Brandon Braasch | February 9th, 2020
NASCAR season is back. Well not officially until the Daytona 500 but this weekend we get the Clash. The Clash is an exhibition race and consists of 2019 NASCAR pole winners, past Clash champions, past Daytona 500 winners, and past Daytona 500 pole winners. They also had to have completed the full schedule in the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series. The race is only 75 laps and the winner gets bragging rights and cash.
On DraftKings for NASCAR, there are four ways for your drivers to score points. The main way to score points is obviously by how you finish. Finishing first place is 46 points, second place 42 points, third place is 41 points, and so on. The other ways are leading laps, fastest laps, and place differential. It is .25 points per lap led, .50 points per fast lap, and one point per place differential. Place differential is if your driver starts in 17th and finishes ninth you get eight points. If they start third and finish 10th, it is negative seven points.
When picking a team, there are six roster spots. I typically try to find a couple of drivers starting further back than 20th place to get those place differential points. I also like picking a guy who is fast in practice and will likely lead laps/get fast laps. Here are my top drivers for this year’s Clash sponsored by Busch.
Brad Keselowski (9,300 DK)
Keselowski is one of the best drivers at restrictor-plate tracks. A couple being Daytona and Talladega. He has won seven times at those tracks combined. He also won the Clash back in 2018. Keselowski will be starting in second and I expect him to find the front of the pack early and lead a good amount of laps.
Ryan Blaney (8,000 DK)
The last time Blaney raced at a restrictor-plate track he won it. That was at Talladega in October of 2019. Blaney is a younger driver and he just keeps getting better. I expect him to have a big 2020 season and what better way to start it off than a good run at the Clash. He typically runs very well at Daytona but doesn’t have the finishes to show for it. If he can avoid a wreck he will be battling for the win at the end of the race.
Denny Hamlin (9,600 DK)
Hamlin was the 2019 Daytona 500 winner. He will be starting 18th in the Clash. Toyotas are fast and there is no reason to believe Hamlin won’t make his way to the front. I expect him to advance his position more than any other driver. He also has the potential to get more place differential points than any other driver. If he can avoid a wreck he will be one of the higher scoring drivers in the Clash.
Erik Jones (5,900 DK)
Jones is not your typical underdog. He has a legitimate shot to win this race. However, since there are only 18 cars in the race he is the third cheapest driver on DraftKings. Jones has a good track record at Daytona. His first career NASCAR cup series victory came at Daytona back in July of 2018. Toyotas are fast and Jones had the top speed in the only Clash practice. Jones will have a strong running to start his 2020 season.
This race is going to be wild. The drivers know it is all about winning. There are no points on the line. They are racing for money and bragging rights. Good luck with your lineups.
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