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DraftKings NASCAR: AAA 400 Drive for Autism

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.

AAA 400 Drive for Autism

Location: Dover, Del.
Course: Dover International Speedway
Format: 1.0-mile oval
Laps: 400

Race Preview

Last week’s race at Talladega Superspeedway gave Penske Racing and Joey Logano their first victory of the season and racked up another for Ford. The Ford-powered machines were all-powerful throughout the weekend, and successfully snapped a three-race win streak by Toyota’s Kyle Busch. The Ford teams enjoyed early-season dominance, but Toyota has been hot on their heels with Busch and Martin Truex Jr. leading the attack. Chevrolet has also shown signs of improvement with Chase Elliott getting into the top five last week and the rest of Hendrick Motorsports also gaining traction. That turn in form is great news for Jimmie Johnson as this week as we head to the track where he has simply dominated. Johnson not only won this race last season, but has amassed an astonishing 11 wins at the track with an average finish of 9.1. While Ford and Toyota have overshadowed Chevrolet so far this season, this could be the week the manufacturer grabs its first win since Austin Dillon's victory in the Daytona 500 back in February.

Key Stats at Dover International Speedway

Number of previous races: 96
Winners from pole: 13
Winners from top-5 starters: 55
Winners from top-10 starters: 74
Winners from 21st or lower starters: 5
Fastest race: 132.719 mph

Last 10 Dover Winners

2017 fall - Kyle Busch
2017 spring - Jimmie Johnson
2016 fall - Martin Truex Jr.
2016 spring - Matt Kenseth
2015 fall - Kevin Harvick
2015 spring - Jimmie Johnson
2014 fall - Jeff Gordon
2014 spring - Jimmie Johnson
2013 fall - Jimmie Johnson
2013 spring - Tony Stewart

Dover International Speedway is a concrete-surfaced oval with steep banking, tight turns, and fast straights. The high speeds force the racing to be a bit more strung out than a traditional short oval, and the track can be punishing. The banking means that drivers must be inch perfect while running the bottom groove since any dip below the yellow line will guarantee a trip up the banking and possibly into the wall. The concrete surface is also extremely abrasive. Tire failures are common, and drivers will work hard to preserve their equipment throughout the race distance. Any chance to pit for fresh tires will likely be taken until the window to gamble on track position opens within the last few laps of each segment. Still, the desire will be to grab fresh tires at every opportunity. The quick and strung-out racing can also sometimes open the door to fuel-mileage races. Monitoring fuel consumption, and potentially saving enough fuel to go the distance, could become factors in determining the outcome this Sunday. Drivers this week will be racing the track, taking what it will allow while trying not to overstep their bounds.

(Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values

Kyle Busch - $11,600
Kevin Harvick - $11,000
Martin Truex Jr. - $10,800

DraftKings Tier 2 Values

Denny Hamlin - $9,900
Joey Logano - $9,500
Chase Elliott - $9,300
Jimmie Johnson - $9,000

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Ryan Blaney - $8,900
Clint Bowyer - $8,800
Aric Almirola - $8,600
Erik Jones - $8,200

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Jamie McMurray - $7,400
William Byron - $6,600
Ty Dillon - $5,900
Darrell Wallace Jr. - $5,800


Lower-Risk Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Martin Truex Jr. - $10,800
Kyle Larson - $10,200
Chase Elliott - $9,300
Jimmie Johnson - $9,000
Ty Dillon - $5,900
Reed Sorenson - $4,800

Truex leads the lower-risk lineup option for Dover due to an impressive recent history at the track. He has led more than 40 laps in four of the last five races at the track, finished in the top 10 seven of the last eight, and won from the pole in 2016. Truex has been on fire at this circuit, and this weekend could give him his second win of the season. Larson backs Truex up with laps led in the triple digits in both Dover races last season. He has also only failed to finish in the top 10 here twice in his eight Cup visits. The current season has started to show some promise for Elliott, and that’s good news as he heads into this weekend’s race. He hasn’t finished lower than fifth at Dover since joining the series, and he led 138 of the 400 laps run here last fall. His teammate Johnson, has also started to turn his season around. He has two top-10s from the last three races and a 12th at Talladega, and remains the master of Dover. He has won an astonishing 11 times at this track, including this race last season. He is a steal at $9,000. Ty Dillon is another bargain. He was 15th last week at Talladega, and led 27 laps at Dover last spring before finishing 14th. Those selections leave just enough room for Sorenson. He has five starts so far this season with a best finish of 24th at Fontana, and should give fantasy rosters finish differential points to augment the other five drivers in the lineup.

Higher-Risk Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Kevin Harvick - $11,000
Joey Logano - $9,500
Clint Bowyer - $8,800
Daniel Suarez - $7,100
Alex Bowman - $6,900
William Byron - $6,600

The higher-risk lineup this week has an obvious Ford bias. Harvick is the most expensive selection. He won Dover’s fall race in 2015 and only has one top-10 at the track since, but dealt with unlucky circumstances in both races there last season that hampered his results. Logano is 2018’s most recent winner, and has finished in the top 10 in more than half of his starts at the track. Top-10 finishes have been coming more frequently from Bowyer this season, and he finished sixth here last fall. Dover is one track Suarez got up to speed at right away. He finished sixth in his first Cup race here, and backed up that performance with an eighth-place finish in the fall return. Bowman is sitting in playoff contention in the series standings, and has three top-10s in the last five races. His experience at the track should be a positive for fantasy rosters this weekend, while teammate Byron is a bit more of a gamble. Byron scored top-10s in both Xfinity series races at Dover last season, including a third-place finish from pole in September.

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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