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DraftKings NASCAR: Bank of America 500

C.J. Radune

Radune covers NASCAR, Formula 1 and soccer for RotoWire. He was named the 2015 Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.

Bank of America 500

Location: Concord, N.C.
Course: Charlotte Motor Speedway
Format: 1.5-mile quad oval
Laps: 334

Race Preview

Last week’s race at Dover International Speedway set the 12-man field for the second round of playoff eliminations. Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. easily breezed through the first round, capturing all three wins. The pair will go head to head again this week, but the stakes ratchet up even higher. The return to Charlotte Motor Speedway puts teams close to home on a track they know intimately. Austin Dillon took his first series win in the 600-mile event that took place here in May, but his run in the playoffs ended last week. Accumulated playoff points favor those drivers who have stockpiled them throughout the season, but the uncertainty of a race Talladega Superspeedway next week will pressure drivers to get the job done this week. Drivers with fewer bonus points will sweat a bit more as every position on track could make the difference between advancing among the final eight championship contenders or not. For the rest of the field, just seven races remain to close out the season on a high note.

Key Stats at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Number of previous races: 117
Winners from pole: 16
Winners from top-5 starters: 66
Winners from top-10 starters: 88
Winners from 21st or lower starters: 10
Fastest race: 160.655 mph

Last 10 Charlotte Winners

2017 spring - Austin Dillon
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

Teams know Charlotte Motor Speedway arguably better than any other circuit on the schedule. The high-speed quad oval features some of the fastest racing fans see all season, and the high-banking allows teams to move up and down the track to suit the car’s setup. The pace of the circuit often allows drivers who nail the set up early in a race to build an insurmountable lead. That is exactly what Truex did by leading 392 of 400 laps en route to his win in the 600-mile event last spring. Despite the tendency of the track to favor the most powerful machines, Austin Dillon won this spring via fuel mileage. He stayed out late in the race when others pitted, and he successfully leveraged the track position he gained to come home with his first series win. While that scenario may be unlikely again this week it is something fantasy owners may want to keep in mind. Pit strategy and track position can sometimes prevail over raw speed. Early practice and qualifying speeds will likely have a high correlation to the finishing order they should expect on Sunday, though.

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

DraftKings Tier 1 Values

Martin Truex Jr. - $10,900
Kyle Busch - $10,600
Kyle Larson - $10,400
Jimmie Johnson - $10,000

DraftKings Tier 2 Values

Brad Keselowski - $9,900
Chase Elliott - $9,400
Denny Hamlin - $9,200
Matt Kenseth - $8,600

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Erik Jones - $7,900
Austin Dillon - $7,700
Daniel Suarez - $7,500
Ryan Newman - $7,100

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Paul Menard - $6,600
Chris Buescher - $6,300
Aric Almirola - $5,800
David Ragan - $5,700

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Kyle Busch - $10,600
Jimmie Johnson - $10,000
Matt Kenseth - $8,600
Clint Bowyer- $8,100
Daniel Suarez - $7,500
Landon Cassill - $5,200

Kyle Busch made a case to be the championship favorite with his win last week in Dover. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has found the lasting form that eluded him so often early in the season, and is now registering regular victories. A win at Charlotte would be a first for him, but he did lead 63 laps before finishing second here in May. Jimmie Johnson said after Dover that the team has found the changes they needed to make to step forward as championship contenders. His Dover finish helps support that, and he led 35 laps at Charlotte earlier this season. Those factors could combine to propel him to another top performance again this week. He has eight wins at the track from 32 career starts. The price to add Matt Kenseth to rosters this week may be too good to pass up. He has two track victories and finished fourth here in May. He isn't claiming wins like his teammate, but his ability to finish inside the top five on a regular basis should present a huge value. Clint Bowyer’s 600-mile race in May didn't go as planned, but he did well in the exhibition races. He finished 14th in May. Daniel Suarez could be another true value for fantasy players after finishing 11th from the 20th starting position in May. Then Landon Cassill comes in to finish off the roster with positive finish differential points in four of the last five races. He should have a top-25 machine on Sunday.

Higher-Risk Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Martin Truex Jr. - $10,900
Denny Hamlin - $9,200
Jamie McMurray - $8,800
Kurt Busch - $8,300
Ryan Newman - $7,100
David Ragan - $5,700

The higher-risk lineup for Charlotte takes a bet on some drivers whose championship efforts have ended, but still have the capability of turning in a top race. Adding Martin Truex Jr. at the top of this roster gives some safety, and likely a good amount of points from laps led. Denny Hamlin remains in the championship hunt, and his current Charlotte trajectory shows just two finishes outside of the top 10 in his last 14 races at the track. Jamie McMurray will not win a championship this season, but he has won at Charlotte. He also finished 10th and 12th in his last two visits. The promise Kurt Busch showed in the run up to the playoffs faded quickly, but real pace is there. He has one career Charlotte victory, and brings five consecutive top-10s at the track into this weekend. A big question this week is how Ryan Newman will recover from his clear agitation at missing out on advancing. He said the team was not good enough to be in the playoffs at this point, but he finished ninth at Charlotte in May and should be easily capable of a top-15 performance. Finally, David Ragan has had an inconsistent season. One place he had a respectable run was here in May, though. He finished 23rd in that race, which could add valuable finish points to help differentiate him from the other options at this price point.

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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