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May 3, 2024

NASCAR survivor pool: NASCAR.com’s 36 for 36 picks for Kansas


36 for 36 graphic.
NASCAR

NASCAR.com’s 36 for 36 continues at Kansas Speedway.

With 36 races and 36 full-time Charter cars, our players select one car per race, but there’s a simple twist: once they’ve made the pick, they can’t choose that car again for the rest of the 36-race season. Yes, that means every car will be selected exactly once … a survivor pool, by another name.

Follow along weekly as our panel of pickers — Dustin Albino from Jayski, along with Steve Luvender and Cameron Richardson from NASCAR.com — embarks on a season-long journey to think like strategists and prove their picking prowess.

We’ll also feature a fourth “community” 36 for 36 pick each week, as decided by fan vote on the r/NASCAR subreddit. Can the collective vote topple our trio of full-timers?

Current Standings:

RankNamePointsBehind
T-1Steve Luvender284
T-1Dustin Albino284
3Cameron Richardson235-49
4r/NASCAR Community219-65

Race 12 of 36: Kansas

Last week’s race at Dover tightened up the race for the top spot among our pickers. Steve Luvender and Cameron Richardson selected Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who crashed out of the race and earned just five points. That allowed Dustin Albino to capitalize in a big way — his pick of Martin Truex Jr. collected 51 points after a third-place finish, setting up for a tie atop the leaderboard after 11 races. The r/NASCAR community escaped with a solid 25-point performance from Ross Chastain’s 12th-place finish.

Kansas is the next stop for our picking panel, and it just may be an unpredictable one. Between two races at the track last year, the caution waved 20 times in total, and seven different drivers have won the last seven races.

Jayski’s Dustin Albino: No. 3, Austin Dillon

Dustin’s pick last week: No. 19, Martin Truex Jr.
Points earned last week: 51 (third-place finish)
Total season points: 284 (first place, tied)

Dustin: Thank you, Martin Truex Jr. With a big, 51-point day in Dover, I’m now tied for the points lead. Three weeks ago, this guy was in the cellar. But after putting a string of good performances together, we’ve jumped 68 points between Texas and Dover. We’re riding with another Bass Pro Shops driver — though he will be sponsored by Bioethanol this weekend — at Kansas in Austin Dillon. The beginning third of the 2024 season has been disastrous for the No. 3 team, but the series comes to one of its better tracks in recent years. Before finishing 33rd last fall at Kansas, Dillon had six consecutive top-15 finishes, including a trio of 10th-place results. It’s time for the No. 3 team to right the ship.

NASCAR.com’s Steve Luvender: No. 42, John Hunter Nemechek

Steve’s pick last week: No. 47, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Points earned last week: 5 (35th-place finish)
Total season points: 284 (first place, tied)

Steve: What a disaster. A top-10 run for my Dover pick Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ended in a crash and a dismal five-point result last weekend, and now Dustin’s tied with me for the points lead. Onward to Kansas. I’m taking a chance on John Hunter Nemechek, who I believe is an overlooked choice. A quiet Cup Series season so far shouldn’t let you forget that JHN won at Kansas twice in the Xfinity Series — including last year — and he claimed the Craftsman Truck Series race trophy in 2022. Not for nothing, Nemechek also posted respectable top-20 finishes in the two races in the Sunflower State during his rookie Cup season driving for Front Row Motorsports in 2020. His father, Joe, won at Kansas in 2004, so I’d say let’s keep this family tradition going.

NASCAR.com’s Cameron Richardson: No. 11, Denny Hamlin

Cameron Richardson's 36 for 36 Kansas pick.

Cameron’s pick last week: No. 47, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Points earned last week: 5 (35th-place finish)
Total season points: 219 (fourth place)

Cameron: Two poor finishes in a row, so it’s really time for me to get back on track. I’m locking in Dover winner Hamlin for Kansas. Without a doubt, the first half of the season has been paced by Joe Gibbs Racing and Hendrick Motorsports as Hamlin and William Byron have three wins apiece to lead the Cup Series. The No. 11 team also has a ridiculous 2.3 average finish in four Next Gen races at Kansas Speedway, including a win in this race last spring. Either I get a big points day in a few days, or I may just be bad luck to these drivers.

r/NASCAR Community: No. 23, Bubba Wallace

NASCAR Reddit community's 36 for 36 Kansas pick.

r/NASCAR’s pick last week: No. 1, Ross Chastain
Points earned last week: 25 (12th-place finish)
Total season points: 235 (third place)

The r/NASCAR community selected 2022 Kansas winner Bubba Wallace for this weekend.

What Redditors said in the voting thread:

u/PrimalCookie: “Kansas is 23XI’s playground, 3 wins in 4 NextGen races. I’d rather take Bubba this week and save Reddick for a road course (or even the other Kansas race), but either would be a fine pick here.”

u/Dont_Hate_the_8: “We’ve gotta pick a 23XI car this week. I say Bubba because Reddick is also a solid choice for road courses.”

u/Joey_Logano: “23XI has been super fast here since 2022.”

u/ChaseTheFalcon: “Definitely the right pick”

Check back next week to see how our pickers fared as the season-long 36 for 36 journey continues.

And, if you’ve got a competitive itch beyond meticulously managing your Fantasy Live lineup each week, feel free to save or print your own 36 for 36 sheet and see if you can beat our pickers and the Reddit community!

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