Daily Fantasy NASCAR Race Preview & Picks for DraftKings - AAA 400 Drive for Autism
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AAA 400 Drive for Autism
Dover International Speedway - Dover, DE
Track - One-Mile Oval Intermediate
It was a Ford dominated Talladega race last weekend as Joey Logano led a race-high 70 laps to pick up his first win of the season with his manufacturer teammates making up six of the top seven finishing positions. For Logano, it was his third win at Dega in the last six races and for Penske Racing it was their sixth win at the track in the last eight races. It was a pretty quiet race, in terms of cautions & crashes, up until Lap 165 where The Big One finally happened. It involved 14 cars including some contenders in Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer, William Byron, Paul Menard, and others.
This week the Monster Energy Cup Series heads to the Monster Mile, Dover International Speedway, for the AAA Drive for Autism. It is a unique track in that it has the speed similar to a mile and a half track but the aggressiveness of a short track and some people refer to it is a bigger, faster Bristol. Some of the interesting aspects are that cars go low into the high-banked corners and then pop up the track like an incline as they get into the straightaways. The key to winning here is also similar to Bristol in that you have to walk a fine line between being aggressive and staying out of trouble. Track position is also a big factor as cars starting at the rear can go a lap or two down very early and it's very difficult to get those laps back.
From a fantasy standpoint, dominator points are back in the mix this week as we have seen multiple drivers lead 100 or more laps n three straight and four of the last six races here. With FanDuel adding fantasy NASCAR this past week there are a few early takeaways I have noticed when running the past fantasy numbers. On DraftKings, it is very tough to roster drivers who start inside the Top 10 but don't really have dominator potential(laps led, fast laps) but on FanDuel you can most definitely stomach these drivers as fast laps are not a factor but drivers do receive points for laps completed. One example, and you will see it below is Daniel Suarez who has started inside the Top 5 in back to back races here at Dover, led zero laps and finished with 35 and 35.5 DK points but 71.5 and 74.1 FD points. It will be something to watch for and I will discuss following qualifying when I go over my top picks for each site. Let's jump into the race trends and pre-qualifying targets.
Last Six Winners at Auto Club Speedway
- Kyle Busch(started 2nd, led 30 laps)
- Jimmie Johnson(started 14th, led 7 laps)
- Martin Truex Jr.(started 2nd, led 187 laps)
- Matt Kenseth(started 10th, led 48 laps)
- Kevin Harvick(started 15th, led 355 laps)
- Jimmie Johnson(started 14th, led 23 laps)
Top 5 Current Track History at Dover International Speedway
From an average finish perspective, no one has been better here at Dover over the last two years than Chase Elliott who has finished Top 5 in all four races(3.3 average finish). From a fantasy perspective, it has been Kyle Larson who has dominated here at Dover as he has three Top 5's in the last four races with a series leading 463 laps and an average of 119.9 DK/97.5 FD points per race. Martin Truex Jr. has a win here in the fall of 2016 and is the only other driver besides Elliott to finish all four races inside the Top 10. Let's take a look at fantasy scoring leaders for both DraftKings and FanDuel.
Top 5 Career Track History at Dover International Speedway
We talked about Elliott above and his recent dominance early in his career but it has been his teammate Jimmie Johnson who is the King here as he leads all drivers(by a wide margin) with 11 career wins and 9.1 average finish. Daniel Suarez impressed a lot of people here in his rookie season with finishes of 6th and 8th last year but as you can see above, he wasn't a great fantasy play on DraftKings as he led no laps and had minimal fast laps. If FanDuel had a game last year, he would have been a much better play there as the laps completed and less scoring for dominator points brought him much closer to the top fantasy drivers. Keep this in mind when constructing lineups this week if you are playing both sites. Clint Bowyer falls into the same category as he has led just one lap in the last six races but finished every race(4 of the 6 on lead lap) and would have been a much better FanDuel play.
Top 5 Current Track Type History(One-Mile Intermediate)
I won't be weighing the results of the track type this week as well three one-mile tracks(New Hampshire, Phoenix, Dover) are all different in their own ways but one driver who stands out when looking at this list is Kyle Busch. Since the start of 2016, Busch has two wins(New Hampshire & Dover) and has finished inside the Top 10 in 10 of the 13 races with a whopping 886 laps led. His teammate Daniel Suarez is right behind him as he has finished Top 10 in his first seven one-mile intermediate races. Chase Elliott hasn't just been good at Dover but all three one-mile tracks as he has six Top 5's and eight Top 10's in his first 13 races on this track type. Last year's champions, Martin Truex Jr, has been on a quite a role on the one-mile tracks with six straight Top 5 finishes and won here at Dover in 2016 and over the last 13 races he has led a series leading 903 laps.
Top 5 Current Form (Last Six Races)
For the first time since the Daytona 500, Kyle Busch did not finish inside the Top 10(13th at Talladega). He still leads the form ranks with an incredible 3.5 average finish over the last six races thanks to that three-race winning streak. After five straight Top 10 finishes and eight in his first nine races, Joey Logano broke through at Talladega with his first win of the season closing the gap between he and Busch at least from an average finish standpoint. After those two drivers, it is a Stewart-Haas train with Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, and Clint Bowyer.
Pre Qualifying/Practice Targets
He has been on a terrible run as of late with finishes of 26th, 14th, 30th, and 37th in his last four races but no better place for him to get back on track(no pun intended) than here at the Monster Mile. He has finished Top 5 in three races here including a win in October of 2016 and he has also finished Top 10 in seven of his last eight trips here to Dover.
Elliott is still seeking his first career win in the Cup series and I would not be surprised at all if it came here at Dover as he has finished each of his first four races here at the Monster Mile inside the Top 5. He has been somewhat inconsistent to start the 2018 season with three finishes outside the Top 25 but appears to be heating up with back to back Top 3 finishes.
It is a small sample size but Daniel Suarez has been terrific here at Dover. He has started inside the Top 5 in both races last year and ended up with a 6th and 8th place finish and best of all, comes with a value price. On DraftKings, we are going to want to see him qualify back a bit to make it worth it but on FanDuel we can live with a Top 10 starting position.
Below you will find a copy of my DFS NASCAR cheathsheet which includes Track History, Current Form, DraftKings points averages, Track Type History, Practice/Qualifying Ranks and much more.
If you have any questions scroll down to the comment section and join the conversation.Good Luck everyone!
Chris Durell has been playing Daily Fantasy Sports for four years and fantasy in general for more than a decade. He is an active player in NFL, MLB, NHL, PGA, and of course NASCAR. He lives in Saskatchewan, Canada with his wife and two daughters. You can follow him on Twitter at @jager_bombs9 for advice, strategy, answers to any NASCAR questions or how he copes with the winters up north.