We’re back to a “normal” race this week with the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway. This is your typical “cookie cutter” 1.5-mile race track, and with how well NASCAR’s new package has worked on these tracks underneath the lights, you have to think we’re in for some good Saturday night racing tonight.
Here are some helpful links to the qualifying results and practice speeds from this weekend:
DraftKings Statistical Analysis for Kentucky
We’re going to try a little different format with this post this week since we have so much data from other races to look at. Below you will find three charts, each containing certain data from all of the 1.5-mile races this season (excluding Atlanta). You can sort by any column you’d like, and the chart is broken down into multiple pages (10 rows each) so this isn’t just a super long scroll of a webpage. This first one we have is sorted by average finish on the 1.5-mile tracks this year.
Chart #1 = Basic Statistics on 1.5-Mile Tracks in 2019
Here we can see that Joey Logano ($10,300) has the best average finish at 1.5-mile tracks this season, which isn’t overly surprising because he’s been the most consistent Cup Series driver this year. This includes a win back at Las Vegas after leading 86 laps (he scored 92.5 DraftKings points that day with a total of 37.5 dominator points). Logano will roll off the grid from 11th here tonight at Kentucky, and while he’s a solid choice for place differential and a top 5 finish, it’s hard to justify the $10,300 salary if he’s not going to get plenty of dominator points. He’s led just 72 total laps in eight career starts here at Kentucky, and his two races with significant laps led (37 in 2014 and 23 in 2015) came when he started in row one or two. Logano is a good pick in DraftKings if you’re banking on someone like pole sitter Daniel Suarez ($7,600) or Aric Almirola ($8,200)–who starts 2nd and has the 8th-best average finish on this track type this season–to get a ton of dominator points.
Quickly sorting by average running position, you have your heavy hitters up top, but look at William Byron ($7,500) with the 4th-best ARP (10.4). He starts 12th tonight in his #24 Chevrolet and I honestly thought Byron had top 5 overall speed over the two practice sessions on Friday. I absolutely love being overweight on Byron tonight.
Another guy that sticks out here as an overweight play in DraftKings? Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. ($7,800). Most players are going to automatically throw in Ryan Newman ($7,900) since he failed inspection and will have to start from the rear, so I look at this as an opportunity to pivot to Stenhouse, or maybe even stack the Roush-Fenway teammates in a lineup. Not only does Stenhouse have the 6th-best average running position on 1.5-mile tracks this year (10.8), he’s doing it with an average starting spot of 14.6–which is worse than all drivers ahead of him in ARP. Here at Kentucky, Stenhouse has finishes of 14th and 11th in the last four races.
Looking at low-dollar drivers, I don’t have anyone I particularly love tonight. In GPPs, though, I like being overweight on David Ragan ($5,700) even though he starts 24th. He has an average finish of 23.6 on this track type this season, and here at Kentucky, he has ended up between 18th and 24th in the last four races. In this race last season, Ragan started 24th and finished 18th. If he can stay on the lead lap tonight (or maybe just one lap down, lead lap may be asking too much), I could see a similar performance out of Ragan this year.
|Driver||Start at KY||DK Salary at KY||Avg. Start||Avg. Finish||Avg. Running Position||Avg. Driver Rating|
|Martin Truex Jr||8||$11,000||21.2||09.8||11.4||95.5|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr||16||$7,800||14.6||10.0||10.8||91.8|
Chart #2 = DraftKings Averages on 1.5-Mile Tracks in 2019
Moving on to the DraftKings-specific chart, it should be no surprise that Kevin Harvick ($10,600) leads the way in DraftKings points per race on the 1.5-mile tracks despite having no wins and an average finish of 9.8. This #4 Ford has put up a ton of dominator points on this track type in 2019, equaling out to 34.0 per race, which is basically at least double every other driver’s average except for Kyle Busch ($11,500), who is averaging 25.0 per race. Harvick starts 5th tonight at Kentucky and with how much speed Stewart-Haas as a whole has had all weekend, it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see him put together another big DraftKings score. Here’s a fun fact, though: Harvick has only led in one of his eight career starts at Kentucky, and it was back in 2016 when he sat on the pole. He led 128 laps that night. Another fun fact? Last year’s race was the first time Harvick finished inside the top 5 at this track. It’s obviously hard to go against the guy, but I don’t mind being underweight on him tonight, simply because he’s going to be super high owned with that lower price tag.
Sorting the table by average number of fastest laps per race, one driver that sticks out to me is Ryan Blaney ($8,300). He’s averaging 17.4 fastest laps per race on the 1.5-mile tracks this year and is one of just two drivers priced under $9,000 this week inside the top 10 with that statistic. He starts back in 15th for tonight’s race and with how much speed his Penske teammates have shown this weekend, I wouldn’t be surprised if Blaney is inside the top 5 by the end of the Quaker State 400. Remember, he finished 2nd in this race last year, and finally came through with a good finish at the last 1.5-mile venue we were at (Chicagoland, where Blaney ended up 6th). Ryan is a nice pivot option off of Alex Bowman ($8,500), but with how that #88 Chevrolet is performing, I don’t mind stacking these two either.
|Driver||Start at KY||DK Salary at KY||Avg. DK Points||Avg. DK Dom. Pts||Avg. Fastest Laps||Avg. Laps Led|
|Martin Truex Jr||8||$11,000||64.0||17.8||23.0||25.2|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr||16||$7,800||40.9||02.3||02.8||03.6|
Chart #3 = DraftKings Percentages on 1.5-Mile Tracks in 2019
The final table is sorted by percent of dominator points. What this is doing is just taking the averages of the statistics in the previous chart for each driver in the field, creating a sum, and then getting a percentage of that particular driver’s share. It’s just a different way of looking at the dominator numbers.
|Driver||Start at KY||DK Salary at KY||Avg. DK Points||Avg. DK Dom. Pts||% of Dominator Points||% of Fastest Laps||% of Laps Led|
|Martin Truex Jr||8||$11,000||64.0||17.8||8.41%||8.54%||8.19%|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr||16||$7,800||40.9||02.3||1.09%||1.04%||1.17%|