Prime Sports NASCAR – weekly fantasy team recap of Texas and look ahead to Kansas

CJ’s pick of Kyle Larson before the season began for his fantasy team proved its worth again last Sunday in Texas. Larson’s victory was his eighth of the year and CJ’s 16th of the 2021 season. With Christopher Bell (3rd), Brad Keselowski (4th) and Kevin Harvick (5th) also up front, CJ’s team is pushing further ahead again and on the verge of a season championship.

Eric got a runner-up from William Byron as well as 7th (Chase Elliott), 9th (Tyler Reddick) and 11th (Denny Hamlin) to keep him within striking distance and not letting CJ pull too far ahead.

Greg had a sixth place run by Ryan Blaney and eighth for Kyle Busch but also 13th (Matt DiBenedetto), 16th (Kurt Busch), 21st (Chris Buescher), 28th (Ross Chastain) and 33rd (Alex Bowman) too.

Now, we head to the penultimate race of the Round of 12 this Sunday in Kansas. This is a tough place for someone outside of the big programs to win at though. Just look at the recent history of winners. Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Chase Elliott. These nine drivers have combined to win every Kansas race since 2011.

I can make a case that Kyle Larson (CJ) will add his name to this list. He already knows he’s racing for the Championship 4 in two weeks at Phoenix via his win last Sunday in Texas, but no one is touching Larson on these tracks this year.

He’s been so dominant on 550 tracks this season. In 11 races now on them, Larson has four wins, three runner-ups, eight top fives and a top 10 in all but two. The only two he didn’t get a top 10 was actually in Kansas this past spring to where he led 132 of 267 laps and restarted in the top five on the final shootout but was incurred some damage on it. Then, it was Atlanta when he had problems on pit road.

That’s it.

He’s led 1,607 out of 3,247 possible laps (50%) in these 11 races which also accounts for 71% (1,607 out of 2,267) laps led on the season for him. Furthermore, he’s won 11 stages and has been in the top two in 14 of the 23 stages run on these tracks.

This could be his race to lose again.

The other focus is on the other seven playoff drivers.

For whatever reason, the playoff race at Kansas has always been a wild one in the sense of wrecks or pit road troubles for the playoff drivers, it’s just one that has had a lot of chaos.

For Greg’s drivers, Ryan Blaney has 12 top 10’s, 10 of which in the top six, in his last 16 races. The thing is, four of his last five at Kansas have seen him finish 20th or worse. Kyle Busch though has been in the top 10 in the last seven Fall races at Kansas including six of which being in the top five. He won this past spring. Alex Bowman has had terrible playoff luck while the other drivers on his team aren’t likely to earn a playoff win.

Eric has Denny Hamlin who rebounded to be 11th in Texas for his first result outside of the top 10 during this postseason. But, he was 15th in this race last year and 12th in the spring. Chase Elliott could also play into this. He was sixth last year, fifth in the spring race and has five top sixes in his last six at Kansas to go along with being fourth, first, second and sixth respectively in his last four Fall starts on the 1.5-mile track. The drawback is, he’s only had three top fives in 11 intermediate starts this year and has just two top fives in his last nine starts on the season at that. Joey Logano has been 15th or worst in four of his last five starts in the Sunflower State. He does have the sleepers of the playoffs with Byron who finished second last Sunday in Texas for his second top three in the last five weeks. He looked to have the best car a week prior too and was third in the closing laps before pushing too hard for the win. Reddick, was second in Charlotte and there again last week, but contact with Byron left him with some damage and he faded to ninth. Still, it was his third top 10 in the last four races as he also has a top 10 here last year.

CJ obviously has Larson as the favorite. Brad Keselowski is too. He scored just his fourth top five in the last 22 races on the season at Texas but heads to Kansas to where  he has four top fours in his last five starts. Martin Truex Jr. has seven top six finishes in his last nine Kansas starts. Christopher Bell scored his first career NXS win in this Kansas race weekend and just earned his third straight top eight and fourth in the last six weeks in Texas. Finally he has Kevin Harvick who’s always good at Kansas as he was runner-up in the spring.

CJ could extend his lead again.

This will also serve as the final race of the 550 package as we revert back to the 750 package for the final two weeks of the season.

1 TEAM CJR – 8,125 points (15 wins) 

K Larson… 2680 (9 wins)

M Truex Jr… 1230 (4 wins)

K Harvick… 1175

C Bell… 930 (1 win)

A Dillon… 695

B Keselowski… 580

R Stenhouse Jr 225

Traded Drivers… (460/1 win)

Waived Drivers… (150)

2 TEAM ES – 7,560 points (8 wins)

D Hamlin… 1675 (2 wins)

C Elliott… 1470 (2 wins)

W Byron… 1155 (1 win)

J Logano… 1040 (1 win)

T Reddick… 780

D Wallace Jr… 775 (1 win)

A Almirola… 560 (1 win)

Waived Drivers… (105)

 

3 TEAM GDP – 6,000 points (9 wins) 

R Blaney… 1250 (3 wins)

Kyle B 1200 (2 wins)

A Bowman… 955 (3 wins)

C Buescher… 590

M DiBenedetto.… 535

Kurt B… 325 

R Chastain.… 295

Traded Drivers… (595/1 win)

Waived Drivers… (255)


Weekly Race Points Standings

 

Week 33 Texas

1 CJ 955

2 Eric 620

3 Greg 410

 

Overall Driver Standings (Top 10)

 

1 K Larson… 2680 (CJ)

2 D Hamlin… 1675 (Eric)

3 C Elliott… 1470 (Eric)

4 R Blaney… 1250 (Greg)

5 M Truex Jr… 1230 (CJ) 

6 Kyle B… 1200 (Greg)

7 K Harvick… 1175 (CJ)

8 W Byron… 1155 (Eric)

8 J Logano… 1040 (Eric)

10 A Bowman… 955 (Greg)

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