Daily Fantasy NASCAR: Current Form, Track History, and Betting Odds for the Daytona 500

We know the process for NASCAR DFS at the Daytona 500: you want to stack the back. You want to build your core around players starting further back, gunning for the place-differential upside they bring.

We just have to pick the best options back there. And we've got plenty for this year's race.

In addition to picking our place-differential options, we can also pick assumed winners, as outlined in this week's track preview. If a driver wins, they'll likely be in the perfect lineup, no matter where they start. We just have to make sure those drivers have the upside to get the job done.

Leaning on data can help us with both of those endeavors. A lot of that data is below.

This week's table is sorted by the drivers' starting positions, given that's a key driver of our decisions. Also listed are their FanDuel salaries, win odds at FanDuel Sportsbook, and relevant performances. The win odds are listed in fractional form, so Denny Hamlin ($14,000) being listed at 8 means he's +800 to win.

The performance-related numbers are each driver's average running position in relevant races. These can get fluky on pack-racing tracks like Daytona and Talladega as teams will sometimes hang out in the back in hopes of avoiding wrecks. However, finishing positions are even more volatile given the high crash frequency. So our best gauge of performance on pack tracks -- even while flawed -- is likely still average running position.

The goal here is to find drivers starting deep in the pack with palatable win odds and good past records of success. We won't have any issues finding those this time.

Las Vegas
Alex Bowman$10,0002011514131187186811
William Byron$10,2001721332128121211151012
Aric Almirola$9,50017325162213221628151320
Austin Dillon$7,50024424161223101520131322
Christopher Bell$8,0003851519----141339182515
Bubba Wallace$8,50020615262233342013252915
Ryan Newman$6,00038719132220212210202026
Kevin Harvick$12,00015822201510173179615
Joey Logano$13,0001298971186919104
Kyle Busch$11,0001510817136712199814
Ryan Preece$4,200851125212321222311252318
Chase Elliott$13,50010121611813135204522
Kyle Larson$11,5001713--231619------------
Ryan Blaney$13,30012141312111365158226
Daniel Suarez$5,0002001517--2115273024302827
Corey LaJoie$3,700851625262736242532243126
Michael McDowell$5,500701715231919242230182321
David Ragan$4,0008518--192423------------
Jamie McMurray$4,2007019------23------------
Kurt Busch$9,00024201617153114182113812
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.$8,500242117111211192038231810
Chris Buescher$7,30055221813202937238182115
Matt DiBenedetto$8,2003023121621109151082116
Brad Keselowski$12,500122419111817105814178
Denny Hamlin$14,00082510131212149204512
Martin Truex Jr.$9,300172612221523410137324
Cole Custer$7,00055271924----161621171712
Joey Gase$2,50020028373436--353926363636
Tyler Reddick$7,00055291618--23161815291813
Chase Briscoe$6,5005530--------------------
Erik Jones$6,00070311523221215191015923
Derrike Cope$2,00020032--------------------
Quin Houff$2,50020033323339--353424353435
Ross Chastain$7,500383429153731--------32--
Cody Ware$3,00020035------35----23------
Anthony Alfredo$4,50020036--------------------
Josh Bilicki$2,0002003739------3136--3634--
B.J. McLeod$3,00017038--343634----------31
Austin Cindric$6,2007039--------------------
Kaz Grala$4,50020040--------------------

The favorite to win the race -- Hamlin -- is starting 26th. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say the two-time defending Daytona 500 champ has the upside to win. That's a good spot to not overthink it and build around Hamlin in cash games and swallow the chalk on him for tournaments.

The other top-end stud starting in the middle of the order is Brad Keselowski ($12,500). Keselowski has a wreck-filled history at the track -- he has failed to finish six of the past eight races -- but he has the equipment and skills necessary to win. He's alongside Hamlin as one of the staples despite the wrecks.

Deeper in the field, we run into some drivers whose track record in the lower series -- which doesn't show up on the sheet -- can up their appeal. A big one is Tyler Reddick ($7,000).

Reddick is a two-time Daytona winner, once in the Xfinity Series and once in the Camping World Truck Series. He didn't have as much success in the draft last year, and it has allowed his salary and his betting odds to slip. Reddick doesn't figure to be among the most popular plays in this range, making him an enticing under-the-radar option.

Two other past winners at Daytona are Ross Chastain ($7,500) and Kaz Grala ($4,500). Chastain won here in the Xfinity Series in 2019, and Grala did so in the Truck Series in 2017, his age-18 season. Grala's betting odds are likely selling his equipment short as Kaulig Racing has been ultra-competitive in the Xfinity Series the past couple years and is making a serious push to be a full-time Cup program as early as next year. With Chastain and Grala starting 34th and 40th, respectively, we can give them consideration as salary savers.

Austin Cindric ($6,200) doesn't have the same record of success in the lower series. His best finish at either Daytona or Talladega in the two lower series is fourth, so the skills aren't on par with Reddick, Chastain, or Grala. He is, though, starting 39th and is teammates with Keselowski, Joey Logano ($13,000), and Ryan Blaney ($13,300). That's enough to make him a high-end consideration despite the lack of a plus track record to this point.