Daily Fantasy NASCAR: Current Form, Track History, and Betting Odds for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500
Our data cup runneth over for this weekend's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500.
The NASCAR Cup Series has completed its opening sprint in the return from the COVID-19 layoff. They've run five races already, more than doubling the number of 2020 races they had before the break.
Even better is that four of those races will be relevant for Sunday's event in Atlanta.
Atlanta is a 1.5-mile track with heavy tire wear, a fairly unique combination on the Cup Series circuit. There aren't many individual tracks that mesh exactly with what we'll see in Atlanta. But we have multiple races recently that are similar enough to help us predict who will be fast once we blend it all together.
For the high-banked, 1.5-mile side of things, we can turn to Charlotte. Charlotte and Atlanta are sister tracks, configured to be almost identical to each other. The Cup Series has had two races there within the past week and a half.
The only downside of Charlotte is that it doesn't feature heavy tire wear. That's where Darlington comes into play.
Darlington may not be a 1.5-mile track, but it did have the same rules package they'll use this weekend in Atlanta, and that old surface can burn through tires in a hurry. Atlanta figures to do the same.
Now, moreso than any time the entire 2020 season, we've got great data to work with for Sunday's race. Let's take advantage.
For current form, the only decision was whether to include the race at Las Vegas or the one at Fontana as the sixth race. I decided to go with Las Vegas because Fontana is such a speed-heavy track. Certain teams excel there that don't necessarily run as well at the 1.5-mile tracks, so Las Vegas got the nod as it is the same length as Atlanta.
The track history section is limited because the Cup Series goes to Atlanta just once per year. We've got three races included, as a result, but even the 2017 race is fluky. Fifteen drivers entered in this weekend's event didn't run that race, and only 10 drivers are with the same teams they drove for in that one (12 if you count Martin Truex Jr. and Erik Jones, who are now in a team affiliated with theirs at the time). This is why we'll want to lean more on what we've seen to open 2020 than what we've seen in the past at Atlanta.
As always, the numbers for each race are the drivers' average running positions rather than their finishes. Alex Bowman dominated and had a fourth-place average running position in the first Charlotte race but lost ground on a late-race restart to finish 19th. Average running position shows us a complete picture of where the driver was running during the race whereas the finish shows where they were on just one lap.
The only data we're missing that we'll want before we fill out lineups is each driver's starting position. NASCAR will use the same procedure to set the order here as they did before the Bristol race.
The top 12 cars in owner points will start in the top 12 spots for the race. They will draw later this week to determine the order of those 12. Then, the cars ranked 13th through 24th will do the same, and on and on. If you want a head start on planning, you can see standings on NASCAR's website, though you'll want to make sure you switch over to the "owner standings" tab as those standings are different than driver standings.
Once we have that data, you can pair it with this to see which drivers you want to utilize for Sunday's race.
|Driver||FD Salary||Win Odds||Bristol||Charlotte |
|Martin Truex, Jr.||$12,200||850||12||18||3||7||14||8||4||8||7|
|Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.||$6,600||6000||23||11||23||28||40||15||17||14||9|
|John Hunter Nemechek||$6,000||20000||16||16||21||38||18||20||--||--||--|
With his blend of current form and track history, it's easy to see why Kevin Harvick is +450 to win.
As mentioned in this week's track preview, you'll likely want at least two drivers starting near the front who can lead a bunch of laps, and then you'll want value plays who can gain ground and generate upside via place-differential. This data should help illustrate which drivers fit in each bucket, helping you fill out optimal lineups with the requisite upside to win a tournament.