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The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series technically had an off-weekend last week, but if you played the All Star Race slate you know that that wasn’t really a down week. Now we’re back for one of the biggest races of the year, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. DraftKings actually has decent contest sizes this week, capped off by the $600 entry, 4 entry max Soda Fountain with $80,000 in total prizes and $20,000 going to 1st. Now without further ado, let’s dig into this week’s slate!

Click here to see how all drivers have faired on the other 1.5-mile tracks this season, with statistics including average DraftKings points, average finish, average running position, and more!

Here are some helpful links to the qualifying results and practice speeds from this weekend:

DraftKings Strategy Tactics for Charlotte

Kyle Busch 2018 Homestead Fantasy NASCAR
Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

This is a looong race we’re talking about, and success in the Coca-Cola 600 comes down to two things: how good your car is at the beginning of the race, and how good your team is at adjusting on it during the race. We saw plenty of caution flags during the All Star Race weekend a week ago, but that style of racing was entirely different than what these drivers are heading into on Sunday night. In other words, teams can’t bank on cautions to keep on making major adjustments throughout the night. Drivers like Martin Truex, Jr. ($10,600), whose team is notorious for not touching the car much after practice, better have a good setup planned for the green flag or it’s going to be a long night for the #19 team.

The fact that this is such a long race also means that there are going to be plenty of comers and goers. Drivers that are good in the early part of the race when the track is hot and slick might not be fast when the sun goes completely down. This gives you the opportunity to kind of shift your ownership percentages as well and exploit the drivers that will be lower-owned based on their practice times.

Speaking of which, the two post-qualifying practices were held on Saturday at 8:30 am and 11:00 am. We’re not racing until 6:15 pm on Sunday evening. So how much weight should you put into those practice times? Honestly, not a lot, in my opinion. Instead, I’m taking a hard look at similar races where we have ran this package this season, particularly Kansas (also a night race), Texas, and Las Vegas. You can also throw in Fontana, although that’s a 2-mile race track.

How Much Stock Should I Put Into What Happened In The All Star Race?

Kyle Larson Toolbox Fantasy NASCAR Kansas
Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

In all honesty, you shouldn’t put a lot of stock into what happened in the All Star Race last weekend when building your DraftKings lineups for this Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600. Just think about it: the All Star Race was an extremely short race with a winner-take-all prize. The drivers that excelled were the ones that didn’t give a shit whether they wrecked or not, and also had good short-run cars. That’s why Kyle Larson took the check home.

If you were going to take away anything from the All Star Race, it’d be the fact that Kyle Busch ($11,200) and Kevin Harvick ($10,800) had the field absolutely covered in the beginning long run stretch before the first caution. The only other guy that was in their league was Martin Truex, Jr. ($10,600).

Strategy-wise, I think people are going to look at Kyle Larson ($9,600) and see him as the “easy button” for Sunday night’s race. He starts back in 25th (great opportunity for place differential points), plus he’s coming off of a win at this very track last weekend–twice, actually, as Larson took the checkered in the Monster Energy Open as well. Add those two points in with the fact that Larson is actually pretty cheaply priced in DraftKings this weekend at $9,600, and from a strategy perspective I actually like being underweight on the All Star winner.

GPP Drivers I Love for the Coca-Cola 600

Kyle Larson Brad Keselowski Garage Fantasy NASCAR
Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Brad Keselowski ($10,100) – If Kyle Larson ($9,600) is the “easy button” chalk pick this weekend, then I need to find a pivot off of him. Enter Brad Keselowski. Without taking roster construction into account, Keselowski is an incredible play in DraftKings this weekend, especially considering he won at Kansas, finished 2nd at Las Vegas, and came home 3rd at Fontana. Throw in the fact that the #2 Ford will roll off the grid from 21st when the Coca-Cola 600 goes green–thus giving Kez plenty of room to get place differential points as well–and Brad’s a great pick. But let’s look at this from a lineup construction perspective: chances are, most people are going to have their dominator of either
Kyle Busch ($11,200) or Kevin Harvick ($10,800) and then they’ll immediately throw on Larson as well, since he starts back in 25th. There’s not enough cap space left for a $10,100 Keselowski on there, and most will continue with Larson to take that $500 cap savings. So, again, I like the pivot to BK here, especially when you look at dominator points on 1.5-mile tracks this year: Keselowski is averaging 9 per race while Larson is averaging 1. Specifically at Charlotte, BK has finished between 4th and 9th in five of the last seven races, and he tweeted out on Saturday that he liked his car this weekend. He should be a contender at the end of the 600 miles.

Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. ($7,200) – Yes, he starts 9th, which is pretty high. And yes, he wrecks a lot, but Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. is pretty damn good here at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In fact, over his last six races at this track, Ricky has came home with top 15 finishes in five of them, including a career-best result of 10th in last year’s Coca-Cola 600. Fast forward to 2019 and NASCAR has this new package that Stenhouse has acclimated to pretty well. Looking specifically at the 1.5-mile tracks (excluding Atlanta) this year, Stenhouse has an average running position of 10th (4th-best in the series) along with an average finish of 11th (9th-best). I’m not saying hammer Stenhouse into half of your lineups on Sunday night but I don’t mind having 15% exposure of him, especially with how slow the #17 Ford looked in those morning practice sessions Saturday.

BONUS GPP PLAY: I really like Daniel Suarez ($8,000) as a GPP play on Sunday night as well. Yeah, I said not to look too much into practice this weekend, but that #41 Ford was in a league of its own all day. Also, if you look back at Texas, Suarez started 4th and finished 3rd that day while also leading 9 laps and putting up 25 fastest laps. In all, he posted 56.75 DraftKings points that day, which was 8th-most in the race. He starts 6th for this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 and has finished 11th, 6th, and 15th in his three career starts at this race track.

GPP Fade Options for Charlotte

Austin Dillon 2019 Daytona 500 Fantasy NASCAR
Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Martin Truex, Jr. ($10,600) – Man this guy has been on my “Fade” list quite often this year. Look, unless something crazy happens on Sunday night, the majority of DraftKings dominator points are going to go to either Kyle Busch ($11,200) or Kevin Harvick ($10,800)–the two highest-priced drivers on the slate this weekend. And while I could definitely see Martin Truex, Jr. finishing inside the top 5 once again here at Charlotte (he’s ended up 3rd or better in five of the last six), it’s foolish to allocate $10,600 for a place differential and finish driver on a 1.5-mile track. Truex is only averaging 4.8 DraftKings dominator points per race on this track type in 2019, and I don’t see him putting up a ton on Sunday night starting back in 14th. The only way I’d fit Truex into a lineup would be if I’m banking on lower-priced dominators, such as William Byron ($7,400), Aric Almirola ($8,500), or maybe even Daniel Suarez ($8,000), who has an extremely fast race car this weekend and starts 6th.

My other fade? Austin Dillon ($7,800). I’m sure that’s surprising for anybody that follows me on Twitter. Yeah, his car looks fast and he qualified 4th, but we’ve seen this before out of the #3 team. There’s a reason that Austin has an average finish of 17th on the 1.5-mile tracks this season despite having an average starting spot of 8th. Grabbing only 1.7% of dominator points doesn’t help his case either.

Charlotte Coca-Cola 600 DraftKings Projections

You can click the headers below to sort the chart by that attribute. By default it is sorted by average projected FPTS.

DriverStarting PositionDraftKings SalaryAvg Proj FPTSAvg. Projected FinishProj Laps LedDollar Per FPT
Kyle Busch3$11,20066.703.4101$168
Brad Keselowski21$10,10058.007.227$174
Kevin Harvick5$10,80056.405.468$191
Denny Hamlin20$9,20054.805.68$168
Chase Elliott12$10,30053.706.641$192
Martin Truex Jr14$10,60052.906.025$201
Erik Jones16$8,70048.806.68$178
Kyle Larson25$9,60047.211.44$203
Clint Bowyer8$9,40040.806.68$230
Kurt Busch11$8,90040.808.07$218
Joey Logano7$9,90038.408.215$258
Daniel Suarez6$8,00037.408.011$214
Jimmie Johnson15$8,30035.612.24$233
Alex Bowman13$8,10034.513.014$235
Ryan Blaney19$9,00031.316.66$288
Aric Almirola2$8,50030.409.816$280
Ryan Newman18$7,60029.216.40$260
Paul Menard17$6,90028.216.40$245
Chris Buescher22$7,10028.019.00$254
Austin Dillon4$7,80026.111.22$299
Ricky Stenhouse Jr9$7,20024.714.42$291
William Byron1$7,40024.514.433$303
Ryan Preece24$6,50024.421.80$266
David Ragan31$6,00023.425.80$256
Matt DiBenedetto27$6,30022.624.20$279
Bubba Wallace29$5,70022.625.20$252
Ty Dillon28$6,70021.625.20$310
Daniel Hemric10$5,90018.817.60$314
Ross Chastain35$5,60015.831.60$354
Parker Kligerman34$5,10014.431.80$354
Corey Lajoie30$5,20014.030.00$371
Michael McDowell23$6,20013.027.00$477
Landon Cassill32$5,40012.032.00$450
Matt Tifft26$5,30011.229.40$473
Cody Ware38$4,60009.636.20$479
Quin Houff39$4,80009.436.80$511
Bayley Currey33$4,70009.034.00$522
Reed Sorenson37$5,00007.836.60$641
BJ McLeod36450006.836.60$662
Joey Gase40$4,90005.639.20$875
As someone who has always been obsessed with numbers, Fantasy NASCAR has been the perfect fit with me. I pride myself on the quality of my analysis for each race, and am glad that I have been able to help others along the way. I've been a serious Fantasy NASCAR player for over 10 years now, and I'm just getting started.