Draft Kings NASCAR:  Coca-Cola 600
Draft Kings NASCAR: Coca-Cola 600

This article is part of our DraftKings NASCAR series.

Coca-Cola 600 

Location: Concord, N.C. 
Course: Charlotte Motor Speedway 
Format: 1.5-mile quad-oval 
Laps: 400 

Race Preview 

The Coca-Cola 600 is NASCAR's longest race at 600 miles. While that usually means plenty of action and opportunity, we have seen utter domination in the past. Martin Truex Jr. set the bar for that mark in 2016 when he led all but eight of the 400 laps. Kyle Busch nearly replicated that feat last year when he led 377 laps from pole to win. The bad news is that both of those drivers are at the top of their games with equipment to match. The optimists would say fantasy owners have plenty to look forward to, though. The longest race often provides for unpredictability, and the changing of sunlight to darkness on the track can help to jumble the running order, too. Last week's Monster Energy Open and All-Star Races showed just how aggressive drivers can get with the newest iteration of aerodynamics, but fans shouldn't expect that same level of pushiness this week. Points are on the line, and coming away with a good finish is what everyone will be shooting for. Toyota and Chevrolet have been the most productive at the track recently. Ford's only two wins in the last 10 Charlotte oval races where Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski in 2015 and 2013 respectively. Chevrolet and Toyota had the edge in recent weeks, which could set up a battle between the two this week.  

Key Stats at Charlotte Motor Speedway 

• Number of previous races: 119 
• Winners from pole: 17 
• Winners from top-5 starters: 67 
• Winners from top-10 starters: 89 
• Winners from 21st or lower starters: 10 
• Fastest race: 160.655 mph 

Last 10 Charlotte Winners 

2018 - Kyle Busch  
2017 fall - Martin Truex Jr.
2017 spring - Austin Dillon
2016 fall - Jimmie Johnson
2016 spring - Martin Truex Jr.
2015 fall - Joey Logano
2015 spring - Carl Edwards 
2014 fall - Kevin Harvick
2014 spring - Jimmie Johnson
2013 fall - Brad Keselowski

Mastering the changing track and track position will be the focus this week at Charlotte. The current aerodynamic package produces its best racing when temperatures are cool, but this weekend's forecast at the track is anything but. The fact that this race is 600 miles puts inherently less emphasis on qualifying, and fantasy owners will want to identify the cars that are working most effectively in traffic to fill their roster. Teams and drivers will set their cars up loose at the start of the evening in hopes of the cooling track tightening up the balance as the sun sets and the race wears on. Making the right adjustments during pit stops will be key in maximizing a car's characteristics through the fuel runs. Restarts and track position are almost always a factor at circuits like Charlotte, and cautions could alter the outcome as a result. While choosing the driver most likely to dominate can tally lots of points this week due to the high lap count, it will be equally important to find those drivers who have the staying power to be in the mix at the end of NASCAR's longest night. 

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

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Kyle Busch - $11,200 
Kevin Harvick - $10,800 
Martin Truex Jr. - $10,600 
Chase Elliott - $10,300 

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Joey Logano - $9,900 
Kyle Larson - $9,600 
Denny Hamlin - $9,200 
Ryan Blaney - $9,000 

DraftKings Tier 3 Values 

Kurt Busch - $8,900 
Erik Jones - $8,700 
Jimmie Johnson - $8,300 
Alex Bowman - $8,100 

DraftKings Long-Shot Values 

Austin Dillon - $7,800 
William Byron - $7,400 
Daniel Hemric - $5,900 
Darrell Wallace Jr. - $5,700 

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap) 

Kevin Harvick - $10,800 
Joey Logano - $9,900 
Aric Almirola - $8,500 
Jimmie Johnson - $8,300 
Matt DiBenedeto - $6,300 
Daniel Hemric - $5,900 

There is plenty of speed and quality to be had in this week's lower-risk lineup. Kevin Harvick may not yet have a win this year, but has been getting closer each week and with three prior Charlotte oval wins he could add a fourth this weekend. Joey Logano is also a previous winner at Charlotte, qualified inside the top 10 and finished fourth last week in the All-Star Race. Aric Almirola also had a good night in the All-Star Race and now has a front-row start for Sunday's marathon race. He finished 13th after starting ninth in last year's race. With Hendrick Motorsports now finding their pace, Jimmie Johnson becomes a true threat for race wins again. He once dominated at this track with eight career wins. He also finished fifth here last season despite starting 23rd. Matt DiBenedetto will start 27th Sunday evening and will be looking for his best finish at the circuit. He sits 25th in the standings and has three top-20 finishes in the last four points races. Finally, Daniel Hemric was the fastest car ahead of last week's Monster Energy Open. He dominated the first stage, but bad luck saw him fall from the point. His speed continued through to this week and he starts 10th. He has true top-10 potential and should not be overlooked this weekend. 

Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap) 

Kyle Busch - $11,200 
Kyle Larson - $9,600 
Alex Bowman - $8,100 
Austin Dillon - $7,800 
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $7,200 
Darrell Wallace Jr. - $5,700 

Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson lead the higher-risk lineup, but neither should be considered a risky play this week. Busch dominated last year's 600-mile race, while Larson picked up his first All-Star win last week. Both drivers should be strong contenders at the front of the field this week. With a string of runner-up finishes at his back, Alex Bowman makes another strong play. He qualified 13th and should have a win in his pocket by the time this season concludes. There is no reason it couldn't come this week, either. Austin Dillon is a previous 600 winner who found significant speed to qualify fourth. Don't underestimate his ability to make a top-10 run this week, too. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Darrell Wallace Jr. round out this lineup with speed and tenacity. Stenhouse found pace on Thursday to qualify inside the top 10, while Wallace proved willpower could deliver results. Stenhouse had a top-10 finish in this race last season and Wallace not only won a stage to advance to last week's All-Star Race, but he went on to finish fifth in the main event, too. These two drivers make excellent selections at bargain prices. 

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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