Nascar DFS – The Fastest Get Paid: The Championship 4

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Welcome to the season finale FakePigskin’s coverage of NASCAR DFS!

The Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series returns to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the championship race of the 2017 Nascar Playoffs. Homestead-Miami is another 1.5 mile track, but it’s quite different than the ‘cookie-cutter’ 1.5 milers such as Las Vegas, Charlotte, and Texas. Homestead-Miami is a ‘paper clip’ shape like Martinsville and Dover as opposed to a ‘D’ shape. Homestead-Miami also features progressive banking in the corners ranging from 18 degrees on the inside lane and 20 degrees on the outside lane. The inside lane will be the shorter route, but also contains the flatter banking while the outside lane is the last meet way, but will carry more speed.

Four drivers are gunning the championship: Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Brad Keselowski. Truex Jr is hungry for his 1st Cup Series  championship after winning two championships in, what’s now the Xfinity Series, over a decade ago. After leading the series with seven wins this season, Truex Jr did not win a race in the 3rd round of the playoffs, but clinched his position in this race based on the points he scored. Busch, Harvick, and Keselowski are running for their 2nd championship to validate their careers. Busch and Harvick each won a race in the 3rd round of the playoffs, while Keselowski pointed his way in after a WILD Phoenix race. All four drivers are starting in the top 10 for this race so they will be racing around each other all day!

Just like each NASCAR DFS race, my picks are separated into three stages, my All Stars, Solid Performers, and Sleepers. Drivers, let’s start your money making engines!

All-Stars

Martin Truex Jr. ($11,100): As previously stated, Truex leads the Series with 7 wins, primarily on the 1.5 mike tracks, however past history doesn’t dictate Truex is a play here. This year will be different, after being the dominant car and driver for the past two seasons, Truex finally makes the championship race after missing out last season. Truex also had the pole position in hand for Sunday’s race until Denny Hamlin sniped him at the last moment. Truex doesn’t want to leave this race to chance, so he will lead as many laps as possible and stay up front.

Matt Kenseth ($9,100): Kenseth had the most popular win of the season last week at Phoenix, battling with Chase Elliott for the win, trading the lead in the final 30 laps! Kenseth, who possibly is running in his final race on Sunday, scored his 39th career win. Last week’s momentum has carried over this week where Kenseth is starting fourth. As a Kenseth fan since 1999, I nearly shed a tear seeing him win. I remember his first win in the Coke 600 as a rookie in 2000 when I was 11 years old, now seeing his career coming to a close Sunday, nothing would make me happier Sunday than to see him go back to back!

Denny Hamlin ($8,900): My last All-Star is our pole winner! After last week’s controversial run-in with Chase Elliott, Hamlin is hungry to win a race to throw it back at Elliott and the rest of the series to end his season on a great moment. Hamlin has a 9.5 average finish in his last Homestead races and will lower that after Sunday’s race. His lower salary allows more flexibility in your line up.

Solid Performers

Kurt Busch ($8,300): Kurt Busch has been a regular in this category and will close out the season here. Over the last two races, Kurt has averaged a 10.5 finish and will be starting eighth on Sunday. There’s rumors that Kurt’s team, Stewart-Haas Racing wants Kurt to take a pay cut next season with Monster being uncertain of their sponsorship next season. Kurt need to finish the season strong if he wants to get PAID!
Erik Jones ($8,100): The “feast or famine” driver of the year, Erik Jones returns to my picks. Being teammates with Martin Truex Jr. provides you with great equipment, however Erik has lacked in luck this season, getting caught up in many accidents not of his making. Last week Jones had a solid top 5 finish at Phoenix and wants to finish the year strong in his last start for Furniture Row Racing.

Jamie McMurray ($7,700): I’ve had rough luck with McMurray in my picks, but I’m willing to roll the dice one last time! Jamie Mac is starting a solid 13th place and has averaged a ninth place finish over the last two races.
Sleepers

Ricky Stenhouse Jr ($6,900): Along with Erik Jones, Stenhouse has also has had a “feast or famine” season, even within races. Last week in Phoenix, Stenhouse struggled while running in the high 20th place but rallied to finish in the top 10. Stenhouse has showed this weekend he has good speed and starts sixth this Sunday.

Daniel Suarez ($7,000): Suarez scored his Xfinity Series championship last season with a win at Homestead. Even though he’s not fighting for a championship this year, Suarez is starting a strong 10th and is looking to close out a solid rookie campaign.

Michael McDowell ($5,800): We have a bonus Sleeper this week! McDowell finished a strong 10th last year for Leavine Family Racing who is improving race by race in their short existence. This weekend is McDowell’s last start for the team, so look for them to finish in the top 15.

Good luck this week and let’s make some money as we are hitting the stretch run of the Playoffs. You can follow me on Twitter @ScottYoungLV and please shoot me any questions or comments.

My picks last week yielded many solid results, with the lowest driver finishing 21st!

Chase Elliott: 2nd

Erik Jones: 4th

Kevin Harvick: 5th

Kyle Busch: 9th

Ty Dillon: 11th

Ryan Blaney: 17th

Ryan Newman: 20th

Kurt Busch: 21st

*All driver stats are referenced from DriverAverages.com

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