NASCAR’s West Coast tour continues this weekend with the Pennzoil 400 race in Las Vegas, Nevada. In contrast to last weekend at Auto Club Speedway, NASCAR decided on Wednesday not to split Cup teams into two groups for practice. All drivers will be able to participate in one 35-minute practice on Saturday. Following practice, there will be single-car, single-lap qualifying, which is split into two groups. Each group’s top five drivers will then compete for the pole with a single-car, one-lap run in the second round of qualifying.
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In a similar vein to last week, Las Vegas Motorspeedway presents a challenge to overtake the leader. Three of the past four trips to Las Vegas have featured a driver leading by at least 100 laps. The lone dominant driver who failed to reach the 100-lap threshold was Denny Hamlin, with 92 laps. It will take 267 laps to complete the Pennzoil 400. On DraftKings, that translates to 186.9 dominator points.
It is best to start with one or two high-salary drivers who you believe will control the majority of the race, and then build your team around them with drivers that can fill out the rest of the score sheet. There is a high probability that one driver in the top 20 will finish in the top 10. Taking Ryan Blaney as an example, he finished fifth here in last year’s March race after starting 26th. Furthermore, you should consider adding at least one Ford driver to your rosters. With 13 wins in 28 tries, Ford has been the most dominant team at Las Vegas Motorspeedway.
This week, the Money Train delves into the DFS options for Sunday’s Cup Series event in Las Vegas, NV. 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.
Kyle Larson (11,300 DK | 14,000 FD)
Even with heavy chalk behind him, it’s hard to pick against Larson this weekend, the reigning Pennzoil 400 champion. If he leads 100 or more laps again, you’ll wish you had him. Despite not becoming a dominant player in Las Vegas until last season, he was never a slouch. He achieved three straight podium finishes with Chip Ganassi, two of which were runner-up finishes.
Larson is unlikely to suffer another penalty that will force him to start from the back of the field. He should start within the first few rows and compete for laps early. Using the Highline on these intermediate tracks is right up Larson’s alley. Is it possible for him to top his record ten wins? He is already ahead of the game, considering that his first win came four races into last season.
Joey Logano (10,800 DK | 13,000 FD)
Logano recovered nicely from the disappointment at Daytona, although many may feel his car was capable of more than a fifth-place finish. As a late-race challenger, Logano’s car wasn’t the car to dominate, but it was a car that kept up with the front runners, including eventual winner Larson. He would ultimately lose the race due to a slip on the final lap. I like what I’ve seen so far from him in this Next-Gen.
His last three visits to Las Vegas have been anything but dominant, as he led just eight laps. Contrast this with his nine prior races in Las Vegas, where he led at least 40 laps in seven, won two races, and finished runner-up. How could there be such a stark difference? Logano has excelled at leading laps in races where he qualified among the top 10. Therefore, keep an eye on where he place’s in qualification.
Alex Bowman (8,700 DK | 9,700 FD)
Bowman’s car looked like one that could steal a late win at Fontana, but with 21 laps remaining, he dropped from fourth to 25th after making deep contact with the wall. For a brief time, he was holding down the second position. Speed-wise, he can compete with anyone, but he needs to be more consistent.
He had a rocky time here last season, but he will respond well this weekend. In the right circumstances, Bowman has proven that he can be highly effective. He finished fifth at this track two seasons ago, with a driver rating of 114.3. I might be leery of investing heavily in Bowman if he qualifies among those top 10, but if he starts in the top 16, he’s a driver you should certainly consider adding to your team.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (7,200 DK | 6,800 FD)
In his last two March visits, Stenhouse has been effective, no doubt. His most impressive performance came two seasons ago when he placed third. Last year, Stenhouse finished just outside the top 10. Still a solid outcome, showing it was not just a one-year fluke. Next-Gen was supposed to make smaller teams like Ricky’s competitive. Despite being in its infancy, the results have been promising so far. Among the two races here this season, this would be the one to pick him. He hasn’t repeated his Spring success in the fall for whatever reason.
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