DraftKings NASCAR: The Clash at Daytona
DraftKings NASCAR: The Clash at Daytona

This article is part of our DraftKings NASCAR series.

THE CLASH AT DAYTONA

Location: Daytona Beach, Fla.
Course: Daytona International Speedway
Format: 2.5-mile tri-oval
Laps: 75

Race Preview

The kickoff to the 2018 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series begins Sunday at Daytona International Speedway with the Clash at Daytona exhibition race. The field for this non-points race is set by pole winners from 2017, former pole-sitters for the Daytona 500, as well as drivers who were in the 2017 playoffs who haven't otherwise already been eligible. The race doesn't count for anything other than bragging rights and a nice paycheck, but it gives fantasy players a unique view into who can be expected to contend for the win in the Daytona 500.

Key Stats at Daytona International Speedway

Previous races: 39
Winners from pole: 4
Winners from top-5 starters: 13
Winners from top-10 starters: 19
Winners from 21st or lower starters: 1

Last 10 Clash Winners

2017 - Joey Logano
2016 - Denny Hamlin
2015 - Matt Kenseth
2014 - Denny Hamlin
2013 - Kevin Harvick
2012 - Kyle Busch
2011 - Kurt Busch
2010 - Kevin Harvick
2009 - Kevin Harvick
2008 - Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Joey Logano won last year's Clash at Daytona, but followed it up with a difficult season for Penske Racing. He was the first Ford driver to win this preseason event since Dale Jarrett in 2004. Denny Hamlin and his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates have been the most recent consistent contenders in this format, though. The Gibbs organization has won five of the last seven Clash events and will be ginning for another with Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones and Kyle Busch eligible and competing Sunday. However, most important for fantasy owners and drivers alike is to get a gauge on what to expect when the stakes rise for next weekend's Daytona 500.

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

DraftKings Tier 1 Values

Brad Keselowski - $9,500
Chase Elliott - $9,300
Kevin Harvick - $9,000

DraftKings Tier 2 Values

Kyle Busch - $8,800
Denny Hamlin - $8,600
Joey Logano - $8,300
Kyle Larson - $8,100

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Martin Truex Jr. - $7,900
Jimmie Johnson - $7,700
Ryan Blaney - $7,100
Erik Jones - $6,600

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Kurt Busch - $6,400
Jamie McMurray - $6,200
Austin Dillon - $5,900
Ryan Newman - $5,700

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Brad Keselowski - $9,500
Kevin Harvick - $9,000
Kyle Busch - $8,800
Martin Truex Jr. - $7,900
Ryan Blaney - $7,100
Jamie McMurray - $6,200

The lower-risk lineup option for Sunday's Clash features a number of the top drivers on restrictor-plate tracks. Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick are two of the best in these types of races, while Kyle Busch is another perennial favorite. Harvick and Busch has five of the last 10 Clash wins between them. The 2017 champion Martin Truex Jr. is another driver who should not be ignored. His consistency got the job done in 2017, but his prowess at Daytona is among the best. Ryan Blaney showed his potential in 2017, and should be in store for even more success in 2018 with the full backing of Penske Racing. Finally, Jamie McMurray outperformed last season without the best equipment. He is a strong driver at Daytona, and is always one to keep an eye out for wins in these types of one-off races.

Higher-Risk Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Denny Hamlin - $8,600
Joey Logano - $8,300
Kyle Larson - $8,100
Jimmie Johnson - $7,700
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $7,400
Erik jones - $6,600

Our higher-risk lineup for the Clash offers fantasy players the two most recent winners of the event. Joey Logano won in 2017 while Denny Hamlin took wins in 2016 as well as 2014. The pair have split three of the four most recent Clashes, which isn't a bad deal at these prices. Kyle Larson is another top-notch driver in the draft, but doesn't seem to be getting his due this first race out of the box. He was a contender in 2017, and should not be discounted at Daytona. Jimmie Johnson wasn't able to replicate his dominant form in 2017, but he remained in the championship hunt for quite a while. His team will no doubt have picked up a few tricks that they will unleash this season. Another top driver at restrictor-plate tracks is Ricky Stenhouse Jr. The newly single Roush Fenway Racing driver grabbed his maiden series victories on these types of tracks in 2017, and it would not be a surprise to see him capture another one this week. Lastly, Erick Jones was one of the standout newcomers to the series in 2017. He competes in the Clash for the first time in JGR equipment. Fantasy players will want to watch closely what he does as it could be a signal to his competitiveness for the rest of the year.

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.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.
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