Matt Kenseth has been nothing short of dominant at Kansas Speedway in recent years, and if his practice times Saturday are any indication, he is going to add to his impressive track record this weekend. Kenseth turned the second-fastest lap in the first session and the fourth-fastest lap in Happy Hour, making him one of only two drivers to crack the top five in both sessions. He has also posted a 3.8 average finish at Kansas in his last six starts and has won the last two races at the track. A Kansas three-peat could be on tap for Kenseth, and he needs to be owned in all fantasy formats.
Big weekend coming for Edwards
Unsurprisingly, the other driver to land in the top five in both practices Saturday was Jimmie Johnson. He posted the fifth-fastest lap in both sessions to go along with the second-best 10-lap average speed in Happy Hour. Keep in mind that Johnson also owns a series-leading 7.6 average finish at Kansas. Meanwhile, he has finished in the top 10 in the last nine races at the track, logging six top-three finishes, including two wins. Make room for him on fantasy rosters in every format.
Another driver that deserves a spot on fantasy rosters this weekend is Kevin Harvick. He logged the fourth-fastest lap in the opening practice to go along with the best 10-lap average speed, and he also posted the seventh-fastest lap in Happy Hour. With six straight top-12 finishes at Kansas, Harvick was already a safe option this weekend. After his practice times Saturday and pole-winning run Friday, he has legit top-five potential.
After topping the charts in Happy Hour, Carl Edwards could also challenge for a top-five finish this weekend. In addition to pacing the field in the final practice, he logged the eighth-best lap. Edwards has also finished in the top 10 in eight of his 12 starts at Kansas, and he has finished sixth or better six times at the track. At the very least, he seems primed to land somewhere in the top 10.
While he doesn’t boast the best numbers at Kansas, Juan Pablo Montoya’s practice times ranked among the best of any driver. After posting the third-fastest lap in the opening session, he turned the sixth-fastest lap in Happy Hour. Montoya enters Sunday’s race with just one top-10 in nine starts at Kansas, but he appears to have a car capable of changing that. Fantasy owners looking to gain ground in their leagues should definitely consider taking a chance on Montoya.
Brian Vickers is another driver with a less than stellar track record at Kansas that could be worth gambling on this weekend. After all, he cracked the top 10 in both practice sessions Saturday. It is also worth noting that while he has just one top-10 in eight starts at Kansas, he has never made a start at the track with Michael Waltrip Racing. As a result, fantasy owners may want to trust the practice times and not his track record.
Fantasy owners looking for sleeper options should look no further than Ricky Stenhouse Jr. The rookie topped the charts in the first practice at Kansas Saturday, and he posted the 10th-fastest lap in Happy Hour. Stenhouse also finished 11th in his track debut earlier this year, and it looks like he has a car capable of battling for a top-10 again this weekend.
Another sleeper worth considering this weekend is Paul Menard. After turning the 16th-fastest lap in the first session, he jumped to second on the charts in Happy Hour. He also recorded the best 10-lap average speed in the final practice. Meanwhile, Menard has four finishes of 12th or better in his last six starts at Kansas, including a third-place run last fall and a 10th-place run earlier this year.
Last but not least, the practice sessions were not kind to the Busch brothers. Both Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch crashed their primary cars and will start from the rear of the field in backup cars Sunday. Of the two, Kurt appeared to be in better shape in Happy Hour. Meanwhile, Kyle may have to wait another year to get his first top-five at Kansas. Neither driver is an ideal fantasy option this weekend.
Happy Hour Speeds (sorted by Best Lap)
Happy Hour 10-Lap Average Speeds (must run 10 consecutive laps)
Second Practice Speeds (sorted by Best Lap)
Second Practice 10-Lap Average Speeds (must run 10 consecutive laps)
About Brian Polking
Racing has been part of Brian's life ever since he can remember, and he spent his childhood at dirt tracks throughout Ohio and Kentucky watching his father race. NASCAR naturally became his favorite sport, and he has been following the Cup, Nationwide and Truck Series for most of his life. Brian majored in journalism and economics at Ohio State University and becoming a sports writer has always been his dream. Although he has covered everything from minor league baseball to the NCAA tournament, his passion has always been NASCAR. Brian has served as a NASCAR writer for a variety of sites, eventually becoming head editor of the NASCAR section for Fanball.com. His knowledge of NASCAR comes from his life-long love of racing, and he tries to add a personal touch to every article he writes. Brian is always up for talking NASCAR with anyone that wants to. Brian joined KFFL's team in 2011.
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