Daily Fantasy NASCAR: Current Form, Track History, and Betting Odds for the Coca-Cola 600
Most of the big questions we had going into Darlington have been fully answered. We've got fresh data to play with again, and the air just smells a little sweeter.
The NASCAR Cup Series is now two races into its return from the COVID-19 layoff, increasing our sample on drivers in 2020 by 50% from where it was when things were put on pause.
Not only does this boost our read on who is strong right now, but it also tells us which teams took steps forward (or backward) during the two months after Phoenix. Our level of confidence in filling out DFS lineups should be years beyond where it was just a week ago.
As such, now's a great time to dig into the data we've got heading into the Coca-Cola 600 to see whom we should expect to be strong for Sunday's race. It's worth noting we don't have one key piece of information that will influence our DFS lineups. The starting order won't be set until about 3 pm Eastern on Sunday, three hours before the green flag. That starting order should influence our strategies for the race, as discussed in this week's track preview.
Outside of that, though, we've got all the information we're going to have before the race with no practice scheduled this weekend. So let's get to the data sheet for the Coca-Cola 600.
The current form section involved just one decision. Because we're now six races into 2020, we could have just rolled with those six races and rid ourselves of 2019 entirely.
But that also meant using data from Daytona, which is high-variance and very much different from the racing we'll see on Sunday. Thus, instead of Daytona, I tacked on the Texas race from the end of 2019. That's the most recent race at a high-banked, 1.5-mile track, and it's basically a sister venue to Charlotte.
The track history data includes four races, two from 2017 and one each from 2018 and 2019. NASCAR has run the Charlotte road course for its second stop at the track the past two seasons, so we have just one race on the regular track for those years. This data does include times when drivers were with different teams (the most notable being Matt DiBenedetto ($7,300), who was not in competitive equipment for this track type prior to last year), so we would be wise to put more weight on the 2020 races than the track data itself.
As a final reminder, each data point listed for the past races is the average running position the driver had during that race. This gives us a snapshot of where they were each time they passed a scoring loop on the track whereas finishing position is a snapshot of where they were on just one lap. It happens to be the most important, but this will give us a better read on the true strength of each car.
As an example, Alex Bowman ($12,000) had a strong car Wednesday in Darlington. He was fourth at the end of the first stage, ran second for a while, and had an eighth-place average running position. However, he slipped at the end and finished 18th. Clearly, the average running position is a better indicator of how fast he was in that race, and it should be the number we lean on when projecting his performance this weekend.
With all of that in mind, here's the data for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600.
|Current Form||Track History|
|Driver||FD Price||Win Odds||Darl 2||Darl 1||Phoenix||Fontana||Las Vegas||Texas||2019||2018||2017-2||2017-1|
|Martin Truex, Jr.||$13,700||550||7||14||11||9||8||13||6||7||5||2|
|Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.||$6,600||2800||28||40||22||22||15||35||11||14||14||16|
|John Hunter Nemechek||$5,500||15000||38||18||20||25||20||23||--||--||--||--|
Again, you'll have to circle back on Sunday to see where each driver qualifies as that will play a role in determining their DFS outlook. But once you've got that, hopefully this data can help you pinpoint the plays you like most and build some profitable lineups.