This article is part of our DFS NASCAR series.
Location: Concord, N.C.
Course: Charlotte Motor Speedway
Format: 1.5-mile quad-oval
Denny Hamlin made the right decision not to pit late Wednesday in the second race at Darlington Raceway since the NASCAR Cup series returned. That move earned him his second win of the season, equal to Joey Logano who picked up two victories before in-person track activities were halted.
This week, the schedule heads back to its traditional format for at least one night. The Memorial Day classic Coca-Cola 600 awaits teams and drivers this Sunday night. Back for the first time will be qualifying, too. That track activity will take place just before Sunday night's race, and the quick turnaround won't give fantasy players much insight into what to expect for the 600-mile race.
Sunday's marathon race will be followed by another fast return to Charlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday for a 310-mile race, similar to what was done at Darlington. However, the first challenge is NASCAR's longest race. The 600-mile event puts strain on cars and competitors alike as the track transitions from day to night. Teams and drivers will have to be gentle to make equipment last and make gradual adjustments to the cars as conditions change throughout the distance. It is a long night and the focus is on preservation and tuning to have the fastest equipment when it matters most — at the finish.
Key Stats at Charlotte Motor Speedway
- Number of races: 120
- Winners from pole: 17
- Winners from top-5 starters: 67
- Winners from top-10 starters: 89
- Winners from 21st or lower starters: 10
- Fastest race: 160.655 mph
Previous 10 Charlotte Winners
2019 - Martin Truex Jr.
2018 - Kyle Busch
2017 fall - Martin Truex Jr.
2017 spring - Austin Dillon
2016 fall - Jimmie Johnson
2016 spring - Martin Truex Jr.
2015 fall - Joey Logano
2015 spring - Carl Edwards
2014 fall - Kevin Harvick
2014 spring - Jimmie Johnson
Charlotte has a history of producing runaway winners. Martin Truex Jr. has been supreme here in recent years, leading over 800 laps in the last six races. He won three of those events and finished in the top five two more. Toyota has been the marque to beat, too. The manufacturer has won four of the last six races with Chevrolet taking the other two. Ford has not won at the circuit since Joey Logano visited Victory Lane in 2015. They also only have two track wins in the last 10. Penske Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing may not be the teams fantasy owners flock to this week, especially considering Hamlin's win at Darlington earlier in the week. Teams have their work cut out for them on Sunday and will be working hard to make sure their cars roll off the trucks set up to require minimal adjustments. Fantasy owners will be looking for those that do since Charlotte races tend to see long green-flag runs. A fast driver in qualifying with good track position at the start could dominate long stretches of the race.
DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)
DraftKings Tier 1 Values
DraftKings Tier 2 Values
DraftKings Tier 3 Values
DraftKings Long-Shot Values
MY PICKS THIS WEEK
Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Martin Truex Jr. (DK $10,600, FD $13,700) has been the dominant driver at Charlotte in recent seasons with four straight finishes in the top three and over 400 laps led in the same period. Chase Elliott (DK $9,700, FD $11,500) has two top-fives from his last three Charlotte races, and he was likely on his way to winning at Darlington earlier in the week. This could be the race he gets redemption. With the Toyota cars expected to be quick again, Erik Jones (DK $8,500, FD $9,000) could be a top value play. He has two top-10 finishes since racing resumed and was seventh in his Cup series Charlotte debut. Matt Kenseth (DK $7,700, FD $8,000) has proven that time off hasn't led to much rust. He drove to a top 10 Sunday in Darlington and was racing in the top 10 again on Sunday. A 600-mile race is one for experienced competitors, and Kenseth is one of the masters. Chris Buescher (DK $6,700, FD $6,400) finished sixth in this race last season and is looking for another good run Sunday after a frustrating two races at Darlington. Another veteran worth considering this week is Ryan Newman (DK $6,500, FD $7,000). He scored back-to-back top-15 finishes in the two races he had since returning and should be confident of another this Sunday.
Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Kyle Busch (DK $11,500, FD $14,000) came back from a rough first Darlington race to finish second on Wednesday. That result came with controversy as he knocked Chase Elliott out of the race, but Busch remains one of the top selections on quick 1.5-mile ovals like Charlotte. Jimmie Johnson (DK $9,200, FD $10,700) may be the one to watch this week. He has eight Charlotte victories, has five top-10s from the last six at the track, and drove from 37th to eighth in Darlington Wednesday night. If he can keep the car under him and make no mistakes he should be store for a top finish. Tyler Reddick (DK $7,900, FD $6,800) impressed with a seventh-place Darlington finish on Sunday and then backed it up with a 13th-place run on Wednesday. He is now knocking on the door of the playoff positions and won last year's Xfinity series race at this track. Aric Almirola (DK $7,500, FD $8,300) should be a reliable choice for a consistent top-13 finish this week. He sits seventh in the championship standings and hasn't finished lower than 12th since February in Las Vegas. Matt DiBenedetto (DK $7,200, FD $7,300) could be in line to score his best Charlotte finish this weekend. He finished ninth at Darlington on Wednesday and sits comfortably in the playoff hunt. Finishing off the higher-risk lineup for Charlotte is John Hunter Nemechek (DK $6,300, FD $5,500). He impressed in Darlington's Sunday race with a top-10 finish only to crash out of Wednesday's return. He holds a lot of potential and finished 12th with four laps led at Charlotte's 2019 Xfinity race.