Following the race in Dover, we move on to the Goodyear 400 in Darlington, South Carolina. Old-school racing fans will especially appreciate Darlington Raceway, which stands out among classic race tracks. It has a couple of infamous nicknames. As the first NASCAR track to be paved, “The Lady in Black” is the most iconic one. Looking at the track specs for Darlington Raceway, it is a 1.36-mile, tri-oval track. Of course, we will also get to see those old throwback paint schemes this weekend, which will be a lot of fun.
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Practice & Qualifying
Practice and qualifying will be divided among the Cup teams this weekend at Darlington. Each group will have 15 minutes of practice on Saturday morning. Following practice, both groups will compete in single-car qualifying in which each driver will complete one timed lap. The five quickest drivers from each group will advance to the second round of qualifying, where each challenger will attempt their best lap time. The driver with the quickest time will earn the Busch Light Pole.
This week, the Money Train delves into the DFS options for Sunday’s Cup Series event in Darlington, South Carolina. The selections are broken down between high salary, mid-range, and value play. Included are player salaries from both FanDuel (FD) and DraftKings (DK). Best of luck to everyone with lineups this weekend.
Denny Hamlin (12,500 FD | 10,300 DK)
Hamlin’s continued struggles make this pick somewhat risky. However, consider giving him a look this weekend as he was stellar in the September race and has a good history here. Hamlin and Larson will meet at Darlington for the first time since their bitterly contested clash. Larson gave Hamlin a real run for his money, but Hamlin eventually won out in the battle of attrition. He prevailed on a late-race restart over Larson. His first victory of the season and first of the postseason. So the timing couldn’t have been better. There shouldn’t be any doubt that Hamlin, the reigning Darlington winner, will be a driver to watch this weekend.
Kyle Larson (14,000 FD | 11,000 DK)
After going down a lap in stage two because of a spin-out that would place him as deep as 30th, things looked a little tense for Larson at the Monster Mile. However, thanks to a quick caution, it wouldn’t be long until he was back in the thick of the competition. It might surprise some people considering Larson is favored in this race, seeing as he hasn’t gone to victory lane since February.
However, it makes a lot of sense when you crunch the numbers. He’s been a runner-up in the last three attempts at Darlington. No other current driver has a better average finish at Darlington. In addition, he’s led a pile of laps at “The Lady In Black”. In 2018, he led a track best 284 laps. He finished third in that race, but owners weren’t complaining.
Kevin Harvick (9,000 FD | 8,800 DK)
Following a bad run at Bristol, Harvick has since rebounded in a big way, producing a pair of back-to-back top-10 runs. Having won three separate occasions at Darlington, Harvick can boot it around this raceway. After coming off a win at Darlington two years ago, Harvick responded in 2021 with a pair of top-six runs. Harvick didn’t lead laps in a lot of the events last season. However, he was still able to lead laps at both Darlington races to his credit. So while you aren’t likely to see another dominant performance from him, Harvick should still be capable of leading multiple laps this weekend. Would a win here by Harvick be a surprise? Not really.
Erik Jones (7,200 FD | 7,700 DK)
Jones is driving like a much more complete driver in 2022. His Darlington campaign wasn’t great last season, granted. However, let’s remember Jones was consistently producing at Darlington leading up to last season. Of those six previous Darlington races, Jones did not finish outside the top eight. His most noteworthy performance came in 2019 at the Bojangles Southern 500. He not only won his second career Cup race but led 79 laps. Another top-10 run at Darlington is a strong possibility so scoop him up if he qualifies in the top 15.
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