Not being able to see any practice data this weekend isn’t ideal, and that also means that it’s going to be a pretty chalky week when it comes to DraftKings. Add in the fact that there are quite a few big names starting outside of the top 15 on Sunday afternoon and that only adds to the similar rosters we’re bound to see. With all that being said, though, it’s hard to really determine what’s going to happen at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday–especially when it comes to dominator points. And because of that uncertainty, you need to seriously evaluate some pivot options that could possibly put you in 1st as opposed to tying with 100 other teams for 2nd on Sunday.
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DraftKings Pivots for the 2017 Bank of America 500
Denny Hamlin ($9,200) instead of Chase Elliott ($9,400) -With Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch starting just one row behind Denny Hamlin on Sunday, it’s hard to see the #11 Toyota putting up many dominator points in DraftKings. Also throw in the fact that Hamlin is averaging just 9 fastest laps and 2 laps led per race on the 1.5-mile tracks this year, it could be a very quick stint out front for this #11 team. However, starting out front could be the differentiator this week. If you look at the other races at 1.5-mile tracks this year, the pole sitter has led at least 77 laps in all but one of them, and the exception was Harvick, who led just 45 laps here at Charlotte in the Coca-Cola 600. Still, those kind of results from pole sitters is noteworthy, and let’s not forget Hamlin’s record at this track; he led 52 laps in last year’s Bank of America 500 before an engine failure, and has led at least 20 laps in three of his last six starts at this track. With it being such a chalk type of week, Hamlin could be the differentiator that puts you ahead of the pack on Sunday. As far as Chase Elliott goes, don’t get too excited about last week’s performance at Dover. Chase loves that track and the Hendrick cars are great at “The Monster Mile.” Here at Charlotte, Elliott has run solidly in the past, but nothing really to make him stand out. In other words, it’s like the rest of the 1.5-mile tracks. Chase has an average finish of 12.7 at this track type in 2017 and is averaging just 11.3 fastest laps and 6 laps led per race on 1.5-mile venues. Most of those came at Chicagoland a couple of weeks ago, though, another track that Elliott really likes.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. ($7,800) instead of Austin Dillon ($7,700) – Yes, Austin Dillon is the most recent race winner here at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but let’s not forget that that was because of a fuel mileage gamble by the #3 team. There’s a reason Austin had just 2 laps led and 2 fastest laps in that entire race. Still, picking Austin Dillon was the right move in DraftKings that week because he ended up in victory lane. Don’t expect lightning to strike twice, though. The #3 Chevrolet will roll off the grid from 13th here on Sunday, and that’s right about where Austin will finish as well; in seven career starts here at Charlotte, he’s finished between 12th and 16th four times. Dale Earnhardt, Jr., on the other hand, is starting back in 23rd on Sunday afternoon but should be able to make up quite a few spots. In addition to an average finish of 15.7 on the 1.5-mile tracks this season, Junior has also been a solid top 15 threat for much of the last three of four years here at Charlotte. This #88 team is also coming off of one of the best races of their season thus far, so they should have a little pep in their step this weekend.
Kyle Larson ($10,400) instead of Kevin Harvick ($10,200) -One thing I like to do for place differential analyzing each week is look at the differences between the opening practice session of the weekend and the qualifying results. This weekend, Kyle Larson was the fastest in the opening practice session but wound up 10th in qualifying, and that tells me one thing: he’s a lot better than where he’s going to start on Sunday. This #42 team has turned things up a notch over the last two months, too, as far as their race cars go, as Larson has put up 60+ FPTS in five of the last six races. As far as Charlotte Motor Speedway goes, though, Kyle’s success has been limited, especially when you consider he has averaged just 9 fastest laps in the last five races here. Still, the #42 Chevrolet came home 5th in this race one year ago and Larson is going to be starting back in 10th here on Sunday, providing the opportunity for a good amount of place differential points. And with Martin Truex, Jr. ($10,900) starting back in 17th, there’s going to be a whole lot of lineups that simply won’t be able to afford Kyle Larson, simply because they want the former on their team. As far as Kevin Harvick goes, it’s hard to justify the $10,200 price tag when the #4 Ford hasn’t really dominated a race since Atlanta earlier this year. You can tell that the team is close, but honestly it