Fantasy NASCAR Preview for Richmond

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The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will travel to Richmond Raceway this week for the Toyota Owners 400. This is the first night race of the season. I will be using more of the fall night race stats then the spring races at Richmond since we will be under the lights this week. The race car be seen Saturday night at 6:30pm ET on Fox.

The last race at Richmond was dominated by Martin Truex Jr. He qualified 5th and led 198 laps before his tire went down with 2 laps to go. The story of the race was the Ambulance blocking the entrance to pit road. Kyle Busch was running upfront but missed the pit road entrance because of the ambulance and lost a lot of track position. Kyle Larson ended up leading the last 53 laps to earn the victory in the race.

Race Rewind at Richmond: Federated Auto Parts 400 (2017)

 

DraftKings NASCAR Preview

This is one of the shortest races on the schedule (300 miles) but that does not mean dominators will not be important this week. There are 400 laps in the race and 200 bonus points available for fastest laps and 100 points for laps led. It will be important to try and capture as many of these bonus points as possible this week.

Starting position will not be as important this week since this tracks has multiple grooves and drivers can make passes if they find the perfect lane for their car to turn fast laps. I recommend selecting 2 dominators and 4 drivers to score position differential points Saturday night.

 

Top 15 DraftKings Drivers in Last 4 Races at Richmond

Driver

Avg. Finish Pos. Avg.Laps Led DK Points

1. Martin Truex Jr.

10.5 97.8

79.25

2. Denny Hamlin

6.0 62.3 73.50

3. Brad Keselowski

13.3 31.3

70.75

4. Kevin Harvick

8.0 18.5 56.50

5. Kyle Busch

8.0 29.3

51.75

6. Kyle Larson

9.8 18.3 48.00

7. Jimmie Johnson

12.5 11.0

45.75

8. Joey Logano

7.8 6.3 45.50

9. Kurt Busch

6.0 14.5

43.00

10. Daniel Suarez

13.5 0.0 43.00

11. Kasey Kahne

12.8 0.0

37.50

12. Aric Almirola

23.8 0.0 36.50

13. Jamie McMuuray

13.0 0.0

36.50

14. Ryan Newman

17.3 7.3 36.25

15. Chase Elliott

20.0 2.5

32.00

 

The drivers I expect to be the top dominators this week are: Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano

The drivers who could be the top value picks for the race Saturday night include: Erik Jones, Kurt Busch, Daniel Suarez and Jamie McMurray

The drivers I expect to be the best cheap drivers for the race Saturday night include:* Kasey Kahne, Darrell Wallace Jr., Daniel Hemric and Michael McDowell

* I am not planning on selecting too many of the very cheap drivers this week because the race at Richmond has the lowest DNF rate of all of the tracks on the schedule. There just are not many wrecks here (I probably just jinxed it now though), so we are unlikely to see drivers like Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott crash and drivers like Landon Cassill and Corey Lajoie moving inside the top 20 like we did at Bristol.

I will post my final DraftKings picks Saturday morning.

 

Fantasy Live Preview

My Fantasy Live picks bounced back at Bristol after a poor performance at Texas. My drivers finished #1 (Kyle Busch), #2 (Kyle Larson), #4 (Ricky Stenhouse Jr.), #9 (Joey Logano) and #14 (Denny Hamlin). The picks also scored 30 bonus points for the winner (Kyle Busch) and 10 points for the winning manufacturer (Toyota). I plan to keep the momentum going with another strong run at Richmond.

*Pick for the Pole*: Our pick for the pole needs to be in before qualifying at 5:30 p.m. ET on Friday. My pick for the pole will be posted after the first practice Friday (2 p.m. ET) on the front page of this website.

**Garage Driver:  I have been doing my best to keep everyone informed by using my Twitter account @MrFantasyNASCAR. I will do it again Sunday so make sure you follow me and get all of the information about the cars as I scan the drivers throughout the race.

*** My final picks for Fantasy Live will be posted after the final practice Saturday. I also post picks for the new NASCAR America Fantasy Live game.

Here are the drivers I have penciled in right now…

 

5 Starting Drivers

Kyle Busch (5) should be in all lineups this week. I am quickly running out of allocations with Busch but as long as he continues to finish in the top 2 I will continue to have him in my lineups. Busch has an average finishing position of 1.8 since the race at Atlanta. That is insane. Keep playing the hot hand until he cools off or you run out of allocations.

 Kyle Larson (6) should have won last week at Bristol but his car got loose on the last run. I would not be surprised if this is the week Larson gets to Victory Lane. He won the last race at Richmond and he has been the most dominant driver under the lights. Larson finished 1st and 2nd in the last two night races at Richmond. I am sure he is glad this race was moved from Sunday afternoon to Saturday night.

Denny Hamlin (6) has been the best pick in the field at his home track. Hamlin has a series-best 3.75 average finishing position and the 2nd-best driver rating (111.5) in the last four races at the track. Hamlin has not finished outside the top 6 at Richmond since 2015. This is the week to have Hamlin in your lineup.

Kurt Busch (7) must be on every team this week. He is running as well now as he has in a very long time. Richmond ranks as his 2nd-best track behind Atlanta. Busch is very good at qualifying at Richmond so he should have a good chance to score bonus points for qualifying. He also has an average finishing position of 7.5 in the last 7 races at the track. Stewart-Haas Racing said they want to get the No. 41 and No. 10 cars to Victory Lane to secure their playoff spots. I expect Busch to be in one of their best cars Saturday night.

Joey Logano (5) was the best driver at Richmond last year. He won the spring race but the win was taken away for an improperly aligned backend of the car.  Logano bounced back with a 2nd-place finish in the fall race at Richmond. The No. 22 car has finished has finished 7 of the 8 races this in the top 10. Logano has finished 8 consecutive races at Richmond in the top 10. All of the signs indicate Logano should easily finish in the top 10 again Saturday night.

Garage Driver

I plan to have Kevin Harvick (6) in the garage this week. I need to save some allocations with the No. 4 car but if anything happens to one of my starters I will not hesitate to slap 4 Goodyear’s in this rocket and put it in my starting lineup. Harvick has been very consistent at Richmond. He has finished 4 of his last 5 races at the track in the top 5. He is a good 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…

Stage 1 Winner: Denny Hamlin

Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Larson

Race Winner: Kyle Busch

Winning Manufacturer: Toyota

 

 

Fantrax Bronze Point Salary Cap Game Preview

If there was a crash at Bristol, one of my drivers was in it. I could not catch a break with my picks. I knew as soon as I traded Jimmie Johnson he would start to run well. That is how the Fantasy Gods repay me for trading a 7 time champ. I still think Denny Hamlin will be a better play than Johnson this season.

I will evaluate the drivers on this team during the practice sessions this week and try to get as much information as possible to help us win. Here is the lineup I have “penciled in” right now…

Kyle Busch

Kyle Larson

Denny Hamlin

Brad Keselowski

Ryan Blaney

Clint Bowyer

Aric Almirola

Paul Menard

Alex Bowman

William Byron

 

*Stats from Driveraverages.com and career stats from Racing-Reference.Info

 

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

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