Kevin Harvick $12,300: I can’t argue with saving $700 and choosing Kyle Busch, who has had great success at ISM recently (5 T5s in L6). However I can’t go against Kevin Harvick at ISM, especially given the week he’s had. After being penalized for an illegal spoiler and giving up his win last week, he’s battling for his place in next week’s finale at Homestead. But he’s also out to prove a point. Earlier this year Harvick was penalized before heading to ISM and he went on to win the spring race and gave a shoutout to the haters afterwards. He has dominated the weekend thus far by winning the pole and being the fastest in both practices Saturday. He has 9 career wins at ISM and in his L10 races here, he has 9 T5s and 6 wins with over 1100 laps led. I can’t fade Harvick this week at arguably his best track when he’ll be driving to prove a point.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. $7,600: I’m not sure where Stenhouse’s lap came from but he will roll of 3rd on Sunday after a great qualifying run. In his career at ISM, his best start was 10th. In his L5 races at ISM, he has an average finish of 19.0 and only 2 T20s. He did run well here last year and finished 8th. But with his 3rd starting position, it takes away any value he has for finishing T10 unless he runs T5. I don’t expect that Sunday and Stenhouse is an easy fade for me.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. $7,600 to Daniel Suarez $7,800: It was made official this week that Martin Truex Jr. will join Joe Gibbs Racing next year, taking over for Daniel Suarez. I believe Suarez will continue to race hard and in all honesty, he may be auditioning for a ride next year as his plans haven’t been made official yet. I already stated earlier why I’m fading Stenhouse and Suarez is a perfect pivot. He has 3 career starts at ISM with an average finish of 11th and 2 T10s. In those 3 races he has an average place differential of +6.3. He qualified 26th and I expect a place differential of at least 10 tomorrow and possibly more if he’s battling for a T10. I give Suarez an edge to finish ahead of Stenhouse and giving their starting positions, Suarez is an easy choice here.