Darlington 400 NASCAR Fantasy Picks
Photo by Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
May 17, 2020 3:30pm
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Welcome back everyone, I am super excited for some real racing at Darlington Raceway this weekend. Darlington is a 1.33 mile egg shaped oval, and this place is the highest tire wear track we visit on the circuit. With no practice or qualifying before the race at Darlington this weekend, I will not go over 60% exposure in big GPPs. There are a couple of obvious cash plays this week, and we have some great pivot options for GPPs.
Let’s take a look at my core, cash and GPP plays for this weekend.
Kurt Busch- Kurt will start from the 22nd position on Sunday. Kurt has automatic place differential built in, and I have no reason to think he will finish outside the top 10 on Sunday evening. Kurt has the 4th best driver rating of 109.5 over the last 2 Darlington races, and he led 94 laps in the 2019 Southern 500. I expect Kurt to move through the field methodically, and be in contention for a top 10 by the end of the Darlington 400.
Chase Elliott- Chase starts 11th on Sunday for the Darlington 400. Chase has a little place differential upside, but we will need him to lead laps and run some fastest laps as well. If Chase didn’t have some bad luck towards the end of a couple races this season, good chance he would have at least 1 win. I expect Chase to have a rocket ship this weekend, great core play in my opinion.
Brad Keselowski- Brad is on the pole for the Darlington 400 Sunday. Brad should get out to the lead early, and lead some laps before the competition caution. Honestly, I think Brad has a chance to lead a majority of this race baring any issues on pit road or on track. Brad is top 10 driver most weeks, but especially at tracks that compare to Darlington. With no practice or qualifying at Darlington this weekend, Brad is set up for success starting on the pole.
Michael McDowell- McDowell starts 31st on Sunday at Darlington. McDowell is a salary saver on both sites, and has decent upside to shatter the value of the cheap price tag. McDowell experienced an issue in the 2019 Darlington race, but finished 21st in 2018. A lot of players will look towards John Hunter Nemechek in the same price range, but I think McDowell can take care of his equipment better. McDowell could out run Nemecheck, and this could be the difference in cashing and not on Sunday.
Martin Truex Jr.- Truex starts in the 15th position on Sunday. I have been concerned with the lack of speed from Truex in this short Nascar season, but keep in mind the season was halted right after the west coast swing. The Truex team hopefully have made the right adjustments for Darlington. Surprisingly, Truex has the 7th best driver rating over the last 6 races excluding Daytona, as well as a top 10 driver rating at Darlington. I have not been hearing a lot of Truex talk this week, could be a low owned sneaky GPP play.
Tyler Reddick- Tyler will begin the Darlington 400 from the 29th starting position. Reddick is priced right on both sites this weekend, and I feel Tyler is great pivot off a couple of drivers in this price range. Reddick was 19th in green flag speed earlier this season at Las Vegas. Tyler’s floor is set, but I think his upside to win a GPP is very high. Consider going overweight to the field on Reddick at Darlington on Sunday.