We’re going road racing this weekend, ladies and gentlemen! The Bank of America ROVAL 400 race at Charlotte is set to go on Sunday afternoon, and in addition to the excitement of road course racing and strategy, there’s a decent chance we will see the Cup Series teams getting the rain tires out and racing in the precipitation. That’d definitely throw a wrench into this Playoff cutoff race.
Denny Hamlin is on the pole for Sunday’s race at Charlotte, and if you need to see the full starting lineup, you can do so by clicking here. Lately on the road course tracks, I’ve had some great success in the DraftKings world, so hopefully we can keep that train rolling and end this 2020 season on a good note with only a handful of races remaining. Now let’s gooo!!!!
Speed Report in 2020 After Las Vegas 2
We didn’t discuss Green Flag Speed for Talladega last weekend because it didn’t really matter, but it has some validity this weekend with the Charlotte ROVAL race. There are certain drivers that are head and shoulders above everyone else on this track type, but it’s still worth keeping an eye on the cars that have been the fastest recently, especially with the Playoffs starting.
Over the last six races here are the fastest drivers in terms of Green Flag Speed:
- Kevin Harvick (3.0 average rank)
- Chase Elliott (4.0 average rank)
- Martin Truex, Jr. (6.7 average rank)
- Joey Logano (7.2 average rank)
- Kyle Busch (8.5 average rank)
You can click here to check out the updated Cheat Sheet on Green Flag Speed and see how every driver ranks in that category plus more, not only for the last six races but for the whole season.
DraftKings Strategy for the Charlotte ROVAL
It actually works out pretty well that we have the Charlotte ROVAL race right after Talladega because the strategy is very similar when it comes to building a DraftKings lineup. You’re really focusing on finishing position and/or place differential this weekend. The good news, though, is that this race is 100x easier to predict how it will end up, and it’s much easier to nail down the dominator(s) as well.
This will be the third race at this track configuration, and I would recommend reviewing the previous two just to see who was really strong and may have had a misleading finish. Last year, we saw this race have 10 cautions for 23 laps, and in 2018 it had 8 cautions for 16 laps. So that’s just something to keep in mind there, as the more caution laps there are, the less dominator (fastest laps) DraftKings points occur.
In total, we’re looking at less than 80 DraftKings dominator FPTS up for grabs on sunday–27.25 for laps led, and around 45 or 50 for fastest laps depending on how many cautions there are.
Another similar track to take a look at when prepping for this weekend’s race is the Daytona Road Course, where we raced at back in August. Weirdly enough, that race was super clean and we only saw 4 cautions for 7 laps total, although it should be noted that that race was only 65 laps and we’re scheduled to run 109 laps here at Charlotte on Sunday.
Of course, you can’t forget about Sonoma and Watkins Glen when we talk about road courses, but I’d weigh them less than the two roval races at Charlotte and Daytona. Throwing in that extra aspect of part of the track layout still being on the regular oval is something we definitely don’t get at Sonoma and The Glen. Still, though, since we turn left and right at those tracks as well, it’s worth including them in your comps.
GPP / Tournament Picks I Love for the Bank of America ROVAL 400
Erik Jones ($8,200) – Newsflash: Erik Jones is on a damn good hot streak right now. Since the start of September, the #20 Toyota has finished 8th or better in four of the five races, and three of those four were top 5 finishes, including a season-best 2nd-place result at Talladega last weekend. I guess that’s what happens with a guy like Erik Jones when he’s still trying to find a ride for next season. Anyway, as far as Jones goes at the ROVAL, his record here is awful to say the least–he’s finished 30th and 40th in the two events–and hopefully that will score most DraftKings players away. In reality, though, Erik is a really good road course driver, and in addition to finishing 11th at the Daytona Road Course this season, he’s finished top 5 in his last two Watkins Glen starts and inside the top 8 in his last two Sonoma starts. Want to go against the chalk and not pick Michael McDowell? Here’s your pivot.
Chris Buescher ($6,900) – Let’s try this again. I had Chris Buescher as one of my GPP/tournament picks for Talladega last weekend, and it looked like that call was going to pay off until NASCAR decided to switch views on the final penalties and that put Buescher back to 22nd instead of the top 5… #sadtrombone. But anyway, I love the #17 Ford yet again this weekend, and I’d actually view Buescher as a cash play as well. I’m listing him in the GPP/tournament picks section because I think he may be slept on a little bit. Anyway, in addition to coming home 5th in the Daytona Road Course race this season, Buescher has been absolutely solid on this track type over the last two years, sporting an average finish of 14.4, which is 11th-best in the series. It also should be noted that Buescher ran the majority of those races in JTG Daugherty equipment, which is questionable at best compared to what he has now. Buescher starts back in 21st here on Sunday and is a legitimate top 10 threat. I’ll take that out of a DraftKings driver priced $6,900 any day of the week.
Ryan Preece ($5,400) – What is this world coming to… I’m writing up Ryan Preece… Okay, I’ll explain. I don’t love Ryan Preece this weekend, and this is definitely a risky play (hence it being in the GPP/tournament pick section), but I love the salary on Preece. I also don’t mind Ty Dillon ($5,700) here, as he has a favorable salary as well, and the strategy with both is the same: you’re just hoping they stay somewhere close to where they start. Preece starts 18th while Ty Dillon starts 17th, obviously either of them falling back 10 positions or something is going to destroy the strategy, but coming home 20th? I can live with that, especially if it allows me to stuff the rest of the lineup with Elliott, Truex, AND Jimmie Johnson. For what it’s worth, Preece finished 21st here at the Charlotte ROVAL last season while Ty Dillon has finishes of 15th and 22nd in his two starts here. At the Daytona Road Course race this year, Preece came home 23rd while Ty was 20th.
Cash Core Drivers I Love for the Bank of America ROVAL 400
Chase Elliott ($10,600) – In case you didn’t know this, Chase Elliott is really good at road courses, especially the rovals. In this race last year, Chase had the dominant car, but on lap 66 he went head-first into the turn one wall, completely missing the turn. Seriously, click here to watch it. But do you want to know how good that car was? Chase went out and still won the race. And then he won the Daytona Road Course race this season as well. Looking at the fastest lap data from these three roval races (Charlotte and Daytona), only two drivers are averaging more than 5 per race, and those two are Chase Elliott (17.3 per race) and Martin Truex, Jr. ($10,300) at 10.7 per race. The same is true when you add in the 2019 races at Sonoma and Watkins Glen, with Elliott averaging 17.6 per race and Truex averaging 15.6 per race. Chase has one car to pass here on Sunday once the green flag waves, and while I do think pole sitter Denny Hamlin ($9,700) could put up a tough challenge, there is a decent chance that he doesn’t even lead the first lap. Over the last three road course races, Chase Elliott has led a total of 149 laps. Next best on that list? Kevin Harvick with 34.
Jimmie Johnson ($9,100) – Outside of Ryan Blaney being priced up to $10,900, Jimmie Johnson is the highest-priced of the rest of the drivers who didn’t fare so well at Talladega, as the #48 Chevrolet will roll off the grid from 30th here in Sunday’s Bank of America ROVAL 400. In two career starts on this track configuration, Johnson has finished 8th and 9th, so, yes, go ahead and hit that lock button when it comes to cash lineups. Jimmie is just a solid road racer overall. When you add in this year’s Daytona Road Course race to his results at the Charlotte ROVAL, his average finish jumps up to 7th, as “Seven Time” crossed the stripe in 4th in that race. Looking at average running position, Johnson averages a 10.7 ARP over the last five road course races overall, and that’s 4th-best in the series. As long as there’s no mid-pack carnage early on Sunday, Johnson should be one of the highest-scoring drivers on this slate.
Michael McDowell ($8,100) – DraftKings did a pretty good job with driver pricing this weekend, in my opinion, especially with Michael McDowell, who was priced at $7,000 back for the Daytona Road Course race despite starting in nearly the same spot (he started 30th in that race and will start 31st here at Charlotte on Sunday). Still, even though he’s a little pricey, Michael McDowell should be in your cash lineup. He’s finished 12th and 18th in his two starts here at the Charlotte ROVAL, and he ended up 10th at the Daytona Road Course this season even though he started back in 30th. McDowell also has a 16th-place finish to his credit at Watkins Glen in 2019. At minimum, he should be a mid-teens car on Sunday with legitimate top 12 potential.
Charlotte Bank of America ROVAL 400 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 and fastest laps for each driver. 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||7||$10,300||57.4||02.5||17||12||$179|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr||38||$7,700||37.2||23.2||0||0||$207|
|John H. Nemechek||19||$6,000||12.0||25.8||0||0||$500|