What a race at Darlington! Sheldon Creed looked bound for his first career Xfinity Series win after taking the lead on a late round of pit stops. Creed was then run down by 2021 Cup champion Kyle Larson and the two put on a show. Some very clean and respectful back and forth racing they traded paint the last few laps, Creed got into the wall and went full send around the wall for the last lap in a video game-style ending. As the two collided Junior Motorsports driver Noah Gragson maneuvered his way around them and claimed his 4th win of the 2022 Xfinity Series campaign.
This week they head to the Land of Oz. Kansas Speedway is a 1.5-mile tri-oval-shaped track nestled in the Village West area near Kansas City Kansas. The 23-year-old speedway underwent a repave in 2012, the surface now 10 years old has started to wear out and make this a very racey track. The Xfinity Series had the week off when the Cup Series was in town in the spring of this year, in 2021 it was Ty Gibbs, still running just a part-time schedule who passed Austin Cindric with 11-laps to go who claimed the victory.
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NASCAR Xfinity Best Bets: Kansas Lottery 300
Noah Gragson Over Ty Gibbs (+130)
In two of the last three “true oval races,” (not road courses or superspeedways) Gragson has beaten Gibbs straight up, on Friday evening Gibbs qualified 2nd and Gragson 5th. The practice session before that had Gibbs 1st and Gragson 2nd. The point being these drivers are too close in both talent, ability, and equipment for either side to be at +130 (The Gibbs side is -150). While I like Gragson this week a lot in general, this is just a pure value play.
Sammy Smith Over Ross Chastain (+100)
Ross Chastain is in the #48 for Big Machine Racing again. Last week at Darlington he got a 15th place finish and wasn’t heard from all day. This car has seen a flash with Tyler Reddick winning in it earlier this season, but it’s not a great car and Chastain hasn’t done much to elevate it. Sammy Smith is in that #18 Gibbs car that is always fast. With Kyle Busch likely to leave Toyota and Martin Truex Jr nearing the end of his career, Smith wants to impress, while that’s a ways away for him he needs to build that resume now. Smith was also the 3rd fastest in practice to Chastain’s 10th.
To Win: Noah Gragson (+400)
I’ve been on him all week, and I’m not going to stop now. Noah is fresh off winning Darlington and ready to continue to build momentum for the playoff run that starts after Bristol next week. A top-10 in 13 of his last 15 races Noah is one of the best in the business, he goes to the Cup Series next season full time, but right now all eyes are on that championship trophy and a win here at Kansas gets him one step closer to that final-4 berth.
To Win Long-shot: Sammy Smith (+2000)
I stated my case above for Smith to beat Chastain above. 3rd fastest in practice shows he has speed and we know he’s motivated. I don’t know if he can beat Gragson or Gibbs straight up. We saw it last week though, run a clean race and be in position late and sometimes that’s all you need. 20/1 for a car this good with this much speed is too good to pass up.
NASCAR Xfinity DraftKings DFS Picks: Kansas Lottery 300
DFS Top Play: Noah Gragson ($11,000)
The highest-priced driver on the slate has been performing at the top level the last few weeks. Starting 2nd last week and leading 82 laps before being in the right place at the right time to snag that win scored him 77.3-points at Darlington. Not counting the superspeedway madness at Dayton where he managed to hold on for 16th Gragson has finished top-10 in 13 of the last 14 races in the Xfinity Series. Leasing more than 30 laps in 8 of those races. Gragson rolls off 6th at Kansas.
Great Play: Sheldon Creed ($8,600)
Creed was so close to getting that first win last week. These Richard Childress Racing cars have been fast all year. We talked about it on the NASCAR GAMBLING PODCAST, earlier this year you just couldn’t trust him to finish races well. That seems to be a thing of the past, Sheldon is getting things figured out and sits just 16-points outside of the playoffs. $8,600 is a steal for a driver with this upside, and starting 3rd he’ll likely be under-rostered.
Value Play: Anthony Alfredo ($7,600)
Fast pasta must have had some bad pasta last week. While dry heaving in the car under caution, he wrecked into the back of John Hunter Nemechek and ended his day early. Despite that, he’s had a very solid car with 4 finishes of 18th or better before Daytona. Rolling off Saturday in 22nd Alfredo should be a pretty safe play with some upside.
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