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. Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Junior was the favorite to win at Talladega and he won. He was the favorite to win the Daytona Summer race, and he won. At the Daytona 500, he finished 3rd (he won the race in 2014). Most NASCAR fans, media, and drivers will say that there is a lot of luck involved at restrictor plate tracks. Sure, luck is needed in the back of the field to avoid wrecks, but to stay up front requires skill and a fast machine. Dale Jr. has 6 wins at Talladega (1st).
2. Denny Hamlin – Junior is undeniably the best plate racer, but Hamlin is number two. Over the last 7 plate races, Hamlin has 6 top 10s (average finish of 6th). He’s averaging 71.6 fantasy points this year at restrictor plate tracks. This season, Hamlin has twice worked his way from the back of the field to the front in plate races.
3. Kevin Harvick – His run of success over that last two seasons isn’t news to anyone, but his success at restrictor plate tracks might be. Harvick has finished inside the top 10 in all three plate races this season. At Talladega in 2014, Harvick finished inside the top 10 in both races.
4. Clint Bowyer – Over the last 9 plate races, Bowyer has 7 top 10s (1st). His average finish at Talladega is tied for first among drivers with more than 5 races (average finish of 15th). Bowyer has the second best top 5% at Talladega (53%). This is also an MWR car, and Michael Waltrip is one of the greatest restrictor plate racers of all time.
5. Jimmie Johnson – He’s had one of the best cars over the last month and a half, but every week Jimmie found his way into trouble. That changed last week. He’ll have a great car again this weekend and Johnson’s no stranger to success at restrictor plate tracks (18 top 5s ranks 3rd). Johnson has been better at Daytona during his career, but plate tracks are plate tracks and Hendrick is a dominant force at the super speedways.
LONG SHOTS TO SCORE BIG
1. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – For the sixth week in a row, Ricky finished inside the top 20. His recent run of success may be more impressive than his two Xfinity championships. Before long, he will not be a long shot. At plate tracks, Stenhouse is a surprise star. In 11 plate races, Stenhouse has an average finish of 17th (4th). The July 2014 Daytona race is the only plate race that Stenhouse did not finish on the lead lap.
2. Ryan Blaney – The Wood Brothers have fielded a more than competitive car each week. Unfortunately, rained out qualifying sessions has prevented Blaney from showing off. He’s scored back to back top 15s over the last two weeks (14th at Charlotte and 7th at Kansas). At the Talladega spring race, Blaney finished 4th. The Wood Brothers won the Daytona 500 in 2011 with Trevor Bayne at the wheel.
3. Michael Waltrip – Perhaps this pick is too sentimental, but Mikey can pull this off. This is MWR’s last hoorah. The doors will be closing in a little over a month; Mikey has nothing to lose. At plate races, Mikey has 4 wins and 31 top 10s. In 2013, Waltrip scored two top 5s at plate races. Anything can happen at super speedways, and just about everyone is a long shot to score big amidst the chaos of a final lap at Talladega. Why not one more time for Mikey?
Denny Hamlin – Over the last 10 races, Hamlin has 7 top 5s . Kenseth and Kyle Busch hogged the JGR headlines all season, but this may be Hamlin’s year.
Joey Logano – Back to back wins and the season’s longest top 10 streak by any driver (10). There’s no argument at all, Logano is the best intermediate track driver in NASCAR this year.
Carl Edwards – Logano and Hamlin should not be surprises, but Edwards hasn’t really jumped off the screen during the last 5 races. Regardless of the lack of flair, Edwards has 4 top 10s in the last 5 races with an average finish of 7th (3rd).
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Spring 2015)
Brad Keselowski (Fall 2014)
Denny Hamlin (Spring 2014)
Jamie McMurray (Fall 2013)
David Ragan (Spring 2013)
PICK TO WIN
Dale Earnhardt Jr. – He’s the restrictor plate whisperer. These races can be crap shoots, so it’s hard to find any edge. However, as you’ll hear all weekend, “his daddy could see the draft.” As ridiculous at that is, it seems that Dale Jr. has inherited this trait.