This article is part of our DFS NASCAR series.
Dixie Vodka 400
Location: Homestead, Fl.
Course: Homestead-Miami Speedway
Format: 1.5-mile oval
Martinsville Speedway saw the 2020 breakthrough for Martin Truex Jr. as he grabbed his first race win of the season. The prior week, Truex won both opening stages but faded in the final segment, which was rapidly becoming the story of his season. That course was reversed Wednesday night as he worked his way to the front in the final stage to drive away to victory. The win was his fourth short-track win from the last six. This week will be a different proposition, though. This week the teams face the 1.5-mile oval of Homestead-Miami Speedway, which used to be the traditional season finale. This year the race will be held in the early summer, which will give the drivers a physical beating they've not experienced at this circuit with the south Florida heat and sun testing their limits.
Fantasy owners may have a more difficult time finding the right driver choices this week. Homestead does not have drivers that have dominated over time. It also does not have a championship on the line this Sunday. The shift in date will be a big factor to consider as well. These factors combine to produce one of the more difficult races to predict. An open field could mean plenty of bargains, but fantasy owners will want to weigh recent form more heavily than past track statistics this week.
Key Stats at Homestead
- Number of races: 21
- Winners from pole: 2
- Winners from top-5 starters: 13
- Winners from top-10 starters: 15
- Winners from 21st or lower starters: 2
- Fastest race: 142.654 mph
Previous 10 Homestead Winners
The addition of progressive banking to Homesteads turns in 2003 opened up the racing typically seen at the circuit. The continuous turns and progressive banking make this track configuration unique from NASCAR's other 1.5-mile courses, and the circuit has traditionally spread its wins out among the competitors. Only Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin have multiple wins at the track with two each. Six other drivers in the field have won at least once on the track. Fantasy owners will also be interested to know that the surface of this circuit is old and is going to produce greater tire wear than we've seen on many other tracks this season. A close comparison to what we might expect to see this weekend would be the 1.5-mile oval race we recently had on Atlanta Motor Speedway's aged surface. Kevin Harvick led 151 laps to win that race with three Joe Gibbs Racing drivers finishing in the top five along with Penske Racing's Ryan Blaney.
DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)
DraftKings Tier 1 Values
DraftKings Tier 2 Values
DraftKings Tier 3 Values
DraftKings Long-Shot Values
MY PICKS THIS WEEK
Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
When there isn't a clear favorite it can be good to rest on consistency, and no other driver exemplifies that more than Kevin Harvick (DK $11,800, FD $14,500). He has nine top-10 finishes this year and hasn't finished worse than 15th. He won at Homestead in 2014 and also took the checkered flag in Atlanta, a race that Sunday's event could mirror. Kyle Busch (DK $10,100, FD $13,700) has been lacking the spark we're used to seeing, but that doesn't mean he won't be visiting Victory Lane soon. He is the defending winner of this race and would love nothing more than to join teammates Hamlin and Truex with a 2020 win. Ryan Blaney (DK $8,800, FD $11,300) could be the bargain of the week. He has never scored a Homestead top-10 but that seems likely to change Sunday. He sits atop the points of non-winning drivers and has four top-fives in the last five races. Tyler Reddick (DK $7,300, FD $8,300) will be racing his first Cup series race at Homestead this week, but he won the last two Xfinity races at the track and finished fourth in his only other start there. Aric Almirola (DK $6,500, FD $8,500) is working to right his season after three finishes of 20th or worse in the last five races. He starts 21st on Sunday, which should offer him a good chance of scoring finish differential points for owners. Lastly, John Hunter Nemechek (DK $5,300, FD $6,000) continues to show flashes of potential. He is 22nd in the championship standings and has the potential of snagging a top-15 finish just about any week he is behind the wheel.
Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Chase Elliott (DK $11,000, FD $12,000) has been one of the fastest cars all season. He finished fifth in Martinsville and has four top-10 finishes from the last five races. With two top-10s from four Homestead starts he could be a good value this week. His teammate, Jimmie Johnson (DK $9,800, FD $10,400) , has also been on a tear recently. He won his first stage of the season last week and is knocking on the door of a win. He won at Homestead in 2016. Brad Keselowski (DK $9,500, FD $12,600) is also a former Homestead winner that always seems to be around waiting for wins to fall into his lap. He hasn't finished lower than 13th since on-track activity resumed in Darlington. Matt DiBenedetto (DK $8,000, FD $8,000) has been picking up best finishes at tracks this season. His seventh-place Martinsville finishes was one of those and another could come this weekend. Erik Jones (DK $6,500, FD $9,400) finished third at Homestead last season and needs to reverse his slide in finishes this week. He was 20th and 28th in the last two races and knows he needs top-15s to remain in playoff contention. The last selection on the higher-risk lineup goes to Michael McDowell (DK $5,200, FD $5,000). McDowell has a top-10 Homestead finish on his resume along with two top-15 finishes in the last three races.