Daily Fantasy NASCAR Race Preview & Picks for DraftKings - Go Bowling at The Glen
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Go Bowling at The Glen
Watkins Glen International - Watkins Glen, NY
Track - 2.428 Mile Road Course
Welcome back race fans. A week after being bumped out of the way for the win at New Hampshire, Kyle Busch went to Pocono and picked up his sixth win of the season after starting back in the 28th position. With Harvick and the #4 team receiving a 10-point(driver & owner) penalty for failing inspection multiple times last week, Busch now holds the points lead by 48 points. That is very significant as the regular season champion receives an additional 15 playoff points. With just five races remaining in the regular season, let's take a look at the drivers on the bubble for the playoffs.
- 15th - Jimmie Johnson(547 pts)
- 16th - Alex Bowman(496 pts)
- 17th - Ricky Stenhouse Jr.(440 pts)
- 18th - Paul Menard(440 pts)
This week the Monster Energy Cup Series heads to Watkins Glen for the second road course race of the season. Sonoma is the more technical of the two(now three) road course tracks while Watkins Glen is the more speedy of the three. For fantasy, dominator points are downgraded even more than Sonoma as there are only 90 laps in the race and only one driver in the last six races has led over 50 laps. As always, qualifying is huge in determining place differential and it shows as there has been just two and seven drivers to pick up double-digit place differential in the last two races here while there was 10+ in each of the four before that. Stay tuned to my cheatsheet for updated throughout the weekend.
With that, let's jump in and take a look at some of the track trends, previous winners, and the pre-qualifying targets.
Last Six Winners at Watkins Glen
- Martin Truex Jr.(started 3rd)
- Denny Hamlin(started 6th)
- Joey Logano(started 16th)
- A.J. Allmendinger(started 6th)
- Kyle Busch(started 5th)
- Marcos Ambrose(started 5th)
Top 5 Current Track History at Watkins Glen
Denny Hamlin has been the man here at Watkins Glen over the last two years as he won the race in 2016 and is the only driver to finish both races inside the Top 5. Daniel Suarez proved he can keep up with the big boys here at Watkins Glen in his rookie season as he qualified 5th and ended up with a 3rd place finish and even led 14 laps along the way. Martin Truex Jr. has been the best of the "Big 3" here at the Glen lately as he won last years race and finished 7th in 2016. Kyle Busch is right behind him with back to back Top 10 finishes here as well and has led 25 laps. Busch's sold teammate, Matt Kenseth, has also been consistent here lately with a Top 5 and two Top 10's but is no longer in elite equipment with the move to Rousch Fenway and the #6 car.
Top 5 Career Track History at Watkins Glen
You know it's a tough track when only one active driver has multiple wins and that driver is Kyle Busch who won here in 2008 and 2013 and has 11 Top 10's in 13 career races here. There is a group of five drivers who sit tied with one win apiece here at Watkins Glen but the one that stands out the most is A.J. Allmendinger who has always been considered a road course expert. He got his win in 2014 and has three Top 5's, six Top 10's, and the best average finish(9.3) of all active drivers not counting Daniel Suarez who has only raced here once in the Cup series. One driver not listed above is Brad Keselowski who is still searching for his first win here but has been consistent throughout his career with four Top 5's and 114 laps led in eight races.
Top 5 Current Track Type History(Road Courses)
After a stretch of 12 road course races where he didn't finish better than 16th and finished outside the Top 20 10 times, no driver has been better at the track type over the last two years than Denny Hamlin. He won here at Watkins Glen in 2016 and has five straight Top 10's on road courses with four Top 5's. His teammate, Kyle Busch, is the only other driver with five Top 10's on road courses since the start of the 2016 season. Kurt Busch is up next as he has finished Top 10 in four of the last races and is actually second to Hamlin in average fantasy points in that time.
Top 5 Current Form (Last Six Races)
No change with the top two spots this week as Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick hold those spots down with three wins between them and each has five Top 5's in the last six races. Despite picking up the win last week, Kyle Busch gets jumped by his teammate Erik Jones for third as he has five finishes of 7th or better in the last six races. It's close between them but Kyle had the crash at Daytona which separates them but just .7 when looking at average finish in the last six races. Making his first appearance in the Top 5 form ranks this season is Team Hendrick driver, Alex Bowman, who has four Top 10's and five finishes of 11th or better in the last six races. Things are looking up for HMS down the stretch.
Pre Qualifying/Practice Targets
That's right, instead of trying to pick out just one I will be watching all them closely through practice and qualifying this week. Truex is looking to make it three straight road course wins, Hamlin has five straight Top 10's at road courses including a win here at the Glen in 2016, and Kyle Busch has been even better with seven straight finishes of 7th or better on road courses. Then you look at last year's rookies, Daniel Suarez and Erik Jones, who both finished Top 10 here at Watkins Glen in their first race here.
This is a huge race for the #47 team and although they say there isn't any added pressure, there most certainly has to be. They are a small team and with AJ's road course abilities, it is a tremendous opportunity for him and the team to lock in their spot in the playoffs. His price always spikes for the road courses events but it is actually $500 cheaper than it was for this race last year.
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.