NASCAR DFS: Pennzoil 400 Playsby Dale Money March 6, 2021 1 comment
After a three-week miniseries in Florida, NASCAR now travels 2,033 miles westward to the city of Las Vegas, Nevada. Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a 1.5-mile Intermediate Oval, with an asphalt surface and 20-degree banked turns. NASCAR has implemented changes for 2021, in which Las Vegas Motor Speedway will be one of nine cup tracks that will use the 550hp rules package.
Running on the pole for Sunday will be Ford driver Kevin Harvick. He’ll be looking for his first win on the season after coming off a fifth-place run last Sunday. This Speedway has seen 26 cup series races since its inception, with Ford having won a commanding 13 of them, which is noteworthy.
Let’s delve into the DFS driver options for Sunday’s cup series event. I’ve broken down the selections between high salary, mid-range, and value play. Included are player salaries from both FanDuel and DraftKings. Best of luck to everyone with their lineups this weekend.
Joey Logano (13,000 FD, 10,000 DK)
Essentially this has been a Penske track over the past ten races, with a combined five wins going to Penske drivers. Over the last four, it’s been Logano that has carried the can in winning half of them. At the very least, you know you will get an incredibly consistent driver. He had gone on a streak of nine-straight top-10 or better finishes here until his visit in September.
Logano will start 15th in the running order for this event, which leaves plenty of point potential for both place differential and fastest lap. However, given his roomy starting position, I’m sure many owners might overlook him as a potential dominator. Keep in mind it was here in September of 2019 that he broke his track record for laps led after beginning from 22nd. That remains his deepest starting position at Las Vegas.
Martin Truex Jr (13,500 FD, 11,100 DK)
After suffering a let-down at the Daytona Road Course, Truex would bounce back with a podium finish. He showed plenty of speed at Homestead and would go onto lead 37 of the laps. A block job by Gibbs teammate Denny Hamlin would cost him a Stage 2 win and possibly a chance as the outright winner.
Las Vegas has been one of Truex’s best tracks statistically over the past three seasons. Not only does he have his most top-10 and top-20 placements at the Speedway, but his four top-five finishes rank second. Set to start on the second row for Sunday, he’s going to be pushing hard for the lead position from the get-go. If he can gain a solid foothold on the lead position, Truex is going to be hard to knock off that perch. As of now, he holds the best odds in terms of the outright winner at DraftKings.
Matt Dibenedetto (7,800 FD, 9,000 DK)
DiBenedetto absolutely raised a few eyebrows following his two runner-up finishes at Las Vegas last season. In both of those attempts, he started from 19th in the running order. Given that we already have three upset winners, it might be tempting to throw a dart at DiBenedetto’s outright odds. Topping his pair of second-place results from a year ago could be a lot to ask, given the 30th place starting spot. However, a top-15 or better outcome is within range. This makes him a sound mid-range pickup in my book.
Aric Almirola (7,500 FD, 8,600 DK)
Coming off a crash out last week due to a collision with Penske driver Ryan Blaney, Almirola is another driver that didn’t have great luck in Florida. Now looking to get himself back into the fight, Almirola comes to a track in Las Vegas in which he has shown some flair. After the switch from Richard Petty to Stewart-Haas, he would speed up his progression tenfold (posting three straight top-10 placements at this track). He then fell down to earth last season, picking up a 17th place run here most recently.
Almirola will come off the line 28th in the running order Sunday. Like DiBenedetto, he offers good value through place differential. I look for a solid run from Almirola here, just nothing overly spectacular.