This week NASCAR and all three series head to Charlotte and we get 4 days straight of racing with it. Well its not ideal we do get some sort of normalcy with Sunday’s race where they will qualify to set starting spots for the Coca Cola 600. The problem is they will start qualifying at 2pm est on Sunday with lock being 6 pm est. That gives us only 4 hours to analyze and set lineups for the race. However if you played iRacing, 4 hours seems like a lifetime. I debated how to write this article for the 600. Instead of giving specific drivers to look at I’m going to go over other aspects that are important to this weeks race and information you can use to help set yourself up once qualifying is over. I will construct final thoughts after qualifying is over and the pod will be at 3pm est so tune in to that as well.
When constructing your cash and gpp lineups, the one factor that always comes into play is dominators. How many? Who? and what makes a dominator? Every week, I look back at previous races at the track they are at and look at the trends . At Charlotte over the last five oval races there have been 4(MTJ, Brad K, Kyle Busch, and Chase), 1 (Kyle Busch), 2(MTJ and Harvick), 3(MTJ, Kyle Busch and Harvick) and 3 (Jimmie, Chase and Hamlin). Looking at that list, there are two names that pop up in almost every race one way or the other. Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch will be popular tomorrow regardless of qualifying. If they qualify towards the front they will be rostered because of their dominator potential and if they qualify bad they have dom potential along with pd upside. However two other names show up multiple times in those races and can be great pivots off the top 2. Those are Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott. In gpps this week, I think 2-3 dominators is going to be the way to go. In cash games, we will have to wait until after qualifying to determine the dominator strategy as it will probably be 1-2 depending on pd upside in roster construction. Final thoughts will be a great way to anaylize that strategy.
Speed, Speed, Speed
Last week, we went in completely blind on who would be the fast cars and who may struggle and what stats should we be using to determine that. One thing became clear real quick in the first race on Sunday, the Chevy’s speed in 2020 is real. HMS cars were dominating the first part of that race and could very well have dominated the whole race if not for some unfortunate luck. This week we have qualifying but no practice so even though someone may have a great lap in qualifying it doesn’t necessarily mean they have a fast car for the race. Guys like Jimmie Johnson, Alex Bowman, and Chase Elliott again all have shown great green flag speed this season so far. Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch have struggled to start off races with speed but seem to make the adjustments necessary to find the speed at the end of the race as evident at Darlington this past week.
Mid Tier and Value Stars
As in every race its easier to find the cars who we think may be dominators during the race, chalk or great pivots. The challenge in almost every race is finding those mid tier and value drivers in that will provide the upside to bring your lineup to the finish line first(yep bad Dad pun). Every week I look at past races at the track they are at and at tracks that are similar. This week, Charlotte can be compared to the likes of Texas and Atlanta. If you look at last years results there are a few drivers who stand out. Depending on how they qualify they can become key components in your lineup. Those drivers this week are Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch, Chris Buescher and Ross Chastain. In the four races at those tracks last season Aric’s worst finish was 11th. Looking at his past results at Charlotte in general he has finished top 15 or better in 3 of the last four races here. Chris Buescher was a top 20 driver last season at these tracks and is arguably better equipment this year. Kurt Busch is driving one of those fast Chevy’s as proven this season and had three top 10 finishes at those four races last year. Ross is an interesting case this week. As in Daytona, his car is from the Chip Ganassi stable. This is the same team that houses Kurt Busch and now Matt Kenseth. If Ross qualifies poorly, he could go overlooked as some people may not understand the upside his car possesses. As always mid tier and value picks tend to come out of qualifying however these are four drivers to look at if their qualifying session doesn’t go the way they planned it but the way we hoped it would go.
Again, qualifying is at 2pm eastern and final thoughts will be created as soon as it is over. Check back to see my cheat sheet that shows the rankings and where I think they fall. At 3 pm, will be the NASCAR podcast. If you are interested in any prop plays or cores for Fanduel or Draftkings click below to subscribe! Any questions message me on twitter @davidjr831. Good Luck.