Qualifying is over. All of the practice laps have been run. This is it. Let’s make some picks.
Qualifying was rained out so the field was set by 1st Practice.
Rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings NASCAR salaries for that day.
High Price Salary
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (12,300) – Earnhardt Jr. is the go to play at restrictor plate tracks. He starts up front, but doesn’t get the pole due to a technicality. He won the Daytona 500 last year and won at Talladega this year (another restrictor plate track). Junior was the fastest in first practice and has the ability to stay up front the whole race. If you want chalk up front then Dale is your guy.
Kevin Harvick (11,600) – If you are taking Dale because you want chalk up front, then you will definitely want Kevin for chalk in the back. Harvick starts in the 35th position, but is a top 5 driver, driving a top 5 car. If you are looking to score a lot of place differential points (which is going to be very important this week) the Happy is your guy.
Kurt Busch (11,400) – Kurt comes into Dayton off of a 1st place finish at Michigan and a 2nd place finish at Sonoma. There is no hotter driver than Busch over the last three weeks. Busch starts in the 29th spot and just like his garage mate (Harvick) he is going to score you a lot of place and pass differential points this week.
Mid Price Salary
Greg Biffle (9,700) – We have been on the Biff as a decent value play over the last month. Biff will be forced to the back in a backup car, but will be scored from the 26th spot. However, don’t let this bother you to much. The Biff should pass people on his way up to a top 20 for the day. For his price he makes a great spot start.
Tony Stewart (10,300) – Smoke loves Daytona and fortunately Daytona loves Smoke. Smoke has 4 wins at Daytona during his career. 2015 hasn’t been his season, but ultimately at Daytona you can throw out the season stats. Smoke can drive a restrictor plate car and starting at 32nd it won’t surprise anyone to see him work his way up to the front.
Brad Keselowski ($10,900) – BK is another guy that comes in limping. Even though he has a win in 2015 this season just hasn’t been great. Brad has a couple top 5’s and 3 top 10’s at Daytona. He also starts way back in the 33rd position and this makes him in the pool for place differential and points differential.
Low Price Salary
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($9,100) – Usually all of the NASCAR purist would be worried about Ricky doing what he does best….wrecking. Amazingly Ricky tends to stay away from wrecks at Daytona and actually performs well. He starts in 31st, but has about a top 15 car. This means moving up and scoring points along the way.
Aric Almirola ($9,200) – Last year’s winner made it to victory lane with a little bit of luck. Almirola pulled down the 2014 victory by means of a rain delay. This year the rain hurt him and he starts way back in the 37th spot. His practice times place him in the top 25. This means at least 10 place differential points and some pass differential points along the way.
Danica Patrick ($9,200) – Danica starts in 28th. She runs very well at Daytona and honestly it wouldn’t surprise me at all if she eventually wins here. He ability to stay on the track and move up make her a great value play to slip in your lineup.
Long Shot Value Drivers:
Bobby Labonte ($7,000 ) – The title says long shot….so thats what you are getting. Most of our value drivers ended up at the front due to qualifying being cancelled. This sets up for a lot of negative place differential points. Labonte starts in the 40th spot and has the experience to end the race in the top 30. The 2000 Cup champion has the ability to score positive points. This will be a serious GPP underdog as the potential for start and park is also in the mix.