NASCAR DFS players have to change their thinking a little bit this weekend, as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to the Charlotte ROVAL for the third and final road course race of the season. The events at these road courses are a bit different than the “normal” slates, simply because there aren’t as many laps in the race, and typically the cars that qualify up front don’t have good enough long-run speed to stay up there.

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

DraftKings Strategy Breakdown for the Bank of America ROVAL 400

Matt DiBenedetto 95 Fantasy NASCAR 2019
Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Road courses, baby! Some love them, some hate them. Personally, I’ve come to like them very much, as I’ve done really well in DraftKings with the last three road course slates, profiting in each for a total gain of $5,167.79. That includes my big hit at Watkins Glen this year. Of course, past success doesn’t guarantee future winning, but the theory behind lineup construction doesn’t change either.

Typically with road course races, you’re looking at place differential as a key focus. Think of them as restrictor plate tracks that are much, much more predictable. There’s exceptions to the rules, though, as we saw with Chase Elliott at Watkins Glen this year when he dominated from the pole leading 80 of the 90 laps. Most often, though, drivers who start up front don’t make it in to the optimal DraftKings lineup. So let’s take a look at the optimal lineups at Sonoma and Watkins Glen this year.

Sonoma 2019 Optimal DraftKings Lineup

  • Martin Truex, Jr. ($10,800) — started 8th, finished 1st
  • Ryan Blaney ($8,900) — started 9th, finished 3rd
  • Erik Jones ($8,100) — started 32nd, finished 8th
  • Aric Almirola ($8,000) — started 15th, finished 9th
  • Ryan Newman ($7,300) — started 21st, finished 7th
  • Matt DiBenedetto ($6,500) — started 19th, finished 4th

Watkins Glen 2019 Optimal DraftKings Lineup

  • Chase Elliott ($10,300) — started 1st, finished 1st
  • Denny Hamlin ($9,400) — started 6th, finished 3rd
  • Erik Jones ($8,900) — started 14th, finished 4th
  • Ryan Blaney ($8,700) — started 19th, finished 5th
  • Matt DiBenedetto ($6,500) — started 20th, finished 6th
  • David Ragan ($5,600) — started 31st, finished 22nd

So, what we’ve seen so far this year is that a more balanced lineup approach has been what’s taken down the GPPs–which makes sense. At the road courses, it’s very rare for a back marker car to surprise with a high finish, and that’s exactly why you shouldn’t dig deep down and reach for them just to make your lineup make sense up top. There’s a ton of value with the “mid range” drivers at road courses. Differentiate your lineup there.

A couple other things worth mentioning: neither optimal lineup used the full $50,000 salary cap on the road courses this year, and also both had two drivers that started inside the top 10 with the rest of the lineup starting outside of the top 10. Will we see a similar optimal lineup this weekend at the ROVAL? I wouldn’t doubt it.

DraftKings Statistical Analysis of Recent Road Courses

Martin Truex Jr Fantasy NASCAR 2018
Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

This is just the second race at the Charlotte ROVAL in the history of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, so if you’re going to make data-driven lineups, you have to have some type of numbers to base them on. Additionally, last year’s ROVAL race had like a third of the field wreck on a restart into turn one, so that’s not exactly reliable data.

So what I did for you this weekend is went ahead and pulled what I consider to be important data for road courses. The following table is taking into account the last two years of road course races, so the events at Watkins Glen in 2018 and 2019, the events at Sonoma in 2018 and 2019, and then the ROVAL race of 2018. So five races total. The data included is:

  • Avg DraftKings points scored on road courses
  • Avg DraftKings dominator points on road courses
  • Avg Running Position on road courses
  • Avg Finish on road courses
  • Avg Start on road courses
  • Avg Driver Rating on road courses
  • Avg Fastest Laps per race on road courses
  • Avg Laps Led per race on road courses

The table is, by default, sorted by DraftKings points per race. You can click on the column headers to change what you want it to sort by.

DriverDK PtsDom PtsRun PosFinishStartRatingFast LapsLaps Led
Martin Truex Jr59.716.304.004.006.2128.719.426.2
Kevin Harvick52.406.408.806.815.6102.809.207.0
Kurt Busch44.701.311.408.616.693.001.801.6
Chase Elliott42.113.506.809.803.0121.413.427.0
Denny Hamlin40.901.911.208.612.296.002.802.0
Clint Bowyer40.901.912.809.614.289.103.800.0
Erik Jones40.300.513.210.817.489.400.800.2
Matt DiBenedetto40.000.220.414.625.069.500.400.0
Alex Bowman36.700.514.411.014.281.501.000.0
Kyle Busch36.006.208.410.607.0107.509.006.8
Ryan Blaney35.801.413.211.011.889.301.203.2
Aric Almirola31.300.318.
Ryan Newman31.
Daniel Suarez30.000.216.414.815.477.100.400.0
Chris Buescher29.100.118.415.616.269.500.200.0
Kyle Larson28.806.610.812.603.498.207.611.0
Brad Keselowski28.402.813.617.616.883.902.605.8
David Ragan28.000.024.621.225.352.000.000.0
Ross Chastain22.700.031.728.034.737.600.000.0
Jimmie Johnson21.800.812.
Parker Kligerman21.
Michael McDowell20.500.518.619.615.265.601.000.0
Ricky Stenhouse Jr20.100.320.621.418.664.300.400.4
Landon Cassill19.500.
Matt Tifft19.300.326.
Ty Dillon19.000.025.827.029.045.800.000.0
Bubba Wallace18.
Paul Menard17.900.719.625.424.066.300.801.0
Daniel Hemric15.200.221.724.319.759.200.300.0
Austin Dillon15.000.023.827.425.853.900.000.0
William Byron13.002.015.421.409.876.001.804.2
Joey Logano11.601.019.622.411.464.002.000.0
Corey Lajoie08.
Ryan Preece03.500.025.532.524.546.600.000.0

Charlotte ROVAL 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
Chase Elliott19$9,60060.503.417$159
Denny Hamlin28$10,40057.607.20$181
Kevin Harvick6$10,20051.603.028$208
Kurt Busch23$9,00051.008.00$176
Martin Truex Jr8$10,90049.903.210$218
Kyle Busch17$10,70043.408.80$247
Matt DiBenedetto18$7,60042.409.80$179
Kyle Larson7$9,40040.907.618$217
Brad Keselowski11$10,00039.209.04$255
Ryan Blaney9$9,20037.509.29$246
Clint Bowyer5$8,40036.606.20$230
Erik Jones15$8,80035.012.00$251
Ryan Newman24$8,30034.416.80$241
Michael McDowell22$6,00034.016.00$176
Aric Almirola16$7,70031.614.20$244
Chris Buescher12$7,40030.013.00$247
Daniel Suarez13$7,30029.813.60$245
Matt Tifft36$5,70023.628.20$242
Alex Bowman2$8,10022.012.00$368
David Ragan27$5,60021.424.80$262
Parker Kligerman40$5,10021.231.40$241
Ross Chastain37$5,30021.030.00$252
Ty Dillon29$6,60020.626.20$320
Austin Dillon30$6,70020.027.00$335
William Byron1$8,60019.414.211$444
Jimmie Johnson4$7,90018.914.82$418
Daniel Hemric20$6,30017.223.40$366
Joey Logano3$9,80016.316.610$601
Ricky Stenhouse Jr21$6,90015.025.00$460
Landon Cassill32$5,40014.830.60$365
Bubba Wallace25$6,50013.028.00$500
Paul Menard10$7,10011.621.20$612
Corey Lajoie26$5,80011.629.20$500
Ryan Preece14$6,20011.223.40$554
Garrett Smithley35$4,70010.234.40$461
Josh Bilicki34$4,90008.834.60$557
Joe Nemechek39$5,00008.237.40$610
Reed Sorenson38$4,80008.037.00$600
Cody Ware31$4,60005.834.60$793
Timmy Hill33$4,50001.837.60$2,500
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.