Daily Fantasy NASCAR: Current Form, Track History, and Betting Odds for the Busch Clash
Let's begin the most marvelous stretch of the NASCAR season, everybody.
Starting Tuesday night, we've got on-track action for six straight days, culminating in the Daytona 500. It's a revamped speedweeks, but it certainly helps ease the post-Super Bowl hangover.
The revamping isn't just with the schedule, though. Instead of holding the Busch Clash on the regular speedway, this year, we're going road racing. The Cup Series will run the Daytona road course for the second time, adding a new wrinkle to the season-opening exhibition.
As discussed in our podcast preview of the Busch Clash, that also leads to a shift in strategy for daily fantasy. With so few laps to be run (just 35), our main points of emphasis are hunting for place-differential and picking the drivers we think will get the most finishing points. Pretty simple.
Now we just have to nail those two things down. That's where the data comes into play.
The table below lays out the on-track performance of the drivers in this year's Busch Clash field to help you decide who stands out. The data is sorted into two groups: history on road courses and recent form using the 750-horsepower package, similar to the one they'll use tonight. The road-course numbers are from the past two seasons, giving us five races of sample.
As always, these numbers are the driver's average running position for those races rather than their finish. That can lead to funkiness on road courses where strategy plays a key role, but it's still the preferred route.
A good example of why comes from last year's race on the Charlotte roval. There, Brad Keselowski ($10,000 on FanDuel) ran up front most of the day, as evidenced by his ninth-place average running position. But he had a spin during the second stage, which pushed him back to an 18th-place finish. There, his average running position is more indicative of the strength he had during the race, as will often be the case.
The average running positions can also show just how strong Chase Elliott ($13,000) has been on road courses. His average running position in the 2019 Watkins Glen race was first. Not bad. It was third on this configuration last year (another win) even though pit strategy put him in the middle of the field after the first stage.
The other data listed is each driver's FanDuel Salary, starting position, and win odds. The win odds are presented in fractional form, so Elliott being listed at 1.9 means he is +190 to win the race.
|Driver||FD Salary||Win Odds||Starting||Char |
|Martin Truex Jr.||$12,500||5||18||11||8||9||3||3||13||4||21||6||7||4|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||$7,500||80||20||22||18||17||18||19||22||21||39||18||37||12|
Combine the data with the emphasis on finding place-differential, and you can see why Martin Truex Jr. ($12,500) would be good chalk tonight.
Truex is starting 18th, meaning he has nearly the best place-differential upside in the field. In a race that figures to be low on scoring, that's big.
But Truex is also just a great road racer. He finished third at the Daytona roval last year even though an untimely speeding penalty put him in a massive hole. He has two wins and five top-three finishes the past eight road-course races and could have had a third win in there, too, had he not gotten wrecked in the final corner. Truex -- even above Elliott -- is the best process play in the field.
For value, both Kurt Busch ($8,000) and Matt DiBenedetto ($7,500) get you some place-differential juice without capping finishing upside. DiBenedetto had a pair of top-six runs on road courses in 2019, and Busch was fourth on the Charlotte roval last year. You don't need to sell out to get place-differential in such a small field, but you should accept viable plays who have that in their range of outcomes. DiBenedetto and Busch fit that description.