Daily Fantasy NASCAR Race Preview & Picks for DraftKings - Foxwoods Resort Casino 301
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Foxwoods Resort Casino 301
New Hampshire Motor Speedway - Loudon, NH
Track - 1.058 Mile Oval Intermediate
Another week, another "Big 3" win as Martin Truex Jr. dominated the race in Kentucky winning stage one and two, leading 174 laps and picking up his fourth win on the season. Just to put into perspective how dominant the Big 3 have been, they have a combined 14 wins in the first 19 races, all seven on mile and a half tracks. Clint Bowyer is the only other driver to win multiple races(wins at Martinsville and Michigan) and Logano, Jones, and Dillon have picked up wins at the plate races. Some people would love to see an old-school approach to the series champion where points determined the champion but the new playoff structure ensures that Busch, Truex, and Harvick are not mortal locks to win as anything can happen once the elimination rounds begin.
This week the Monster Energy Cup Series travels to Loudon and New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 this Sunday afternoon. New Hampshire is classified on some sites as a one-mile intermediate but races a lot like a short track and is one of the flatter tracks on the circuit. This makes it difficult to pass putting a ton of emphasis on track position and for fantasy leading laps. There have been two drivers to lead 95 or more laps in each of the last four races here and each one of those drivers started inside the Top 10 starting positions. To further the point, of the drivers finishing Top 10 at the end of the race, six of them have started Top 10 in five of the last six races and only 10 drivers in those six races finished Top 10 after starting outside the Top 20(17%). Even with the introduction of stage racing, place differential has been tough to come by as last year saw just two and four drivers pick up double-digit place differential here.
Let's now jump in and take a look at some of the track trends and pre-qualifying picks for this week.
Last Six Winners at New Hampshire
- Kyle Busch(started 1st, led 187 laps)
- Denny Hamlin(started 8th, led 54 laps)
- Kevin Harvick(started 19th, led 8 laps)
- Matt Kenseth(started 18th, led 38 laps)
- Matt Kenseth(started 13th, led 27 laps)
- Kyle Busch(started 4th, led 96 laps)
Top 5 Current Track History at New Hampshire
No one has been better here at New Hampshire lately than Matt Kenseth. He won the race in July in of 2016 and is the only driver to finish Top 5 or 10 in each of the last four races here. It could be a different story this time around, however, as he is no longer in elite equipment as he now drives the #6 for Roush Fenway. Sitting second in average finish(6.0) and first in average DK points per race(91.9) over the last two years(four races) is Kyle Busch who dominated the race last playoffs starting from the pole and leading 187 laps. His teammate, Daniel Suarez, is right behind him as he impressed here in his rookie season with two Top 10 finishes. Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr. sit tied with a 7.8 average finish in the last four races but Truex has the fantasy edge with a series-leading 513 laps led, good for 88.1 DK/73.6 FD points per race. Not shown above is Kevin Harvick who won the playoff race here in 2016 and is the only other driver outside of Kenseth with three Top 5's in the last four races.
Top 5 Career Track History at New Hampshire
How tough of a track has New Hampshire been over the years? Well, no one driver has dominated here with six drivers tied with three career wins apiece and looking at the names, they are all seasoned veterans. Of that group, Denny Hamlin leads the way with a 10.1 career average finish with Jimmie Johnson close behind with a 10.6 career average finish. Jimmie also sits tied with Matt Kenseth as both drivers have 21 career Top 10 finishes here at New Hampshire. Kyle Busch has been a fantasy gem here at New Hampshire over the last three years as he has led 514 laps for an average of 74.8 DK/68.1 FD points per race. Martin Truex Jr. is a close second DraftKings as he has led 513 laps, at least 100 in each of the last four races here.
Top 5 Current Form (Last Six Races)
For the longest time, it was the big two until the 2017 series champion Martin Truex Jr. put his name back in the hat and made it a "Big 3". Over the last six races, he has three wins including the first non-Busch/Harvick winner at a mile and a half track last weekend at Kentucky. Kevin Harvick and the #4 team haven't won since Kansas(seems like forever ago, right?) but he has been very consistent with Top 5's in five of the last six races and was involved in a crash at Daytona and came in 19th. With almost identical form as Harvick, Kyle Busch crashed out at Daytona and has Top 5's in the other five races including the win at Chicago. Clint Bowyer stays in the Top 5 form ranks despite back to back finishes outside the Top 10 and sneaking into the Top 5 this week is Erik Jones who picked up his first career win and followed it up with his fourth straight Top 10 finish overall.
Pre Qualifying/Practice Targets
Before seeing any practice or qualifying it would be hard not to lean Truex of the "Big 3". He returns to New Hampshire with back to back Top 5's, three straight Top 10's and he has led 100 or more laps in four straight races here. He also comes in red-hot with five Top 5's in his last six races including three wins. The #78 team has found it's 2017 form and going to be a factor right up until the final race of the season once again.
Speaking of red-hot drivers, Erik Jones comes in with three straight Top 10 finishes including his first career win at Daytona where he passed and held off Truex. In his rookie season as Truex's teammate, Jones crashed out in the first New Hampshire race(39th) but rebounded in a big way in September starting 8th and finishing 6th.
Chris Buescher(DK - $5,700 FD - $7,000)
One value driver I will be monitoring closely through practice and qualifying will be Chris Buescher. He leads all drivers in the $6K or cheaper price range(DK) with an average of 24.4 DK points per race this season and the current form has been even better as he is averaging 36 DK/46.5 FD points per race over the last six which is best among all drivers int eh sub $8K range(DK). He now returns to New Hampshire where he finished Top 25 in both races last season.
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.