This article is part of our DFS NASCAR series.
South Point 400
Location: Las Vegas, Nev.
Course: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Format: 1.5-mile oval
This week's South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is the first race of the round of 12. Four championship contenders were eliminated after last week's race at Bristol, and the playoff drivers' point totals have been reset. Kevin Harvick scored his ninth win of the season in that race, which was his second win in the playoffs. Ryan Blaney, Matt DiBenedetto, William Byron and Cole Custer's championship hopes were extinguished. The remaining 12 drivers now face what could be the most pivotal race in the championship so far. Following this week's visit to the 1.5-mile oval at Las Vegas, two wild-card races loom at Talladega Superspeedway and the Charlotte road course. Drivers and teams alike will be feeling the pressure to win this week to avoid the pitfalls that could come in the next two races in the round.
Key Stats at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
- Number of races: 25
- Winners from pole: 1
- Winners from top-5 starters: 9
- Winners from top-10 starters: 13
- Winners from 21st or lower starters: 5
- Fastest race: 154.849 mph
Previous 10 Las Vegas Winners
2020 spring - Joey Logano
2019 fall - Martin Truex Jr.
2019 spring - Joey Logano
2018 fall - Brad Keselowski
2018 spring - Kevin Harvick
2017 - Martin Truex Jr.
2016 - Brad Keselowski
2015 - Kevin Harvick
2014 - Brad Keselowski
2013 - Matt Kenseth
The 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway is one of NASCAR's traditional intermediate circuits. The track favors grip and that's what all the teams will be chasing this weekend. Teams that get the setup right at the start will have an advantage as track position comes into play deeper in the race distance. Pit strategy could become a factor, but making the correct adjustments on pit road will be even more important. Getting off pit road ahead of the competition with a car that can hold track position throughout the anticipated long green-flag runs could be an important factor in determining the winner. Late cautions, like we saw in the spring race, could throw a wrench in the best laid plans, though.
DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)
DraftKings Tier 1 Values
DraftKings Tier 2 Values
DraftKings Tier 3 Values
DraftKings Long-Shot Values
MY PICKS THIS WEEK
Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Bristol was not a good track for fantasy owners to rely on Martin Truex Jr. (DK $10,600, FD $13,200), but Las Vegas is. He will start Sunday's race 11th but he has two wins at the track, including this race last season. Ryan Blaney (DK $9,100, FD $11,500) was eliminated from the playoffs last week after a dismal first round, but he still has seven races remaining to rediscover the speed he showed earlier in the year. He led 19 laps at Las Vegas in the spring and finished 11th. He was fifth in this race last season. Aric Almirola (DK $8,300, FD $11,000) has also been quick at Las Vegas. He stumbled and finished 21st there in the spring race but had finishes of 13th or better in the four races at the track prior to that. Matt DiBenedetto (DK $7,900, FD $8,500) is awaiting a decision on his future with Wood Brothers Racing, and another good finish at Las Vegas could help sway that choice in his favor. He was the runner-up finisher in the spring race after starting 19th, which was his best result at the track. Rookie Christopher Bell (DK $7,100, FD $7,200) started from the rear in the spring and only finished 33rd, but he is a two-time runner-up finisher at the track in the Xfinity Series. Tyler Reddick (DK $6,900, FD $7,800) won one of those races in which Bell finished second — the fall Las Vegas race in 2019. Reddick finished 18th there this past spring.
Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Denny Hamlin (DK $11,000, FD $13,300) may not be the obvious choice at Las Vegas, but he remains one of the only drivers capable of beating Kevin Harvick this season. Hamlin has never won at this track and has a best finish of 10th in the last five there. This is why he leads the higher-risk option. Joey Logano (DK $10,300, FD $12,800) backs up Hamlin with known recent Las Vegas speed. The Penske Racing driver won two of the last three races at the track and brings a streak of nine top-10 finishes at the track into this weekend. Chase Elliott (DK $9,700, FD $12,300) led 70 laps before spinning late in the race and leaving with a 26th-place finish. He finished fourth and led 12 laps in this race last season. The biggest surprise of the playoffs so far has been the form of Austin Dillon (DK $7,600, FD $10,500). Two top-fives to start the round of 16 put him in a comfortable position to advance from the round of 16. He did that and now looks to replicate that strong start in the round of 12. The spring Las Vegas race was one of his four top-five finishes so far this season. Daniel Suarez (DK $5,700, FD $4,500) is another driver looking for a ride for 2021. He only has three top-15 finishes so far this season but could offer finish differential points this week with a 29th-place starting position. Finishing the selections is Ryan Preece (DK $5,600, FD $4,500) who finished ninth at Bristol last week and has three top-20 finishes in the last three races heading into this weekend.