FOX Fantasy Picks: Beating the odds in Kentucky
Typically when talking about odds in the Bluegrass State, we're talking horses. This weekend, however, it's horsepower as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series hits Kentucky Speedway for just the fourth race at the 1.5-mile track.
Over the course of the previous three races, there have been three different winners: Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson. All three should be a factor once again Saturday night, but it is also likely a first-time Kentucky winner could visit Victory Lane.
Just like each week, these are simply suggestions, so pick your team wisely and best of luck. If you haven't done so yet, be sure to sign up for FOX Fantasy Auto Racing, create your team and start playing today!
Captain: Kyle Busch
Kentucky stats: 1 win; 2 top 5s; 3 top 10s; Average finish: 5.3
When it comes to Kentucky Speedway, few have seen as much success as Kyle Busch. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver dominated the inaugural Sprint Cup Series race, leading 125 of the 267 laps.
'Rowdy' has completed 100 percent of the laps in the three races so far, leading 243 of a possible 801 laps.
Busch won Thursday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, and is looking to sweep the weekend's events as he is entered into Friday night's Nationwide Series race as well.
The No. 18 team has struggled as of late, with its last top-10 finish coming at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the Coca-Cola 600. This weekend's 400-mile race presents a great opportunity to turn things around and secure a spot in the Chase with another win.
Driver #2: Brad Keselowski
Kentucky stats: 1 win; 1 top 5; 2 top 10s; Average finish: 13.7
Much like Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski has always been a threat at Kentucky Speedway in all three of NASCAR's divisions.
The 2012 Sprint Cup Series race winner was seventh in the inaugural race in 2011, but wrecked on Lap 49 of last year's event and finished the day 33rd. Keselowski also has two wins in the Nationwide Series, his worst NNS finish in six starts is seventh, and has three top-fives in Camping World Truck Series competition here.
The driver of the No. 2 Team Penske Ford has been fast in practice so far this weekend, and is looking to rebound from a lackluster day at Sonoma. Expect Keselowski to be a contender on Saturday night, leading to a great night for your fantasy roster.
Driver #3: Jimmie Johnson
Kentucky stats: 0 wins; 1 top 5; 3 top 10s; Average finish: 6.0
It's pretty hard to top something like being honored by President Barack Obama at the White House, but if Jimmie Johnson can win Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway, it might come close.
The six-time series champion has never won at Kentucky Speedway, one of only four tracks on the Sprint Cup Series schedule where he has not been to Victory Lane (the others being Chicagoland, Homestead and Watkins Glen).
Just because he hasn't won at Kentucky doesn't mean he's not among the strongest on the 1.5-mile track. The driver of the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet has an average finish of 6.0 and has led a total of 203 laps, including 182 in last year's race.
Johnson has three wins and six top-10s in the last six races this season, so to say the former champ is on a roll would be an understatement. That hot streak should continue Saturday night as Johnson has a big opportunity to knock another track off his list.
Driver #4: Kevin Harvick
Kentucky stats: 0 wins; 0 top 5s; 1 top 10; Average finish: 12.3
As is the case with Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick has been strong at Kentucky Speedway in both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series.
While he only has one top 10 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, his worst finish in three starts is 16th (2011) and he has an average finish of 12.3. Harvick also has one win, three top-fives, and four top-10s in four Nationwide races at the 1.5-mile track.
One of the strongest cars week-in and week-out so far in 2014, the No. 4 team has struggled as of late to put together complete races and finish where Harvick runs throughout the day.
If the team can keep up with the adjustments and limit the mistakes on pit road, Harvick could once again have one of the cars to beat.
Driver #5: Kyle Larson
Kentucky stats: Making Sprint Cup Series debut
Rookie Kyle Larson continues to impress in his first full season in the Sprint Cup Series, and that has continued already this weekend in Kentucky. The driver of the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet was fastest in Friday's opening practice, while he was also fast at times in Happy Hour.
Larson has two Nationwide Series races under his belt at the 1.5-mile track, finishing seventh in his first trip to the track, while he finished 33rd with a brake failure in his second start.
While his first Sprint Cup Series victory might not come this weekend, Larson should have another strong run and produce a solid result for your fantasy team.
As always, these are simply suggestions, so do your research, pick wisely, and best of luck. If you put more faith in the Las Vegas odds, check out this week's "Let it Ride" segment from NASCAR Race Hub.