Daily Fantasy NASCAR: Federated Auto Parts 400
Welcome to another week of Nascar analysis here at FanVice! In this article I will provide you with a look inside the numbers which includes past performance at this track, Vegas odds and performance over the last ten races this season. This should help point you in the right direction when you start to fill out your Nascar rosters over at Draftkings.
This week the drivers travel to Richmond Virginia to run the 59th Annual Federated Auto Parts 400. Richmond International Raceway is a four cornered ‘D’ shaped track with no turn having more than fourteen degrees of banking. Since the track is only three quarters of a mile in length, the drivers will try to complete the 400 laps designated for the race which means plenty of bonus points if you can pick the driver that leads the most laps. Of course we could always squeak out a few more laps if the race goes into overtime, but for now, let’s just worry about picking the race leader.
Richmond International Raceway has undergone a few name changes over the years but when Lee Petty won the first race back in 1953, it was named Atlantic Rural Exposition Fairgrounds. The complex also hosts numerous events including The East Coast Sawmill and Logging Equipment Expo, the Intergalactic Bead Show and the Virginia Golf Show, just to name a few. In case you were wondering, Richard Petty leads all Nascar drivers with 13 wins here in Richmond. Without any further ado, let’s get down to the business.
Kevin Harvick ($10,700)- Harvick comes into this one as not only the highest salaried driver but the Vegas favorite at five to one odds as well. The driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet has five top five finishes in the last six races this serason. The only blemish was his 32nd place finish at Watkins Glen last month. It also bears noting that not only does Harvick have five top five finishes in the last ten starts here at Richmond, he has taken the checkered flag in two of those races. The only other driver to have two wins in the last ten races here is Carl Edwards. If you like to play the chalk, Harvick is your guy although he will start from the 19th position for Saturday night’s race.
Matt Kenseth ($9,900) – Kenseth is another top five favorite inserted by Las Vegas as he will go off as an eight to one favorite when the green flag drops at 7:30 on Saturday night. After finishing out of the top ten in three of the last four races, Kenseth put together a strong showing last week by finishing sixth at Darlington. His seven top ten finishes over the last ten starts here are certainly not to be overlooked as he was the fifth fastest car in the first practice but slipped down to 26th fastest in the final practice. It appears that he must have been sandbagging in ‘Happy Hour’ as Kenseth will start 3rd on the grid.
Jeff Gordon ($8,800) – We are going to drop down in price hand mention Gordon here as he, along with Kenseth, are the only drivers with seven top ten finishes in their last ten starts here at Richmond. He will jump back into the # 88 Axalta Chevrolet while Dale Earnhardt Jr continues to heal from ‘concussion like’ symptoms. In the five races Gordon has been at the helm he has finished no worse than 14th in four of them. It just so happens he was 14th fastest in the final practice. The #88 will start in the 11th position, making it a bit easier to stay out of danger.
Kurt Busch ($8,600), Carl Edwards ($10,000), Joey Logano ($9,700) and Clint Bowyer ($7,100) all have six top ten finishes in their last ten starts here at Richmond International Raceway. If I had to pick a driver out of this group I think I’d go with Busch over Bowyer only because of price as he is lower than both Logano and Edwards. Bowyer has some great numbers at most tracks on the circuit but sadly it looks like his best days are behind him. Kurt Busch will start 5th on Saturday night.
Tony Stewart ($8,200) – After snaring four top five finishes over the course of five races, Stewart has not finished higher than 21st in the last three. His numbers here at Richmond aren’t that great either as he has just three top ten finishes in his last nine starts. Ok, so why do I like him? Well, price helps as he can certainly provide some salary relief but maybe a more convincing factor is the fact that he ran 12th and fifth fastest in the two practices on Friday. Stewart will start from the 19th position when the green flag drops.
Chase Elliott ($8,400)- While there are 19 drivers that could ‘conceivably’ vie for the final four Chase spots, it’s more than likely that Elliott will snag one of them. To break it down as simply as possible, Elliott needs to finish 17th or better if a driver that hasn’t won a race this season happens to win the race. The other scenario is that if there is a repeat winner Elliott would need to finish no lower than 39th. The driver of the #24 had speeds of 21st and 30th fastest in Friday’s practice rounds. He did however finish 12th here back in April as he started from the 23rd position. Elliott didn’t do himself any favors as he had a bad qualifying run that will see him start 34th on the grid here at Richmond.
Jamie McMurray ($7,500) – After not making the Chase last year because of a tie, look for McMurray to solidify a spot in tonight’s race. With a repeat winner or a win from Elliott or Austin Dillon ($7,800) all McMurray would have to do is finish 21st or better to gain entry. Of course he could win the race and not have anything to worry about which would not be surprising based on his practice times. I’d still watch for him to play it safe though to ensure making the Chase. The driver of the #1 Sherwin Williams Emerald Chevrolet has finished 16th or better in seven of the last ten starts here at Richmond. McMurray will start on the outside of row two, which is a good spot to lead a few laps.
Chris Buescher ($6,700) – Look for a very safe race here from Buescher as the only thing that can knock him out of the Chase is that if David Ragan ($5,600) finishes 11 points ahead of him. There’s no doubt that Ragan will try to drive like a madman to attain those 11 points over Buescher so it’s just a matter of who you like. The safe pick is Buescher although he did qualify in 31st position.
Ryan Blaney ($7,200), A J Allmendinger ($6,600), Trevor Bayne ($6,900) and Greg Biffle ($7,400) are just some of the drivers that are inside the top 30 but need a win to get into the Chase. Kasey Kahne ($7,600) needs not only a repeat winner but beat Ryan Newman ($8,000) by 23 points and have Chris Buescher fall out of the top 30. A daunting task indeed.
As you can see, because of the Chase implications, this race should see plenty of action. Join me next week as I break down the first week of Nascars version of the playoffs! Until then, check back here at Fanvice.com for NFL, MLB and Nascar content. Follow me on twitter @elctrceye. Let’s go racing!