DFS NASCAR: Dixie Vodka 400

DFS NASCAR: Dixie Vodka 400

This article is part of our DFS NASCAR series.

Dixie Vodka 400

Location: Homestead, Fl.
Course: Homestead-Miami Speedway
Format: 1.5-mile oval
Laps: 267

Race Preview

Chase Elliott was unable to extend his streak of road course victories last week, which opened the door for Christopher Bell to drive to Victory Lane in his second start with Joe Gibbs Racing. It was his first series win and begins the season with two first-time winners from the first two races. Bell's teammate Denny Hamlin took the top spot in the championship standings and also earned pole position for the week's Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead Miami Speedway. This will be the first visit to a 1.5-mile oval this season and could be the first time fantasy owners can make a true assessment of driver and team potential for the year to come after two unique races at Daytona International Speedway. While road courses make up a larger portion of the 2021 calendar, 1.5-mile ovals remain NASCAR's bread and butter. However, Homestead only makes one appearance on the schedule, as it's no longer the host of the season finale, and its date on the schedule has changed for the third time in as many seasons.

Key Stats at Homestead

  • Number of races: 22
  • Winners from pole: 3
  • Winners from top-5 starters: 14
  • Winners from top-10 starters: 16
  • Winners from 21st or lower starters: 2
  • Fastest race: 142.654 mph

Previous 10 Homestead Winners

2020 - Denny Hamlin
2019 - Kyle Busch
2018 - Joey Logano
2017 - Martin Truex Jr.
2016 - Jimmie Johnson
2015 - Kyle Busch
2014 - Kevin Harvick
2013 - Denny Hamlin
2012 - Jeff Gordon
2011 - Tony Stewart

While Homestead Miami Speedway is a 1.5-mile oval, it has a unique configuration and only one date on the schedule. The track's progressive banking lends to drivers being able to move their cars up and down the circuit to account for handling changes throughout the race. The continuous turns and progressive banking are what differentiates this venue from NASCAR's other 1.5-mile courses. Hamlin scored his third victory at the circuit last year, and the only other multiple-race winner at the track is his teammate Kyle Busch, who has two wins there. The other defining characteristic of the circuit is its older surface. The pavement is worn and will be tough on tires. The date shift to February from last season's June race could temper that a bit, however. Temperatures shouldn't be as high as they were, which could give tires a little more life. Starting position is an important factor, too. Only two drivers have won when starting outside of the top 15 since 2003 when the track was configured to its current specifications.

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

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Kyle Busch - $11,800
Martin Truex Jr. - $11,400
Chase Elliott - $11,000
Ryan Blaney - $10,400

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Brad Keselowski - $9,900
Denny Hamlin - $9,600
Joey Logano - $9,300
William Byron - $9,100

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Matt DiBenedetto - $8,800
Tyler Reddick - $8,500
Kurt Busch - $8,100
Aric Almirola - $7,900

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Christopher Bell - $7,600
Bubba Wallace - $7,000
Cole Custer - $6,600
Justin Haley - $5,300

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Denny Hamlin - $9,600
Joey Logano - $9,300
Tyler Reddick - $8,500
Aric Almirola - $7,900
Christopher Bell - $7,600
Bubba Wallace - $7,000

Hamlin (DK $9,600, FD $13,500) heads the winners list among active drivers at Homestead. He led 137 laps and won from pole last season for his third win at the track, and he starts from pole again this weekend. Penske Racing's Joey Logano (DK $9,300, FD $10,700) currently sits second in points behind Hamlin and will start on the front row as well. He won at Homestead in 2018 to win the championship and led 27 laps in this race last season. Tyler Reddick (DK $8,500, FD $9,200) won two of three Xfinity Series Homestead starts and finished fourth in the other. He also drove from the 24th starting position to finish fourth last season. He starts 35th on Sunday, giving fantasy players the potential of significant finish differential points. Stewart-Haas Racing's Aric Almirola (DK $7,900, FD $7,800) has never won at Homestead, but he has shown the potential to be a top-10 finisher at the track. He has two top-10s in his last three starts at the circuit and finished fifth last year. Last week's winner Bell (DK $&,600, FD $8,700) made his breakthrough with Joe Gibbs Racing last weekend. His teammates have been among the best at Homestead in recent seasons, and last year he turned his 36th-place starting position into an eighth-place finish. This could be the week fantasy players see what Bubba Wallace's (DK $7,000, FD $7,600) potential is this season. His new team has shown early pace, and their partnership with JGR could give them an edge. Thirteenth last season was his best Homestead finish form three series starts. 

Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Kyle Busch - $11,800
Matt DiBenedetto - $8,800
Kurt Busch - $8,100
Austin Dillon - $7,700
Erik Jones - $6,900
Cole Custer - $6,600

Kyle Busch (DK $11,800, FD $12,200) has two Homestead victories, with the most recent coming in 2019. He enters this weekend's race on a streak of six consecutive top-10 Homestead finishes, too. He will start 24th this week. Matt DiBenedetto (DK $8,800, FD $7,200) is another driver capable of outperforming his starting position this week. He will roll off on the last row but finished 14th last season after starting 23rd. Kurt Busch (DK $8,100, FD $8,000) has one Homestead win, which came before its most recent redesign. He finished 10th here in 2018 but had an impressive run last week on the road course with a fourth-place finish. Austin Dillon (DK $7,700, FD $8,000) has two top-10 finishes from seven career Homestead starts. Those were in his last two visits to the circuit, but he also hasn't finished lower than 14th here since 2014. Richard Petty Motorsports and Erik Jones (DK $6,900, FD $6,500) scored a nice 14th-place finish last week on Daytona's road course, and now fantasy players will get a glimpse into what they might be able to do together on the more standard tracks on the schedule. Jones will start Sunday's race in 18th and has a best finish of third at Homestead from 2019 when he was driving for Joe Gibbs Racing. Cole Custer (DK $6,600, FD $6,800) finished 22nd in this race last season but finished his last three Xfinity Series starts at the track in second or first.

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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