We’ve reached the midway(ish) point in the Cup series circuit and it’s time again for the NASCAR All-Star Race. This season, the winningest drivers in the sport will compete at the Texas Motor Speedway for the million-dollar prize. Fort Worth will host the fastest mile-and-a-half race of the season. While drivers will run normal aero packages for 1.5-mile tracks, their engines will set up as if they were on a superspeedway track. There will be wide-open action and plenty of passing.
The rules and format of this race is unlike a normal regular-season event. This 100 lap extravaganza is full of more twists and turns than last week’s race in Sonoma. You can click here for the full breakdown of how this race will play out. One thing is for sure, it’s a great day to get in on a Monkey Knife Fight prop contest.
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Here are some of my favorite plays from this week’s contests. Scoring in these contests is based on finishing positions inside the Top 20 with 20 points awarded to first place. An additional 0.1 points are tacked on for each lap led. Below are some picks to help you get started in your MKF contests.
More Or Less
Kyle Larson More Than 20.5 Fantasy Points
Nothing has slowed Kyle Larson down lately. He has taken home the checkered flag from the last two races. Before that, he ripped off three straight second-place runs. There have only been five races this season in which he has not finished inside the Top 10. Nine times he’s posted a Top-5 finish including three total wins. It is not a cliche to say that he is the hottest driver on the track right now.
Sunday he heads to a track on which he traditionally does not run well. In his Chip Ganassi, he’s suffered three finishes of 36th or worse over his last five outings on this track. The good news here is he is no longer with his former team. He now drives for a Hendrick Motorsports team that owns the record for the most NASCAR All-Star Race wins. A pilot of an HMS car has taken home the million-dollar purse nine times since the invention of the race in 1985.
Larson is starting from the pole this week. Last week he started from the pole and won. Over the course of that race, he endured several shake-ups in the field. Each time powered his car to the front. There is no question that he has what it takes to find his way to the front no matter how many times the field is inverted. He also won the Open and the All-Star Race in 2019. He’s the favorite to win for good reason. Load up this prop and don’t look back.
Kyle Busch More Than 17.5 Fantasy Points
He hid it well, but Kyle Busch ended his run in Sonoma a frustrated driver. He admitted his #18 Toyota Camry had nothing for the Hendrick cars that finished in front of him. The fact of the matter is that it’s been that way all season. Busch has only one win on the season, but several competitive runs. Two weeks ago, he finished third in Charlotte. Last week in Sonoma he managed to start and finish in fifth place.
All that said, this race is an entirely different animal, one that Rowdy has tamed at least once. In 2017, Busch won the million dollars riding a second place start to the checkered flag. This week he’ll start from that same second place position. What’s more is that in three out of the last four All-Star appearances, he has hit this prop. If that wasn’t enough, the #18 car was the last to win at the Texas Motor Speedway. Expect Busch to hit this mark again on Sunday.
Chase Elliott (+1.5) More Fantasy Points Than Denny Hamlin
As hot as his teammate has been as of late, Chase Elliott has been holding his own on the track. The #9 car has six straight Top-10 finishes. These include four Top-3 finishes with rain assisted win at the COTA track in the mix. His performance at the Texas Motor Speedway over the last four seasons does put this prop in question though. While he’s placed inside the Top 15 twice, he’s also finished 20th and 32nd in that span. That said, he is the reigning champion of the All-Star race having taken home the checkered flag in Bristol last season.
The case for Denny Hamlin to be on the short end of this prop is not for lack of talent. Hamlin is also a past winner of this race. Of course, that is when it took place in Charlotte, but he’s a winner nonetheless. This prediction rests solely on Hamlin’s starting draw as well as the momentum of his opponent. The #11 car can claim 11 Top-10 finishes in the 15 starts made with Hamlin as the pilot. Even still, he’d likely need to win again, or find a way to beat the seemingly unbeatable on Sunday to win this prop. It also doesn’t hurt that Elliot has a point-and-a-half head start.
Kyle Busch More Fantasy Points Than Kevin Harvick (+0.5)
The case for Kyle Busch to finish with a decent share of fantasy points has been made. To strengthen the case, Busch has finished inside the Top 10 in the All-Star race in nine out of his last ten appearances. He’s also led 345 total laps in the last 11 races in Fort Worth which lands him fifth on the leaderboard in that span. From his second-place starting spot, he should be able to lead at least a handful of the 100 laps on Sunday. This will give him the edge for this prop.
It won’t be an easy task as Kevin Harvick is also good, not only at this track, but at the All-Star race in general. Three out of the last five checkered flags have gone his way in this format. His only downfall here is his 12th place starting position. Should he get caught up in any trouble along the way, especially early, it almost won’t matter how adept he is at maneuvering through the mid-season special’s quirks. Also, his potential to not lead as many laps as his opponent hampers his shot at cashing this prop.