Chase Elliott survived miserable conditions last Sunday in Charlotte to come away with back-to-back wins on the relatively new road course. Joey Logano tried to keep things close with Elliott but was unable to make those most of a final restart with 10 laps remaining. By race’s end, Logano had faded behind by three seconds. Erik Jones, Kurt Busch, and Ryan Blaney would round out the top five. The damp conditions cost Blaney a number of positions but he would recover nicely in the end.
This latest victory adds to Elliott’s current string of road course victories, having previously come off a dominating performance at the inaugural Daytona event in August. With the win, Elliott also added another five playoff points to his total. Kyle Busch was officially eliminated following the race on Sunday after failing to pick up the crucial win. Aric Almirola, Clint Bowyer, and Austin Dillon were also wiped out of postseason contention.
We now turn the page on Charlotte Roval and head out to Kansas City for the first event in the Round of 8. Kansas Speedway is a 1.5-mile tri-oval race track and seats 48,000 people, though attendance will be limited due to Covid-19 protocols. Hamlin was the winner here back in July, as he held off a fast-charging Brad Keselowski with just a handful of laps remaining.
Previous race winner Elliott will start on pole, opposite the runner-up from last week Logano. Without further ado, let’s delve into the driver options for this upcoming Cup Series event. Here are the high salary, mid-range, and value selections for the Hollywood Casino 400. Best of luck to everyone with your lineups this weekend.
Denny Hamlin (13,500 FD | 10,600 DK)
Hamlin is looking to continue his string of recent Kansas victories. In order to do that he may have to cross swords with his current series rival Harvick late in the race. Remember, it was here in July that Hamlin forged ahead of the No. 4 driver with 13 laps remaining before pushing himself towards back-to-back Kansas wins. Slated to start seventh off the line, Hamlin not only offers potential value in regards to laps led and fastest lap but also could chip in a half-dozen bonus points through place differential.
Kevin Harvick (13,200 FD | 10,400 DK)
After exploding onto the playoff scene and picking up two of three victories in the round of 16, Harvick would do a complete 180 in the next stage. He failed to crack the top nine in any of the three round of 12 races. Slated to begin Sunday’s event on the second row, he could potentially pile up the laps led. Keep in mind that over his past seven runs at Kansas, Harvick tops all drivers in laps led with 315. The No. 4 driver has the makings of a true dominator this weekend. He just needs to close out strong here.
Aric Almirola (10,000 FD | 8,000 DK)
With Almirola officially chopped from playoff contention following last weekend’s finish, he can now focus solely on producing quality runs as we close out the four remaining races. Fortunately for him, he begins with a 1.5 mile oval track, on which he has proven to be quite adept. Consider that Almirola has nailed down four top 10 finishes in his last six Kansas attempts. He will come off the line 16th in the running order and could offer sneaky value in fastest lap and place-differential points. It was during July’s race that he not only earned himself a top six finish, but racked up 11 stage points.
Matt Kenseth (6,600 FD | 6,600 DK) It was back in July that Kenseth cracked the top 17 at Kansas. Although it is fair to say his previous four runs here have been a hodgepodge, the price (coupled with a pretty attractive starting position) make Kenseth a great value. Additionally, he is set to roll off the starting line in the 30th position, which leaves him deep enough in the field to add something in the range of 15-16 extra bonus points.
Kenseth’s days of challenging for top-fives every week are long gone. However, he is still very much capable of sniping a finish within the top-15 drivers. Prior to last weeks 34th place tumble, he had racked up four top-16 place finishes in his prior five attempts.
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