The NASCAR Cup Series continues on this weekend with the longest race of the season: the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Charlotte is a 1.5-mile “low-wear” race track that compares well the Las Vegas and Kansas, where we have already raced at in 2021. You can also throw in the Homestead and Atlanta races if you’d like, even though they’re “high-wear” tracks, but they are also 1.5-mile venues and used the 550hp intermediate package.

My algorithm predicted finishing order is a great tool to check out as well. Click here to look at that. And, as always, there’s a lot of crossover with these DFS articles, so be sure to click here and read my DraftKings write-up for Charlotte.

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Driver Loop Data Averages at Charlotte

Kyle Busch at Michigan International Speedway 2020 with his purple fudge brownie M&M's paint scheme
Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images

Again, Charlotte Motor Speedway is a low-wear 1.5-mile track, and we’re running the 550hp package this weekend. Included below are three charts to take a look at: 550hp statistics from this year,, low-wear 1.5-mile track statistics from this year, and recent Charlotte statistics (over the last two years).

2021 Driver Averages Under 550hp Intermediate Package

Total Laps
Kyle Busch404.809.0166.65101.946209301126
Martin Truex Jr406.007.7166.65102.2414311091126
Kyle Larson406.503.1167.36132.624650911171126
William Byron406.506.9166.85112.08612910441126
Denny Hamlin407.807.7166.78104.849819641126
Kevin Harvick409.313.4166.2491.31706771125
Austin Dillon410.012.2166.0787.71108811126
Chris Buescher412.013.5165.9285.950705851126
Brad Keselowski412.309.7166.34104.1811468781122
Ryan Newman413.518.4165.5373.4805111125
Michael McDowell413.817.9165.0170.9492491124
Ryan Blaney414.008.4166.8199.661269701125
Alex Bowman414.311.2166.3490.53208021124
Tyler Reddick414.319.7165.7572.82373881123
Matt DiBenedetto414.812.7165.9381.51008061124
Joey Logano416.513.7165.9181.19197411125
Ross Chastain417.019.0165.4667.9402941125
Daniel Suarez417.319.3164.7764.010142781123
Chase Elliott417.513.2166.1586.834268401021
Ricky Stenhouse Jr417.515.8165.5774.25235461117
Christopher Bell419.015.2166.0275.72705651122
Kurt Busch420.313.6166.0884.4411722913
Chase Briscoe420.524.9164.5352.520221123
Erik Jones421.523.5164.8758.01001221122
Cole Custer422.519.7164.6859.3002391123
Bubba Wallace423.022.4165.1861.01421821119
Ryan Preece423.324.1164.7154.1501051115
Anthony Alfredo424.525.7164.2048.911581121
Justin Haley428.829.9162.5440.990181110
Aric Almirola429.322.3164.1954.3001201030
Garrett Smithley331.732.5159.2535.6002781
Corey LaJoie432.328.0165.1344.129031923
BJ McLeod432.333.6160.3233.90021091
Cody Ware432.833.6159.9633.60001093
James Davison234.533.8161.2632.5000377
Quin Houff434.534.2158.9530.70011084
Josh Bilicki436.036.7156.6927.70001046

2021 Driver Averages At Low-Wear 1.5-mile Tracks

Total Laps
Kyle Busch202.007.7171.26111.03120466534
Brad Keselowski202.504.2171.53122.64899522534
Martin Truex Jr206.008.1170.8798.686527534
Denny Hamlin208.006.3171.41111.73754496534
William Byron208.508.2171.20104.74825462534
Chase Elliott209.010.5170.9496.42322440534
Kyle Larson210.003.3171.82134.7124235525534
Matt DiBenedetto210.011.7170.1787.930441533
Kevin Harvick211.012.6170.3388.330322533
Austin Dillon211.014.5170.0781.910350534
Chris Buescher211.017.5169.5776.7113119534
Ryan Blaney213.006.9171.32103.1321520534
Joey Logano213.014.0169.9981.217298534
Tyler Reddick214.514.8169.9679.0187284533
Michael McDowell215.019.2168.8266.809100533
Kurt Busch217.013.8170.2879.430375533
Ryan Newman217.024.1169.3461.64040533
Christopher Bell217.509.9170.9790.0250493532
Erik Jones217.521.4169.1964.950117533
Ross Chastain218.519.1169.5267.210117533
Daniel Suarez218.521.0167.9359.811290532
Chase Briscoe220.524.4168.9252.61016533
Alex Bowman222.515.7170.4176.1150243532
Ricky Stenhouse Jr222.517.1169.5169.9223206525
Ryan Preece223.523.0168.9956.120101525
Anthony Alfredo223.523.4168.4251.21157532
Cole Custer224.524.2168.1350.40043532
Bubba Wallace227.026.7169.1958.312087528
Justin Haley229.530.2166.0239.9009525
BJ McLeod230.531.6164.2137.1002520
Corey LaJoie232.026.8167.6644.30027453
Garrett Smithley232.033.1164.3435.0000518
Aric Almirola233.525.7168.5250.90027442
Cody Ware234.034.3163.8033.0000516
Quin Houff235.035.3162.7029.0000512
Josh Bilicki237.037.2160.1226.6000502

2019-2020 Driver Averages At Charlotte

Total Laps
Chase Elliott302.707.0174.83118.8871098791013
Martin Truex Jr305.707.3174.98114.01472038321013
Ryan Blaney306.708.1174.69108.24348751013
Alex Bowman319.308.2174.48104.7892238431011
Joey Logano307.308.6174.37103.329688201013
William Byron314.009.2174.8897.822428991012
Kevin Harvick308.710.3174.23102.757778061013
Tyler Reddick211.510.7174.0987.940558613
Kyle Busch312.311.1174.5599.665797821012
Brad Keselowski309.011.5174.6397.465977121011
Kurt Busch313.311.7173.5389.229547461009
Austin Dillon319.011.9174.0485.670741928
Erik Jones326.014.3174.6965.4200446634
Christopher Bell215.514.8173.9077.120322613
Ricky Stenhouse Jr311.315.6173.7586.71115101010
Matt DiBenedetto324.016.7173.7463.7516321660
Aric Almirola315.716.8173.5871.1504271013
Ryan Newman320.317.4173.2568.7304161008
Kyle Larson133.018.2173.0369.820190315
Chris Buescher313.019.0173.3973.91002961013
Clint Bowyer326.720.2171.3658.520314701
Cole Custer215.521.2173.1762.91053613
Denny Hamlin316.321.9171.8674.553213681006
Daniel Suarez325.023.5171.8254.1301691005
Michael McDowell322.023.6172.2854.431901010
Corey LaJoie318.324.1172.3558.420371011
Ryan Preece326.024.5171.6352.10132953
Bubba Wallace333.726.9171.9754.620162725
BJ McLeod332.331.8168.0337.23010991
Quin Houff332.032.4168.5437.10010991
Garrett Smithley236.533.7167.6329.8000391
Timmy Hill234.035.2167.5132.2501595
Josh Bilicki136.036.5164.7128.9102200

Driver-by-Driver Breakdown Video

Now for the video breakdown! Be sure to go here and subscribe to my YouTube channel if you haven’t already.

Optimal Lineup According to Jordan’s Projections

The optimal FanDuel lineup for Charlotte according to my Projections is:

  • Kyle Larson
  • Kyle Busch
  • Brad Keselowski
  • Chris Buescher
  • Ryan Preece

Confidence Rating = 6.6/10. I can’t say I’m loving this lineup for FanDuel. I think there are some better plays this weekend where you don’t have to try and stuff three studs into one lineup. Also, with FanDuel not awarding points for fastest laps, I’m not opposed to being underweight on Kyle Larson. Even with a significant amount of laps led assumed, my projections only him at 91.95 fantasy points. The top FanDuel lineup without Larson according to my projections is: Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Chris Buescher, and Ryan Newman.

FanDuel “Safe” DFS Picks for Charlotte (Cash Lineups)

Chris Buescher #17 Ford racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway 2021
Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Denny Hamlin ($12,500) – Most FanDuel players will shove in Kyle Busch ($13,500) into their lineup due to him starting back in 20th, but I’d rather save $1,000 in cap space and roll with Denny Hamlin. The #11 Toyota still has place differential upside (Hamlin qualified 14th) and they should both be top 5 contenders. I don’t give either Kyle Busch or Denny Hamlin a significant edge in dominating potential this weekend, so I’ll definitely take the cheaper option here. Hamlin has six top 5s in his last nine Charlotte starts and has the 3rd-best average running position on the low-wear 1.5-mile tracks this season.

Chris Buescher ($6,500) – Yeah, I’m pretty much going all in on Chris Buescher this weekend, at least in terms of fantasy contests that award points for place differential. With the 550hp intermediate package this weekend, Buescher has an average running position of 13.5 and an average finish of 12.0, and here at Charlotte he has been a mid-teens finisher several times with a career average result of right around 18th. My projections love Chris Buescher this weekend all around.

FanDuel “Risky” DFS Picks for Charlotte (Tournament Lineups)

Tyler Reddick and Austin Dillon racing at Michigan International Speedway 2020
Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images

Tyler Reddick ($8,700) – This #8 team is really putting up some good finishes here lately, and looking back at Charlotte last season, Reddick came home 8th and 14th in the two races last season. Add in the fact that he had one of the faster cars on the long runs during practice this weekend and I’m really liking him as a DFS play overall, especially here on FanDuel. Reddick rolls off the grid from 15th here on Sunday night but has top 10 potential, if not maybe even top 5 potential depending on how the race plays out. He finished 7th at Kansas earlier this month.

Michael McDowell ($6,500) – Most FanDuel players are going to default to Chris Buescher ($6,500) at this price, and it makes sense with how that #17 team is running on intermediates this year. But if I had to make any case against Buescher on Sunday, it’d be this: they really fell off at Homestead once the lights went down. Michael McDowell and his #34 Ford, however, found speed once it got dark. Additionally, my algorithm likes McDowell more than usual this weekend, and with the 550hp package this season, he has an average finish of 13.8 and an average running position of 17.9. Definitely a pivot off of the Buescher chalk.

Charlotte Coca-Cola 600 FanDuel Driver 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 six different ranking systems. Also factored in are projected laps led 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.

DriverFanDuel SalaryAvg Proj PtsStarting PositionCeiling Proj PtsDollar Per Pt
Kyle Larson$14,00091.951117.50$152
Kyle Busch$13,50088.5020103.00$153
Denny Hamlin$12,50085.501498.50$146
Martin Truex Jr.$14,50084.10894.60$172
Brad Keselowski$12,00083.721391.70$143
Chase Elliott$13,00077.88390.80$167
Ryan Blaney$11,00077.601186.00$142
Joey Logano$11,50075.271689.60$153
William Byron$10,50074.57486.00$141
Alex Bowman$10,00072.50791.90$138
Matt DiBenedetto$9,50072.502277.70$131
Kevin Harvick$10,30072.00583.00$143
Christopher Bell$9,20071.501780.00$129
Chris Buescher$6,50069.652781.70$93
Kurt Busch$9,00066.901276.70$135
Tyler Reddick$8,70066.651582.10$131
Austin Dillon$8,50065.75671.40$129
Aric Almirola$7,50063.553174.20$118
Cole Custer$7,00062.802376.10$111
Michael McDowell$6,50062.552470.70$104
Ryan Newman$5,50061.552569.60$89
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.$7,70059.40273.50$130
Ryan Preece$4,00058.702866.50$68
Ross Chastain$6,00058.051065.60$103
Bubba Wallace$5,00056.551872.00$88
Erik Jones$4,50056.301963.90$80
Chase Briscoe$6,00056.202167.70$107
Daniel Suarez$5,50054.80963.10$100
Anthony Alfredo$3,50054.352959.80$64
Corey LaJoie$3,50052.352658.70$67
Justin Haley$2,50052.003059.00$48
B.J. McLeod$2,00048.903351.20$41
Garrett Smithley$2,00047.653651.00$42
Cody Ware$3,00047.403450.10$63
Josh Bilicki$3,00045.053748.50$67
James Davison$2,50044.053546.00$57
Quin Houff$3,00043.803249.00$68
David Starr$2,50043.253846.00$58
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.