FREE NASCAR DFS Cup Series Kansas 2 Breakdown, Cheat Sheet, and Core Plays

Welcome to Run Pure Sports’ FREE NASCAR DFS breakdown for today’s Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway! As its surface has aged, Kansas has turned into a racetrack that’s like a fine wine—only getting better with time. The track has been the stage for some thrilling on-track action in recent seasons. Though many of you might be tuned into your precious FOOSBALL today, you won’t want to miss the excitement that Kansas has to offer. Given that today is jam-packed with the NFL Kickoff, I won’t waste too much of your time. Let’s dive right in and get to the strategy and top picks!

Breakdown

When prepping for Kansas today, it’s crucial to heavily weigh the track history, especially focusing on performances in the last three races held with the Next Gen car. These races serve as excellent indicators for who is likely to shine today.

However, track history at Kansas isn’t the only data worth considering. To broaden our perspective and make more informed choices, we should also look into other races from the 2023 season that can offer us valuable insights. Specifically, pay attention to intermediate tracks where the same tire compound as today’s race at Kansas was used. These tracks include Auto Club, Las Vegas, Nashville, Pocono, and of course Kansas 1.

Like most weeks, dominator points are going to play a major role today at Kansas. In the last three races here featuring the Next Gen car, we’ve witnessed 17 performances by drivers with 10 or more Dominator Points and 11 performances with 15 or more. The interesting aspect is the distribution; Dominator Points tend to get spread around here rather than being concentrated on a few drivers.

Breaking down those 11 performances of 15+ Dominator Points, all but one ended up landing in the Top 6 of DraftKings scoring. That tells us that leading laps and logging fast laps are significant factors for DFS success at this track. Moreover, the starting position is somewhat crucial—nine out of the 11 “Dominators” began their race in the first three rows, and the furthest back any of them started was 12th.

When it comes to consistent performance, five drivers have notched 10+ Dominator Points in at least two of the last three Next Gen races at Kansas. These drivers are Larson, Truex, Reddick, Byron, and Bell. It’s worth noting that Reddick is the only one to achieve this feat in all three races, making him a unique pick with high upside.

Lastly, let’s examine the top DFS scorers by their starting position. In the last three Kansas races, drivers starting inside the Top 10 made up 50% of the Top 8 DK scores. Those starting in positions 11-20 contributed another 20%, while the back half of the field filled in the remaining 30%. Given the composition of today’s slate, your lineup should ideally blend drivers from both the front and back of the grid, as that’s where the most significant upside seems to lie.

So, as you assemble your roster for today’s race, consider these scoring trends carefully to optimize your lineup for success.

Cheat Sheet

Below is my cheat sheet designed to guide you through today’s Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway. I’ve gathered all the essential data you’ll need to make informed lineup choices. Leading off, I’ve included the information from yesterday’s Practice and Qualifying (P&Q) session to give you the freshest insights.

Additionally, you’ll find loop data stats from the three Next Gen races that have taken place at Kansas. This will offer a deep-dive look at which drivers have been successful under the newest conditions. But that’s not all—I’ve also added data from the five races in 2023 that have employed the same tire code we’re seeing in today’s race. This should help you understand how drivers may perform based on similar conditions in the recent past.

To make your decision-making process even easier, I’ve highlighted my favorite plays on the slate today. Additionally, drivers highlighted in pink reflect those drivers that I like that could go under owned today, making them ideal plays for tournaments!

Core Plays

Favorite Top Tier: Larson, Reddick, Busch

Top Tier Pivot: Bell

Just like last week, there is not a lot that needs to be said about Kyle Larson here. He is once again the rightful co-favorite in today’s race. He has led 60+ laps in 4 of the last 6 here and has scored 15+ Dom points in 5 of the last 6. He has started inside the Top 5 here 5 times in his career and has scored 15+ Dom points in 4 of those starts, with the only exception being his first career start here. Going to be chalk city though today, especially after his big win last week.

If not Larson then I think it has to be Reddick today. Reddick has been a rocket here in all 3 Next Gen races, but he has just struggled to finish. He is the only driver to score 10+ Dom points in each of the 3 next gen races here. This 23XI team, and all of Toyota for that matter, really has this track figured out. Toyota has won all 3 next gen races here with 23XI winning 2 of those. Practice speeds have him at the top of the charts by every metric as well. He will be fast, but can he stay out of trouble?

Kyle Busch is the chalk free square for today at only $9600. I mentioned how dominator points tend to get spread around here, so locking in 20+ PD points from KFB here is likely going to be more dependable than trying to nail 3 dominators from the top range. This team has struggled as of late, but the one place they have had speed all season has been the intermediates. A top 10 finish with 0 fast laps will get KFB close to 60 points today. Ownership will be through the roof though, and we just saw last week with Truex how those Free squares aren’t always FREE.

There are a lot of ways you can go for a pivot in this range today. Both Byron and Bubba deserve some consideration, but my favorite pivot is going to be Christopher Bell. Chalk Bell never works, but after burning everyone last week and with Larson and MTJ starting right on his ass today, I think many may skip past today’s pole sitter. But, Toyota is rocket fast here and Bell has a better history at scoring Doms here than he ever did at Darlington where he busted last week. He has scored 10+ Dom points in 2 of the last 3 here, which includes 20 Dom points scored in this exact race last year where he started on the pole there as well. Furthermore, the pole sitter has scored 10+ Dom points in each race here in the Next Gen era. Solid pivot when EVERYONE will be looking Reddick.

Favorite Mid Tier: Gibbs, Bowman

If we love Toyota today, and we do, then we are going to have to love some Ty Gibbs from P36. Not a lot to dive into here. He showed a ton of speed in practice like his teammates and provides us massive upside for only $7600. HE only needs 38 points today to hit 5X value, he does that with a 20th place finish today… Upside is way above that making him a virtual lock. Likely more of a lock than even KFB today.

If you looking for someone else not named Ty Gibbs in this range that can bring some PD upside, then you can look to the HMS #48 and Alex Bowman. Bowman, has been great here in the Next Gen era with finishes of 4th and 9th in both races here last year. (He missed Kansas-1 this season) Practice speeds were not great, but I expect them to get that figured out as this team has had speed on intermediates all season. Needs 39 points for 5x today, which will take a 9th place finish.

Mid Tier Pivot: Stenhouse

Ownership in the mid tier range is going to be heavily concentrated on the two guys mentioned above.  If your looking to get different in this range then I don’t mind going to Ricky Stenhouse here. This team is in the playoffs and is looking to make some noise, speeds in practice would indicate that they have brought a great set up. He has finishes of 12th and 8th in 2 of the 3 Next Gen era Kansas races AND had a 7th place finish the last time we were on this tire code at Pocono. Might get him at 10% ownership today, which is the perfect time to play Ricky.

Favorite Value Tier: Haley, Gilliland, Burton

Value is a bit of a crapshoot today with 3 guys all offering safe floors of starting towards the rear coupled with decent upside. If I had to choose a favorite, I think it is Haley. He has finished Top 20 in 2 of the last 3 races here and seems to run better at tracks that have some tire fall off like we will see today. Gilliland showed the most speed in practice and finished Top 15 the last time we were on this tire code at Pocono. And then there’s Burton, who has the best average finish on the intermediates in 2023 amongst the value options on the slate. He has finishes of 8th and 21st in the last two races on this tire code, but has struggled at Kansas finishing 30th or worse in 2 of the last 3.

Value Tier Pivot: Lajoie

If none of the chalkier options mentioned above scream out to you, then you can pivot to Corey Lajoie who has shown the most speed of the bunch all season long. He has the best avg position on intermediates amongst the value options and has 4 finishes inside the Top 20 on them this season, he has also finished 20th and 19th in 2 of the last 3 Kansas races.

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