DFS NASCAR: Brickyard 400

DFS NASCAR: Brickyard 400

This article is part of our DFS NASCAR series.

Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400

Location: Speedway, Ind.
Course: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Format: 2.5-mile oval
Laps: 160

Race Preview

Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin took turns winning and finishing second in last week's two races at Pocono Raceway. The significance of that is that Indianapolis Motor Speedway tends to produce races similar to that track. Both are 2.5-mile ovals and share at least one turn in common since Pocono's turn 2 was modeled closely after Indy's four identical turns. Those two drivers have battled all season in the wins column, and they went head to head last weekend on both Saturday and Sunday. Kevin Harvick won this race last season and Brad Keselowski captured his first Brickyard win the year before.

Fantasy owners will be wondering where Kyle Busch has been, though. While the two races at the same track should have given Kyle additional track time he needed to finally get his first win of 2020, he ended up crashing out of the second race. The similar nature of the course to this Brickyard could mean he can leverage some of that track time this week, though. He has won twice at the Brickyard and started from pole three times and currently sits behind his brother Kurt Busch in the playoff standings. Kurt will start Sunday's race from the front row alongside pole-sitter Joey Logano.

Key Stats at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

  • Number of races: 26
  • Winners from pole: 5
  • Winners from top-5 starters: 13
  • Winners from top-10 starters: 17
  • Winners from 21st or lower starters: 3
  • Fastest race: 155.912 mph

Previous 10 Brickyard Winners

2019 - Kevin Harvick
2018 - Brad Keselowski
2017 - Kasey Kahne
2016 - Kyle Busch
2015 - Kyle Busch
2014 - Jeff Gordon
2013 - Ryan Newman
2012 - Jimmie Johnson
2011 - Paul Menard
2010 - Jamie McMurray

The long Indianapolis Motor Speedway will allow teams to use pit strategy to cycle to the front of the field, just like they did last week at Pocono. The track is a difficult one to make passes on, so staggering stops to maximize the number of laps without traffic will pay off more than trying to pick through traffic. This is a track-position circuit, and restarts could be the primary time to make passes on track. Otherwise, most ground will be gained or lost on pit road. Teams will work backward from the finish to determine their pit windows and those starting at the back of the field will be the ones attempting to move off strategy as soon as possible. Ford has won the last two races at the track, but all the manufacturers have had wins here recently.

DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Kevin Harvick - $11,000
Chase Elliott - $10,700
Kyle Busch - $10,400
Denny Hamlin - $10,100

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Brad Keselowski - $9,800
Martin Truex Jr. - $9,600
Ryan Blaney - $9,400
Joey Logano - $9,200

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

William Byron - $8,700
Matt DiBenedetto - $8,300
Erik Jones - $8,100
Alex Bowman - $8,000

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Tyler Reddick - $7,700
Kurt Busch - $7,500
Aric Almirola - $7,400
Austin Dillon - $6,700

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Kyle Busch - $10,400
Joey Logano - $9,200
Matt DiBenedetto - $8,300
Tyler Reddick - $7,700
Kurt Busch - $7,500
Austin Dillon - $6,700

Kyle Busch (DK $10,400, FD $13,000) may still be looking for his first win of the season, but with three consecutive races on similar circuits he could have a good chance this week. He hasn't been heavily behind the pace, but just needs a little luck and some better strategy to get to Victory Lane. Joey Logano (DK $9,200, FD $12,500) will start from pole on Sunday and has been consistently winning stages this season. Fantasy players should expect him to do the same this week. Matt DiBenedetto (DK $8,300, FD $8,700) is a replacement for Jimmie Johnson after the former champion in his final season tested positive for Covid-19. Justin Allgaier (DK $6,600, FD $6,300) will be Johnson's replacement, but fantasy owners may get more mileage out of Dibenedetto. Tyler Reddick (DK $ 7,700, FD $8,200) is just outside of the playoff positions and has been very quick this season. He had two difficult races at Pocono but finished second at the Brickyard in the Xfinity series in 2018. Fantasy players will have to weigh Kurt Busch's (DK $7,500, FD $9,200) starting position on the front row with where they feel he will finish on Sunday. He has six top-10s from 19 starts at the track and led 19 laps in 2018. Austin Dillon (DK $6,700, FD $7,200) could be a bargain this week with two Brickyard top-10s from seven career starts. He finished 12th at the track last year and will start 16th Sunday.

Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Kevin Harvick - $11,000
Denny Hamlin - $10,100
William Byron - $8,700
Alex Bowman - $8,000
Cole Custer - $6,300
Ryan Newman - $5,900

Defending race winner Kevin Harvick (DK $11,000, FD $14,200) is coming off of a great weekend at Pocono with first- and second-place finishes. He can firmly focus on the 2020 championship fight but wouldn't mind adding another Brickyard win to his resume, too. His rival at Pocono is next in this lineup. Denny Hamlin (DK $10,100, FD $13,700) also has first- and second-place finishes from last weekend, but he has never won at Indianapolis. This could be the year he makes that breakthrough. He will start this race from the third row. Hendrick Motor Sports may be missing its senior driver this week, but William Byron (DK $8,700, FD $10,000) has been trending upward with his finishes. After a string of race finishes 15th or worse, Byron has only missed the top 15 once in the last eight races. He finished fourth in this race last season and will start 18th. Cole Custer (DK $6,300, FD $6,600) scored two top-10s from three Xfinity starts at this track. He starts 30th on Sunday, which should give fantasy owners a good chance at finish differential points. Ryan Newman (DK $5,900, FD $7,300) is a nice bargain this week, too. He won the 2013 edition of this race from pole and has finished in the top 10 in his last three visits to the circuit.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. C.J. Radune plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: cjradune, RaceDayScore: cjradune.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
C.J. Radune
Radune covers NASCAR, Formula 1 and soccer for RotoWire. He was named the Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association in 2012 and 2015.
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