Ladies and gentlemen, DraftKings NASCAR is back!
Now, we still have a week to go until the big Daytona 500 (and DraftKings’ Daytona special with $100,000 going to first) but there’s still a few races before the season really gets going–and it starts this afternoon with the Advance Auto Parts Clash.
Now, this race is pretty different than most, starting with the fact that there’s only 17 cars entered in the race. This obviously cuts down on the overall potential of unique lineups, which increases the odds of a bunch of ties for the top spots in contests. That means we’re going to have to think outside of the box a bit, but first let’s look at the no-brainers.
Must Have Drivers in the Clash
Brad Keselowski ($9,500) – The starting lineup was set by random draw for this race, and Brad Keselowski got the worst pick of the field: dead last. From a DraftKings standpoint, though, that makes him a must-own. Yes, Keselowski is going to be highly owned in all contests–although his $9,500 price tag might take ownership down a notch–but it’s one of those situations where you should just go with the crowd and make up ground with your other five guys. The fact of the matter is that Keselowski has the highest floor of all drivers on Sunday, as there’s no way he can earn less than 27 FPTS. Also, don’t forget that the Fords are the cars to beat on restrictor plate tracks, and Brad Keselowski had the best average driver rating on these big superspeedways during the 2017 season.
Ryan Blaney ($7,100) – We’ll stick with another Penske driver here in Ryan Blaney, who will be looking to make a splash with his new team on Sunday. Now, there’s a few reasons why I like the #12 Ford on Sunday despite the awful paint scheme: 1.) Blaney starts back in 15th, which obviously gives him plenty of room to move up and get those place differential points; 2.) He’s in a Ford and was the fastest car on the track in the final practice session on Saturday; and 3.) He actually ran really well on the restrictor plate tracks in 2017, posting the top average running position and ranking in the top 10 in average fastest laps as well.
Worth The Risk?
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. ($7,400) – The #17 Ford was in a league of its own on the restrictor plate tracks in 2017, and that kind of advantage doesn’t suddenly go away in one year. Stenhouse has always been a very good racer at the superspeedways, and now he has the engine to get him to victory lane. Looking at this weekend, Ricky will start from 8th, which is a little higher than I like, but he’s moderately priced at $7,400. Stenhouse could very easily win this race this afternoon, but as far as DraftKings goes, I really like him as a fade option–assuming, of course, he’s one of the higher-owned drivers.
Joey Logano ($8,300) – The #22 team drew the #3 starting spot for Sunday’s Advance Auto Parts Clash, which typically translates to an “avoid at all costs” designation in DraftKings. However, like I mentioned before, The Clash isn’t your typical race, and chances are the winning lineup on Sunday is going to have one or two drivers in it that you didn’t even consider. By going with Logano, you’re looking to get some dominator points: this is only a 75-lap event, so there’s not going to be many points awarded for fastest laps and laps led. However, those can be the difference between a good lineup and a really good lineup. The main reason I like Logano on Sunday? He’s in a Ford and he’s had the most fastest laps here at Daytona over the last five races.
Fade That Pick!
Ryan Newman ($5,700) – The Advance Auto Parts Clash is typically won by a driver that is aggressive enough to put it all on the line on Sunday. Does that sound like an accurate description of Ryan Newman? I didn’t think so. “The Rocketman” is often lauded as one of those restrictor plate sleepers–and I don’t disagree there. But with his super low price point for The Clash, as well as the fact that he starts back in 11th, I’m going to stay away from him and hope bad lucks finds its way to the #31 team on Sunday. Also, you have to wonder how these new Chevys are going to run–yeah, the word in the garage area is that there’s a ton of speed there, but typically it takes about half a season before that speed shows up on the track. Maybe there’s a reason that the Chevrolets occupied five of the six bottom spots on the practice speed chart on Saturday…