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We’re back with another busy week in the world of NASCAR! As the sport returns to the track, it must make up for the lost time by running four Cup Series races in 11 days. With the first two events in the books, this week’s action kicks off with the Coca-Cola 600 on its traditional Memorial Day weekend.
Similar to last week, the Cup Series will run a second race this week on Wednesday night. They’ll once again double-dip and run at the same track that they ran at on Sunday. Before we jump into the drivers to target and avoid for the upcoming DraftKings contests at Charlotte Motor Speedway, here are few quick notes to be aware of before submitting those lineups.
First off, as detailed in last week’s article that broke down some of the basics of NASCAR DFS on DraftKings, part of what makes up scoring is place differential, and as of writing this, we won’t know the starting positions for Sunday’s race. The Cup Series will qualify on Sunday afternoon, so be sure to stay tuned in to see who could improve their opportunity for points based on their qualifying performance.
As far as Wednesday’s race goes, the first 20 starting positions will be set based on an invert of the top-20 finishers from Sunday’s race. Starting positions 21 and after will be set based on where the team finished in Sunday’s race. So like last week, this could be an excellent opportunity to take advantage of good drivers starting mid-pack after finishing up front on Sunday and/or finding good values with solid drivers starting deep in the field based on a driver having a poor finish in Sunday’s race.
Lastly, the notes below include DraftKings’ prices for the first race at Charlotte. So while the information is still useful for Wednesday’s contest, be sure to double-check pricing before you submit your lineups for the midweek race.
Drivers to Target
Martin Truex, Jr (#19, Joe Gibbs Racing)
Race 1 DK Price: $10,600
No one has been as dominant at Charlotte Motor Speedway as of late than Martin Truex Jr. Trues has won three of the last seven races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and he has only one finish worse than third over that span. He has also led at least 90 laps in three of the last four races, including 116 out of 400 on his way to picking up the win in this same race last season. Truex carries the fourth-highest salary for Sunday, but he’s at the top of my target list for this week.
Alex Bowman (#88, Hendrick Motorsports)
Race 1 DK Price: $9,400
Bowman has been on fire so far this season, and despite the two-month hiatus, he picked up right where he left off with a second-place finish last Sunday. Bowman doesn’t have a long track record at Charlotte, but in his only two starts with Hendrick Motorsports here, he has had two top-10 finishes. This is a perfect combination of finding a driver with prior success and riding the hot hand.
Chase Elliott (#9, Hendrick Motorsports)
Race 1 DK Price: $9,700
Elliott has two top-five finishes over his last three trips to Charlotte Motor Speedway, with his worst finish being an 11th in 2018. Elliott finished fourth in this race last year, and he led 43 laps. Like teammate Alex Bowman, he has also looked good so far in 2020. Elliott comes in with the seventh-highest salary for Sunday’s race, so while I still prefer Bowman, Elliott is a fine target this week at Charlotte.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (#47, JTG Daugherty Racing)
Race 1 DK Price: $7,400
Stenhouse had a rough week at Darlington, as he wrecked on the first lap of Sunday’s race and ran into some trouble on Wednesday as well. But it’s a new week, and Stenhouse is a decent value target with a price tag of $7,400. Stenhouse has been successful at Charlotte in the past, as he finished in fifth here last year. He also hasn’t finished outside of the top-15 at Charlotte over his past four races, and he ranks seventh among active drivers in average finish over that span at 10.8.
Driver to Avoid
Brad Keselowski (#2, Team Penske)
Race 1 DK Price: $10,300
Coming in with the fifth-highest salary for Sunday’s race, Keselowski wouldn’t be someone I would pay up for at Charlotte. Although Keselowski led 76 laps last spring at this race, he ended up finishing 19th. In fact, Keselowski only has one top-10 finish in his last four races at Charlotte, so even though he does have an elite team behind him, the price tag is just too high for me.
Matt DiBenedetto (#21, Wood Brothers Racing)
Race 1 DK Price: $7,200
While the stats are a bit deceiving for DiBenedetto due to the poorly-funded teams that he’s driven for before 2020, DiBenedetto actually has the worst average finish of all active drivers over the past four Charlotte races. With much better equipment under him, I do think he’s in line to score a career-best finish at Charlotte this week, but there’s some unknown here with Matty D. The price tag isn’t bad depending on his starting position, but be aware that he has struggled here in the past.
Clint Bowyer (#14, Stewart Haas Racing)
Race 1 DK Price: $8,300
Clint Bowyer enters Sunday’s race having failed to finish in the top-10 in any of the previous four races at Charlotte. Going back even further, Bowyer hasn’t even scored a top-10 finish at Charlotte in any of the past 11 races at this track, and he has only led four laps during that span. Bowyer has good equipment, but I think his upside is limited.
Austin Dillon (#3, Richard Childress Racing)
Race 1 DK Price: $7,000
Austin Dillon is a mid-pack selection to avoid this week. Despite having won this race in 2017, Dillon has not found much success at Charlotte since then. Coming off back-to-back 34th place finishes in his last two starts, his 20th-ranked salary for Sunday is still too much for me. For $100 less, I’d much rather take the shot on Ross Chastain in one-off start in a car prepared by Chip Ganassi Racing.