DraftKings NASCAR: Brickyard 400

DraftKings NASCAR: Brickyard 400

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.

Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard

Location: Speedway, Ind.
Course: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Format: 2.5-mile oval
Laps: 160

Race Preview

After last week's visit to a flat oval, the NASCAR Sprint Cup series heads to another at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The speedway first appeared on the Sprint Cup calendar in 1994 and has quickly become one of the most prestigious races on the calendar, and every driver wants to win. Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota-powered machines have been the strongest in recent weeks, and there are few signs that would indicate that balance of power would make a significant shift this week in Indiana. While Chevrolet has been making some progress against that deficit, the Toyotas remain the marque to beat. Last year Kyle Busch took the victory en route to his first series championship, and it was retired Jeff Gordon who won the year before. Gordon is making a cameo appearance in the No. 88 this week as a substitute for Dale Earnhardt Jr. as he recovers from the effects of concussions.

Key Stats at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Number of previous races: 22
Winners from pole: 3
Winners from top-5 starters: 11
Winners from top-10 starters: 14
Winners from 21st or lower starters: 3
Fastest race: 155.912 mph

Last 10 Indianapolis Winners

2015 - Kyle Busch
2014 - Jeff Gordon
2013 - Ryan Newman
2012 - Jimmie Johnson
2011 - Paul Menard
2010 - Jamie McMurray
2009 - Jimmie Johnson
2008 - Jimmie Johnson
2007 - Tony Stewart
2006 - Jimmie Johnson

Indianapolis Motor Speedway features four identical turns that don'tt function as such. The corners feature nine degrees of banking and essentially a one-lane groove. Drivers need to hold as much speed through the corner apex as possible and scrub off as little momentum as possible in order to get a fast of a launch down the long front and back straights as possible. While cars can go side-by-side through the turns, the inside line will be the preference. Most passing will be done through out-braking opponents into the turn in point, though pit strategy and track position will be important factors in which cars run up front. Despite its short tenure on the schedule, the Brickyard has become one of the marquee events of each season and a victory here can make a season.

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

DraftKings Tier 1 Values

Kevin Harvick - $10,500
Kyle Busch - $10,400
Martin Truex Jr. - $10,300
Joey Logano - $10,100

DraftKings Tier 2 Values

Brad Keselowski - $9,800
Jimmie Johnson - $9,700
Matt Kenseth - $9,600
Chase Elliott - $9,200

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Jeff Gordon - $8,800
Kyle Larson - $8,600
Tony Stewart - $8,400

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Ryan Blaney - $7,500
Jamie McMurray - $7,400
Greg Biffle - $7,300
Aric Almirola - $6,700
Regan Smith - $5,400

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Kevin Harvick - $10,500
Martin Truex Jr. - $10,300
Kyle Larson - $8,600
Tony Stewart - $8,400
Greg Biffle - $7,300
Cole Whitt - $4,900

Harvick's only Indianapolis win came in 2003, but he still represents one of the top choices for Sunday's event. He led 75 laps at the track last year before finishing third, to grab his second consecutive top-10 at the circuit. He also has four top-10 finishes in the last five races. Truex has been one of the fastest drivers of the season. He hasn't had the same success at Indianapolis yet, but that could come this week. He has led 169 laps in the last two races and should be expected to be out front again on Sunday. Indianapolis has been a good venue for Larson. He has two starts at the Brickyard and both resulted in top-10 finishes. Stewart is a two-time winner at his hometown track, and with four top-10 finishes in the last five races, it would be careless to overlook him this week. Another driver in the midst of a revival is Biffle. With top-10 finishes in the last three races fantasy players should be confident selecting him at the Brickyard. Finally, Cole Whitt rounds off the lineup due to his tendency to gain positions from the start. He averages 7.5 positions gained in two Indianapolis starts.

Higher-Risk Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Kyle Busch - $10,400
Jimmie Johnson - $9,700
Ryan Newman - $7,900
Kasey Kahne - $7,700
Ryan Blaney - $7,500
Regan Smith - $5,400

Kyle Busch heads the higher-risk lineup by virtue of being the defending Brickyard champion. He also led 133 laps in New Hampshire before settling for an eighth-place finish. Johnson's struggles continued last week despite starting from pole. He's one of the best racers at Indianapolis, however. Another hometown racer this week is Newman, who won this race in 2013 and finished 11th in the last two. Indianapolis has been a good circuit for Kahne, too. The Hendrick Motorsports driver scored two top-10 finishes in the last three Brickyard races, and has an average finish of 14.3 at the track. Blaney took part in this race last year and came from the 30th starting position to finish 12th in an impressive track debut. The final spot on the higher-risk lineup can be confidently filled by Smith. He has raced five times at the Brickyard, and has a best finish of third.

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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