DraftKings NASCAR: Coca-Cola 600

DraftKings NASCAR: 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

Last year's Coca-Cola 600 will be remembered for Martin Truex Jr.'s outright domination throughout the night. The Furniture Row Racing driver led all but eight of the 400 scheduled laps en route to victory that night. Fantasy players should not expect that kind of performance again this week, though. We saw Kyle Busch make it to Victory Lane last week in the All-Star race, but if any car appeared capable of carrying dominance through this week's race it would be Kyle Larson. Larson opened the first two stages of the All-Star race with stage wins before yielding to Jimmie Johnson for the third. Loss of track position meant he was unable to work his way forward for the finish, and he felt like the win slipped through his fingers. Expect him to come back with tenacity this week. Jimmie Johnson took the checkered flag in Charlotte's fall race, and his strength at the end of the All-Star race could mean he will be a contender again this week. Speeds in practice and qualifying will be important for fantasy players to pay attention to this week as there is a high tendency for cars that are fast throughout practice to go on to have successful races at this track.

Key Stats at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Number of previous races: 116
Winners from pole: 16
Winners from top-5 starters: 66
Winners from top-10 starters: 88
Winners from 21st or lower starters: 9
Fastest race: 160.655 mph

Last 10 Charlotte Winners

2016 fall - Jimmie Johnson
2016 spring - Martin Truex Jr.
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

Charlotte, like Texas and Atlanta, is a 1.5-mile quad-oval that produces some of the fastest racing we see all season. Engine power and handling are king at this track and teams that nail the setup early in the weekend typically carry that advantage into the race. Truex did just that last year when he qualified on pole and then went on to lead almost every mile of the 600 on offer. This race is unique in that it starts under sunlight and finishes well into the night. The track undergoes a tremendous change during the transition, and drivers that have quick cars early may find themselves lost as the track cools. The opposite is true as well, but that only means that teams must stay ahead on their adjustments. Equally as important to handling is track position. This race is the longest one we have all season, but the ability to come forward from the back isn't as great as it may be at Daytona or Talladega. Teams that fall behind will often try two-tire stops in order to climb the running order. Chevrolet appeared to have the edge at the track through last week's Monster Open and All-Star races, but both Ford and Toyota are in close tow.

(Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values

Martin Truex Jr. - $10,700
Brad Keselowski - $10,400
Jimmie Johnson - $10,200
Kyle Larson - $10,100

DraftKings Tier 2 Values

Kyle Busch - $9,800
Joey Logano - $9,600
Chase Elliott - $9,300
Denny Hamlin - $9,200

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Clint Bowyer - $8,500
Jamie McMurray - $8,400
Kasey Kahne - $8,000
Daniel Suarez - $7,400

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

A.J. Allmendinger - $6,700
Regan Smith - $5,600
David Ragan - $5,000


Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Jimmie Johnson - $10,200
Kyle Larson - $10,100
Kyle Busch - $9,800
Austin Dillon - $7,600
Trevor Bayne - $7,100
David Ragan - $5,000

With eight career wins at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Johnson will be hard for fantasy players to ignore this week. Add his third-place finish in last week's All-Star race and you have a situation where playing him makes a ton of sense irrespective of his price, which actually turns out to be relatively pretty good. Backing him up is the ever-impressive Kyle Larson who will undoubtedly earn many finish-differential points. He dominated much of last week's All-Star race and finished fifth here in the fall. Kyle Busch got his long-awaited Cup series Charlotte win last week and will be aiming to get his first points win of the season on Sunday. He is another confident choice this week regardless of his price, which is even more surprising than Johnson's. Austin Dillon may only have one top-10 at this track, but a fourth-place finish in the Open last week should give him some confidence ahead of Sunday's marathon. Additionally, Trevor Bayne and David Ragan are both growing in confidence and delivering good rewards for fantasy players who place their trust in them. Bayne is in contention for the playoffs while rattling off consistent top-15 finishes, and Ragan is not far behind. He finished 17th at Kansas, which marks a sustainable step forward in performance from the start of the season.

Higher-Risk Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Joey Logano - $9,600
Ryan Blaney - $9,000
Clint Bowyer - $8,500
Jamie McMurray - $8,400
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $7,500
A.J. Allmendinger - $6,700

Joey Logano is the first choice in this week's higher-risk lineup. While Penske Racing's Fords appear strong to this point, Logano hasn't been the standout. He has a brilliant crew chief calling his race strategy, which will move him forward from his starting position adding plenty of points for finish differential. Ryan Blaney was a standout performer in the All-Star race. He advanced to the main event by winning a stage in the Open, which means he has the pace to be a contender Sunday night and just needs to tune the strategy. Clint Bowyer was another standout last weekend. The Stewart Haas Racing driver dominated the first stage of the Open, won at Charlotte in 2012, and scored his fifth top-10 of the season two weeks ago in Kansas. He has been getting consistent race finishes, and that is extremely valuable to fantasy rosters. One of the more aggressive drivers throughout 2017 has been McMurray. He has been at the front of the field often so far this season, and currently sits inside the top 10 in the standings. He hasn't finished worse than 12th since Martinsville and has won twice at this circuit. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has yet to get a top-10 Charlotte finish, but this is a different team than past seasons. He finished 13th in Atlanta earlier this season and hasn't placed lower than 14th since March. Fantasy owners should take Stenhouse as long as he continues to outperform his price tag. A.J. Allmendinger could present fantasy players another bargain. He has one top-five and two 10s at this track, but has been in a rough patch recently. His racing has been good at times, but the finishes are lacking. A week of extra preparation at this track could give the team the time they need to fix those issues.

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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