DraftKings: Ford EcoBoost 400
DraftKings: Ford EcoBoost 400

This article is part of our DraftKings NASCAR series.

Ford EcoBoost 400

Location: Homestead, Fla.

Course: Homestead-Miami Speedway

Format: 1.5-mile oval

Laps: 267

Race Preview

Denny Hamlin put on a show last week at ISM Raceway to win his way into the final four this week at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He joins teammates Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch as part of the first organization to put three finalists into the championship decider. Kevin Harvick is the other contender after his win at Texas two weeks ago. The quartet won the most races this season and fittingly are the candidates to claim the season title. All four have had seasons to be proud of and each could justifiably be called champion. All four have excellent records at Homestead-Miami Speedway, but only Denny Hamlin has yet to claim the series championship. If past Homestead finales are anything to judge by, this weekend's race will be hard fought among these four and could come down to the last moments in the winner-takes-all showdown. All have been in this situation before, but Hamlin, the driver with arguably the most momentum, has had the longest wait since his last attempt. The curtain will be drawn on the 2019 season this Sunday.

Key Stats at Homestead-Miami Speedway

• Number of previous races: 20

• Winners from pole: 2

• Winners from top-5 starters: 12

• Winners from top-10 starters: 14

• Winners from 21st or lower starters: 2

• Fastest race: 142.245 mph

Previous 10 Homestead Winners

2018 - Joey Logano

2017 - Martin Truex Jr.

2016 - Jimmie Johnson

2015 - Kyle Busch

2014 - Kevin Harvick

2013 - Denny Hamlin

2012 - Jeff Gordon

2011 - Tony Stewart

2010 - Carl Edwards

2009 - Denny Hamlin

Homestead-Miami Speedway is a unique 1.5-mile oval. The circuit features progressive banking that has improved the racing in recent years, but the track is still dominated by strategy and track position. Sunday's champion could be determined on the final restart of the race whether that precedes a long green-flag period or is a short few-lap sprint to the finish line. Either way, drivers and teams will jockey for position on pit road. The decision to go with two- or four-tire stops in the final stages of the race could be major factors in determining the outcome. Both Joey Logano and Jimmie Johnson claimed race wins and season championships by mastering the late pit stop and restart, and that situation could play out again this week. The last two races here have only seen two caution periods aside from stage finishes. Having an adaptable car that can be driven through the different lines in the turns as the track transitions from day to night and throughout the race will be imperative to staying in contact with the leaders. Fantasy owners should keep an eye out for drivers focusing early on race setup combined with top times on the 10-lap average speed chart.

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

DraftKings Tier 1 Values

Kyle Busch - $11,400

Denny Hamlin - $11,100

Kevin Harvick - $10,800

Martin Truex Jr. - $10,600

DraftKings Tier 2 Values

Joey Logano - $9,800

Chase Elliott - $9,600

Ryan Blaney - $9,400

Kurt Busch - $9,000

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Erik Jones - $8,600

William Byron - $8,400

Ryan Newman - $8,000

Alex Bowman - $7,800

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Daniel Suarez - $7,400

Austin Dillon - $7,100

Chris Buescher - $6,700

Daniel Hemric - $6,300

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Denny Hamlin - $11,100

Chase Elliott - $9,600

William Byron - $8,400

Aric Almirola - $8,200

Chris Buescher - $6,700

John Hunter Nemechek - $5,800

A win last week and continued playoff momentum may make Denny Hamlin the favorite this week despite him having never won the series title before. He also has more Homestead wins than the other championship contenders and will start on pole Sunday after rain rearranged Saturday's on-track schedule. He was quick, along with his teammates, and also had one of the best long-run averages in the field. Chase Elliott has suffered a significant amount of bad luck in recent weeks, but his speed is unquestionable. Elliott's worst Homestead finish was 11th in 2016 and his average finish from three tries at the track is 7.7. Elliott's teammate William Byron only has one Homestead start in this series but has two top-fives in the last five races. Aric Almirola fell off last week compared to his pace in Texas, but Homestead should be a more relevant comparison to that top performance than was Phoenix. He will be focused on helping teammate Kevin Harvick and will best help him by racing hard at the front. He was ninth in this race last season. Chris Buescher has had a great season and has been rewarded for that with a drive at Roush Fenway Racing for 2020. He finished in the top 20 in the last five races, including two top-15s, and should be expected to continue that this weekend. Finally, John Hunter Nemechek will close out his substitute role this week. He has one Homestead top-10 from two attempts in the truck series.

Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Kevin Harvick - $10,800

Kyle Larson - $10,200

Erik Jones - $8,600

Austin Dillon - $7,100

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $6,900

Daniel Hemric - $6,300

Kevin Harvick is the only driver in the championship four not driving a Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. He is the underdog in the championship battle, which could play into his hands as Sunday's race plays out. Still, he is a stout contender and hasn't finished lower than fourth at Homestead in the last five races. Kyle Larson has three top-fives and 325 laps led from six Homestead starts. Erik Jones gives this lineup a taste of the JGR machine. With an average start of 10.5 from two Homestead starts we know he has speed, but he will need to make it all the way to the finish with that pace. His average result at the track is 24.0. Austin Dillon has not yet picked up a top-10 finish at this track but has back-to-back 11th-place finishes there the last two times out. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will want to make the most of his last race with Roush before he heads to JTG Daugherty for 2020. Fantasy owners should expect a top-20 from him on Sunday, but a top-15 seems more likely. Another driver facing a change in employers next season is Daniel Hemric. With no Cup series plans in place yet he will be using this weekend as a final audition. He finished fourth at Homestead in last year's Xfinity series finale and should be able to race among the top 20 in this series on Sunday.

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.
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only NASCAR Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire NASCAR fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
C.J. Radune
Radune covers NASCAR, Formula 1 and soccer for RotoWire. He was named the Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association in 2012 and 2015.
NASCAR Barometer: Busch Wins Second Championship
NASCAR Barometer: Busch Wins Second Championship
Ford EcoBoost 400 Preview: Four Drivers, One Champion
Ford EcoBoost 400 Preview: Four Drivers, One Champion
NASCAR Barometer: Hamlin Wins to Join Teammates in Homestead
NASCAR Barometer: Hamlin Wins to Join Teammates in Homestead
DraftKings NASCAR: Bluegreen Vacations 500
DraftKings NASCAR: Bluegreen Vacations 500
Bluegreen Vacations 500 Preview: Prelude to the Championship
Bluegreen Vacations 500 Preview: Prelude to the Championship
NASCAR Barometer: Harvick Enters Championship Finale With Texas Win
NASCAR Barometer: Harvick Enters Championship Finale With Texas Win