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Chris Durell

Daily Fantasy NASCAR Preview & Picks for DraftKings and FanDuel - Coca Cola 600

Chris Durell will be bringing you his weekly race breakdown, top trends, and top targets to help you cash on DraftKings and FanDuel. He also provides a comprehensive cheatsheet looking at current and career track history, current form, fantasy averages, trends, practice/qualifying information, and then puts it all together with a customizable model. Get your copy in our member's chatroom.
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Charlotte Motor Speedway 
Track - 1.5 Mile Quad-Oval Intermediate
24° of Banking in the Turns

It has been a very successful return to racing for the NASCAR Cup Series. We were treated to two races on at Darlington Raceway, one of the most popular and challenging tracks on the circuit and it didn't disappoint one bit.

The first race saw Brad Keselowski dominate early, leading 80 laps but Kevin Harvick's dominance at the "Track too tough to tame" continued as he led a race-high 159 laps en route to the win. The second race was a little more spread out in terms of laps led after the Top 20 in qualifying was inverted from race #1. Clint Bowyer led 71 laps early before finding the wall and taking on some damage. Chase Elliott was on his way to victory late when Kyle Busch made a huge mistake and took him out which ended up leading to Denny Hamlin picking up win #2 on the season after the race was called due to rain.

Looking at some data from those two races, Hamlin and Harvick were not only the two winners but also the only two drivers to finish Top 5 in both races. Joining them are Martin Truex Jr. and Erik Jones as the only other two drivers with Top 10's in both races. Overall, there were only 14 drivers who finished Top 20 in both races at Darlington.

NASCAR now travels to Charlotte Motor Speedway for a four-day, four race extravaganza. It all starts this Sunday with a Crown Jewel event on the Cup schedule, the Coca Cola 600. The big difference for this race on Sunday is that the cars will be on track for qualifying two hours ahead of the race. It will be best, in my opinion, to target your early dominator from a driver inside the Top 5 or if targeting two drivers, both inside the Top 10. The reason is that qualifying should give us a very good look into who has their car setup the best for the early portion of the race. I emphasize "early portion" as this is the longest race of the season and the only race with four stages. With the combined lack of practice and long lay off from racing, I think we get three dominators(leading 50+) in this race. There have been four races at Charlotte since the introduction of the stages and we have seen multiple scenarios play out. At the Coca 600 in 2017, Truex dominated with 233 laps led with three other drivers leading 30-50 laps and then in 2018 we saw Kyle Busch lead a whopping 377 laps with Logano second with 12. In the playoff race on the oval in 2017, two drivers led 90+ and then last year at the Coca Cola 600, Truex led a race-high 116 with two other drivers(Johnson, Keselowski) lead 70+ and two others(Byron, Elliott) lead 30+.

Let's dig into some drivers who stand out as great DFS plays this week. Keep in mind this is coming before qualifying so be sure to check my sheet for updated qualifying as we will have about an hour and a half to construct lineups.

Last Six Winners at Charlotte

  • 2019 - Martin Truex Jr(started 14th)
  • 2018 - Kyle Busch(started 1st)
  • 2017(2) - Martin Truex Jr.(started 17th)
  • 2017(1) - Austin Dillon(started 22nd)
  • 2016(2) - Jimmie Johnson(started 11th)
    2016(1) - Martin Truex Jr.(started 1st)


Martin Truex Jr.

No matter where he starts, Martin Truex Jr. will be a part of my core for both races at Charlotte. He won the Coca Cola 600 last year with 116 laps led and has three wins here in the last six races with a series-leading 832 laps led. He is also one of four drivers to finish Top 10 in both races back after the COVID-19 layoff. To top it off, he is fourth in pricing on DraftKings making him a lock in all formats in my initial builds.

Alex Bowman

It was a successful start to the 2020 season for Bowman who picked up a win at Fontana and that carried over after the break as he started and finished second at the first Darlington race. The result at the second race(18th) doesn't reflect the car he had as he had an average running position of 8th on Wednesday. He now returns to Charlotte where he has put together back to back Top 10 finishes since joining the #88 team full-time.

Jimmie Johnson

Another Hendrick driver makes my initial core and for multiple reasons. Jimmie returns to Charlotte with elite track history leading everyone with eight career wins, the latest back in the 2016 playoffs and also returns with Top 10's in three straight and five of his last six races here. The result of the first race back doesn't reflect the #48's speed as he got into an early incident with Chris Buescher. He bounced back on Wednesday with an 8th place finish and I think that strong run in his final season continues with a win on the horizon.

Michael McDowell

The one name that jumps off the page when breaking down the value range is Mcdowell. It starts with his track history as he returns to Charlotte with Top 20 finishes in four of his last five trips including back to back races for the #34 Front Row Motorsports team. He has also been consistent(for the price) on the season with a 21.3 average finish after six races including a 23rd and 17th at the two Darlington races. Qualifying will definitely matter here in terms of exposure so stay tuned.





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