Daily Fantasy NASCAR: Current Form, Track History, and Betting Odds for the Ally 400
The goal each week here is to give you the most relevant data for the upcoming race. If we can pinpoint which recent races provide the biggest tell for who will be fast, we should be able to fill out good DFS lineups.
This week? Defining "relevant" races is a borderline nightmare.
It's the NASCAR Cup Series' first time at Nashville Superspeedway, and it's the first time any series has been here since 2011. The characteristics of it are effectively a smoothie version of a bunch of other tracks.
It has the length of Darlington, the surface of Bristol and Dover, the banking of Phoenix and Richmond, and the configuration akin to Kansas and Las Vegas. It has similarities to each of those tracks but also key differences that prevent any one track from being a true comp.
So, we might just wanna throw it all in a blender and see what sticks.
To me, that says selling out to see who has done the best in the 750-horsepower package that they'll use this weekend. Outside of Kansas and Vegas, all the similar tracks listed above have used this package. As a result, if we look at who has been the best all-around at those tracks, it should give us an idea of who will run well on Sunday.
Those are the races listed in the current form section below.
I've also included past races on concrete for the time being. There are unique characteristics to concrete (tire wear, changing optimal lines during a race) that should translate to Nashville even though it is a very different length and banking from Bristol and Dover.
Those races could get lopped off. Once Saturday's practice session occurs, I'll see if drivers who traditionally run well on concrete were fast in practice. If so, I'll keep those races here. If not, I'll lop them off, just add in the practice times, and likely focus exclusively on the 750-horsepower package this year. It's worth noting, though, that the concrete races included from last year did use the same rules package that will be in place this weekend.
As always, the data listed is each driver's average running position rather than their finish. Without that, it'd be easy to underrate Denny Hamlin ($12,500 on FanDuel). Hamlin has had a top-six average running position in all six oval races using the 750-horsepower package. It's tough to fake that, and it illustrates the race-winning speed he has had even if he's yet to win this season.
The other data listed is each driver's FanDuel salary and win odds on FanDuel Sportsbook. The win odds are in fractional form, so Kyle Larson ($14,000) being listed at 2.75 means he's +275 to win. Starting positions and practice times will be added to the sheet once they are available this weekend. (NOTE: Practice times and starting positions have since been added to the sheet. The single-lap column refers to the driver's speed ranking on their best lap while the 5-lap avg is their best five-lap interval during the practice.)
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||$6,600||150||14||4||11||20||23||18||19||11||12||37||12||39||23|
|Martin Truex Jr.||$13,000||9||35||29||23||13||1||4||4||2||6||7||4||21||12|
One thing discussed at length in this week's track preview was the appeal of the mid-range. Luckily for us, we do have some drivers who stand out and could contend for a win between $11,000 and $9,500.
The big one is Joey Logano ($11,000). Logano has the third-best aggregate average running position in the 750 oval races this year, trailing just Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. ($13,000). He has converted that into a win at Bristol plus podium finishes in Phoenix and Richmond. Whether it's as the second-highest-salaried driver in our lineup or the third, Logano seems likely to be a core play before we get practice data.
How we view Alex Bowman ($9,500) should depend on what we see in practice. If there seems to be a lot of tire wear, Bowman will be super under-salaried. Bowman won in Richmond, a track with heavy tire wear, and was third in Atlanta, though that was a different rules package. Bowman also won in Dover, the lone other concrete race this year, so he could grade out well if we bump up concrete form, as well. Between Logano, Bowman, Ryan Blaney ($10,500), Brad Keselowski ($10,300), and Kevin Harvick ($10,000), there's a lot of race-winning upside in this tier, and we should take advantage of it.
Two lower-salaried drivers who have shown speed in the 750-horsepower package are Chris Buescher ($7,000) and Bubba Wallace ($5,000). Buescher is similar to Bowman where he gets a bump up on tracks with heavy tire wear, as evidenced by his top-10 finishes in Darlington and Atlanta. The lone red flag is that his two worst races in the 750 package have been in Phoenix and Richmond, and Nashville is another low-banking track. Monitor practice times, and if it seems like there's heavy tire falloff on a longer run, give Buescher a boost.
Wallace hasn't had the finishes to show for it, but he has been competitive in this rules package. Four of his five best average running positions on non-drafting tracks have come in this package. The other was in Charlotte, another race that featured a pre-race practice session. With how limited Wallace's time has been with a new team, he's likely to benefit more from practice than other drivers, a line of thought that also applies to Daniel Suarez ($6,000). Wallace's best finish of the season came on the concrete at Dover, so we should give him thought as a punt option depending on how things break for him over the weekend.