The monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will compete at Charlotte Motor Speedway this week. The most important thing for fantasy players to know is that the race Sunday night is a marathon and not a sprint. There is plenty of time for drivers to make their way to the front from the back and plenty of time for drivers to overcome penalties on pit road. Do not panic if your drive falls to the back for some unforeseen reason. They can make up the positions over the 600 mile race.
NASCAR changed the rules for this race. The sanctioning body decided to add an additional Stage to the race Sunday night. The addition will affect the Fantasy Live game. There will be 40 Stages points available for each driver this week. Fantasy players must try to capture as many of these points as possible.
The best strategy this week is to pick drivers who start up front with a good chance to stay up front for the entire race. This will give fantasy teams an opportunity to score some of the 40 bonus points for finishing in the top 10 in each Stage, some of the 200 bonus points for leading laps and some of the 200 bonus points for fastest laps in the race. Position differential points will not be as important this week unless you think a driver can quickly make his way to the front and finish each Stage in the top 10.
Kyle Larson must be on every team since he starts 39th and should finish in the top 10.
Kevin Harvick must be on all teams since the driver who wins the pole averages 135 laps led on the 1.5-mile tracks this season.
I went with Martin Truex Jr. over Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson for the third spot on my team. Truex led 392 of the 400 laps in this race last year, he has scored the most points in Fantasy Live on 1.5-mile tracks this season, he has a series-best 4.2 average running position on the 1.5-mile tracks and his lap times were almost identical to Kyle Busch. I am not going to be the guy who leaves Truex off my team after he has dominated most of the intermediate tracks the last year.
Landon Cassill and Chris Buescher should both improve 8-10 spots in the race Sunday night.
Here are my picks for the Coca-Cola 600…
Kyle Larson $27.75 (Starts 39th)
Martin Truex Jr. $27.50 (Starts 8th)
Kevin Harvick $27.25 (Starts Pole)
Chris Buescher $10.25 (Starts 29th)
Landon Cassill $7.25 (Starts 31st)
PICK TO WIN: Martin Truex Jr.
Good luck this week!
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