Indy was unfathomable. Kyle Busch absolutely had the best car on the day and everyone knew that
including Martin Truex Jr. On lap 110 those two lined up on the front row during a restart and it was
Truex who got a little loose as Busch drove him deep into the inside and Truex clipped Busch as he tried
to save his 78 machine taking the top two cars out of the race. From there it turned into a free for all
with multiple other crashes heading toward the checkered flag. Eventually, after almost 6.5 hours from
the drop of the green flag, Kasey Kahne found victory lane.
In terms of fantasy NASCAR and DraftKings, it was a disappointing week. Things were looking really good early as Busch dominated the first two stages with the rest of the plays I liked doing what I expected of them. Then our
punt David Ragan crashed out which certainly hurt but didn’t necessarily kill lineups. But when Truex got into Busch it started to snowball. Drivers got off pit sequences and drivers we don’t normally see running up front began to inch forward. Allmendinger and Almirola were fantastic, albeit popular, value plays. Then when Larson found the wall on lap 154 it was pretty much a done day.
I admit that I scaled back my action somewhat last week as I was driving to the beach with the family so I wasn’t able to get those last minute tinker lineups in before lock (thanks Delaware). So of the whole $27 I had in play, I still
managed to win back $18 thanks to a few Kasey Kahne lineups. While I didn’t net a profit for the week, sometimes avoiding the dreaded goose-egg and scraping back any winnings for the week can be just as important to the bankroll as the big weeks.
We’re back at Pocono Raceway for race 21, the Overton’s 400, Sunday at 3pm EST. Pocono, aka the
“Tricky Triangle,” is a unique track in that it is a 2.5 mile tri-oval with relatively flat banking. The three
turns all have different features which means drivers and crew chiefs can’t set the car up to be perfect in
all three turns. In a bizarre twist, we don’t yet have qualifying for the race at the time I’m writing this.
NASCAR is trying something different to the detriment of DFS players; they are going to qualifying in the
morning at 11:30am and commence the race a few hours later the same day. This can be somewhat
problematic to the folks writing articles for everyone but we may be able to sneak in an edge on the
people who set their lineups early and don’t realize the nuances with the qualifying results. It is going to
be critical to check the qualifying results Sunday morning before finalizing your lineups.
Top Tier (over $9,000)
It’s all going to depend on qualifying across the board. In the first Pocono race of the season Kyle Busch
started on the pole and led 100 of the 160 laps before fading at the end of the race (stop me if you’ve
heard this story before…) due to an incorrect pit strategy decision. If Busch starts on the front row fire
him up in lineups.
Of the other top tier drivers Brad Keslowski and Kevin Harvick both have elite track history at Pocono. I
mean I could write that Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr. are good plays but we know that they are good
plays every week.
There are maybe five plays I like in the mid-tier without having the ever-important qualifying results
available to deduce information.
First, is a gpp play in Joey Logano. He’s historically strong at Pocono but hasn’t shown a ton of speed
since early in the season. I’m hoping track history trumps current form for the 22 car.
Kurt Busch and Erik Jones have the two highest driver ratings in the field. I’ll be particularly interested in
these two if they start in the mid-teens.
This might be Dale Jr.’s best chance to win his way into the playoffs. He’s always been decent at Pocono
but the shifting issue in the earlier race where he blew his engine in qualifying then again in the actual
race is concerning.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. had decent practice times in the two sessions so this play is going to be totally
dependent on where he starts. He started 23rd and finished 12th in the spring race so if he’s starting in
the 20s I’ll have some interest again.
Bottom Tier ($6,900 and under)
It’s really difficult to make calls down here. It’s going to depend on how many drivers we want to pay up
for in the top tier. We are still likely to need at least two drivers in this bucket. Chris Buescher has a rain
shortened win at Pocono last year but he also started 29th and finished 19 th in the spring race. That’s
what we’re looking for from drivers in this tier. We want to focus on drivers who can finish 10 spots
better than they qualify. Austin Dillon sees his price dip below $7K, Ty Dillon scored 9 place differential
points in the spring race while finishing 18 th , and David Ragan and Landon Cassill will be punt options I’ll
consider if they start in the 30s.
I can’t even pretend to post a facsimile of a lineup I like this week without knowing where drivers are
starting. I may hop on the Twitter machine after qualifying and send out a few nuggets for you guys.
Good luck PAS-Holes and I’ll see you in the winner’s circle.