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Daily Fantasy NASCAR Race Preview & Picks for DraftKings - South Point 400
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South Point 400
Las Vegas Motor Speedway - Las Vegas, NV
Track - 1.5 Mile Intermediate
After seven months and 26 races, the regular season has concluded and it's time for the Monster Energy Cup Series Playoffs. Before getting into the race itself let's review the playoff structure. There are 10 races broken into four rounds with three races in each of the first three rounds where the field will be cut in half after the third race. Points are reset going into the first race but those drivers who earned stage and race wins during the regular season received playoff points that carry over through the first three rounds. The winner of the regular season(Kyle Busch) also receives an additional 15 playoff points. You can check out the standings going into the first race HERE.
The Playoffs start with a trip to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the second time this season. For the first time in the track's history, it will receive a second race on the schedule and not only that but the first race of the 2018 Playoffs. The track is a 1.5-mile D-Shaped Oval Intermediate with 20 degrees of banking in the corners. For fantasy, we will be concentrating on dominator points to construct our core as there have been one driver to lead 100 or more laps in four of the last six races here and each of the last two winners(Kevin Harvick & Martin Truex Jr.) have both led 150 or more laps. As always, place differential upside will be determined by qualifying so make sure to grab a copy of my DFS NASCAR Cheatsheet where I update practice adn qualifying ranks and list my top plays leading into the race. Let's now jump in and take a look at some race trends adn pre-qualifying targets.
Last Six Winners at Las Vegas
- Kevin Harvick(started 2nd, led 214 laps)
- Martin Truex Jr.(started 2nd, led 150 laps)
- Brad Keselowski(started 4th, led 24 laps)
- Kevin Harvick(started 18th, led 142 laps)
- Brad Keselowski(started 2nd, led 53 laps)
- Matt Kenseth(started 18th, led 42 laps)
Top 5 Current Track History at Las Vegas
Over the last three years, Penske Racing teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano have been the most consistent drivers here at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Keselowski won the race in 2016 and has three straight finishes of 6th or better while Logano has finished 2nd, 4th, and 7th in those three race. Both drivers also have led over 100 laps in that time. Martin Truex Jr. finished outside the Top 10(11th) in 2016 but bounced back and won the 2017 race and finished 4th earlier this year. He also sits second behind Kevin Harvick(215) with 156 laps led during those races. After a 30th place finish in his first trip to Vegas back in 2015, Young Ryan Blaney has found consistency with three straight finishes of 7th or better but has been a much better play on FanDuel as he has led just one lap. Jimmie Johnson has finished outside the Top 10 in two straight races here but with a 13.7 average starting position, he has been consistent when looking at fantasy points.
Top 5 Career Track History at Las Vegas
You can go to almost any mile and a half track and it's the same driver at the top of the win list, Jimmie Johnson. He has four here at Las Vegas and although his last came in 2010, he has been very consistent as well finishing outside the Top20 just three times in 17 career races. Brad Keselowski had a ton of trouble here at Vegas early in his career with four straight finishes outside of 25th but since has been pretty dominant with two wins(2014 & 2016) and six straight Top 10 finishes. He is also coming off back to back wins coming into the playoffs and is definitely a driver to look out for down the stretch. Kevin Harvick dominated the race here in March leading 214 of 267 laps to pick up his second career win and he is also second behind Johnson with 438 career laps led. Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch are the only two other active drivers with a win here at Vegas and over the last six races, they have both been great fantasy plays with three Top 5's apiece but it's Truex with the most recent win and he also has an extra Top 10 in that time.
Top 5 Current Track Type History(Intermediate)
Martin Truex Jr. has dominated in terms of wins when looking at the last two years on mile and a half tracks but it has been much closer in 2018. Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick have been top of the class as both come into this week with three wins apiece and both have led over 600 laps to average over 80 DraftKings points per race on the track type. Truex has the other two wins on the track type with six Top 5's in the eight races but Kyle Larson is right there as well with seven Top 10's in the eight races with four Top 5's. Erik Jones also stands out as a nice value play on both sites as he has been consistent on mile and half tracks this season finishing Top 10 in three straight and six of the eight races this season.
Top 5 Current Form (Last Six Races)
Kevin Harvick leads the way when looking at form coming into the playoffs as he has a win and Top 10's in each of the last six races. His teammate, Kurt Busch, is the only other driver that has finished each of the last six races inside the Top 10 but Erik Jones is the only other driver other than Harvick with four Top 5's in those six races. Outside of a 15th place finish last week at Indianapolis, Chase Elliott finished the regular season strong with five Top 10's and his first career win back at Watkins Glen. Kyle Busch rounds out the Top 5 with five Top 10's and three top 5's in his last six races and the only knock on his form was a 20th place finish at Bristol where he drove through the field form two laps down but eventually finished three laps down.
Pre Qualifying/Practice Core Targets
He dominated the race here in the Spring leading 214 laps to get his second career win here at Vegas. He has also been dominant on mile and a half tracks this season with three wins and over 600 laps led. A case can be made for him or Kyle Busch who are separated by just $400 on FanDuel and $600 on DraftKings but I lean Harvick who has the better results more recently.
Keselowksi is #1 in my early rankings thanks to his dominance here at Vegas lately. After finishing outside the Top 25 in his first four races here, he has reeled off six straight finishes of 7th or better with two wins. He also comes into the playoffs with a ton of momentum with two straight wins. At these prices, he is my top PTS/$ play this week.
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.
- NASCAR Phoenix Auto Racing: (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)