Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks: Bank of America 500 at Charlotte (Post Qualifying)

I am writing this from the Charlotte infield. Technically, I am writing this paragraph ahead of time, but most of it will be from the infield in an altered state of mind. Before you scoff, please realize most of this is numbers and history. I’m a professional; I know what I am doing.

Scratch that. Everything was cancelled because of rain, including my altered state. I am sitting in a camper typing out my daily fantasy NASCAR picks based on current form and track history. Practice speeds are not very useful this week. The track conditions during practice will not match the night race, or the night qualifying. Larson was speedy at the very beginning of practice, Harvick was fast at the very end of practice. Harvick won the pole and Larson did not make it out of the first round of qualifying. If the race is delayed to Sunday afternoon, then practice matters. Qualifying speeds are the best indicator of speed this weekend.

Dig into the statistics and find the best plays for this weekend’s NASCAR event with the Fantasy NASCAR Spreadsheet:

Top Tier Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks (plus $9,000)

The Daily Fantasy NASCAR circuit returns to its bread and butter, an intermediate track. We’re looking at 333 laps on Saturday night. That’s a significant amount of fast lap and laps led points. If you want to win the GPP, then you’ll need to pick the 2-3 drivers that hog these points.

Kevin Harvick has a very fast car, but the Saturday night race is about adapting. So do I pick him or not? Pick him. Everyone must make changes Saturday night. Day practices, night races, and bad weather challenge every team. Harvick has a haed start on the field – a fast car, track position, and a great crew chief. This will be a green, lap turner. Advantage Harvick.

Martin Truex, Jr. consistently runs fast laps. No matter the track type, he’s fast, but he’s been rather hot at the intermediate tracks. This is the chassis Truex drove when he scored 200 fantasy points at Charlotte in May. He only took a couple spins around the track in practice, and basically said, “yeah we’re good, let’s go get some waffles.” Over the last 3 races at Charlotte (when Truex found his groove with Furniture Row), no one has scored more fantasy points.

Brad Keselowski will make or break your lineup. Statistically, the odds are safe with Harvick and Truex, but who’s the number 3 top tier driver? You have to have 3 this week. BK, Kyle Busch, Kenseth, and Larson are all in good spots. What about Jimmie, JGR, and Joey? In the last three Charlotte fall races, only two drivers have scored significant laps led points in each race. Your third top tier driver needs to score place differential. BK has the third best average finish and two wins at intermediate tracks this season.

Middle Tier Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks ($7,000-$9,000)

Kasey Kahne isn’t having a comeback. His career didn’t end. He didn’t disappear to the mountains of Bolivia. Look at the names inside the top 10 each week. Even great drivers like Kasey Kahne have moments where the competition gets the best of them. Kahne’s on a great run over the last month and he’s extremely pleased with his car this weekend. In the limited practice time, Kahne’s 10 lap average speed was 188.56 mph (1st). That’s 2 mph faster than the best long run speed in May by Mr. 200 Points, Martin Truex, Jr.

Kurt Busch does not dominate, but he finishes well. The best average finish at intermediate tracks this season belonged to Kurt until a wreck at Darlington. It’s not a stretch to pencil him in as a top 10 finisher. After a poor qualifying run, Kurt’s ownership skyrockets. Kurt has finished 11th or better in the last 4 Charlotte races. This pick has 50 points written all over it.

Ryan Newman edges out Blaney, McMurray, and Dillon. His consistency at Charlotte combined with his playable qualifying position will do that. Not to mention he’s the cheapest of the lot. His worst intermediate track finish this season was 24th at Atlanta, and that was because of a penalty and a blown tire with two laps left. Throw out Atlanta and Newman is averaging an 11th place finish at intermediate tracks this season.

Value Tier Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks ($6,000-$7,000)

We’re looking for place differential and finishing position. If we can get them both, then awesome. Sometimes it’s foolish to chase both.

Paul Menard disappointed Daily Fantasy NASCAR players last week, but he wasn’t a bust. He was just a few spots away from a really good fantasy score, but when a driver is a few spots away and still finishes in the 20s, it’s a concern. Menard is in a similar spot. He’s starting 28th and his average finish at intermediate tracks in 2016 is 23rd. That won’t get it done, but his average finish over the last four 1.5 mile races is 18th. That will work.

Aric Almirola has raced well of late, but that’s been at short tracks. If Almirola wasn’t forced to start from the back and didn’t get hit with a loose tire penalty, then maybe he finishes near 20th at Chicago. That’s a lot of ifs and buts. How about some more? Almirola was running 20th until a late race wreck at Darlington. In the other 6 intermediate track races, Almirola averaged a 21st place finish. From 33rd to 21st at Charlotte is 35 points.

Punt Tier Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks (sub $6,000)

Punts are long shots at intermediate tracks. Only 9 punts have finished with a top 20 Daily Fantasy NASCAR score in the last 6 Charlotte races (8%). Punts have fared about the same in the other intermediate track races this year – 8 of 160 (5%). The fall race is 100 miles shorter than the Memorial Day race, so punts have a slightly better chance this time around (600 miles is tough on an engine and the small team engineers).

Regan Smith missed the Chicago race because his wife was giving birth. Ty Dillon drove his car from 33rd to 27th. That’s not bad for a punt car. We’re looking for a top 30, and Smith has completed this task 4 times at intermediate tracks this season. At three other intermediate tracks it was two wrecks and a mechanical failure that ruined his day. It’s hard to not love the driver and the car starting 35th, but bad luck has happened enough that it can’t be ignored. As far as punts go, this one feels pretty good.

Track Cheat Sheet: Charlotte

  • This is the first race race of the NASCAR playoffs’ second round. If a driver wins a race or finishes this round of three races inside the top 8 in points, then they’ll advance to the next round. Typically, this is a pretty conservative race.
  • Charlotte is the definition of a cookie-cutter intermediate track. It’s a high banked 1.5 mile oval that looks like the race track that you see when you close your eyes. It’s the spitting image of Texas, and Texas held a night race in the spring. This race is a night race as well, so study up on the Texas race.