DraftKings / Fantasy Live Preview for Daytona


The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the Xfinity Series will head back to Daytona for some Superspeedway racing under the lights. This will be the first race for the MENCS in the 550 HP engines with higher downforce aero package at Daytona. I do not expect a huge change in the racing but it could cause more drivers to lead the race. It should be fun to watch. The Coke Zero 400 can be seen Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

There will be two practices on the 4th of July for the MENCS. The first is at 2 p.m. ET (NBC Sports Net) and final practice will be at 4 p.m. ET (NBC Sports Net). Qualifying will be Saturday at 5 p.m. ET (NBC Sports Net). There will be NO Garage Talk Notes this week since practice does not mean much at Daytona and I will not be available on the 4th of July to scan the radios for information.

Hendrick Motorsports dominated qualifying for the Daytona 500. William Byron won the pole and Alex Bowman started second. The team has won eight of the last nine poles at the track. The race had a lot of lead changes. Four drivers were able to lead over 30 laps (Matt DiBenedetto 49 laps, Williams Byron 44 laps, Kyle Busch 37 laps and Denny Hamlin 30 laps). Only 14 cars finished on the lead lap so it was a typical Superspeedway race with a lot of wrecked cars. Joey Logano made a run for the lead at the end of the race but he could not get any help. Denny Hamlin held off the field and went to Victory Lane.

Race Rewind at Daytona: Daytona 500 (2019)

Here are my picks for Daytona…


DraftKings NASCAR Preview

There are only 160 laps scheduled for the race Sunday. That means there are 40 points available for leading laps and 80 points available for fastest laps. The trend at Daytona in the summer is for one driver to lead 40 laps, 3 drivers lead 20 laps and 2 driver to led 15 laps. The fastest laps are spread throughout the field and are very random. You need to focus on place differential points this week. My lineups with 6 drivers who start outside the top 20 usually score the most points in the Coke Zero 400. I plan to use the same strategy Saturday night.

The drivers I expect to dominate the race Sunday include: Joey Logano, Ricky Stenhouse, Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick


Top 15 DraftKings Drivers in Last 4 Races at Daytona


Avg. Finish Pos. Laps Led

DK Points

1.      Ryan Preece




2.      Ross Chastian




3.      Michael McDowell




4.      Ryan Newman




5.      Erik Jones




6.      Chris Buescher




7.      Ty Dillon




8.      Matt DiBendetto




9.      Brendan Gaughan




10.   Paul Menard




11.   Austin Dillon




12.   Landon Cassill




13.   Darrell Wallace Jr.




14.   Denny Hamlin




15.   Kyle Larson





I will post my final DraftKings picks no later than Saturday morning.


Fantasy Live Preview

There are nine races left in the regular season of the Fantasy Live game. It will be important to save allocations this week but it really depends on how many allocations you have left with your top drivers. There are drivers who perform well on the Superspeedways (Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch and Chase Elliott). It is OK to use these drivers if you have 3 or more allocations left. Just be sure to sprinkle in some drivers who perform better on the Superspeedways then on the smaller tracks (Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Alex Bowman, Paul Menard, Michael McDowell and David Ragan).

*Pick for the Pole*: Our pick for the pole needs to be in before qualifying at 5 p.m. ET Saturday. My pole pick will be posted after the final practice Thursday.

Here are the drivers I have penciled in right now…


5 Starting Drivers

Joey Logano (4): Logano has been the best driver on the Superspeedways and it is not even close. Logano has finished six of the last seven races on these tracks in the top five. That is outstanding! He did have some bad luck in the last two Coke Zero 400s, but his consistency at this track over his career is too good to ignore. I have no problem using another allocation with Logano Saturday night.

Denny Hamlin (4): Hamlin won the Daytona 500 in February and it would not surprise anyone if Hamlin swept the races at this track. Hamlin has two wins and led a series-high 437 laps at Daytona. He is a great pick this week because Hamlin uses the strategy of running up front as much as possible to avoid the wrecks. That means a lot of Stage points. I will use another allocation with the No. 11 car this week.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (8): Stenhouse sure made a lot of the drivers in this race last year. He did everything he could to stay up front, even if it meant spinning out other cars. I really do not care how he drivers as long as he finishes up front and that is usually what happens with Stenhouse at Superspeedways. I will use Stenhouse this week and save my allocations with the top drivers for the more predictable tracks.

Alex Bowman (9): Most people thought the No. 88 car would struggle on the Superspeedways when Dale Earnhardt Jr. climbed out of the car. That has not been the case. Bowman has the second-best driver rating on the Superspeedways and the second-best driver rating at Daytona. He finished both Stages in second-place and finished second at Talladega in April.

Ryan Newman (10): If you want the safest pick in the field, Newman is your guy. The key to finishing up front on the Superspeedways is to avoid the wrecks. No driver is better at staying out of trouble than Newman. In the last eight races on the Superspeedways, Newman has completed 1,502 of 1,502 and he has a 9.8 average finishing. Are you kidding me!! He is either the luckiest driver on Earth or the best driver in the field at missing wrecks. I will roll the dice with the No. 6 car this week.


Garage Driver

My Garage Driver this week will likely be Erik Jones (8). Jones won the Coke Zero 400 last year and he came back to Daytona and proved it was not a fluke when he finished 3rd in the Daytona 500. Jones has finished three of the last four Superspeedway races in the top 10. The reason why he is so good is because he spends a lot of time between Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch. That is not a bad place to be. I plan to have Jones in the Garage as my insurance policy this week.


Bonus Picks

My Bonus Picks will be updated after I see the cars on the track this weekend. Here are my thoughts right now…

Pick for the Pole: William Byron

Stage 1 Winner: Joey Logano

Stage 2 Winner: Joey Logano

Race Winner: Joey Logano

Winning Manufacture: Ford



*Stats from Driveraverages.com, Racing-Reference.Info and NASCAR Media.

** Photos from NASCAR Media


If you need any further advice with your team, look for me on Twitter @MrFantasyNASCAR

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