NASCAR

Daily Fantasy NASCAR: Current Form, Track History, and Betting Odds for the South Point 400

Kyle Larson already has one win in Las Vegas this year and has taken a blowtorch to the field at 1.5-mile tracks. Who else has stood out at similar tracks entering the South Point 400?

We need a Men in Black-style memory-erasing stick for Sunday night.

That's when the NASCAR Cup Series is heading to Las Vegas for the South Point 400. It's the first race in the Round of 12, meaning the 12 remaining playoff drivers will occupy the top 12 spots in the starting order.

We've gotten three playoff races already, and we know who was in contention across the opening round.

This week is going to be completely different.

Each of the three races in the opening round were on 750-horsepower tracks. Las Vegas utilizes the 550-horsepower package. Throughout this entire year, we've seen a different set of drivers compete for wins between the two packages.

Basically, everything we saw the past three weeks is meaningless. It's time for a complete reset.

The good thing is that we're not flying into this race with no data. It will be the seventh race this year on a 1.5-mile track, including one in Las Vegas back in March. None of these races were recent, but we can get a glimpse at speed in the 550-horsepower package by looking at the Michigan race in August. Even though that's a two-mile track, it still will illustrate who projects to be fast on Sunday.

That's the data we'll be leaning on for this week: the 1.5-mile tracks plus Michigan. It'll give us a good blend of more recent form with what we've seen at similar tracks throughout the season. And it does mean we'll be sapping our brains of what happened the past three weeks.

As always, the data on those races below is each driver's average running position rather than their finish. A good example of why we'd do this comes from Kyle Larson ($14,500 on FanDuel) and Ryan Blaney ($10,200) at Kansas. There, Blaney was starting on the outside of the front row for a late-race restart with Larson behind him. Larson pushed Blaney too far into the corner, though, and almost wrecked him.


Larson finished 19th with Blaney 21st, massively underselling how competitive those two cars were that day.

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 Larson's being listed at 2.6 means he's +260 to win.

Current
Form
Track
History
DriverFD SalaryWin
Odds
StartMichiganAtlanta
Summer
CharlotteKansasAtlanta
Spring
Homestead20212020
Fall
2020
Spring
Kyle Larson$14,5002.613913153--10
Ryan Blaney$10,20017299178318684
William Byron$11,000143813310746158
Martin Truex Jr.$12,00094141114995778
Kevin Harvick$11,5001251416771991893
Denny Hamlin$13,0008.56591086134421
Alex Bowman$10,0001771357215101168
Brad Keselowski$9,70017812914420841411
Joey Logano$10,50017912131317131411194
Kyle Busch$13,500710925471512914
Chase Elliott$12,5008.5116123920131247
Christopher Bell$9,500311212122011211991827
Tyler Reddick$8,50055131258103018202918
Matt DiBenedetto$8,0007514912201292011814
Austin Dillon$8,20047151813813911161313
Erik Jones$6,00020016242416262526171522
Aric Almirola$7,50013017202025251921271515
Ross Chastain$7,700851827203516191822--17
Chase Briscoe$7,2002001922172425252624----
Kurt Busch$9,0003220823213277141317
Bubba Wallace$6,20020021191513221721322522
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.$6,70017022203512191416152315
Michael McDowell$5,00020023182722212013181836
Ryan Preece$4,50020024212424272525192523
Chris Buescher$7,00020025201614171010181819
Daniel Suarez$6,50020026213520201521223032
Corey LaJoie$4,50020027--2222262831282425
Cole Custer$5,70020028252124241714251727
Ryan Newman$5,500200291825202814122020--
Garrett Smithley$2,0002003035323434--3132--37
Josh Bilicki$3,000200313435353938343636--
Anthony Alfredo$4,0002003230272224282823----
Justin Haley$3,5002003327292932312929----
B.J. McLeod$2,5002003431303233353630----
Cody Ware$2,5002003530323135333333----
Quin Houff$3,00020036333432363234343533
Joey Gase$2,0002003737----3636--353634
J.J. Yeley$2,00020038--------------3330


Our lineups need to revolve around Larson this week.

Here are Larson's average running positions on 1.5-mile tracks this year, in order: 5th, 3rd, 1st, 3rd, 1st, 9th. That ninth-place mark could be a concern as it's the lone race at a 1.5-mile track since Hendrick Motorsports (allegedly) had to re-work the noses of their cars to comply with NASCAR rules. However, Larson and his teammates had gobs of speed in Michigan, helping alleviate those concerns.

Larson has led 836 laps on 1.5-mile tracks this year; no other driver has led more than 152. He added a win on a 1.5-mile track in the All-Star Race, which isn't included in that tally. My win simulations have Larson winning 29.3% of the time, the highest for any driver this year. The second-highest mark was for Larson in the All-Star Race. We should be aggressive in our exposures to him here.

If we want to jam in Larson, though, we will need some salary-savers. Two who move the needle there are Austin Dillon ($8,200) and Chris Buescher ($7,000).

In the 6 races at 1.5-mile tracks this year, Dillon's worst finish is 12th. He has the 10th-best aggregate average running position on 1.5-mile tracks, ahead of playoff drivers Kevin Harvick ($11,500), Joey Logano ($10,500), and Christopher Bell ($9,500). Dillon's best finish in that time is sixth, but you don't need a top-five run from him at this salary from the 15th spot on the grid. He's firmly in the core-play consideration.

The same is true with Buescher, who will start even deeper in the pack in 25th. Buescher is 14th in aggregate average running position on these tracks and ranks 16th in my model's projected average running position. Using Buescher and Dillon won't fully clear the damage from Larson's lofty salary, but it comes close enough to make both desirable in all formats.