Daily Fantasy NASCAR: Current Form, Track History, and Betting Odds for the NASCAR All-Star Race
Unless you enjoy brain cramps, do not look at the format for this Sunday's NASCAR All-Star Race. It's a doozy not intended for those who value their sanity.
Instead, let me run through the broad takeaways, all of which are pertinent for daily fantasy.
1. The race is 100 laps in total, broken into six different "rounds."
2. There are currently 17 drivers in the field, though four more will join them via the All-Star Open prior to the race itself.
3. Those drivers will not be added to the player pool on FanDuel; you can safely ignore them.
4. There will be three different inverts throughout the race, occurring after each of the first three rounds.
5. Where drivers finish in the first four rounds will determine where they start for the fifth round. The sixth round's starting order will be set by the finishing order in round five.
The inverts combined with the short length of the race force us to prioritize place-differential points where we can find them, as discussed in this week's track preview. You can identify drivers primed to get place-differential points or contend for a win by looking at the typical data, which we'll get to in a bit.
But restarts will also be key this weekend.
Just from the rounds alone, there will be a minimum of five starts or restarts across 100 laps. That's assuming there are no cautions, which is a bold assumption as restarts bunch the field together and can -- as a result -- lead to more restarts.
For comparison, there were just five total starts or restarts across 400 laps two weeks ago in Charlotte. The value of being a good restarter will be bigger on Sunday than maybe any other race the entire season.
As such, if you've got access to restart data, you should absolutely value it this weekend. Motorsports Analytics lays out retention rates and positions gained/lost across the season and also pinpoints drivers who perform best when there is at least one late-race restart. That's guaranteed on Sunday with the final round being a 10-lap shootout. It costs $5 per month to get a membership, but it's fully worth it, even if you're leaning on the data just for this weekend.
Speed does still matter, though, which is why we can turn to our ol' reliable data sheet. The current form section includes the five races at non-drafting tracks to use the 550 horsepower package plus Darlington. Darlington is similar in length to Texas but should be de-emphasized relative to the other five races as it utilized a different rules package.
As always, the numbers listed are the driver's average running position in those races rather than their finish. Kyle Larson ($13,500 on FanDuel) ran up front for almost the entire race in Kansas, but a late-race issue pushed him down to a 19th-place finish. His average running position was third, showing how strong of a car he had that day.
The other data listed is each driver's FanDuel salary, win odds at FoxBet, and starting position. The win odds are in fractional form, so Larson's being listed at 3.5 means he's +350 to win.
|Martin Truex Jr.||$13,000||8||10||14||1||9||9||7||5||4||17||13||11|
It's easy to see why Larson is the favorite. He has had a top-five average running position in all five non-drafting 550-horsepower races, including a pair of first-place marks. He's the guy to beat. We can get some place-differential lower in the order, too, though.
The big standouts are Denny Hamlin ($12,500) and Ryan Blaney ($10,500). Hamlin has been better in the 750 package but did have a fourth-place average running position in Las Vegas, which features similar tire wear to Texas. Hamlin also won here back in 2019, making him an easy sell from the 16th spot.
Blaney struggled in Charlotte but was solid before that one. He won in Atlanta, was fifth in Vegas, and had an eighth-place average running position in Kansas. His salary is very acceptable at $10,500, making him another focal point for cash games and tournaments.
As discussed in our track preview, though, we do need to find ways to be different. William Byron ($10,000) is almost the same salary as Blaney but will start higher in the order, almost guaranteeing he'll fly under the radar. Byron has race-winning speed with a win in Homestead and a third-place average running position in Charlotte. Whether it's as a pivot off of Blaney or a play in addition to Blaney, make sure to get some Byron into tournament lineups.