ADAM ANSELL’S TOP 30 FOR KANSAS
1. Jimmie Johnson: Johnson finished third at Charlotte and led 53 laps. In 12 starts at Kansas Speedway, Johnson has two wins (2008, 2011), five Top 5s, 10 Top 10s and three poles with an Average Finish of 7.9. Johnson finished third in the April race and led two laps. He led 197 of 272 laps in his 2011 dominating victory. He’s started inside the Top Four on the grid six times. Since the inception of Loop Data in 2005, Johnson leads all competitors in Driver Rating (120.7), Laps Led (483), Fastest Laps Run (373), Average Green Flag Speed (162.892 mph) and Quality Passes (425). He ranks second in Average Running Position (6.8) and Laps in the Top 15 (2,145). He has now led laps in all five Chase races with four Top 5 finishes in that span. His experience and pedigree are unparalleled making him the top play in all formats this weekend.
2. Denny Hamlin: Hamlin posted a second-place finish and led 36 laps at CMS. In nine starts at Kansas, Hamlin has one win (2012) and three Top 5s with an Average Finish of 14.1. In his April victory, Hamlin started fourth and led 32 laps. He’s led at least one lap in four of his last six starts. His best start on the grid is fourth. Hamlin ranks 11thin DR (89.9) and in ARP (14.4). Hamlin says he experienced some dizziness after crashing during testing at Kansas, but it doesn’t look like he’s in danger of sitting this one out. He’s just 15-points off the pace and showed a ton of resiliency last weekend. He’s clearly learned from his 2010 meltdown and remains a strong candidate to win the 2012 Sprint Cup title. He’s a high-quality play in all formats.
3. Brad Keselowski: After running out of fuel late in the race, Keselowski surrendered the lead and ended up finishing 11th with a race-high 139 laps led at Charlotte. In five Kansas starts, Keselowski has one win (2011) and two Top 5s with an Average Finish of 10.2. He started and finished 11th with two laps led in the April event. He’s led at least one lap in four of his five starts. He’s started inside the Top Four on the grid once. Keselowski ranks ninth in DR (90.7) and seventh in ARP (12.7). While the 11th-place finish isn’t terrible Fantasy-wise, the fuel gaffe could mess with Keselowski’s head. Fantasy owners will find out a lot about the driver of the No. 2 this weekend.
4. Greg Biffle: For the second-straight week, Biffle flashed some of his early season domination with 71 laps led and a fourth-place finish at CMS. In 12 starts at KS, Biffle has two wins (2007, 2010), seven Top 5s, nine Top 10s and one pole with an Average Finish of 8.0. He finished fifth in the April event. He’s led at least two laps in seven of his last 10 starts. He’s started inside the Top Four on the grid once. Biffle ranks second in DR (116.3), Laps Led (282), Fastest Laps Run (194), Average Green Flag Speed (162.622 mph) and Quality Passes (406). He leads all drivers in ARP (6.7) and Laps in the Top 15 (2,208). Kansas is one of The Biff’s best tracks, making him a must-start in all Tiered/Grouping formats.
5. Clint Bowyer: Bowyer won his third race of 2012, leading the final 29 laps at CMS. In eight KS starts, Bowyer has one Top 5 and three Top 10s with an Average Finish of 15.0. He posted a 36th-place DNF in the April race. He led 43 laps in the 2006 race. His best starting position is sixth. Bowyer ranks 15th in DR (85.7) and 16th in ARP (17.3). He’s been very consistent in the Chase and should be penciled into all Tiered/Grouping format lineups.
6. Jeff Gordon: Gordon’s streak of three-straight Top 3s was snapped with an 18th-place finish at CMS, though he did lead two laps. In 13 Kansas starts, Gordon has two wins (2001-02), eight Top 5s and nine Top 10s with an Average Finish of 11.1. He finished 20th in the spring race. He’s led at least two laps in two of his last four starts. He’s started inside the Top Four on the grid four times. Gordon ranks fifth in DR (102.2) and third in ARP (8.8). He’s a high-value option with a ton of upside for Fantasy owners looking to go in a different direction.
7. Tony Stewart: Stewart finished 13th at CMS. In 13 starts at Kansas, Stewart has two wins (2006, 2009), five Top 5s and eight Top 10s with an Average Finish of 12.2. He finished 13th in the April race. He’s led at least one lap in six of his last nine starts. His best start on the grid is fifth. Stewart ranks third in DR (102.9) and fourth in ARP (9.6). His title defense has been over for a while, but Smoke remains a quality spot start with upside in all formats.
8. Kasey Kahne: Kahne finished eighth at Charlotte a week ago. In 10 KS starts, Kahne has one Top 5, four Top 10s and two poles with an Average Finish of 16.1. He finished eighth in the Sprint event. He led 27 laps in the fall 2010 race. He’s qualified fourth-or-better three times. Kahne ranks 13th in DR (86.9) and in ARP (15.1). While it’s likely Kahne’s championship hopes are done, he remains worth a provisional look in Tiered/Grouping formats.
9. Matt Kenseth: Kenseth followed up his win at Talladega with a 14th-place finish at CMS. In 13 starts at KS, Kenseth has four Top 5s, seven Top 10s and one pole with an Average Finish of 16.9. He finished fourth and led two laps in the April race. He’s led at least one lap in six of his last seven starts. He’s started inside the Top Four on the grid four times. Kenseth ranks fourth in DR (102.4) and fifth in ARP (10.6). He’s another option for Fantasy owners looking to accrue value as opposed to rolling out the big names.
10. Martin Truex Jr.: Truex Jr. posted a 10th-place finish a week ago at CMS. In eight KS starts, Truex Jr. has one Top 5 with an Average Finish of 23.3. He led a race-high 173 laps and finished second in the April event. He’s led at least two laps in four of his starts. His best start on the grid is fifth. Truex Jr. ranks 12th in DR (88.4) and 10th in ARP (14.3). He hasn’t led a single lap the entire Chase, but has been consistent enough in his finishes to warrant a Tiered/Grouping format start.
11. Kevin Harvick: One Top 5 and six Top 10s with an Average Finish of 13.0 in 13 starts at Charlotte. 92.1 DR.
12. Kyle Busch: Two Top 10s with an Average Finish of 20.0 in 10 starts at CMS. 83.3 DR.
13. Mark Martin: One win (2005), two Top 5s and one pole with an Average Finish of 14.6 in 13 starts at the site. 91.9 DR.
14. Carl Edwards: Four Top 5s and eight Top 10s with an Average Finish of 10.5 in 10 CMS starts. 96.2 DR.
15. Ryan Newman: One win (2003), three Top 5s and four Top 10s with an Average Finish of 17.5 in 13 Charlotte starts. 65.4 DR.
16. Kurt Busch: Captured the pole at KS in 2011. 90.3 DR.
17. Regan Smith: Will helm the No. 88 Chevy for the second-straight race. 54.2 DR.
18. A.J. Allmendinger: Back in the No. 51 Phoenix ride. 71.6 DR.
19. Jeff Burton: Led two laps at Kansas in 2010. 73.1 DR.
20. Juan Pablo Montoya: Led four laps in the April race. 72.2 DR.
21. Joey Logano: 59.5 DR.
22. Paul Menard: 70.1.
23. Jamie McMurray: 68.0.
24. Sam Hornish Jr.: 62.8.
25. Marcos Ambrose: 63.7.
26. Trevor Bayne
27. Aric Almirola
28. David Ragan
29. Danica Patrick
30. Bobby Labonte