DraftKings NASCAR: Coca-Cola 600

DraftKings NASCAR: Coca-Cola 600

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.

Coca-Cola 600

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

Race Preview

Memorial Day weekend means it's time for one of NASCAR Sprint Cup's marquee events, the Coca-Cola 600. The race is NASCAR's longest, starting in the day and finishing well into the night. To make it even more exciting, the race takes place on one of the schedule's fastest tracks. Last week's All-Star weekend was a jumbled mess that produced one of the strangest weekends in recent memory, but it was Joey Logano who came out with the large paycheck. His win, coupled with the pace of Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney, bode wells for the chances of Penske Racing winning this weekend, but the Chevrolets of Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott looked equally fast. The front of the field may be narrowing a bit after Joe Gibbs Racing held a firm grip through the first portion of the season. Matt Kenseth finally got his overdue win two weeks ago in Dover, but the entire JGR camp may have more competition to overcome this week in Charlotte.

Key Stats at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Number of previous races: 114
Winners from pole: 15
Winners from top-5 starters: 65
Winners from top-10 starters: 87
Winners from 21st or lower starters: 9
Fastest race: 160.316 mph

Last 10 Charlotte Winners

2015 fall - Joey Logano
2015 spring - Carl Edwards
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

Last week's All-Star race gives us a peek at who fantasy players should expect to be fast this coming weekend. Blaney and Elliott both look competitive as rookies, but the Penske Racing Fords and Larson also may have what it takes to take on Joe Gibbs Racing this weekend. The 600 miles facing the teams are the longest on the calendar and require unique settings, as the track will transition from slick in the sun to grippy under the moon. Drivers will try their best to hang on to loose conditions until the track cools, the grip builds in the track and the chassis tighten. Surviving the opening miles with that adversity can sometimes be challenging, but drivers will have to manage if they aim to win. The distance also offers many opportunities for mistakes, but there also should be time to recover. We saw last week that taking the high groove in turns will make it difficult for passes to be made on the inside. Track position will be valuable but may not be the story of the race. Simply put, this is one of NASCAR's most unique and exciting races.

(Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values

Kevin Harvick - $10,500
Kyle Busch - $10,400
Johnson - $10,200

DraftKings Tier 2 Values

Matt Kenseth - $9,900
Martin Truex Jr. - $9,800
Joey Logano - $9,700
Dale Earnhardt Jr. - $9,400

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Denny Hamlin - $8,800
Kyle Larson - $8,400
Austin Dillon - $8,200
Kasey Kahne - $8,000

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Chase Elliott - $8,600
Ryan Blaney - $7,500
Greg Biffle - $6,600
Trevor Bayne - $6,300


Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Kevin Harvick - $10,500
Joey Logano - $9,700
Kasey Kahne - $8,000
Tony Stewart - $7,800
Jamie McMurray - $7,300
Greg Biffle - $6,600

Three-time Charlotte winner Harvick leads the lower-risk lineup for the Coca-Cola 600 by virtue of his six top-10s in the last six races at the track. He also led 21 laps in last week's All-Star race before finishing 11th. Speaking of the All-Star race, winner Logano is the second option. With two top-fives in his last three Charlotte points races, it's tough to deny him a spot this week. Kahne has always been a driver to focus on at Charlotte, and this week is no different. He's a three-time 600 winner and is racing better this season than in the past two years. In his return from injury, Stewart has performed better than prior to his injury. He has had a few rough races heading into this week but should be counted on to walk away with a top-15 finish on Sunday. McMurray is another driver who has raced very well at Charlotte. He has two career wins here and finished in the top five in both races at the track in 2014. Finally, Biffle won a Sprint Showdown segment to advance to the All-Star race last Sunday, and the Roush Fenway cars looked more competitive than earlier this year. Biffle will need to capitalize on that momentum and focus on delivering a top-10 this week.

Higher-Risk Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. - $9,400
Denny Hamlin - $8,800
Chase Elliott - $8,600
Kyle Larson - 8,400
Ryan Blaney - $7,500
Ryan Newman - $7,200

The higher-risk lineup for this week's race swings for the fence with some as yet unproven in 2016 talent. Earnhardt Jr. leads the roster with a third-place finish in last week's All-Star race as well as a third-place in last year's 600. Hamlin hedges the risk a bit with his Joe Gibbs Racing power. He has never won at Charlotte but has only failed to finish in the top 10 at the track once in the last five years. The lineup also features rookies Elliott and Blaney. Both of these young drivers showed their mettle in last week's exhibition races and could present serious challenges for the win this week if that form continues. Their limited experience is the only drawback in this particular race. Larson was also exceptional in last week's races and could make a play for his first Sprint Cup win. Finally, Newman is a quiet, consistent finisher at Charlotte. He has never won at the track but has only recorded two finishes worse than 15th in his last 10 at the circuit.

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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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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