Everyone should be used to a quick turnaround now since we just went through our first stretch of Sunday-then-Wednesday races, and we have that again this weekend with Charlotte. But as far as tonight’s Coca-Cola 600, there’s even more of a “quick turnaround” aspect, as NASCAR decided to hold qualifying just hours before the actual race. With place differential being so important in the Slingshot Fantasy Auto Contest, there was really no point in making a lineup before qualifying was complete, but at least we have a couple of hours to do so.
Click here for the starting lineup for tonight’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. And before we get to my picks, one more thing to note that’s special about this race: we have 3 mid-race Stages this race instead of the normal 2. This means there are addition Stage fantasy points up for grabs, which could come into play with your strategy for making picks.
*Please note: the picks and suggestions below are my opinions and strategy for the Slingshot Fantasy Auto Contest. These are not meant to sway your thinking in any way, but rather give you insight into the drivers I am most likely to pick on race day.*
Slingshot Fantasy Auto Contest Picks for Charlotte
Kevin Harvick ($12,800) – Before he went out to make his qualifying lap, Kevin Harvick said they were going to take a conservative approach with it, and they sure did: “Happy” will roll off the grid from 22nd when the Coca-Cola 600 goes green tonight. For the Slingshot Fantasy Auto Contest, though, this almost makes Kevin Harvick a must play (unless you want to deliberately go against him for strategy reasons). At Charlotte, Harv has finished inside the top 10 in 14 of his last 17 starts here, and he should make it 15 of the last 18 tonight. Harvick obviously has nice potential for some Stage points as well.
Kyle Busch ($12,300) – I’m loading up with the big guns at Charlotte tonight. Kyle Busch’s record here at Charlotte Motor Speedway speaks for itself: 13 top 5s, 18 top 10s, and one win in 30 career starts. By no means do I expect Rowdy to go out there and dominate this year’s Coca-Cola 600 like he’s done in the past, but he should be a top 5 threat when it’s all said and done. Even though this #18 team has struggled to find speed this season, Busch does have three top 5s in the last four Cup Series races, including that 2nd-place finish at Darlington on Wednesday night. Kyle will start from 11th when tonight’s race goes green so he has solid place differential potential as well.
Aric Almirola ($9,500) – Just purely a chalk play here that you shouldn’t pass up. Almirola is priced under $10,000 in the Slingshot Fantasy Auto Contest this week and starts from dead last (40th) thanks to a spin in qualifying. That means it’s impossible for him to have a negative score in this race. As far as this track goes, Aric has posted top 15 finishes in three of the last four races at Charlotte, and should still be able to get up there in tonight’s Coca-Cola 600 as well. As far as green flag speed goes, Almirola’s average rank in that category this year if 7th. He’s a great pick in Slingshot Fantasy Auto Contest.
Matt DiBenedetto ($8,200) – If you watched qualifying, you saw Matt DiBenedetto nail the turn four wall about halfway through. He ended up posting the 34th-fastest lap, but will bring out the backup car and have to start from the rear. Still, in Fantasy NASCAR contests, DiBenedetto will be scored from 33rd. He should still be a top 15 contender once the checkered flag waves tonight, though. Matty D’s record here at Charlotte is atrocious–he. has an average finish of 32nd over eight total starts–but don’t forget that he’s been in underfunded or severely underfunded teams in every start he’s made (so far). DiBenedetto has an average finish of 11.7 this season, and his worst result was actually at Daytona (19th).
Bubba Wallace ($7,200) – Why not? I’m feeling a little risky tonight, so I’m going to roll the dice with Bubba Wallace to fill out the rest of my Slingshot roster. This #43 team is actually off to a really solid start for the 2020 season, with an average finish of 17.3 through the first six races, and only one finish worse than 21st. Here at Charlotte, Bubba. has made two career starts and has walked away with finishes of 16th and 25th. He qualified 23rd for tonight’s Coca-Cola 600, and if he can improve a couple of positions throughout the night, it’ll be a solid Slingshot points day for Wallace.