Another week, another race. Here we’ll break down all the most important Daily Fantasy NASCAR information in order to drive your success! The information below is provided by DraftKings. The information is not developed or provided by NASCAR, Inc., or its affiliates.
TOP 5 FAVORITES TO WIN
1. Martin Truex, Jr. – The “Summer of Martin” rolls on. Truex was an unstoppable force from Kansas to Michigan last season. He’s replicating that May to June run again this year. There’s one small change – Furniture Row Racing has joined a Toyota technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing. Actually, that’s a huge change. The 78 team looks great this season, the team knows the right setup for Pocono, and Truex knows how to run Pocono. Last August, Truex’s average running position was 9th and he ran the second most fast laps. In the June race, he won the race, led the most laps (97), and the ran the second most fast laps.
2. Kyle Busch – Write Dover off, Kyle didn’t have his crew chief. At Charlotte, Kyle ran inside the top 10 for most of the race until he wrecked with 8 laps to go. It was reminiscent of the old, hard charging Kyle Busch. Set recency bias aside. Busch is excellent in the 2016 low downforce package, he has the best pit crew in NASCAR, and the JGR Toyotas are the best cars in the field. In the August Pocono race, Kyle Busch ran the most fast laps and was leading the race with 2 to go before he ran out of gas.
3. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – The 2015 Pocono races were solid runs for Junior (driver rating of 88.6 and 109.3), but most DFS players do not see it that way. Junior swept both races in 2014. Solid runs are not enough anymore. Junior is at his best at the giant, high speed tracks (Daytona, Talladega, and Michigan) and the short, flat banked tracks (Phoenix and Martinsville). Pocono is a weird hybrid of these two types of tracks. Imagine Daytona married Martinsville and had a child. The turns are flat banked and slow, but they lead into high speed straightaways. Pocono requires a unique setup that Junior’s 88 team has seemed to master. With the second highest driver rating over the last 5 Pocono races, it seems that the skill part of the race is taken care of too.
4. Kevin Harvick – Last August, Harvick was the favorite to win. He was lightning fast in practice and was starting on the front row. Twenty laps into the race, his engine blew up causing shockwaves throughout DFS lineups. Stewart-Haas Racing has just one win at Pocono and that was in their first year of existence (2009). Kevin Harvick and not winning – what’s new? One more time, all together, “winning is overrated in Fantasy NASCAR.” SHR always unloads a great Pocono car for Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick. In the June race, Harvick scored the second most fantasy points. In 2016, Harvick has the most fast laps, the second most laps led, and most laps inside the top 15.
5. Kurt Busch – Can the best driver in NASCAR be winless? What if that same driver ranks 7th for most laps led and 12th for fast laps? Kurt is not leading laps and he’s not running fast laps. He hasn’t battled for a win, but he doesn’t have to battle for a top 10. It just happens; it’s expected; his spot is reserved. Pocono might change the Kurt Busch narrative. Over the last 5 Pocono races, Kurt has the best driver rating. His 12 top 5s are the most at Pocono (his 41% top 5 rate ranks 2nd).
LONG SHOTS TO SCORE BIG
1. Kyle Larson – Unless you’re living under a rock or just not a big NASCAR fan, then you know that Larson has looked like a top tier driver over the last two months. Larson has only 4 races at Pocono, but all have been top 15 finishes.
2. AJ Allmendinger – Finishing position is great, but average running position is a better indicator of performance. Over the last 5 Pocono races, Allmendinger has an average running position of 22nd. His best finish was last August when he snuck away with a top 10. Factor in how much better the 47 car is running this season, and Allmendinger looks like a top 15 or even a top 10 contender.
3. Landon Cassill – Last year, Cassill finished 14th and 25th at Pocono. This year he has joined Front Row Motorsports and they have consistently put together top 25 cars at Pocono over the last 5 years.
Martin Truex, Jr. – Grills, pools, and Martin Truex, Jr., that’s what summer is all about. Truex scored 103 points at Kansas, 71 points at Dover, and 197 point at Charlotte.
Kurt Busch – It’s tempting to copy and paste last week’s blurb and just increase the number of top 10s. Kurt did it again. He’s riding a 7 race top 10 streak (longest in NASCAR) and has the most top 10s in NASCAR (11).
Chase Elliott – It’s not supposed to be this easy for a rookie. Elliott has to compete against the best in the world every race, but it doesn’t faze him. He recorded his 4th top 10 in a row and his 9th of the year at Charlotte.
Matt Kenseth (August 2015)
Martin Truex, Jr. (June 2015)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (August 2014)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (June 2014)
Kasey Kahne (August 2013)
PICK TO WIN
Martin Truex, Jr. – When a driver gets hot, fade them at your own risk. Truex has a dangerous combination of confidence and speed.