The Setup – Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 at the Brickyard
By Tyler Miller

NASCAR and Indy Car head to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for three races in two days at the Brickyard. The NTT Indy Car Series and the Xfinity Series raced on the road course on Saturday. The NASCAR Cup Series will race on the oval Sunday afternoon. Last year Kevin Harvick won from the pole position, leading 118 of 160 laps. Let’s get started.

Race Distance: 160 laps, Stage 1 ends on lap 50, Stage 2 ends on lap 100.
Lineup Lock 4:00 pm eastern Sunday

Last year’s winner – Kevin Harvick (Started 1st)
Last year’s pole sitter: Kevin Harvick

Prior race winners:
2018: Brad Keselowski (Started 6th)
2017: Kasey Kahne (19th)
2016: Kyle Busch. (1st)
2015: Kyle Busch (9th)
2014: Jeff Gordon (2nd)

Pocono Recap:
What went right?

Pocono was a tale of two races from a DFS perspective. I did really well in the first race on Saturday and then really bad in the race on Sunday. On Saturday, Kevin Harvick was my top play and won the race, Truex finished 7th in Fan Duel scoring, Christopher Bell was the top scoring driver on Fan Duel, Michel McDowell was written up and exceeded expectations, and Clint Bowyer was also written up. Overall, I had positions 1, 2, 4, 6, and 7 in Fan Duel scoring written up in The Setup.

My Fan Duel lineup for Pocono 1 was Harvick, Truex, Bell, Jones, and McDowell which scored 235.2 and cashed in every contest.

My Draft Kings lineup was not as successful due to pricing differences I didn’t play McDowell or Bell. My lineup included Harvick, Truex, Hamlin, Ty Dillon, Jones, and Custer which scored 220.75 and delivered mixed results but cashed overall.

On Sunday, I had some good plays in Victory Lane, but overall I was burned by Joey Logano and Tyler Reddick. I had Jones, Harvick, Chase Elliott, and Aric Almirola as top plays and they finished 2, 3, 4, and 5 in Fan Duel scoring. The problem is that I only played Jones and Elliott.

What went wrong?
I’m not sure what I was trying to do in playing Tyler Reddick on Sunday. There was potential there from a 30th place starting position, but mechanical issues pinned him several laps down and he was unable to recover. I’m really mad about Joey Logano. He was chalk in cash games and it would have been so easy to avoid his lackluster performance by playing either Harvick or Hamlin. I think the lesson to be had here was to consider guys with the potential for massive differential but you also can’t ignore drivers when you know they have a fast car. Harvick and Hamlin showed their strength on Saturday, I should have at least played one of them on Sunday.

On Sunday, My Fan Duel lineup included Elliott, Logano, Jones, Ty Dillon, and Tyler Reddick which scored 218.3 and was shut out.

My Draft Kings lineup did better with Elliott, Logano, Reddick, Jones, Almirola, and Ty Dillon. That lineup basically broke even.

What Vegas thinks (Saturday AM lines via Draft Kings Sportsbook)
Kevin Harvick is favored at +400. Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Keselowski, and Logano are all inside of 10-1 to win the race. My longshot pick for the Brickyard would be Clint Bowyer at +2800.

Kevin Harvick: +400
Denny Hamlin: +500
Kyle Busch: +600
Brad Keselowski: +700
Joey Logano: +700
Chase Elliott: +1000
Ryan Blaney +1200
Martin Truex Jr: +1400

Driver Ratings at Indy:
1. Kyle Busch 104.8
2. Kevin Harvick 102.1
3. Matt Kenseth 98.9
4. Jimmie Johnson* 98.8
5. Denny Hamlin 94.1
6. Joey Logano 92.5
7. Brad Keselowski 89.8
8. Ryan Blaney 89.3
9. Clint Bowyer 87.3
10. William Byron 84.9
11. Erik Jones 84.5
12. Ryan Newman 79.2
13. Kurt Busch 77.8
14. Martin Truex Jr 76.4
15. Daniel Suarez 76.2

Average Running Position
1. Kevin Harvick 11.066
2. Matt Kenseth 11.402
3. Kyle Busch 11.501
4. Ryan Blaney 11.766
5. Jimmie Johnson* 12.144
6. Joey Logano 12.190
7. William Byron 12.950
8. Denny Hamlin 13.540
9. Clint Bowyer 14.275
10. Brad Keselowski 14.924
11. Daniel Suraez 16.091
12. Erik Jones 16.624
13. Ryan Preece 17.681
14. Ryan Newman 17.818
15. Kurt Busch 18.317

Laps Led
1. Kyle Busch 324 (13.4% of laps run)
2. Jimmie Johnson* 306 (12.7)
3. Kevin Harvick 270 (11.2)
4. Denny Hamlin 112 (5.0)
5. Brad Keselowski 108 (6.7)
6. Joey Logano 66 (3.7)
7. Matt Kenseth 55 (2.4)
8. Ryan Newman 45 (1.9)
9. Clint Bowyer 43 (1.9)

* Jimmie Johnson will not race this weekend

2019 Top 10:
1. Kevin Harvick
2. Joey Logano
3. Bubba Wallace
4. William Byron
5. Clint Bowyer
6. Denny Hamlin
7. Ryan Blaney
8. Ryan Newman
9. Chase Elliott
10. Paul Menard

2018 Top 10:
1. Brad Keselowski
2. Erik Jones
3. Denny Hamlin
4. Kevin Harvick
5. Clint Bowyer
6. Kurt Busch
7. Jamie McMurray
8. Kyle Busch
9. Paul Menard
10. Ryan Newman

Justin Allgaier will replace Jimmie Johnson this weekend due to Johnson’s positive Covid-19 test. I think the hardest decisions are at the high priced drivers. Harvick and Hamlin have been on fire but playing Joey Logano could pay off as he will likely lead laps early from the pole position. Last year’s results can be misleading as only 23 cars finished on the lead lap. There were 9 cautions in 2019 which meant that nearly a third of the race was run under the yellow flag. I do not expect the race to be like that on Sunday.

Kevin Harvick ($14,200/11,000) Harvick is my top play at Indy. Starting 11th, he is almost guaranteed positive differential. If he can keep everything clean, he should be in contention for a top 3 at the end of the race.

Joey Logano ($12,500/9,200) I have gotten Joey Logano wrong for at least the last four races but I’m right back to him. Indy is a notoriously difficult track in which to pass. If Logano starts the race strong, he could lead a lot of laps early before pit strategy shuffles things up. Logano has finished top 10 in 6 of his last 7 starts at Indy which include 4 top 5 finishes. However, this season Logano has 4 straight finishes of 20th or worse.

Kyle Busch ($13,000/10,400) Kyle Busch has been feast or famine at Indy with two wins and two finishes 30th or worse in his last 5 races. While Busch hasn’t won a race this season, his DFS salary is still high which will detract some ownership but overall I would expect Kyle to be a candidate for a top 5 finish at Indy on Sunday. Kyle is atop the board in driver rating and laps led and 3rd in average running position. Indy might be just what Kyle needs to get back on track for the 2020 season.

Denny Hamlin ($13,700/10,100) Hamlin has been running really well as of late and has a solid track history at Indy with the 5th best driver rating. Hamlin finished 6th in this race last year and in the 5 races before that (2014-2018) he finished in the top 5 4 times. I think Hamlin is a solid choice for Indy and should compete for a top 5, maybe even a top 3 finish on Sunday.

Clint Bowyer ($9,500/9,000) Bowyer isn’t my top play for Sunday but he is the driver that I feel the best about playing. Bowyer is starting 22nd and is 9th in driver rating, 9th in laps led, and 9th in average running position. Bowyer has finished 5th in each of his last two races at Indy. I like Bowyer to compete for a top 10 finish on Sunday afternoon.

Ryan Blaney ($12,000/9,400) Indy has been a solid track for Ryan Blaney in his short career. Blaney is 4th in average running position and 8th in driver rating. Blaney led 19 laps last year and finished 7th. If he can replicate his efforts from a year ago, he could be a good alternate to Harvick, Hamlin, Logano, and Kyle Busch.

Christopher Bell ($8,400/11,500) Christopher Bell is a must play on Fan Duel and I really think he is a must play on Draft Kings, even as the highest priced driver. Bell showed his value last Saturday when he started at the back and finished 4th at Pocono. I wouldn’t expect Bell to finish in the top 5, but a top 15 finish is certainly possible which would make him a great play on both sites because of differential.

For my value plays, I like Michael McDowell ($5,500/5,700), Ty Dillon ($5,500/6,800), and Daniel Suarez ($5,000/6,100) in that order. Suarez performed well at Indy in the past with much better equipment than he has currently. Suarez has a very low ceiling because that team isn’t capable of finishing in the top 25 unless 10 or more drivers fall out of the race. Michael McDowell showed his strength last Saturday at Pocono but followed it up with a crash on Sunday. Ty Dillon has run well at Indy in 3 career starts he has finishes on 19, 21, and 13 last year. McDowell and Dillon have the potential for top 20, maybe even top 15 finishes if things go right, but Suarez has the advantage of a 37th place starting position which gives him some value for differential and he saves $500 on Fan Duel.

My core lineup is Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, and Christopher Bell. I think Harvick is safe, but I like Kyle Busch a little bit more. I think McDowell and Ty Dillon are solid value plays and you can include Suarez if you have to. Good luck to all our subscribers this weekend!

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