Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks: Can-Am 500 at Phoenix

The pre-practice article and post practice slack chat formula has worked recently, so let’s stick with that. Also, I’m in Asheville this weekend on vacation. If you’re not happy, then feel free to eviscerate me over my free daily fantasy NASCAR content.

If you think I hide stuff behind the paywall in the slack chat, then tweet me (@race4theprize), and I’ll send you everything that I have and answer any question that you have.

That was the most contentious way of being helpful ever.

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Now back to the great analysis from Pearce!

Hog Trends

There isn’t a trend that will predict fast laps and lap leds. You can skip to the practice section now, if you would like. Practice times are the only reliable numbers this weekend for hogs (fast lap and laps led leaders).

If you want to know why we cannot decypher a trend, then read the following two sections for the details. The Reader’s Digest version is that it’s all Kevin Harvick’s fault.

We can only trust recent track history. If we only look at the recent track history, Kevin Harvick has controlled both Phoenix races every year. The only trend we will find is that Harvick was the god of the desert. Before, we could plug him in and move on, but he’s lost his edge.

Spring Race to Past races

There’s nothing there. The spring race does not closely correlate with the fall race. Is it because of Harvick? Maybe. Is it because we are comparing race #4 and race #34? Maybe. The why isn’t is important right now.

Flat tracks in the Fall

I didn’t make a chart. That should tell you how little the data correlates. New Hampshire and Martinsville in the fall might as well be the same race. Phoenix is a flat track, too. However, the data doesn’t work. Again, Harvick messes everything up. He hogs all the hog points at Phoenix.

To avoid the Harvick issue, I lowered the standard and looked for the top 5 hogs at each race, even if the secondary or tertiary hogs scored inconsequential fast lap and laps led points. With less scrutiny, there still isn’t repeat hogs. Simply put, the New Hampshire and Martinsville fall races are not useful predictive stats for the Phoenix race.


As discussed in FanVice Fantasy NASCAR Podcast #50, practice speeds seem to be the only worthwhile data to predict hogs. Track history and current form are worthwhile, but this is a unique race. Who has the best track history? Kevin Harvick. Who has the best current form numbers? Martin Truex, Jr., Kyle Busch, and Kevin Harvick. That’s a problem. Each of those drivers are locked into next week’s championship race. This week is an exhibition.

You might say to yourself, these guys are professionals. They race to win; they race for paychecks. Kyle Busch admitted last week that he didn’t care about Texas. Imagine that you work for the Furniture Row 78 car. You’ve worked all season, and now, you’re finally in the championship. You have two weeks to prepare for the championship. Would you waste the time of your engineers, the mechanics, the time spent in the wind tunnel, etc. by focusing on Phoenix?

You might say to yourself, these guys are studs. They don’t need to focus that much to win at Phoenix. Maybe, they can win. I’ll give you that. I doubt they lead a significant portion of the race. Especially with five elite drivers in a do or die spot.

Practice speeds are the only numbers that we can trust. The podcast laid out the data. Long run and short run practice speeds correlate with the average running position of drivers with top 20 DFS scores.

You can check out the data in this week’s DFS NASCAR spreadsheet: click here

Additionally, you can look over my podcast script where the notes are bullet pointed. There are other spreadsheets in the FanVice slack chat. If you don’t have access, like I said earlier, tweet me, and I’ll send you the link (for free, you don’t even have to guess what kind of water I drink. If you guessed tap, then you’re correct. Tweet me and I’ll give you free access this week to my free DFS NASCAR package).

Drivers that I like Friday morning…

Ryan Newman You’ll see in the Phoneix Value Driver Spreadsheet that Newman has a top 15 DFS score in 6 of the last 7 Phoenix races. If I take the data back further, I’m sure his name would continue to pop up. He’s a lock at $8,000, but he’s priced $7,100.

Aric Almirola His numbers are very similar to Neman’s. He has come through as a value play in 4 of the last 5 Phoneix races.

Chase ElliottHe was fast in the spring Phoenix race, and he’s in a must win situation.

Brad Keselowski Similar thought process to Elliott.

Jimmie Johnson His team will figure something out. If Harvick, Truex, and Kyle Busch treat this as an exhibition, then the door is open for Jimmie. He’s been fast in the last two fall races, but he’s wrecked in 2 of the last 3 fall races.

Joey Logano Team Penkse can get the job done at short tracks. He did not have the best car in the spring, but that says more about Kyle Busch’s car than Logano’s. We don’t have to worry about Kyle Busch this weekend.

Kurt BuschHis recent Phoenix track history for SHR is stunning. Being Kevin Harvick’s teammate helps a lot. I don’t expect him to lead laps, but it’s possible, if the stars go exhibition mode.

A.J. Allmendinger Short, flat tracker.

McDowell, Cassill, DibenedettoThey are maybes. Punting is not necessary. The hogs will likely be 9K drivers and there is value in 7K and 6K range. If one of these punts qualifies near the very back, then their stock will increase enough to be in the conversation. If they start around 30th, then I do not believe you’ll need to punt.

See you in the FanVice Slack Chat. ~ Pearce