Brief Playoff overview: The first three races will taper the 16 eligible playoff drivers down to 12. The next three races bring the field down to 8. Three more races will bring it to the final four who have one race at Homestead-Miami to decide who the 2018 Monster Energy Cup Series Champion will be.
Race: Hollywood Casino 400
Date: October 21st
Venue: Kansas Speedway
2017 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. (3:11:57)
Broadcast: NBC (Rick Allen, Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Steve Letarte)
Kansas Speedway. Built in 1999, this 1.5mile tri-oval asphalt track has been hosting two races annually since 2011. The turns hold a 17-20 degree tilt, the front stretch is 9-11 and the backstretch is 5 degrees. This track hosted the first races for Denny Hamlin, Austin Dillon, Ryan Blaney and Erik Jones
1) Kevin Harvick (7th selection this year) His last five races at Kansas, all in the top 10. He will bounce back from his 28th place finish last week and I think he wins at Kansas, calling it now!
2) Kyle Busch (6th selection this year). Everything I just said for Kevin Harvick, the same for Kyle. I sincerely think they finish 1 and 2 at Kansas.
High Risk/High Reward
3) Austin Dillon (4th selection this year) A mix of “up and down” finishes and I say up and down as he’s been in the top ten but his “bad” finishes are 14th and 16th which still isn’t bad. Additionally, three of his five playoff finishes have been in the top 12.
NascarPics NASCAR_PICTURES Austin Dillon - 2012 pic.twitter.com/1cg9D1v14X— AutoSports Art (@AutoSportsArt) October 10, 2018
4) Kurt Busch (7th selection this year). Ok so he finished 14th last week, he’ll come back into the top 10, he has a good record at Kansas with four straight top ten finishes at Kansas coming into this weekend.
5) Ryan Newman (7th selection this year) Going into 2017, he had three straight years of top 12 finishes at Kansas. 2017…well that was not so great as he finished 33rd and 40th. He has one top ten finish in the playoffs and four in the top twenty, this race will bring him his second top ten finish.
Favorites: avg finish 11th (29th percentile)
High Risk/Reward: avg finish 16th place (41st percentile)
Dark Horse: avg finish 18th place (47th percentile)
The rules I have implemented for myself are:
- I will not pick a driver more than 10 times this season.
- Due to #1 these are “Power Rankings” (in quotations) I’m looking for value here.
My general format for my power rankings:
- Top 2 picks will generally be the favorites, the ones who should be top 5 or top 10 finished
- #3 and #4 will be your riskier picks, could be top 5 or bottom 15.
- Pick #5 is the dark horse.