Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona
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Fantasy NASCAR Sheet – Daytona Clash
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The following drivers are in the order or which was the easiest to write about.
Joey Logano – There is one driver with good Clash stats. The question is: How many players know this? Will DFS players dig deep into Clash stats or will they simply look at Daytona or plate racing stats? Are DFS players smart enough to not care? It’s a plate race, anyone can wreck. Maybe, Joey’s time is up. The Penske Fords are always strong at the plate tracks, but the plate track Grim Reaper is indiscriminate. If Logano starts in the back, then load up. If you believe DFS players deeply research Daytona Clash stats or will follow articles that praise Logano’s Clash stats, then he’s worth a fade because he might be highly owned. If he has a good race, you won’t win the $20K, but you can still cash. If he wrecks, I would guess there is a 30% to 50% chance that he wrecks, then you will separate from the field in GPPs.
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. – Among the many conspiracies in the NASCAR subreddit is the belief that Stenhouse cheated in the two plate races last year. After each victory, he made sure to jump up and down on the roof hatch of his car. While pulling into victory lane, Stenhouse covered the onboard camera with a piece of tape. When he removed the tape, a little bit more light could be seen shining through a gap in the roof hatch that wasn’t there before. He’s cheating. If he doesn’t wreck, he’s a top 5 driver.
Kevin Harvick – Fords won all four plate races last year. Toyota rolled out a new body design last season, and they were likely playing catch up aerodynamically at the plate tracks. Ford and Toyota are likely even now, but Ford has been using the same Ford Fusion body for several years and it shows. Chevy’s first race in the new Camaro will be the Clash. If the prop bet existed, I would bet that a Chevy causes the first wreck. Harvick has been one of the most dependable plate racers in the last 5 years. His top 15 finish percentage is near 80% at official plate races, but this is the Clash. Between 2009-2013, Harvick won 3 of the 5 Clash races (Sprint Unlimited/Bud Shootouts), but that was a lifetime ago. Those wins were with RCR.
Denny Hamlin – Until 2016, Hamlin had never won an official race at Daytona and he had just one plate track win. He always earned top 10s and rarely wrecked, but he just didn’t win (wins are overrated in DFS NASCAR). Most sharps considered Hamlin to be the number two plate driver behind Dale Earnhardt, Jr. That’s from the perspective of official races. Exhibitions are a different story. Hamlin has won two of the last three Clash races (three total), and he has three Can-Am Duel wins (the 125 mile Daytona race on the Thursday before the 500).
Austin Dillon – Until last year, Austin Dillon was one of the most dependable plate racers in all three levels of NASCAR. The implementation of the new low low low low low low low downforce racing package was not too much for him, but it was for other drivers, and he got caught up in the schlecht show. He had ZERO lead lap finishes last season.
Chase Elliott – He wasn’t even the best Elliott at plate tracks last year (terrible Elliott Sadler reference). His team earned two top 10s at the plate tracks to close out Jeff Gordon’s career in 2015, but there is always a but. Four of Gordon’s last 8 place races were finishes outside of the top 25. That’s plate racing
Kyle Larson – In his first two years in Cup, Larson was terrible or unlucky at plate tracks. In 2016, he earned 3 top 10s in official plate races. In 2017, he earned 3 top15s, so he’s finishing and that’s a good thing. In 3 career Clash races, Larson has 2 top 5 finishes.
Kyle Busch – He’s basically 50/50 at plate tracks. He’s won some, wrecked some, and broken some legs at some. After his bad wreck in 2015, it was assumed that Busch would become a timid or reluctant plate racer. That’s not the case. He’s too angry to be scared.
Jimmie Johnson – This race means nothing to a seven time champion. This race means nothing to a multimillionaire. This race means nothing to a driver with a locked in sponsor. In official plate races, Johnson has 2 top 10 finishes in his last 10 plate races. He’s indifferent, but if he starts in the back half of the field, he must be considered.
Brad Keselowski – He won the Talladega fall race. His six official plate track wins are the most among current NASCAR drivers. Most of his wins are at Talladega, but Keselowski did win at Daytona in the summer of 2016. In his five Clash races, BK has 4 top 10s. I probably should have written his blurb sooner. That was easy, he’s good.
Jamie McMurray – There aren’t any sleepers this weekend, but I am sure someone will call Jamie Mac a sleeper. He is average when it comes to finish (just under a 50% top 10 finish rate), but his four plate track wins are the third most among active drivers. At the Clash, he has a top 10 finish in 6 of 11 races. A hair above 50% doesn’t look good, but compared to the field’s results, he’s a contender.
Kurt Busch – The 2017 Daytona winner is buried in the bottom of the article. The Fords have been strong at plate tracks, but Kurt’s only Daytona win was last year. He’s been consistent at the plate tracks throughout his career (4th best average finish). He has the skill, but plate tracks don’t care. He won and finished 6th in the first two plate races last year, but he fished 28th and 25th in the other two races. So it goes.
Ryan Newman – He was in my championship lineup last year. I took him out at replaced him with Matt DiBenedetto. Newman went on to finish 2nd at Talladega. I lost $35,000. I’m done here.
Martin Truex, Jr. – I am still thinking about Newman. Truex is a great driver and he has great car. He’s driven through the field at plate races in the past. In 2015 and 2016, he was pretty good or lucky at plate tracks. In 2017, he was pretty bad or unlucky at plate tracks. He has 2 top 10s in 6 clash races, but whatever. His salary is $7,900 at DraftKings. I know this is a plate race, but come on. This guy was the Jesus of NASCAR last year. He even had the goatee.
Kasey Kahne – Last year Kahne earned 3 top 10s in the 4 plates races. Either he knows how to handle the Cup car at plate tracks with the low low low low low low downforce package, or he’s lucky. Either way, you’re playing him if he starts in the back. His worst finish at an official plate race was 18th. It’s his first race with Levine Family Racing, but it’s a plate race and McDowell wasn’t at a disadvantage in the 95 car last year. Everyone loves an underdog.
Ryan Blaney – Before Blaney became a full time cup driver, he regularly frequented the plate tracks for the Wood Brothers (plate racing gods). Blaney has his share of misses, but 7 top 20s in 11 official plate races is pretty good (four were finishes of 11th or better). He’s driving a Penske Ford, and gun to my head, they have the best plate racing program.
Erik Jones – The good news is that he finished inside the top 10 last summer at Daytona. The bad news is that he was one of the first cars to wreck out of the other three plate races. His Xfinity plate races aren’t any better. He’s earned top 10 finishes in 3 out of his 9 Xfinity plate track races. If he starts outside of the top 10, then he’s worth consideration because his track history should lower his ownership.