NASCAR begins its west coast swing this week in Las Vegas. It also begins the start of the new package being fully implemented into the Cup series. If the race is anything like qualifying on Friday, we are in for a show. The whole idea this year with this new package is it will tighten the field and create a pull or draft that will allow more passes and more exciting racing. If you read into what I am saying it’s starting to sound like a restrictor plate race. However, the strategy we play here won’t exactly match that of a Daytona or Talladega. There are some unknowns going into this weekend as we only got one practice in race trim because it rained in the desert! I’m going to concentrate my optimal build around strong guys who didn’t do so well in qualifying and we do have a plethora of choices there. Hold on tight cause Vegas could get crazy. Let’s roll the dice….
Brad Keselowski (FD $14,000 DK $ 11,400)
Last week’s race winner is one of the better options we have this week. BK has been a force to be reckoned with at Vegas. He has won 3 of the last six races here. We don’t want to focus on the past too much because that was a different era of car. However, Brad is a very good driver and knows how to drive a car no matter the aero package. He also starts 19th and makes him a better play then Harvick or Kyle because we don’t know how this package will affect the racing and dominator points could be spread out making it harder for them to hit value.
Martin Truex Jr. (FD $13,500 DK $10,100)
When it comes to 1.5 mile tracks, MTJ is the best. At Vegas he has one win and hasn’t finished outside of the Top 15 since 2012. The only reason I put Brad ahead of MTJ this week is because of how he hasn’t been super excited about his car and how this package makes the cars work. I think Martin will be fine. He’s a veteran and will figure out what needs to be adjusted and make the move towards the front this week. He starts 23rd this week which makes him a prime place differential option this week with his history on these types of tracks.
Aric Almirola (FD $10,000 DK $8,600)
Aric became the supreme chalk when he qualified 25th this week. This is chalk you want to eat. Last year in Vegas he finished 6th and 10th. In 14 intermediate tracks last year with SHR, he finished in the Top 15 twelve times. Aric has a fast car this weekend just like he had the last weekend in Atlanta when he led most of the first stage before getting a pit penalty. I think having three teammates will play a huge role in this race and with Bowyer 17th and Suarez 22nd, these guys will work their way through the field.
Kurt Busch (FD $9,600 DK $8,200)
Kurt Busch is from the Vegas area. With that said, this is not his best track. However, just like the others mentioned above, he didn’t qualify so good and became another chalk play this week that we have to play in cash games. Kurt was pretty snippy after qualifying about what this package creates. I believe the vets will figure this thing out and prevail this weekend. We don’t need a win from Kurt this weekend. He qualified 28th and I’ll take a top 10 finish from him this weekend.
Ryan Newman (FD $8,400 DK $7,200)
I’m surprised that I haven’t heard a lot of chatter on Ryan Newman this week. Ryan has 7 top 15 finishes in the last 9 races here. The other thing he has going for him is that RFR has the most victories at Las Vegas. He is one of the grizzly veterans that can make adjustments and bring his car through the field. He starts 29th this week. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ryan up there at the end competing for a top 10 finish.
Because its Vegas and he is who he is….
Kyle Busch (FD $13,200 DK $11,900)
As I’m wrapping this article up, I’m watching Kyle dominate this Xfinity race. He also dominated and won the truck race on friday. He can complete the trifecta Sunday winning the Pennzoil 400. The Vegas native has had good fortune at his home track. He also just signed an extension with JGR along with Mars as his sponsor for multiple years. We all know how us dfs players love narratives and Kyle has a few going for him this weekend. I won’t play him in cash but he will be in a few gpp lineups this week.
If you have any questions or want some advice, you can always get in touch on twitter @davidjr831 or get into our NASCAR discord channel. We are always in there before lock. Good luck this week and hope we hit the jackpot!
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