NASCAR DFS: Daytona 500
Crack out the Monster Energy drinks...NASCAR is back!
Three weeks after the Super Bowl of...well, football...comes the Super Bowl of NASCAR, as the Daytona 500 is set to go down, 40 cars...and you...competing for one of auto racing's most prestigious prizes.
Well, you won't be competing for the Harley J. Earl trophy, but our picks and advice below can certainly help you win your Daily Fantasy Sports events today!
Race: Daytona 500
Laps: 200, split into two stages of 60 laps each and a final stage of 80 laps.
Venue: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL (2.5 miles)
TV: 2:30 PM EST, Fox
Ever since its earliest days, when it was literally held on the sands of Daytona Beach, the Daytona 500 has been one of auto racing’s biggest spectacles. One of two restrictor plate tracks on the circuit, the beauty of Daytona is that anyone in the field has a shot at Victory Lane. The restrictor plates keep the cars’ speeds lower on the notoriously fast Daytona surface, keeping them bunched together. While this provides for some exciting racing, it also leaves the drivers vulnerable to trigger huge wrecks, known as “The Big One”. Yesterday's Xfinity race and Friday's Camping World Truck Series event, perhaps due to the desperation factor added with the stages, was filled with several "Big Ones", taking out a good number of the respective fields.
Three To Start
Chase Elliot (Starting 1st)-When Chase Elliot took over Hendrick Motorsports' iconic #24 Chevrolet, it was like Jeff Gordon never left. The suave passes, the calm, cool demeanor, the overall efficiency...all that's missing for the son of former champion Bill is a win. Elliott has been one of the fastest cars throughout the pre-500 festivities. Not only did he win the pole in last Sunday's qualifying rounds, but he earned an early tie for the Cup Series points lead by winning his Can-Am Duel on Thursday. Also, Gordon will lead the field to the opening green flag, as he will be driving the pace car to start...could it end with his former car leading the pack at the finish?
Austin Dillon (Starting 10th)-Earlier this weekend, I mentioned that Dillon was another one of the drivers on the circuit who most needed a victory. Over the past six Daytona races, Dillon has the best average finish, his worst performance being a 14th place posting in 2015. In four restrictor plate races last season, counting the pair of Talladega races as well, Dillon's average finish of 7th topped all drivers on the circuit, and helped him earn his first career berth in the Chase playoffs. Dillon can get off to a hot start on the season with a win at Daytona, as well as silence an every growing number of critics.
David Ragan (Starting 20th)-Every year at Daytona, one driver from a lower budget team always seems to crash the party. If you're looking for a cheap option to fill out your lineup, look no further than Ragan, repping Front Row Motorsports in the #38 Ford. Ragan has proven he can win on on restrictor plate tracks, including a shocking win with Front Row at Talladega in 2013. Ragan has guided subpar equipment to solid finishes at Daytona, and also has a win at the track, captured in the 2011 summer race. Ragan probably won't crash victory lane again, but he's definitely the most attractive of the cheap options the Daytona field has to offer.
Three To Park
Jamie McMurray (Starting 3rd)-Don't let that past Daytona 500 victory, won back in 2010, fool you. Since that magic victory, the driver of the #1 car has been anything but #1, mustering just one Top 10 finish at Daytona since. Included in the interim are four DNF's (Did Not Finishes), including one in the last race at Daytona, last July's summer event.
Matt Kenseth (Starting 9th)-Another former Daytona champ, winning the Great American Race in 2012, Kenseth has hit hard times on the beach. Over his past five visits to Daytona, Kenseth's best finish is 14th, achieved in last season's 500, and he has posted a driver rating below 80 in all but one of those races. The sad part is, Kenseth usually has good starting position at Daytona. Over his past eight races, he has started in the Top 10 five times, but has posted just one finish in the same area.
Chris Buescher (Starting 37th)-You may be persuaded to take Buescher, who shocked the racing world with his victory last year at Pocono Raceway's rain shortened event in a low budget car, now that he is running better equipment with JTG Daugherty. However, based on his past Daytona performances, steer clear, at least for the time being. Buescher wrecked in both Daytona events last season, the first two of his career. He's capable of doing some exciting things in better equipment, but patience will be key when dealing with him in the early going.
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