


Kyle Busch has some great history here, but he’s been falling down on the similar tracks this season other than his home track in Vegas. He’s in play, but I like the three drivers above more.

The Contenders

8-12k guys (FD) / 7-10k guys (DK), listed in order as I like them.

Alex Bowman

It’s hard to deny how well Alex Bowman has been driving this season. I expect similar things for him in Kentucky as he finished 2nd in Kansas and won his first MEC race in Chicago, leading 151 laps along the way in those races. Bowman is priced up this week on FanDuel after his win in Chicago, so he’s not as much of an attractive play there, but his 8K price on DK is excellent. Bowman only has 3 races in Kentucky, and hasn’t done great, but he’s a different driver in a better car this season.

Erik Jones

Jones is a driver I like this week based off of a couple of factors. He has a 7th place finish in Chicago, and a 3rd place finish in Kansas. If you look at his 2 races here in Kentucky, he has 2 top 10 finishes. this is a type of track he seems to drive well on, and I see no reason for that to be any different here. His price tag this week feels really cheap on FanDuel, but he’s definitely worth looking at on both sites for this race.  Jones also under qualified, so this is a great chance to pickup some differential points.

Jimmie Johnson

I really like this Hendrick team this week.  JJ has not had the best luck historically in Kentucky, but he does have a top 5 finish and 5 top ten finishes in his 8 races here. He’d love to get the win, but I don’t know if that happens. If you look at how well he drove in Chicago then he has to be on your radar for this race. He finished 4th there, and 6th in Kansas. He may not drive his best here, but he is driving his car well with this package.

The Pack

Your low – mid tier priced players on both sites, listed in order as I like them. Use as needed.

Chris Buescher

Chris Buescher is the Rodney Dangerfield of NASCAR this season for DFS, because he gets no respect. Buescher isn’t winning races. Hell, he isn’t finishing top 10 all that often, although he did in Kansas. What he does is gives you salary relief and position differential. combining Vegas, Kansas, and Chicago puts him at a +26 on those tracks. That’s a ton of points for you. He’s almost a must play starting anywhere after the 20 spot.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr

Wrecky, as he is fondly known, has been racing well on comparable tracks this season so far. He finished 6th in Las Vegas, 11th in Kansas, and 12th in Chicago. He’s also managed to snag a few laps led in those races which isn’t a ton of points, but its something. When you look at his average race positions in those races he looks like someone who drives well on tracks like Kentucky with this package. High Risk, High Reward type of driver.

The Yellow Flags

These are your deep punts – use with caution! They will help you fit the high priced drivers, but may not do much more.  I don’t see a need to use any of these drivers on FanDuel to make your lineups.

David Ragan


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