DraftKings NASCAR: ISM Connect 300

DraftKings NASCAR: ISM Connect 300

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.

ISM Connect 300

Location: Loudon, N.H.
Course: New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Format: 1-mile oval
Laps: 300

Race Preview

Martin Truex Jr. overcame the mistakes that tore through the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup field at Chicagoland Speedway last week to book the first spot in the next round of playoff eliminations. The remaining 15 drivers in the championship hunt now have two chances left to find a way through with New Hampshire Motor Speedway next in line. Denny Hamlin won at the track in the spring for his first win of the season, holding off Kyle Larson in the run to the finish. After starting the race last, Larson had been eating quickly into Hamlin's lead at the finish, but the Joe Gibbs Racing driver was able to hang on long enough to take the win. Last week's winner Truex led the most laps in that event at 137, but only managed to finish third after suffering a flat tire with less than 100 laps remaining. Playoff drivers working to dig out of a poor start to the round of 16 include Kurt Busch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kasey Kahne, and Ryan Newman.

Key Stats at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Number of previous races: 45
Winners from pole: 5
Winners from top-5 starters: 12
Winners from top-10 starters: 24
Winners from 21st or lower starters: 9
Fastest race: 117.134 mph

Last 10 New Hampshire Winners

2017 spring - Denny Hamlin
2016 fall - Kevin Harvick
2016 spring - Matt Kenseth
2015 fall - - Matt Kenseth
2015 spring - Kyle Busch
2014 fall - Joey Logano
2014 spring - - Brad Keselowski
2013 fall - Matt Kenseth
2013 spring - Brian Vickers
2012 fall - Denny Hamlin

Long straights followed by tight turns with little banking to help cars turn await teams at New Hampshire this week. The track is a difficult circuit on which to pass, and teams will stretch mechanical limits to give their drivers as much grip as possible. Organizers applied a sticky compound to the circuit for the spring race to improve side-by-side racing, and they will do the same for this week's race in the first and third grooves. Despite that, track position can be a race-deciding factor, and pit strategy throughout the race, especially in the final segment, will be critical. Drivers will hug the lower line through the turns, and the ability to launch the car into the long straights will set up passing opportunities as drivers out brake one another into the next set of turns. Brakes and tires take a beating at this circuit, and managing both throughout the afternoon will give drivers an advantage toward the end of the distance. As teams work to improve their car throughout the race they will have to avoid making the same mistakes we saw last week at Chicago. There is little room for error in the playoffs, and New Hampshire's flat 1-mile oval is an unforgiving place.

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

DraftKings Tier 1 Values

Kyle Busch - $10,700
Martin Truex Jr. - $10,500
Kevin Harvick - $10,100

DraftKings Tier 2 Values

Denny Hamlin - $9,900
Jimmie Johnson - $9,600
Kyle Larson - $9,500
Matt Kenseth - $9,400

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Joey Logano - $8,700
Jamie McMurray - $8,400
Dale Earnhardt Jr. - $7,900
Erik Jones - $7,800

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Ryan Newman - $7,200
Ty Dillon - $6,700
Chris Buescher - $6,200
Cole Whitt - $5,700

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Martin Truex Jr. - $10,500
Kyle Larson - $9,500
Matt Kenseth - $9,400
Dale Earnhardt Jr. - $7,900
Trevor Bayne - $6,900
Cole Whitt - $5,700

A number of undervalued drivers this week allows for some great lineup options for fantasy players. Taking Truex first is almost a given now considering how strong he is each and every week. He led more than 100 laps in each of the last three New Hampshire races and is likely to do so again this week. Larson is keeping pace with Truex and Busch, but comes at a nicer price compared to those two. He finished second at the track earlier this season, and has three top-fives from seven track visits. Another driver demonstrating quiet strength is Kenseth. He has no wins this season, but sits ninth in the playoff standings with three New Hampshire wins on his resume. While Earnhardt has struggled for much of 2017 his record at New Hampshire is a good one. He led 10 laps there earlier this season and has an average finish of 15.4 from 34 career starts. Bayne and Whitt round out the safer-lineup option due to their potential to outperform given their prices. Neither has a top-10 at the track, but Bayne has two top-20s while Whitt has only failed to finish better than where he started at this track once in seven tries.

Higher-Risk Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Kevin Harvick - $10,100
Denny Hamlin - $9,900
Clint Bowyer - $8,800
Daniel Suarez - $7,500
Austin Dillon - $7,000
Ty Dillon - $6,700

Harvick is the top choice for this week's higher-risk lineup. His speed is beginning to come to the front now that the playoffs are underway, and with three consecutive New Hampshire top-fives heading into this week's race he is poised for another strong showing. Hamlin is another driver that hasn't been dominant, but is is performing very well. He hasn't finished outside of the top 10 since Michigan, and won here earlier this season. Things haven't quite panned out the way Bowyer would have hoped this season, but he can still be a competitive driver at certain venues. New Hampshire is one of those places. He finished seventh here in the spring and has two track victories. Suarez continues to improve the second half of this season. He finished sixth at New Hampshire earlier this year. Brothers Austin and Ty Dillon also offer fantasy owners upside potential. Austin should be capable of a top-15 after delivering three in the last five races at this track, while Ty moved from 25th at the start to 16th this spring. Both should be capable of even better performances this time around.

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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