Stevie "stevietpfl" Young

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NASCAR DFS: Pennzoil 400

Thursday, March 1, 2018


Atlanta was an awesome race, as it’s always fun to watch cars slip-and-slide on worn out tires.

 

 

Looking towards this week, this will be the first big test of the new aero package for 2018, and we should get a good idea of how the Fords stack up with the Toyotas and the new Chevy Camaro ZL1. Las Vegas was one of the racetracks that teams tested at this offseason, so we should see teams prepared for this weekend. That should make for some good racing, which is always great for fantasy NASCAR.

 

 

Just a quick reminder that this is a preview article, and I write it before we have starting positions. If you want even more in-depth information, consider my NASCAR DFS package over at the RotoGrinders Marketplace.

 

 

 

Current Track

 

This weekend we have the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It's a 1.5-mile tri-oval track, and the race is a 400-mile/267-lap race. It’s a three-stage race; stage one and two are 80 laps each, while the final stage is 107 laps. Las Vegas used to be a flat track, but since the rebuild in 2006, it’s more of a steep banked track. I think the best comp for the track is Homestead – when comparing data, it’s a great track to use when researching for this weekend. Las Vegas is a very temperature-sensitive track, as we see all groves of the racetrack used throughout the race. In general, we don’t typically see a lot of wrecks here, and practice usually tells us a lot.

 

 

 

Drivers To Watch

 

Brad Keselowski I worry about the Fords, but Penske has been excellent here since switching over to Ford. He’s won two of the last five races and has five straight top 10 finishes here. Keselowski was leading with two laps to go here last season, until something broke in the car and he ended up finishing fifth. He’s coming off a second-place finish at Atlanta, and I like his chances for a strong run this weekend.

 

 

Joey Logano Like I mentioned with Keselowski above, Team Penske has been strong here since switching to Ford. Logano has finished 12th or better in five straight races here, and he’s coming in with four straight top 10 finishes. He has an average finish of 6.4 over the last five races here, which is the second best behind Keselowski. Logano had a tough finish to 2017, but he’s looked great through two races this season. He’s been successful at this track, and I like his chances to build off the momentum from last weekend's race in Atlanta.

 

 

Martin Truex Jr. You may remember I talked about Martin Truex Jr. in my article last week too. He’s going to be featured a lot this season. Truex is the defending race winner here after he led 150 of 267 laps last year. He’s also finished 1st, 11th, and 2nd in his last three races here. The second-place finish in 2015 was before the technical alliance with JGR, and that makes me feel even more confident about targeting Truex this weekend. He’s won 10  races at intermediate tracks since the start of the 2016 season. Like I said above, Homestead is a nice comp to Las Vegas, and he’s coming off a win at Homestead as well.

 

 

Paul Menard I’m focusing on the Fords this weekend, as I think they might be overlooked. If they come out and struggle in practice, I may pass too. Paul Menard was part of the offseason test here, and he picked up a lot from day one to day two. Working with Team Penske, I think it’s a great benefit at a track like Las Vegas. He has three top 10 finishes in the last six races and has finished 19th or better in eight straight races here. Menard is interesting for Fantasy Live, and if he qualifies in a poor spot, I’ll be targeting him in daily fantasy as well.

 

 

Ryan Blaney Well, I’ve talked about all the Penske cars and the affiliate car, so I couldn’t possibly leave out the new Penske driver. He doesn’t have a ton of experience at Las Vegas, but in his three career races, he does have two top seven finishes. Blaney ran 92.9% of his laps in the top 15 last season and 98.5% in the 2016 race. I like his chances to run up front again this year. He’s coming off a good run at Atlanta, and he now has top 20 finishes in 10 of his last 13 intermediate races.

 

 

 

Drivers Running Well

 

Kyle Busch After losing the lead on the opening lap last weekend, Kyle Busch was able to have a solid day, as he ended up finishing seventh. Kyle has been one of the best at intermediate tracks, and he’s really good at steep tracks too. Over his last 25 races at intermediate tracks, Busch has an average finish of 9.76, which is the third highest in that span. He has two wins in that span, and he has 11 top five finishes. He was running 5th when he had last lap contact with Logano last year, and he has two top five finishes in the last four races here. He’s coming off a second-place finish at Homestead, and I like his upside this weekend.

 

 

Kyle Larson Larson has yet to lead a lap in his four career races here, but he has a lot of upside at this track type. He’s great at steep tracks and has excelled at Homestead. Larson has a lot of risk for daily fantasy NASCAR, but he should have very low ownership at his high price tag. If you take out the race in 2016 when he had issues, he’s averaging over 40 fantasy points in two of the last three. His stats at this type of track stand out in my model this weekend, and Larson was one of the fastest cars during the test section here.

 

 

A.J. Allmendinger – I bet you didn’t expect Allmendinger to be on my list for this week. Over his last four races here, he has an average finish of 15.5, which is the second best among drivers in that span. He’s finished 19th or better in four of the last six races here. He doesn’t comp really well at steep tracks, but he does comp really well at Homestead. In nine career races at Homestead, Allmendiger has finished 20th or better in seven of those races. The comps make him interesting for this weekend – because we want some of those top-end options, I think Allmendinger is a good value play.



Stevie "stevietpfl" Young is a top-ranked DFS player and GrindersLive host who specializes in NFL, MLB and NASCAR. He provides both written content and media work for RotoGrinders.
Email :Stevie "stevietpfl" Young



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