Set your lineup right for this midweek sprint race at Charlotte
Another NASCAR Cup Series race? Yep! Get those daily fantasy NASCAR DraftKings rosters ready.
Three days after the Coca-Cola 600, the sport's longest race of the year, drivers will stay at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Alsco Uniforms 500 on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.
It will mark the series' fourth event in 11 days, but thankfully, this one is much shorter than Sunday's race. It's only 500 kilometers, which is 208 laps at the intermediate, 1.5-mile oval. However, fatigue could still set in, causing drivers and pit crews to make mistakes. But for many, adrenaline will kick in instead, helping keep their focus on the task at hand.
Since there are only 208 laps, there are not as many DraftKings points available for laps led (52). You'll likely want to target fast drivers starting further back. Unfortunately, DraftKings recognized who would start in the back and made them the most expensive ones on the slate. Remember, the top 20 finishers from Sunday were inverted for Wednesday's race, while 21st on back kept those positions. The highest-priced driver, Jimmie Johnson, was disqualified after post-race inspection and starts last. Clint Bowyer crashed out early Sunday and became the second-most expensive driver.
While this trend does put a small dent in your strategy, you can still use at least one of the top drivers in your lineup if you wish.
Remember, DraftKings awards 0.50 points for each fastest lap and 0.25 points for each lap led. Additionally, the site adds or subtracts a point for each position a driver gains or loses on track. Finally, the driver that finishes in first place scores the most points (46). Second place gets 42 DraftKings points, third gets 41, and so on. The key in daily fantasy NASCAR DraftKings is not only to target the best drivers but the ones who gain the most positions from where they start. Here's a complete rundown of DraftKings' NASCAR scoring rules.
Before I move on to Wednesday's picks, here's the results from my lineup on Sunday.
|$10,600.00||Martin Truex Jr.||87.75|
As mentioned earlier, Bowyer wrecked out of the 600-mile marathon early, which put his DraftKings score in the hole. Ryan Newman appeared to have recovered from his battery issues, but then it came back to bite him late in the race.
One thing you may notice is that Johnson's score doesn't reflect his disqualification. You won't have to worry about that on DraftKings. Their rules state, "Disqualifications related to same-day, post-race inspection will not change a driver's finishing position, laps led or fastest laps stats."
The score 299 was needed to win 75 cents in the $1 Happy Hour tournament, while you needed 309.5 to double your $1 in the big single-entry contest.
Note: The following is a sample NASCAR DraftKings lineup; you can use the information to create your own lineup.
DraftKings Daily Fantasy NASCAR Plays/Sample Lineup for Alsco Uniforms 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Chase Elliott ($9,700)
Career at Charlotte: 8 starts, 0 wins, 3 top fives, 4 top 10s
Average finish at Charlotte: 14.5
Elliott was well on his way to his first win of the season Sunday when Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron spun on the frontstretch, bringing out the caution flag and sending the race into overtime. Elliott's crew chief Alan Gustafson called him down pit road for fresh tires, but many behind Elliott stayed out. There were too many positions to make up in two laps, but Elliott still rallied to third. He was later scored in the runner-up position after Johnson failed inspection. That second-place finish matched his track-best result from the fall 2017 event.
The No. 9 Chevrolet driver did lead 38 laps on Sunday and recorded 50 fastest laps; these bonuses helped boost his DraftKings score to 75.5. This time, Elliott is starting 19th and could earn extra points if he finishes well.
I chose to go with a more-balanced lineup, so I don't have Johnson here. However, if the No. 48 team gets a top 10 after charging from the rear of the field, he's sure to have a high DraftKings score.
Martin Truex Jr. ($9,400)
Career at Charlotte: 28 starts, 3 wins, 7 top fives, 12 top 10s
Average finish at Charlotte: 13.8
Truex led much of the latter part of the Coke 600 (as he often has in recent years here) until pit stops caused him to lose the position to Johnson, Brad Keselowski and Elliott. Although he finished sixth, the 2017 Cup champion had a race-winning car that didn't get clean air until the final 50 laps. Still, his 87 laps led and 56 fastest laps increased his DraftKings score to 87.8. Look for him to continue the strong run Wednesday.
Alex Bowman ($8,700)
Career at Charlotte: 8 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 2 top 10s
Average finish at Charlotte: 24.4
All the Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolets were extremely fast Sunday and ran inside the top 10 until William Byron spun. Things went south in a jiffy after that.
The No. 88 pilot led 164 laps early on and recorded 52 fastest laps. However, a poor final restart, combined with some midpack chaos, resulted in a 19th-place effort. Even after that finish, Bowman still notched 83 DraftKings points (much of that from bonuses). He'll start second alongside Byron, but could still get around his teammate and lead more circuits.
Ryan Blaney ($7,900)
Career at Charlotte: 9 starts, 0 wins, 1 top five, 2 top 10s
Average finish at Charlotte: 21.2
After some bad luck and poor finishes, Blaney earned his second top 10 of the season and first since the Daytona 500. The No. 12 Team Penske driver ended in fourth, 22 positions higher than where he qualified. These, plus his 11 fast laps, increased his DraftKings total to 67.5.
Charlotte hasn't been very kind to Blaney, however, as that third-place finish was just his second top-10 performance in nine races there. The Team Penske driver's only other top 10 came in 2017, his final year with Wood Brothers Racing.
Since Blaney is set to begin Wednesday's race 18th, he could give you positive place differential DraftKings points if it ends well. The driver has a fast Ford Mustang that can move to the front like his teammates. Keep an eye on him.
Tyler Reddick ($7,600)
Career at Charlotte: 1 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 1 top 10
Average finish at Charlotte: 8.0
Reddick's No. 8 and Austin Dillon's No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolets were both fast on Sunday. They stayed in the top 10 for much of the event but Dillon got shuffled back on the final restart. Reddick, meanwhile, secured the eighth spot for the team, his second top 10 of the season. He also scored 33 DraftKings points. A week prior, Reddick ended the race with 63.5 fantasy points.
Since the rookie's salary is mid-range, you can afford to pair him with one of the higher-priced drivers. Wednesday's another chance for this freshman to shine.
Dark Horse Performer
Ty Dillon ($6,300)
Career at Charlotte: 5 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 0 top 10s
Average finish at Charlotte: 25.2
Dillon is my Dark Horse Performer just because he could gain some positions and earn a modest top 20. For example, in The Real Heroes 400, he started 33rd and ended 19th, scoring 39 fantasy points as a result. At Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Dillon earned his best DraftKings score thus far (48.5) after finishing 10th. Even though Dillon has never cracked the top 20 at CMS, he could get there on Wednesday from his 25th starting spot.
With a slate of expensive drivers for this sprint race, you need that low price in your lineup.
(Top photo courtesy of ASP, Inc.)