NASCAR DFS Go Bowling 235by Dale Money August 15, 2020 0 comments
After having beat out runner-up Brad Keselowski on Saturday, Kevin Harvick would top off the doubleheader with his second win in as many days at Michigan. Although that second win wouldn’t come easy, as Harvick would get a hard challenge from Denny Hamlin in the final laps. With four laps left to go, Hamlin had cut the lead to as low as 0.074, but would not be able to make the pass on Harvick. Hamlin would make one last-ditch effort as they were coming towards the finish line, to no avail.
With the victory, Harvick leapfrogs Hamlin for most Cup wins, with six in total. Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, and Joey Logano would round out the top five. However, Busch would finish with the second-most points on the day with 49 in total.
We now leave Michigan and move onto Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Known as the birthplace of NASCAR, founder Bill France Sr. would begin building the track in 1953. It wouldn’t be until 1959, that the first NASCAR race would be run here. However, instead of racing on the traditional 2.5-mile superspeedway, they will instead be running on the Daytona Road Course. This in fact will be the first time in NASCAR history, that they will race all three series on this track.
Harvick looks to add to his points leads, as he will start on the Pole position this Sunday. Hamlin will be starting opposite him on the front row. So without further ado, let’s delve into the driver options for this upcoming cup series event. I’ve broken down the selections between high salary and value play. Best of luck to everyone with their lineups.
Chase Elliott (10,300 DK 13,500 FD)
After Elliot’s exceptional all-star performance at Charlotte, expectations of adding to that victory have since faded. However, in his past three events, Elliott has cracked the top 10 each time. So while he has been a lot more low key compared to players like Harvick, that is not to say Elliot hasn’t shown up as of late. He finished ninth last week, and currently holds down fifth place in the cup standings.
While it’s true, the Daytona road course is completely new territory for the cup series drivers. Elliot has shown to be one of the more dangerous drivers when it comes to this style of racing. In Elliot’s last two road course events, he has come out victorious on each of those occasions. In his most recent road course win at Charlotte Roval, Elliot would need to move himself up from a 19th place starting spot.
With Elliot slated to start in the seventh position, he should be a good target for potential points through laps led, place differential, and fastest lap. Consider that in those previous two road course attempts, Elliot led over 100 laps combined. This being the first road course event this season, I do like for Elliott to try and add to his winning streak.
Ryan Blaney (11,000 DK 11,400 FD)
Blaney would have a mixed bag of results at Michigan this past weekend. He would start off with a very respectable fourth-place finish, but would then follow that up on Sunday with a forgettable 38th place result. To be fair Blaney has been struggling a bit recently, finishing with back to back top 20’s at New Hampshire and Kansas. However, with Blaney’s very appealing 24th place starting position this Sunday, I do feel he has a golden opportunity at Daytona in which to greatly help himself.
His past road course history has been low key excellent to be sure. He has snared three top-fives in his past five attempts, which includes a win at Charlotte Roval in 2018. Barring an unforeseen mishap, Blaney should be able to offer gobs of bonus points through both place differential and fastest lap. In 10 road course tries Blaney has completed all but six of the laps, so I do like for him to come through with a quality run.
Brendan Gaughan (7,500 DK 4,000 FD)
There were only a couple of drivers that came into this event as ringers including Gaughan. What makes Gaughan so unique among the rest of this Sunday’s field is his experience on the Daytona Road Course. In 2011, Gaughan picked up a win here in the Rolex Sports Car series. This after he started in the 30th position. Since that time Gaughan has returned here twice in the SportsRolex series. In 2016, he finished with a third-place result and just two years later collected a top 14 run.
Slated to start the race in dead last position, he should offer several potential points through place differential. I do not see it as unreasonable to consider Gaughan as a potential top 26 driver at Daytona. The added advantage of not coming into the event ice-cold certainly perks my interest in Gaughan as that potential value play.
Michael McDowell (7,000 DK 6,500 FD)
McDowell left Michigan with a pair of top 29 finishes, however, before that he had been putting together some serviceable runs. Following his seventh-place finish at the All-Star race, he would string together three top 19 or better results. Looking at the playoff picture, McDowell is certainly in dire straits at the moment. He is 161 points below the playoff cut-off and does not have a lot of time left in which to make up the ground.
McDowell has plenty of road course experience in the cup series, having 13 races under his belt. And as he’s matured as a road course driver the production has grown along with it. In seven of the last nine attempts, McDowell has finished within the top 18. The No. 34 driver is slated to start in the 30th position and should be able to pass several cars through the race. I like McDowell to be a candidate for a top 20 place finish.
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