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DraftKings NASCAR: Overton's 301

C.J. Radune

Radune covers NASCAR, Formula 1 and soccer for RotoWire. He was named the 2015 Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.

Overton’s 301

Location: Loudon, N.H.
Course: New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Format: 1.0-mile oval
Laps: 301

Race Preview

Martin Truex Jr. padded his playoff points account by winning both stages in Kentucky and then winning the race. The victory was his third of the season and sets him up nicely for advancement in the playoff format. Kyle Busch was again held out of Victory Lane despite having one of the few cars capable of fighting directly with Truex. The number of races before the cutoff for the playoffs continues to wind down, and only seven playoff spots remain for drivers who have yet to claim a 2017 victory. Joey Logano is one of those drivers on the outside looking in, along with Dale Earnhardt Jr., while rookie Erik Jones is in the mix 52 points adrift from Matt Kenseth, who currently sits 16th. Next up on the schedule is the 1.0-mile oval of New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Kenseth and Kevin Harvick won the two stops at the venue last season, and given Kenseth’s current position in the points, along with the news that he likely won’t be with Joe Gibbs Racing next season, he may be desperate to have a winning effort this weekend. He’ll have company in similar situations, however.

Key Stats at Sonoma Raceway

Number of previous races: 28
Winners from pole: 5
Winners from top-5 starters: 15
Winners from top-10 starters: 20
Winners from 21st or lower starters: 2
Fastest race: 83.624 mph

Last 10 New Hampshire Winners

2016 fall - Kevin Harvick
2016 spring - Matt Kenseth
2015 fall - Matt Kenseth
2015 spring - Kyle Busch
2014 fall - Joey Logano
2014 spring - Brad Keselowski
2013 fall - Matt Kenseth
2013 spring - Brian Vickers
2012 fall - Denny Hamlin
2012 spring - Kasey Kahne

New Hampshire’s fast straights and tight turns place an emphasis on braking. The track has worked to become a multigroove facility to improve the racing, but it remains a difficult circuit on which to pass. Qualifying will be especially important for drivers looking to be in contention for an early stage win, and crews will always have an eye on pit stop strategy to give drivers the best position in the field. Passes that do happen on track will often come about through out-braking opponents into corner entry. Drivers who abuse the equipment early will have trouble digging deep at the end of the race, however. Right-front tire wear also will be a concern, but two-tire stops may prove to be popular on Sunday, as teams weigh the risks and rewards. Similarly, restarts will be especially important for drivers to be out front, but also to make as many passes as possible before drivers settle into a groove. Neither winner at the track last season led the most laps in their respective victories, though. For example, Truex led more than 100 laps in both events, but his best finish of the two was seventh in the fall. That information could come in handy for fantasy players this week.

DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS
(Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values

Kyle Busch - $10,500
Martin Truex Jr. - $10,300
Kevin Harvick - $10,000

DraftKings Tier 2 Values

Brad Keselowski - $9,900
Kyle Larson - $9,700
Matt Kenseth - $9,300
Joey Logano - $8,800
Jamie McMurray - $8,600

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Erik Jones - $7,900
Daniel Suarez - $7,500
Ryan Newman - $7,300

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Trevor Bayne - $6,900
Ty Dillon - $6,700
Aric Almirola - $6,600
Chris Buescher - $6,300

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Kyle Busch - $10,500
Martin Truex Jr. - $10,300
Chase Elliott - $9,100
Ryan Blaney - $8,300
Aric Almirola - $6,600
Matt DiBenedetto - $5,000

It’s hard to argue against putting both Busch and Truex in the lower-risk lineup for New Hampshire. These are consistently two of the fastest drivers this season, and either would be very likely to wind up in Victory Lane. Truex has never won at the track, but he led more than 100 laps in both visits last season and inherited pole from Larson. Elliott is still looking for his first top-10 at the track but he qualified in the top 10 for both races at the track in 2016. He led on lap in the fall race before scoring a 13th-place finish. He’s capable of at least a top-10 on Sunday. Blaney has three New Hampshire Cup races under his belt, and his two tries last season resulted in 11th and 12th-place finishes. Almirola will make his return from a broken back this week after Darrell Wallace Jr. turned in some excellent top-15 runs in his absence. Both finishes at the track last season were top-20s for Almirola, and fantasy owners should expect that again this week despite his recent layoff. Bringing up the rear in this group is DiBenedetto. He currently sits 30th in the points with one top-10 finish this season. His average finish has been improving to the mid-20s, however. With his New Hampshire average finish of 31.0 from four career races, he should be able to outperform his cost for fantasy owners this week.

Higher-Risk Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Kyle Larson - $9,700
Matt Kenseth - $9,300
Joey Logano - $8,800
Clint Bowyer - $8,700
Austin Dillon - $7,000
Chris Buescher - $6,300

The higher-risk lineup for New Hampshire may be more balanced than the lower-risk option but carries plenty of questions with the selections. Larson has been quick all season but faces his second race in a row starting at the rear due to inspection issues. His team was also docked 35 points and had Chad Johnston suspended for three races from issues at Kentucky. That will be no small obstacle for him to overcome while starting from last position on Sunday. Perhaps even bigger questions surround Kenseth, however. He will be replaced in the No. 20 car next year by Erik Jones and currently has no ride for 2018. Still, he has won two of the last three races at this track and came home second last fall. Of all the tracks he could choose to prove he still has wins left in him, New Hampshire would be high on that list. Logano still hasn’t overcome his encumbered Richmond win. He fell out of the playoff spots, and will be aiming to claw his way back in. He finished eighth last week in Kentucky and has two New Hampshire victories. Bowyer has climbed out of his short slump with two runner-up finishes and a 13th-place from the last three races. He also has two New Hampshire wins. Dillon finished 13th and 16th in the two New Hampshire races last season, and Buescher is now a consistent top-20 finisher. Both drivers are value-added selections to round out this roster.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. C.J. Radune plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: cjradune, RaceDayScore: cjradune.