Like it or not, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is headed back to a 1 1/2-mile oval, as drivers are set to compete in Saturday’s Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway.
There only have been six Cup races held at the track, which isn’t a big sample size to go on for setting fantasy lineups. Still, some drivers clearly have excelled at Kentucky, and there’s plenty of recent history at 1 1/2-mile ovals for fantasy owners to take into account.
Whether you need help picking an A-List driver who has a shot at winning or an up-and-coming C-List racer who could help steal you some points, we’ve got you covered. Here are the drivers you should give seats to, and the ones you shouldn’t, for Sunday’s race:
Must pick: Brad Keselowski
We typically don’t like picking drivers two weeks in a row, but Keselowski clearly is the best option for Saturday’s race.
Of the six races that have been run at Kentucky, the Team Penske driver has won three of them. Furthermore, he’s only finished outside the top 10 once. He’s the A-List driver you need to start this weekend.
Stay away: Austin Dillon
Outside of a victory earlier this season at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Dillon has struggled on 1 1/-2 tracks all year.
In three of five such races, the Richard Childress Racing driver has finished 25th or worse. He’s also never run very well at Kentucky. There are much better B-List options this week.
Sleeper pick: Jamie McMurray
If you’re still saving some of the premier B-List options, such as Kyle Larson and Clint Bowyer, then McMurray makes for a fine play Saturday.
The Chip Ganassi Racing driver has four top-15 finishes in six starts at Kentucky, and finished seventh at the track last season. Moreover, McMurray, like his teammate Larson, has looked strong on 1 1/2-mile ovals all season. He’s a sneaky good pick this weekend.
Value pick: Erik Jones
If you’re anything like us, you’ve been saving your Erik Jones starts for later in the season. Well, now’s the time to unleash the rookie sensation.
He has an average finish of 16 at 1 1/2-mile tracks this year and, if it weren’t for some bad luck, his resume could look even better. It’s a tough choice between him and fellow rookie Daniel Suarez, but Jones still is the best C-List option in the sport.
Thumbnail photo via Jim Dedmon/USA TODAY Sports Images