Friday, May 6, 2016

Final Kansas Speedway Driver Ratings: 2016 400

Will Martin Truex Jr. finally win at Kansas already......lots of drama.
LAS VEGAS -- Martin Truex Jr. laid down the fastest lap in Friday's final practice session and qualifying at Kansas Speedway in preparation for Saturday night's 400. Truex, with a speed at 187.696 mph, led a race-high 95 laps at Kansas last spring before settling for ninth. He's part of the Joe Gibbs Racing gang that all looked stellar during the sessions.

JGR's Matt Kenseth had the second fastest lap (187.617) in the final session and also had the best 10-consecutive lap average, which is a sign he's going to be very good on long runs. He doesn't have a top-five through 10 races, but he's got two wins at Kansas and it's the ideal spot for him to turn in his best run of season, maybe even win.

Because of Jimmie Johnson's Kansas history, which is the best, and also his run on 1.5-mile tracks this season -- Fontana's 2-mile speedway too -- he still remains the driver to beat and has the top overall rating.

Micah Roberts' Top-10 Rated NASCAR Drivers 400
Kansas Speedway
Saturday, May 7, 2016 - 4:46 pm (PT)   

Rating     Driver       Odds     Practice 1   Practice 2  Qualified    '16 Las Vegas*
 1. Jimmie Johnson 5/1             11th            4th             15th               3rd
Three-time winner, including last spring; best 10-consecutive lap average in practice 1.
 2. Martin Truex Jr. 10/1            2nd             1st               1st             11th 
Two-time runner-up, led race-high 95 laps last spring and 346 laps overall in 15 starts.
 3. Kyle Busch 8/1                     21st            5th                6th              4th
No top-10s in first 14 starts, but top-fives in past two; won at last 1.5-mile track (Texas).
 4. Matt Kenseth 8/1                10th            2nd               2nd            37th
Two-time winner, led race-high 153 laps last fall; best 10-consecutive lap average practice 2.
 5. Joey Logano 8/1                   14th          16th             14th              2nd 
Top-five in past five starts, including wins in two of past three; still looking for first 2016 win.
 6. Carl Edwards 8/1                   3rd           12th             12th            18th
Considers this his home track; second-best 10.6 average finish in 17 starts -- runner-up in 2008.
 7. Brad Keselowski 12/1          19th           13th              5th              1st 
2011 winner. Mr. consistency: 15 straight top-10 finishes on 1.5-mile tracks ended at Texas.
 8. Denny Hamlin 15/1                6th             3rd              3rd            19th
2012 winner, runner-up last fall; second-best 10-consecutive lap average in practice 2.
 9. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 12/1        13th           20th           22nd             8th 
No wins in 19 starts, third last spring. Runner-up in two of three races on 1.5-mile tracks in 2016.
10. Kevin Harvick 5/1                  7th           30th           26th              7th
2013 winner, runner-up past two spring races. Bad news is no top-fives on three 1.5s in 2016.

* Results from March 6, 2016 Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a track that runs most similar to Kansas Speedway among three races on 1.5-mile tracks this season.

Odds courtesy of the Westgate SuperBook.

Micah Roberts, a former Las Vegas sports book director, has been setting NASCAR odds since 1994. Follow him on twitter @MicahRoberts7

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