Qualifying for the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky took place on Friday. Qualifying up front at Kentucky has proven to be a huge advantage going into race day. Starting up front is key to running well and finishing well in NASCAR DFS. We will take a run through some big names and values and how they fared in qualifying and what it means for their outlooks. Salaries are based on DraftKings.
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Daniel Suarez ($7,600) qualified on the pole for Saturday’s race. He was also fastest in 10 Consecutive lap averages in final practice. Suarez should contend for his first ever Cup win. I liked him before qualifying and he should run up front a lot of the day.
Qualifying second was Suarez’s teammate Aric Almirola ($8,200). Almirola was right on the edge for me coming into qualifying and this bumped him up. He ran good here last year and grabbed a Top 10. Expect the same this year.
Brad Keselowski ($10,000) qualified third and was one of my top picks before qualifying. Keselowski has won here three times and has now become my favorite to take the checkered flag Saturday night. He is also my choice for top fantasy scorer.
Rounding out the Top 5 is Kurt Busch ($9,300) and Kevin Harvick ($10,600). Kurt Busch is a wild card here at Kentucky as he has been very inconsistent but has some good finishes as well. Harvick was third best in 10 lap averages in final practice and should be a good pick for your DFS NASCAR squad.
Daniel Hemric ($6,300) and Austin Dillon ($7,200) qualified in 6th and 9th respectively. These two teammates have qualified well most of the year. I expect Hemric to fall off quickly but Dillon has been able to hold his own with good cars. I expect Hemric to fall near 20th but Dillon to race around the 10th to 15th spot all day.
Martin Truex Jr. ($11,000) qualified eighth and hasn’t shown great speeds in practice. He is still one of my favorites but has fallen down a couple notches after practice and qualifying.
Kyle Busch ($11,500) is going to start 10th Saturday. This gives him some Place Differential upside. He was second best in 10 lap averages in final practice and should race his way to the front.
Ryan Blaney ($8,300) qualified 15th for the Quaker State 400. He has normally qualified in the Top 10 here but this doesn’t scare me away too much. Last year he and his team made the car better in each stage and I expect the same this year. Look for good Place Differential points from Blaney in this one.
Five big names will start all bunched up from 18th to 22nd. Denny Hamlin ($9,100), Kyle Larson ($9,500), Chase Elliott ($9,700), Erik Jones ($8,900), and Alex Bowman ($8,500) all are in big upside positions. Hamlin and Larson have raced from the back here in past years so they do not concern me and I like their upside. Elliott and Jones have done decently from the middle of the pack and I still like Jones as a good value pick. Alex Bowman worries me as he has struggled in his career to move up from bad starting positions. Target Hamlin, Larson, and Jones out of this group.
NASCAR DFS Targets
Brad Keselowski ($10,000)
Ryan Blaney ($8,300)
Daniel Suarez ($7,600)
Joey Logano ($10,300)
Daniel Hemric ($6,300)
Matt Dibenedetto ($6,800)
NASCAR DFS Wild Card (High Risk Play)
Kurt Busch ($9,300)
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