NASCAR DFS: Coca-Cola 600

NASCAR DFS: Coca-Cola 600

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS 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 one of NASCAR Sprint Cup's iconic events. The race is traditionally held on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, and it is the longest race on the Sprint Cup calendar. The drivers and teams took a week off from points racing for the Sprint All-Star Race, but are back with the championship in mind this week. Teams are no strangers to Charlotte Motor Speedway as a result and will look to put all of their findings from last week's exhibition races to use for points this week. Kevin Harvick has won two of the last four 600-mile races, while Jimmie Johnson won the race last season. All-Star weekend can often be a barometer of success in the 600 as well; seven drivers have won both events in the same season. The long distance and high speeds of Charlotte Motor Speedway can often combine to create some mechanical attrition, throwing the unknown factor into the mix as well. Teams and drivers will need to manage their chassis throughout the race that starts in the day and finishes at night.

Keys Stats at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Previous races: 112
Wins from pole: 15
wins from top-5 starters: 63
Wins from top-10 starters: 85
Wins from 21st or lower starters: 9
Fastest race: 160.316 mph

Last 10 Charlotte Winners:

2014 fall – Kevin Harvick
2014 spring – Jimmie Johnson
2013 fall – Brad Keselowski
2013 spring – Kevin Harvick
2012 fall – Clint Bowyer
2012 spring – Kasey Kahne
2011 fall – Matt Kenseth
2011 spring – Kevin Harvick
2010 fall – Jamie McMurray
2010 spring – Kurt Busch

Charlotte Motor Speedway tends to favor fast cars with adjustable settings that can carry momentum through the center of each turn. The long distance covered in the 600-mile race will strain engines and challenge teams to put together a neutral car that can be adjusted throughout the night. The race is often won by the fastest cars in qualifying, but late caution periods could allow some teams to gamble on pit strategy and leap forward. Several teams tried two-tire stops in the Sprint All-Star race last week, so it wouldn't be surprising to see that tactic again this week, though fresh tires may outweigh track position over the longer distance. The average green-flag run is a long 36.6 laps, which will require teams to make exacting adjustments while pitting to ensure they do not fall behind the fastest pacers.

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

DraftKings Tier 1 Values

Kevin Harvick - $14,200
Brad Keselowski - $12,300
Kasey Kahne - $10,100

DraftKings Tier 2 Values

Martin Truex Jr. - $9,900
Clint Bowyer - $9,400
Jamie McMurray - $9,300
Greg Biffle - $8,700

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Ryan Blaney - $7,900
Casey Mears - $7,800
Cole Whitt - $7,300

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Chase Elliott - $8,300
Trevor Bayne - $7,700
Brendan Gaughan - $7,300

WHO I WOULD CHOOSE THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Cash Game Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Brad Keselowski - $12,300
Denny Hamlin - $10,900
Kasey Kahne - $10,100
Greg Biffle - $8,700
Aric Almirola - $8,000

Keselowski was arguably the fastest car in last weekend's All-Star race but threw away the win with a mistake on pit road. The sting of that mistake should push him to be aggressive to redeem himself this week. Hamlin was a logical choice based on his win last weekend, and Joe Gibbs Racing appears to not have a power disadvantage at the track. Kahne is a former winner at the track who also showed speed in the All-Star Race, while Biffle finally demonstrated some muscle by winning the first segment of last week's Showdown. Aric Almirola continues to fly under the radar, but sits 13th in points by virtue of consistent top-15 runs.

Higher-Risk Tournament Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Kevin Harvick - $14,200
Martin Truex Jr. - $9,900
Ryan Newman - $9,100
Paul Menard - $8,400
Aric Almirola - $8,000

Kevin Harvick continues to be the class of the field after his stunning run to the championship in 2014. He is one of the fastest cars on 1.5-mile ovals, and is therefore the favorite. Truex has continued to impress in 2015 with a bounty of top-10 finishes, but has narrowly missed out on victory due to small mistakes in strategy and on track. The Richard Childress Racing car No. 31 is still picking up the pieces of a team after NASCAR levied significant penalties against it, but Newman is arguably the most consistent finisher in the series. Paul Menard is 14th in points, and with a top-5 in the Showdown and at Talladega Superspeedway could be ready to strike again.

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 Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association in 2012 and 2015.
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