Daily Fantasy NASCAR: Current Form, Track History, and Betting Odds for the Federated Auto Parts 400
If you ever need an example of why finishes can be misleading in NASCAR, you need not look further than last year's race at Richmond.
In that one, Erik Jones ($9,600) started the race in 16th spot. His car was fast, though, so Jones quickly worked his way to the front. He had an eighth-place average running position and was the fourth driver to cross the start-finish line. It was a solid showing.
But then Jones was disqualified for failing post-race inspection.
The entire race was vacated, and Jones was scored as having finished 38th. Instead of getting a top-five finish, he got a whopping one point for the night.
If you look at Jones' career at Richmond, you'll see that his average finish is 20.0, 19th best for Jones of the 25 tracks he has raced on in the Cup Series. If you change that 38th-place finish to be fourth, his average finish is 14.3. That ranks 11th for Jones among all tracks. That's a big swing.
Inspection failures don't happen often (there has been just one in all of 2020), but there are other things that can have a similar impact. Last week, Chase Elliott ($11,400) and Martin Truex Jr. ($13,000) were the class of the field, but they wrecked while leading. They finished 20th and 22nd, respectively, as a result. If we look at just finishes, we're not going to see the full context.
That's why our data sheets each week list each driver's average running position rather than where they finished. There are flaws with this, too, as wrecking can still have a disproportionately negative impact, but in general, you'll get a better idea of who is fast from that than by looking at where they finished.
For Saturday night's race in Richmond, we get four recent races at this track and six races from 2020. The six current form races are the three most recent non-drafting races along with three at short, flat tracks earlier in the year. The Dover races also used the high-horsepower package that will be in place this weekend, which is why they're included on the sheet.
If you want to key in on one race when trying to predict who will be fast Saturday night, your best hints will likely come from New Hampshire. That's the most recent race at a short, flat track, meaning drivers should be in fairly similar form now to what they were then. The races in Phoenix and Martinsville will still be helpful, but they won't do as good of a job of accounting for which teams and drivers have made strides or slipped back as the season has progressed.
The other data listed is each driver's starting position, FanDuel salary, and win odds at FanDuel Sportsbook. The win odds are in fractional form, so Kevin Harvick ($14,000) being listed at 4.8 means he is +480 to win.
|Martin Truex, Jr.||$13,000||4.8||14||3||7||4||9||8||11||2||2||6||4|
|Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.||$6,500||170||23||18||37||12||21||21||22||14||17||18||17|
|John Hunter Nemechek||$5,000||200||31||28||22||26||24||21||20||--||--||--||--|
As mentioned in this week's track preview, we need to emphasize laps led on Saturday night. That's going to put us on Harvick, but it should also increase our interest in Joey Logano ($12,200).
Logano has had a rough summer, leading no more than 36 laps across the past 16 races. However, he has shown extra speed on the high-horsepower tracks this year, winning in Phoenix and holding a second-place average running position in Martinsville.
Logano is a two-time Richmond winner, and he has added a pair of runner-ups in the past five trips here. There's a chance Logano goes overlooked because of the allure of Harvick and the Joe Gibbs Racing drivers, but Logano is someone who should be on our radar when searching for laps led.