DFS NASCAR Picks for Cup Series

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The NASCAR Cup Series will travel to Dover Motor Speedway this to try and tame the Monster Mile. Winning your DFS Contest hasn’t been easy lately. We had “Tire-Gate” at Bristol, and then the race at Texas had 16 cautions, which is a NEW TRACK RECORD. The race at Talladega is always unpredictable, so it will be nice to return to an intermediate track where the races haven’t been too tough to predict. The theme for the 2024 season has been, “Expect the unexpected,” so maybe this race will not be as easy as we think. We will find out Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on FS1.

 

PRACTICE AND QUALIFYING

The Cup Series was back to a normal schedule this week. The teams were not allowed to practice last week because Talladega is a Superspeedway track. Dover is an intermediate track, so the teams were given 20-minutes to shake down their cars for Sunday’s race. It only takes the Cup Series drivers 23 seconds to turn a lap at the Monster Mile. Most of the teams were able to make some long run in practice. The average green flag run in the Gen-7 car at Dover has been 87 laps. We need to select the drivers who were fast on the long runs for our lineups this week.

 

 

DRAFTKINGS POINTS AT DOVER

I typically use the data from the race at Bristol to help handicap the race at Dover, but that is not the case this year. The tire that Goodyear used at Bristol completely changed the race. I will focus on the data from the last two races at Dover and combine it with the data from the race at Las Vegas earlier this season. Las Vegas has more banking than most 1.5-mile tracks and it is only a half-mile larger than Dover. This should give us an idea of which drivers should run up front Sunday.

Here are the stats from the last two races at Dover (2022 – 2023) and the last race at Las Vegas, sorted by DraftKings Points…

 

 

DRAFTKINGS STRATEGY

The Cup Series race at Dover is scheduled for 400 laps (400 miles). That means there are 100 points available for leading laps and 180 points available for fastest laps (280 dominator points). The trend in the Gen-7 car races at Dover is for one driver to lead 180 laps and score 54 fastest laps (69.3 Dominator Points), another driver to lead 110 laps and score 44 fastest laps (47.3 Dominator Points) and a third drivers leads 68 laps and scores 42 fastest laps (35.9 Dominator Points). We must pay up for the drivers who we think will lead the most laps Sunday. We need the top two dominators in our lineups. It will be tough to win our contests without the 116 bonus points that they are predicted to score.

The drivers with the best chance to score dominator points today includes William Byron, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr.

The drivers with the best chance to score place differential points include Christopher Bell, Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr., Ross Chastain, Brad Keselowski, Ty Gibbs, Daniel Suarez, Ryan Preece and Justin Haley

 

 

DRAFTKINGS MODEL (Prediction Based on Stats) 

Finish = Finishing Points                PD = Position Differential              Fastest = Fastest Laps Led = Laps Led

* The number in front of the driver is his projected finishing position based on stats.

 

 

DRAFTKINGS CASH CONTEST LINEUP

WILLIAM BYRON ($11,000): Byron dominated the race at Dover last year and he should have won the race. Byron led 193 laps, won Stage 1, finished 2nd in Stage 2 and finished fourth in the race. Can he do it again? Byron posted the 3rd fastest speed in practice and qualified 3rd for the race. He is my pick to win, so I will use Byron as my dominator in the Cash Contest lineup.

CHRISTOPHER BELL ($10,500): Bell ran up in the marbles in qualifying and it caused him to hit the wall. Now Bell starts 33rd Sunday. His average finishing position in the Gen-7 car at Dover is 5th. The No. 20 car posted the 5th fastest long run speed in practice. Bell has a good chance to be one of the top-three scoring drivers in DFS Contests Sunday.

CHASE ELLIOTT ($9,900): Dover is one of the best tracks for Elliott. He won the race in the Gen-7 car at the Monster Mile in 2022. Elliott got loose in qualifying, so now he starts 29th Sunday. Elliott had the 6th fastest long run speed car in practice. I expect Elliott to finish up front, despite his starting position Sunday.

DANIEL SUAREZ ($6,700): What the heck is going on with the Trackhouse Racing cars? Dover is typically one of the best tracks for Trackhouse, but both cars lacked speed in practice and qualifying. The temperatures for Sunday’s race are expected to be much warmer than they were in practice. I suspect that the Trackhouse Racing cars were set up to race in the heat and not on the cold track, without any rubber laid down. There is nowhere to go but forward for my Amigo from the 31st starting position.

RYAN PREECE ($6,400): Preece is usually good on the high-banked, concrete tracks. He also has a habit of qualifying in the back and finishing up the top-15 at Dover. Preece started 30th and finished 17th at Dover last year. He will score 47 DK Points if he can finish 17th Sunday. I think he can come close to those numbers at Dover.

TODD GILLIALAND ($5,500): There is nothing in the stats that suggest we must play Gilliland Sunday. This pick is more about the way Gilliland has run this year. The No. 38 team has had a habit of using pit strategy to steal track position, lead some laps, score some fastest laps and be a good “punt play” in DFS Contests. Gilliland has a good chance to score 8-10 place differential points and be a good play in Cash Contests at Dover.

 

 

DRAFTKINGS TOURNAMENT CONTEST LINEUP

MARTIN TRUEX JR. ($11,300): Truex led 68 laps and went to Victory Lane at Dover last year. The No. 19 car looks fast again this week. Truex posted the 4th fastest speed on the long runs in practice. He has finished 5 of the last 7 races at Dover in the top-two. Truex has a good chance to score a lot of place differential points and some bonus points for leading laps Sunday. It would not surprise me if Truex scored the most points in DFS Contests at his “home track.”

DENNY HAMLIN ($10,800): The crew chiefs said that they do not expect the race at Dover to play out like the race on the high-banked, concrete surface at Bristol. The Monster Mile wore out tires after only 20 laps in practice; just like they did at Bristol. Hamlin will smoke the field if the tires wear out like they did at Bristol. He will also be a good pick if they do not wear out like Bristol. There really is no risk and all upside with the No. 11 car at Dover.

KYLE BUSCH ($9,000): I will use Busch as my top dominator in the Tournament Contest lineup. I sent out some Tweets during practice about the No. 24 team and some other teams talking about their tires wearing down to the cords after a 15-lap run. I also sent out a Tweet where Busch said his tires did not wear out very mush. The No. 8 car has short and long-run speed for Sunday’s race. The only question is, can they avoid mistakes? I “hope” they can.

TY GIBBS ($8,500): I really like what I saw from Gibbs in practice. He had the 3rd fastest long-run speed in practice and the fastest speed in his group. His crew chief also told PRN Radio that his tires were not wearing out like other teams. I will take a chance with Gibbs from the 19th starting position.

JUSTIN HALEY ($5,400): I am not going to try and convince you that Haley is going to finish in the top-10. I do not need him to do that in order for this lineup to score well. I just need Kyle Busch to lead all of the laps in Stage 1 and finish in the top-10. I also need Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. to lead some laps and finish in the top-five. Then I need Haley to finish around 26th and score around 28 DFS Points. I think the drivers in this lineup can do what I am asking them to do Sunday.

KAZ GRALA ($5,000): Grala wrecked in practice. He said it was the best car he has had all season. Grala posted the 29th fastest speed in practice. I am not sure what kind of speed the backup car will have, but Grala starts 35th. He has been good at riding around the back and staying out of trouble. Grala has an average finishing position of 25th this year. He will score 27 DK Points if he can just finish at his average. That should be enough points for this lineup to score well Sunday.

 

 

FANDUEL MODEL (Prediction Based on Stats)

 

 

FANDUEL CASH CONTEST LINEUP

 

 

FANDUEL TOURNAMENT CONTEST LINEUP

 

 

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