Aug 21, 2015; Bristol, TN, USA; A view of the camping area during practice for the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
Irwin Tools Race Night at Bristol Fantasy NASCAR Analysis and Early Picks
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Now, let’s look at the Field.
Next: The Field: Race Entrants w/ DK Salaries
Aug 21, 2015; Bristol, TN, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Matt Kenseth (20) during practice for the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
Race Entrants w/ Recalibrated DK Salaries
NOTE: Due to DraftKings changing the number to entrants from 5 to 6 but keeping the salary cap at $50,000, the salaries will be lower than in previous contests.
- #1 Jamie McMurray, Cessna/McDonald’s Chevrolet for $7,900
- #2 Brad Keselowski, Miller Lite Ford for $10,100
- #3 Austin Dillon, Dow Chevrolet for $7,500
- #4 Kevin Harvick, Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet for $10,500
- #5 Kasey Kahne, Great Clips Chevrolet for $8,200
- #6 Trevor Bayne, AdvoCare Ford Fusion for $7,000
- #7 Alex Bowman, Accell Construction Chevrolet for $5,300
- #9 Sam Hornish Jr., Blue Emu Ford for $6,100
- #10 Danica Patrick, GoDaddy Chevrolet for $7,100
- #11 Denny Hamlin, FedEx Ground Toyota for $9,200
- #13 Casey Mears GEICO Chevrolet SS for $7,300
- #14 Tony Stewart, Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet for $7,800
- #15 Clint Bowyer, Maxwell House Toyota for $8,100
- #16 Greg Biffle, Cheez-It Ford Fusion for $7,400
- #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Fastenal Ford Fusion for $6,500
- #18 Kyle Busch, Skittles Toyota for $10,300
- #19 Carl Edwards, Stanley Toyota for $9,500
- #20 Matt Kenseth, Dollar General Toyota for $10,400
- #21 Ryan Blaney, SKF Ford for $7,200
- #22 Joey Logano, Shell Pennzoil Ford for $10,000
- #23 J.J. Yeley, VooDoo BBQ Toyota for $5,200
- #24 Jeff Gordon, Axalta Chevrolet for $8,400
- #26 Jeb Burton, Rocky Ridge (Estes) Toyota for $5,200
- #27 Paul Menard, Knauf/Menards Chevrolet for $7,500
- #30 Travis Kvapil, Curtis Key Plumbing for $5,300
- #31 Ryan Newman, Caterpillar Chevrolet for $7,600
- #32 Josh Wise, VISONE RV PARTS Ford for $5,300
- #33 Mike Bliss, TBA Chevrolet for N/A
- #34 Brett Moffitt, No Escape Ford for $5,400
- #35 Cole Whitt, Speed Stick Ford for $5,800
- #38 David Gilliland, Cash Cash Ford for $5,600
- #40 Landon Cassill, Carsfprsale.com Fitness Chevrolet for $5,300
- #41 Kurt Busch, Haas Automation Chevrolet for $10,200
- #42 Kyle Larson, Target Chevrolet for $8,600
- #43 Aric Almirola, Smithfield Ford for $7,400
- #46 Michael Annett, Pilot Flying J Chevrolet for $5,500
- #47 A.J. Allendinger, Bush’s Grillin Beans Chevrolet for $7,300
- #48 Jimmie Johnson, LOWE’S Pro Services Chevrolet for $9,400
- #51 Justin Allgaier, Brandt Chevrolet for $6,000
- #55 David Ragan, Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota for $7,200
- #62 Reed Sorenson, TBA Chevrolet for $5,200
- #78 Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Chevrolet for $9,000
- #83 Matt DiBenedetto, Cosmo Motors Toyota for $5,200
- #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr., Nationwide Chevrolet $8,300
- #95 Michael McDowell, Thrivent Financial Ford for $5,300
- #98 Timmy Hill, Premium Motorsports Ford for $5,200
Next: Irwin Tools Race Night at Bristol Fantasy Strategy
Aug 21, 2015; Bristol, TN, USA; Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch (18) during practice for the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
Bristol Fantasy Strategy: Although my race picks will not be released until after the final practice sessions on Saturday, here is a sneak peek at some of the trends that will factor into my selections. This also gives fantasy players some foundations to base their own fantasy research on.
This race is on a .533 Concrete mile oval that is very different from the tracks NASCAR has raced at recently.
Strongly consider drivers that have a good history in this race, especially the one earlier this year in April.
Lean toward drivers that have had success at other oval short tracks such as Dover, Richmond, Martinsburg, and Phoenix.
Chevy has dominated the last two Short Track Cup races with at least 12 in the Top 16 at both Bristol and Richmond.
Also consider drivers from Toyota, especial JGR. They have been dominating at all tracks lately and have looked good during Fridays practices.
Leaders in average finish at Bristol among the drivers with 3+ starts: 1) Kyle Larson (9.3), Matt Kenseth (11.3), Dale Earnhart Jr. (12.1), Brad Keslowski (15.1), and Jimmie Johnson (15.1).
Track position not as important here than at other tracks. For example, in the April 2015 Bristol race, 9 of the Top 10 finishers started 12th or worse. The only exception was pole sitter and race winner Matt Kenseth.
Leaders in Driver Rating among entrants are: Jamie McMurray (79.5), Martin Truex Jr. (80.0), Joey Logano (80.1), Denny Hamlin (87.9), and Dale Earnhart Jr. (87.2)
Next: Preliminary Fantasy Picks prior to Qualifying
My Pre-Qualifying Favorites: As we know, qualifying order is extremely important in DraftKings scoring, but here are my favorites to win based solely on historical data, including factors mentioned in the last slide. These picks can be used for conventional fantasy NASCAR games where finishing position is all that matters.
#88 Dale Earnhardt Jr., Nationwide Chevrolet $8,300
#20 Matt Kenseth, Dollar General Toyota for $10,400
#18 Kyle Busch, Skittles Toyota for $10,300
#14 Tony Stewart, Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet for $7,800
#78 Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Chevrolet for $9,000
I will release my final DraftKings-centric Picks on Saturday morning including the final starting order.
Next: General NASCAR Strategy for DraftKings Contests
Aug 9, 2015; Watkins Glen, NY, USA; Sprint Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) during the Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
General DraftKings Strategy: The next thing to consider while filling out your teams is the DraftKings scoring system. DraftKings owners will draft a team of 6 drivers with a $50,000 Salary Cap. Scoring will be based on several factors including a driver’s Finishing Position, Place Differential, Fastest Laps, and Laps Led.
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The salaries used are set weekly for each contest before qualifying and practice and are based on the overall strength of each driver/team/car for that particular race. The calculations that DraftKings use to determine drivers’ salaries are based on a driver’s ability to score fantasy points and as such consider all the four aforementioned factors. Since NASCAR is a new Daily Fantasy game, DraftKings has made it easier for players to understand the scoring system by listing a driver’s Fantasy Points Per Race (FPPR) next to a driver’s salary that shows a driver’s performance to date (including 2015 races that did not have DK contests). The following are some of the factors that determine a driver’s salary and something that a fantasy player should look at:
- A Driver and/or Team’s current level of speed and performance this season.
- A Driver and/or Team’s history at that specific track and race.
- A Driver and/or Team’s history at similar tracks and races.
Next: Why Wait Until After Practice/Qualifying to Make Picks?
Aug 9, 2015; Watkins Glen, NY, USA; Sprint Cup Series driver Joey Logano (22) celebrates a victory during the Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Because the DraftKings salaries are set prior to qualifying and practice, there are many things that can change a driver’s relative fantasy value before the race starts. Some things to consider:
- Qualifying and practice speed are a good (but not the only) indicator of a driver’s projected performance and factor largely in a driver’s potential to maximize points in the Finish Position, Fastest Laps, and Laps Led categories.
- The DraftKings points system is unique and emphasizes both in-race performance as well as finishing position. So it is paramount to target at least some drivers that start further back in the field yet can compete as a top-performing car. This will get you points in the Place Differential category.
We will be back on Saturday morning with our FINAL Bristol DraftKings Fantasy Picks!
Need help with your daily or season-long fantasy NASCAR contests? Contact me on Twitter @Rich_Pelesky and I will give you the guidance you need to make the best fantasy decisions.