Welcome back race fans to FakePigskin’s coverage of NASCAR Daily Fantasy!
This week, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Dover International Speedway. This is the second race in a row that Cup Series races at a one mile track, however that’s where the similarities end. As opposed to New Hampshire’s flat, low speed asphalt layout, Dover is a fast, high-banked, concrete raceway where the walls on the exit of the turns seem to reach out and grab you! Due to Dover’s higher banked turns, it allows drivers to run different paths or “lines” which allows for more passing. The straightaways are also highly banked which can cause crashes that involve more cars than other racetracks.
Just like each NASCAR race, my picks are separated into 3 stages, All-Stars, Solid Performers, and Sleepers. Unlike on Sundays, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr aren’t at the top of each of them!
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- Martin Truex Jr. ($11,000): Surprise right? MTJ over the last five Dover races has an average finish of sixth according to DriverAverages.com with a series high 467 laps led! His worst finish over the same time period is 11th. What sets MTJ apart from other drivers is due to him being out front and usually leading laps, he rarely finds himself into a situation where he can be involved in an accident. This makes MTJ always low risk-high reward pick no matter the price. One more important factor is that this is MTJ’s home track.
- Kyle Larson ($10,200): Nascar’s Next Big Thing! Larson has been thought to be the best prospect to come into the Cup series since Joey Logano a decade ago. His background of Sprint Car racing has groomed him to move up the racing ladder quickly and this, his third season, he has broken out into a superstar! Larson has led 326 laps over the last five Dover races and has an average finish of 8.2. Most importantly, Larson wants to put his stamp on these playoffs early to show the competition that he’s a threat for this championship.
- Chase Elliot ($9,200): Chase Elliot comes from a rich family history. His dad, Bill Elliot, was a former NASCAR Cup Series champion and many times named Most Popular Driver. The apple hasn’t fallen fall from the tree as Chase as already won a championship in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series (NASCAR’s AAA league) at age 18! In his second full-time season in the Cup Series, Chase is still hunting that first win. Don’t be surprised if he breaks through Sunday as Chase’s average finish in his three Dover starts is 3.67! Now he hasn’t led any laps in those races, but in order to win, you must be up front. His salary of $9,200 seems to be the steal of the weekend.
- Kasey Kahne ($7,700): Kahne has been far from consistent in his tenure in the Hendrick Motorsports #5 car, but Dover has been a strong track for him over the last 5 races with an average finish of 8.6 and a worst finish of only 17th. This will be Kahne’s second race with his new crew chief, Darian Grubb. In his final season with Hendrick Motorsports, Kahne needs to take advantage of his stronger tracks in order to stay alive in the playoffs.
- Dale Earnhardt Jr ($7,900): I’m honestly surprised I’m writing about Jr before the Talladega race, but he has been consistent averaging a 15th place finish in his last four races. In his final NASCAR season, Jr wants to finish the best he can at each race which can lead to aggressive strategy calls to put him out in front towards the end of races. Longtime fans will remember that Jr won at Dover in 2001, which was the first race held after the 9/11 attacks. Now that was many years ago and cars are a lot different in 2017, but maybe some magic can happen.
- Aric Almirola ($5,800): Almirola has averaged a finish of 14.25 over his last four Dover races which is better than Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, and Kurt Busch! Four of those guys have won championships and I anticipate Logano winning s championship sooner than later. Do I expect him to finish better than those drivers barring any accidents or mechanical failures? No, but the numbers show Almirola will make it to the end of the race in a respectable finish. Almirola’s salary gives you a lot of options to maybe fit another All-Star in the top of your lineup
- Ryan Newman ($7,200): Two races, two times Newman has been a sleeper pick for me. After being a flashy driver who would win pole after pole early in his career, Newman has settled into a veteran consistent performer for Richard Childress Racing. Expect another top 15 finish this Sunday.
- Ross Chastain ($4,700): I’ll wait for you to clean your grande mocha latte off your screen… I know many of you might be saying “Who??” Chastain has been racing in the Xfinity series and had many strong finishes racing for Brad Keselowski’s Truck Series team. In the Spring Dover race, Chastain finished 20th in the lowly Premium Motorsports entry that usually has troubles breaking into to the top 30. Can he repeat that? Probably not unless there is a lot of attrition and luck but you never know!
Good luck this weekend! You can follow me on Twitter @ScottYoungLV. Feel free to leave any comments and feedback!
My picks from last week yielded many solid results:
- Martin Truex Jr: 5th
- Matt Kenseth: 3rd
- Daniel Suarez: 8th
- Joey Logano: 10th (started last!)
- Ryan Newman: 13th
- Ty Dillon: 22nd
- Kevin Harvick: 36th (Involved in an accident)