DraftKings NASCAR: Coke Zero Sugar 400
DraftKings NASCAR: Coke Zero Sugar 400

This article is part of our DraftKings NASCAR series.

Coke Zero Sugar 400 

Location: Daytona Beach, Fla. 
Course: Daytona International Speedway 
Format: 2.5-mile tri-oval 
Laps: 160 

Race Preview 

Alex Bowman raced to his first series victory at Chicagoland Speedway last week, earning Hendrick Motorsports their second win of the season. The last win the team got was with Chase Elliott at Talladega Superspeedway. Teamwork has become the order of the day at the superspeedways and not many have done it better than Chevrolet and Toyota. The new tactics have grown from the changes in regulations and have ended Ford's domination in the format. Ford teams won't be locked out for long, though. Both Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano have been very strong at these circuits and have been this season, too. This will be the first visit to Daytona under the new rules package since the Daytona 500 in February still used the old restrictor-plate rules package. While the characteristics of running at the track won't be drastically different, fantasy owners should expect to see a race more similar to what we saw in Talladega versus the race here last February. Chevrolet-powered cars made up five of the top six finishers and six of the top 10. 

Key Stats at Daytona International Speedway 

• Number of previous races: 144 
• Winners from pole: 26 
• Winners from top-5 starters: 74 
• Winners from top-10 starters: 111 
• Winners from 21st or lower starters: 10 
• Fastest race: 183.295 mph 

Last 10 Daytona Winners 

2019 spring - Denny Hamlin
2018 fall - Erik Jones
2018 spring - Austin Dillon
2017 fall - Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
2017 spring - Kurt Busch
2016 fall - Brad Keselowski
2016 spring - Denny Hamlin
2015 fall - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2015 spring - Joey Logano
2014 fall - Aric Almirola

Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch combined to lead 67 laps and finished first and second in a Joe Gibbs Racing one-two-three finish with Erik Jones at Daytona earlier this year. William Byron and Matt DiBenedetto also spent significant time out front in a race that went seven laps beyond the scheduled distance. While handling and tire wear are bigger factors at Daytona than Talladega teamwork is arguably more important. Manufacturers have started teaming up to keep other marques out of the top positions and drivers will typically look to pair up with others with the same engine. Side drafting has also become a more powerful tool for drivers to use to slow down cars in front to make passes. Disrupting air along the side of the leading car by pulling to the rear fender can slow down the car ahead. That makes passing more prevalent and doesn't always require help to make a move stick. Despite these characteristics, passing for the lead can still be a challenge. Saturday night's race is sure to see drivers jockey for position in the pack while hunting for friends to make moves toward the front with.  

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

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Kyle Busch - $11,000 
Brad Keselowski - $10,500 
Joey Logano - $10,200 

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Chase Elliott - $9,900 
Kyle Larson - $9,700 
Kurt Busch - $9,500 
Denny Hamlin - $9,000 

DraftKings Tier 3 Values 

Erik Jones - $8,800 
Alex Bowman - $8,600 
Aric Almirola - $8,400 
Ryan Blaney - $8,300 

DraftKings Long-Shot Values 

Ryan Newman - $7,700 
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $7,400 
Chris Buescher - $6,800 
Austin Dillon - $6,600 
Matt DiBenedetto - $6,400 

MY PICKS THIS WEEK 

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap) 

Joey Logano - $10,200 
Chase Elliott - $9,900 
Alex Bowman - $8,600 
Ryan Blaney - $8,300 
Austin Dillon - $6,600 
Matt DiBenedetto - $6,400 

Driver prices for Daytona leave plenty of room for creativity in fantasy rosters. Joey Logano is one of the best superspeedway racers in the field and is only the fifth-highest priced selection. He won the Daytona 500 in 2015 and has five finishes of sixth of better at the track in the last seven races. Chase Elliott won earlier this season at Talladega, has a teammate that won last week, and has started on the front row here five times out of seven. With teamwork expected to play a major role in determining Saturday night's winner fantasy owners should also pick up Alex Bowman. It will be hard for him to win two weeks in a row, but he has three top-15 Daytona finishes from six career starts. He also finished second to Elliott at Talladega earlier this season. Adding Ryan Blaney gives this lineup some Penske Racing Ford power at another bargain price. He led 13 laps in the Daytona 500 before crashing but has two top-10s at the track from eight career starts. Richard Childress Racing has consistently fielded fast cars at superspeedways and Austin Dillon is a good way for fantasy owners to take advantage of that. He is a former Daytona 500 champion and has seven total top-10s at the track from 12 starts, including ninth in this race last season. Finally, Matt DiBenedetto may be the bargain of the week. He is a very good driver on superspeedways. He led 49 laps in the Daytona 500 and finished seventh in last year's Coke Zero Sugar 400. 

Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap) 

Kyle Busch - $11,000 
Kurt Busch - $9,500 
Aric Almirola - $8,400 
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $7,400 
Chris Buescher - $6,800 
Daniel Hemric - $6,100 

Kyle Busch has been dominant this season and should be a contender again this week at Daytona. He finished second in the Daytona 500 and could be the one to beat if the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas can work together to stay out front. Kyle's brother Kurt is usually a very good fantasy play on superspeedways. He is one of the best in the draft and finished sixth at Talladega earlier this season. Stewart-Haas Racing has had its share of problems this season, but Daytona is a place Aric Almirola could turn that around. He was ninth at Talladega and won this race in 2014. He would love to be the one to push that team forward. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was the king of superspeedways in 2017 and consistently leads laps at Daytona. He led more than 10 in each of the last four races here and should be expected to lead more again Saturday night. Chris Buescher has two Daytona top fives should be in line for a top finish again this week if he can avoid trouble. Again, Richard Childress Racing fields very competitive cars at the two superspeedway circuits and Daniel Hemric is an inexpensive way to grab someone with horsepower and upside potential. Hemric started and finished fifth at Talladega this season and can use the experience he gained from February's Daytona 500 to repeat that type of finish this week.

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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