We’re heading to Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend for the Dixie Vodka 400. Homestead is typically the final race of the Cup Series schedule, but now that Phoenix is set to determine the Champion, we get a mid-summer race at Homestead. This is a 1.5-mile track but isn’t really shaped like the rest of the “cookie cutters” so I wouldn’t lean too heavily on those results. I would look at high wear tracks, though, which is a category that Homestead falls into. The races at Fontana, Darlington, and (most recently) Atlanta should give pretty good indications of who will run well on Sunday.
If you need the starting lineup for the Dixie Vodka 400, click here to see it. Denny Hamlin “won” the pole for Sunday’s race, and this is the fifth time in the last six races here that he’s starting from the top spot.
Speed Report in 2020 After Martinsville
Joey Logano grabbed the Green Flag Speed “win” at Martinsville on Wednesday night, his first of the season and the first time the #22 Ford ranked inside the top 5 in that statistical category since Phoenix before the break. Martin Truex, Jr. ended up 3rd in Green Flag Speed at Martinsville, giving him four ranks of 3rd or better in the last six races.
- Chase Elliott (4.3 average rank)
- Martin Truex, Jr. & Kevin Harvick (6.7 average rank)
- ***tie for 2nd***
- Brad Keselowski (7.7 average rank)
- Joey Logano (7.8 average rank)
You can click here to check out the Cheat Sheet on Green Flag Speed and see how every driver ranks in that category plus more.
Let’s also take a look at the average Green Flag Speed ranking of drivers specifically at the high wear race tracks this season, which would be Fontana, the two Darlington races, and then the Atlanta race last week. The top drivers in that category are:
- Chase Elliott (4.3 average rank)
- Martin Truex, Jr. & Alex Bowman (5.5 average rank)
- ***tie for 2nd***
- Denny Hamlin (5.8 average rank)
- Kevin Harvick (6.8 average rank)
DraftKings Strategy for Homestead-Miami
In the past, it was pretty simple to predict who would be the fastest cars at Homestead: the four Championship drivers and then Kyle Larson. So without this being the finale race, and with Kyle Larson currently not racing in the Cup Series, it’s possible we see a bit of a different race here on Sunday. Then again, the drivers who were fast at Atlanta last week should be fast at Homestead, too, so maybe it won’t be so different (except for no Larson). Let’s take a look at the drivers with the most fastest laps at Homestead over the last four years:
- Kyle Larson (47.8 fastest laps per race)
- Kevin Harvick (30.3 fastest laps per race)
- Martin Truex, Jr. (29.8 fastest laps per race)
- Kyle Busch (27.3 fastest laps per race)
- Joey Logano (11.3 fastest laps per race)
- Denny Hamlin (10.8 fastest laps per race)
No other driver has more than 10 fastest laps per race at Homestead over the last four years, but obviously without Kyle Larson in the field, we have a significant number of them to re-allocate.
So let’s take a look at the other high wear tracks that we’ve raced at this year: Fontana, Darlington (twice), and Atlanta. Let’s also add in laps led per race, giving us a total number of dominator points. So here are the drivers with the most DraftKings dominator points in the four aforementioned races in 2020:
- Kevin Harvick (34.9 dominator points per race)
- Alex Bowman (25.1 dominator points per race)
- Clint Bowyer (18.8 dominator points per race)
- Martin Truex, Jr. (15.8 dominator points per race)
- Brad Keselowski (13.8 dominator points per race)
- Ryan Blaney (11.5 dominator points per race)
All other drivers have less than 10 DraftKings dominator points per race.
Homestead also gets grouped into the 1.5-mile track category, even though it’s not shaped like the other “cookie cutter” venues. So we can add in the Las Vegas race and both Charlotte races into our analysis this week. When you add those three races in with the four venues above, you get this in terms of dominator points:
- Kevin Harvick (30.5 dominator points per race)
- Alex Bowman (29.0 dominator points per race)
- Martin Truex, Jr. (18.0 dominator points per race)
- Chase Elliott (17.4 dominator points per race)
- Brad Keselowski (11.3 dominator points per race)
- Clint Bowyer (10.8 dominator points per race)
- Ryan Blaney (10.3 dominator points per race)
Drivers Most Likely to Dominate
The most obvious potential dominator on Sunday is Kevin Harvick ($11,800), who is also the highest-priced driver on Sunday. There’s potential there to go underweight on him in a strategy move, but in four of the seven races at 1.5-mile and high wear tracks have seen Harvick grab over 34 dominator FPTS. Other drivers highly likely to grab dominator points are top 6 starters Martin Truex, Jr. ($11,400) and Kyle Busch ($10,100). I expect Kyle Busch to have a significantly higher ownership percentage because DraftKings has him priced so low, so Truex could be a better strategy play either combined with Harvick or as a pivot.
Chase Elliott ($11,000), who starts 5th, could end up dominating a bit since his #9 Chevrolet has been so fast this year, but it’s worth noting that his dominator points on high wear tracks this year isn’t anything to be impressed with (an average of 7.7 dominator points per race). The Penske Racing teammates of Joey Logano($10,700), Brad Keselowski ($9,500), and Ryan Blaney ($8,800) start 2nd, 3rd, and 11th all have dominator potential but it’s always hard to tell with them. I’m also not sure you can count out Alex Bowman ($8,400), who is one of the best drivers at high wear tracks and has had 26 or more dominator points in four of the seven races at high wear and 1.5-mile venues this year.
Finally, what about pole sitter Denny Hamlin ($10,400)? Personally, I’m probably going to be underweight on him for this race, but Hamlin ranking 4th in Green Flag Speed on the high wear tracks this season could sway me to have more of him than expected in my lineups. Trying to fit in that mid-$10,000 is going to be tough, though, so he’s going to have to lead a significant portion of this race to be worth it.
GPP / Tournament Plays I Love for the Dixie Vodka 400
Martin Truex, Jr. ($11,400) – I’m envisioning a lot of people trying to stuff Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch into lineups, and while I’ll have plenty of exposure to those guys on Sunday, this is probably going to be like the Atlanta race: I’ll be super overweight on Martin Truex, Jr. He’s finished 1st or 2nd in each of the last three races here at Homestead and don’t forget that this #19 Toyota finally showed dominating potential at Atlanta–another worn out track–just last week. Speaking of worn out tracks, Truex is averaging 63 DraftKings FPTS per race on them this season, which is second only to Kevin Harvick’s 83.4 per race.
Kurt Busch ($8,600) – It’s highly unlikely we see many dominator points come from Kurt Busch at Homestead on Sunday, but he starts back in 10th and could end up finishing inside the top 5 by the end of the Dixie Vodka 400 on Sunday. Now, Kurt hasn’t finished inside that mark here at Homestead since the 2004 season, but it can’t be understated how fast this #1 team is week in and week out. Busch’s 9th-place finish at Martinsville on Wednesday night was actually his 2nd-worst in the last nine races, but don’t forget that Kurt sucks at Martinsville. Also, don’t forget that Kyle Larson has put up some great runs here at Homestead, and it seems like Kurt has been getting better cars since Larson was fired (but that could just be my observation). On the high wear tracks this season, Kurt is averaging 49.1 DraftKings points per race, which is pretty impressive considering his average starting spot is 14th.
Alex Bowman ($8,400) – High wear tracks and Alex Bowman should be synonymous in your brain if you’re a Fantasy NASCAR player. He’s just so good at them (and most intermediates for that matter). Now, Bowman hasn’t finished better than 9th ever in his career here at Homestead-Miami Speedway, but do you think that concerns me? Absolutely not. This year on the worn out race tracks, Alex is averaging 61.3 DraftKings points per race, which includes 25.1 dominator points per race. Add in the other 1.5-mile track races and he’s at 54.0 and 29.0, respectively. Bowman starts 8th on Sunday so that should keep his ownership percentage really low, but he’s putting up those DraftKings numbers while averaging the same starting spot this year. I’ll definitely be overweight on Bowman this Sunday.
Erik Jones ($6,500) – I’ll admit, I’m usually overweight on Erik Jones no matter what his price is. I really like the “boom or bust” style of how his races turn out, and he’s won me a lot of money in DraftKings so I have a soft spot. But looking at this weekend, it might seem like Jones is a chalk pick, but I wouldn’t go that far. He’s finished outside of the top 10 in four of the last five Cup Series races, and recency bias seems to play a bigger factor this year than most since there’s no practice. Additionally, look at the drivers around Jones: you have chalk Tyler Reddick ($7,300) above with chalk Cole Custer ($6,000) and Michael McDowell ($5,200) below. As I’ve said before, predicting ownership percentages isn’t my strong suit, but I think Erik Jones will end up being lower owned than most think on Sunday. As far as why I like him, he came home 3rd here at Homestead in November and is averaging 42.8 DraftKings points per race on the high wear tracks this season.
I also like being overweight on Austin Dillon ($6,200) in this price range, who has a great record here at Homestead, and the projections love Aric Almirola ($6,300).
Homestead DraftKings Projections
The following chart takes into account the very basics: the starting position and the projected finish of each driver. The projected finishes are averaged from five different ranking systems. Also included are projected laps led for each driver. This doesn’t take into account fastest laps. You can click the headers below to sort the chart by that attribute. By default it is sorted by average projected FPTS.
|Driver||Starting Position||DraftKings Salary||Avg Proj FPTS||Avg. Projected Finish||Proj Laps Led||Proj Fastest Laps||Dollar Per FPT|
|Martin Truex Jr||6||$11,400||75.7||02.6||51||35||$151|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr||19||$7,100||25.8||18.6||0||0||$275|
|John H. Nemechek||18||$5,300||15.2||23.4||0||0||$349|