FREE NASCAR DFS Cup Series Kansas Breakdown, Cheat Sheet, and Cores

Welcome to my FREE NASCAR DFS Breakdown for today’s Cup Series race at the thrilling Kansas Motor Speedway! I know I’m definitely not the only one who absolutely LOVES races at Kansas. This track has it all – multi-groove action, tire wear, wall riding, and yes, even those adrenaline-pumping SLIDE JOBS! It’s impossible for race fans to not to get excited about the action unfolding on this incredible track. Like a fine wine, it seems like the races at Kansas just keep getting better and better each year, and I can’t wait to see the show these drivers put on today. So, tighten those seat belts and get ready as we dive into the data and strategy to help you set those winning DraftKings lineups before the green flag waves at 3:11 PM EST!


The configuration of Kansas Motor Speedway, a 1.5-mile D-shaped oval, draws parallels with other racing tracks. When seeking comparable tracks to Kansas, we can look at Las Vegas, Charlotte, and Texas. However, due to the tire wear that Kansas experiences, it’s also useful to consider Homestead and Auto Club. While the tire wear at Kansas is not as aggressive as these two tracks, they all share a tendency for drivers to ride the high line close to the wall as the tires wear down.

This race will feature a mix of comers and goers as the tire wear and track conditions change throughout the event. Track position has been a significant factor in recent weeks, but at Kansas, drivers with speed will have no trouble making passes and moving through the field. The key at this track is not how you start, but rather how you finish.

As is often the case in the world of NASCAR DFS, dominator points will be crucial for success in today’s race at Kansas Motor Speedway. Analyzing scoring data from the last six similar 1.5-mile tracks with approximately the same number of laps as today’s race, we find that there have been 12 instances of drivers accumulating 20 or more dominator points. This averages out to two per race, and all but one of these performances ranked within the top 6 in DraftKings scoring.

It’s interesting to note that eight of these 12 performances featured drivers starting inside the top 10. However, for whatever reason the front row has not consistently demonstrated dominator potential in our sample, scoring more than 20 dominator points only once. That 1 20+ dominator performance came from William Byron in this years race at Vegas where he started 2nd and scored 70 Dominator points. As such, this is not a race where focusing on the front row is a guaranteed win.

When targeting drivers starting within the top 10, it’s important to focus on those with dominator upside. In fact, 12 of the 14 instances where drivers finished in the top 8 in DraftKings scoring while starting inside the top 10, the driver scored 10 or more dominator points.

Drivers With More Than 15 Dominator Points on Last 8 Similar Tracks

When trying to figure out who to target as a dominator, it’s essential to consider the drivers who have consistently demonstrated strong performance on tracks similar to Kansas Motor Speedway. Looking at the last eight races on intermediate tracks comparable to Kansas, we can identify drivers who have scored more than 15 dominator points as a key starting point.

Leading the pack is Hendrick Motorsports (HMS) with nine such performances, followed by Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) with seven. Fords account for only four of the 29 instances, with Ryan Blaney contributing half of them. Remarkably, 16 different drivers have made it onto this list, which is nearly half of all full-time drivers. Among them, seven drivers have multiple appearances:

  1. Kyle Larson 4
  2. William Byron 3
  3. Kyle Busch 3
  4. Ross Chastain 3
  5. Martin Truex Jr. 3
  6. Tyler Reddick 2
  7. Ryan Blaney 2

While these statistics tend to favor Chevrolets and the HMS stable, it’s important to note that when focusing solely on Kansas, Toyota drivers accounted for five of the eight performances with 15+ dominator points. Toyota proved dominant in these races, securing five of the top six finishing positions in Race 1 and four of the top five in Race 2. They also showed up with a ton of speed in practice yesterday, making the Toyota stable a great place to look for dominators again today.

Position differential scoring is another crucial factor to consider in this weekend’s race at Kansas Motor Speedway. Upon examining our sample data, we found that drivers who scored more than 20 position differential points in these races had six instances. Impressively, all six of these performances landed inside the Top 6 in DraftKings scoring, averaging one per race.

However, the real sweet spot for position differential lies with drivers scoring between 10 and 20 position differential points. This feat has been achieved 28 times in our six-race sample, with all but five of these performances making it into the Top 10 of DraftKings scoring.

Of these Top 10 performances, 13 came from drivers who started between 20th and 30th positions. Yet, only three of them made it inside the Top 6 in DraftKings scoring. This indicates that while this range is ideal for finding value, it’s not the best place to invest in premium drivers unless they also have dominator upside. Which is a big reason you won’t see me playing Chase Elliott today.

Cheat Sheet

Here is my cheat sheet for today’s race at Kansas Motor Speedway, which includes data from both 2022 Kansas races and a compilation of data from the last seven races at “similar” tracks. These races comprise Las Vegas ’23, Auto Club ’23, Homestead ’22, Las Vegas-2 ’22, Texas ’22, Kansas-2 ’22, and Kansas-1 ’22. Drivers highlighted in green are ones I recommend for today’s race, while those in pink are appealing options that might also fly under the radar, making them excellent GPP choices.

Driver Notes

Seems crazy to not have the Larson or Byron highlighted on my cheat sheet in a race this season. You can’t play everyone and I am planting my flag in the Toyota camp. I probably won’t fade completely since they have speed, but I will likely be way under the field so that I can be over on all the Toyotas. If I had to choose one to play it would absolutely be Larson.

The group of Toyotas priced right below Larson and Byron is what I want to key in on today. Hamlin showed a ton of speed in practice and was 1st in every metric in practice. Fast car on the short run for a guy that knows how to handle the long run, perfect combination today. He is now the odds on favorite and his practice speed will likely make him the most popular of this group of Toyotas.

Bell is my favorite play on the slate today. He was excellent here in both races last year, finishing Top 5 in each while having the 3rd best Fast Lap %. If not for the #45 car in those races, Bell would have easily been the best Toyota. Starts 12th today as well so provides some added PD to go with his dominator potential.

Speaking of #45, Tyler Reddick is going to be another great option today. 23XI knows how to get it done here winning both races at Kansas last year. Reddick exited early in both those races with issues, butof the laps he ran, 10% were fast laps and he led 18% of them. Reddick’s talents combined with this #45 team’s speed here is going to be tough to beat today.

Probably coming in as the lowest owned option of the Toyotas is Martin Truex Jr. fresh off his Dover win. Truex has 3 Dominator performances of 15+ points in the last 8 comparable races, one of which came the last time we were at Kansas in the Fall. This is a great place for him to carry his momentum into another strong performance.

Kyle Busch rolls of 18th in the #8 RCR car that Reddick had speed in here last year. Busch was also solid here last year in his #18 with the 2nd best fast lap percentage behind Reddick. Both the RCR cars showed solid speed in practice, and let’s not forget that Kyle won at Auto Club earlier this year. PD and Dominator potential out of KFB today.

Last time we were here it ended with Bubba Wallace in victory lane. Bubba also showed speed in practice like all his Toyota teammates, but he  did not qualify as hot so he starts 17th. Hard not to like the added PD upside to go with Top 5 potential and the opportunity to score 10-15 dominator points. I’m guessing that he will be likely be higher owned than Kyle Busch in this range.

Joey Logano burned a lot of people last week and he sets up with potential to get overlooked from the 6th starting spot today. This price has gotten way too cheap for the defending champion and he showed solid speed in practice. He ran much better the last time here than his 17th place finish indicates.  You don’t need much by way of dominator points for him to pay off.

The mid-tier range brings a few solid position differential options, with Josh Berry being the first and likely chalkiest of the bunch. Josh has been awesome filling in for the brittle HMS drivers this season. He sets up with potential for a big day in this #48 car that finished inside the Top 10 in both races here last year, while dominating a large portion of Race 2. If you are looking for  a reason to fade the chalk here, then consider that Josh does not have much 1.5 mile experience in the Cup car, and these are not normally the type of tracks he excels at in the Xfinity Series.

Chase Briscoe is also in play today despite not showing any speed in practice, in fact, non of SHR showed any speed. But, it’s now how you start, it’s how finish, and Briscoe finished 13th last time here and has 2 Top 5’s and 4 Top 20’s on comparable tracks. He needs to finish 18th or better to hit value, which is right around his AVG finish on recent comparable tracks.

My favorite PD play in this range, and perhaps the lowest owned of the 3 is Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Qualifying poorly is par for the course for Ricky here at Kansas. In both races last year he qualified 35th or worse. In the Spring he went on to finish 8th, and in the Fall he finished 30th, but he was running in 2nd when he had a tire go down and hit the wall, which ruined his day. This 47 car has a lot more speed so far in 2023 than it had in 2022.

Austin Cindric has not been great this season but Kansas is a solid place for him to put up a decent run. He has 5 Top 20’s in the 7 comparable races in my sample, with an 11th and 12th place finish in both races here last season. Put down the 2nd fastest lap in practice as well. His Penske teammate Logano also showed some speed. Should be very low owned making him a great GPP option today.

Dinger and Haley are also to solid value plays today. Would of liked to have seen some more speed out of them in practice, but the Kaulig cars generally perform well on intermediates. The Dinger did not race at Kansas last year, but this car did and Gragson finished 18th in both races. For dinger though, in the last 4 similar intermediates he has been on he has an Avg Finish of 16th with 1 Top 5, 2 Top 10s, and 3 Top 20s. His teammate Haley also has 1 Top 5, 2 Top 10s and 4 Top 20’s on his last 7 intermediate races.

Michael McDowell and Corey Lajoie are two potentially low owned options to look to target today for value. McDowell has 5 Top 20’s in 7 comparable races which includes a 16th place finish in the Fall here last year. He was also 15th best in terms of 5 lap averages in practice. Lajoie and Spire continues to impress this season. They had a hell of a run last week after showing speed in practice, and they showed up with solid speed again this week putting up the 14th best lap and the 11th best 5 lap average.

Gilliland is likely going to be the chalky value option today. Starting 32nd, he is having a career year with big improvements form 2022. The team looks to have solid speed again this week with Top 20 speeds in practice. He only needs to finish 25th to hit value, which he has done in each of the last 6 races.


I’m not playing cash today so no cash core out of me. This is my core for GPP contests. Thanks for reading, Good Luck and Run Pure!


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