Victory Lane – Coca-Cola 600
By Tyler Miller – @rickybobby_jr
Kurt Busch won the pole for the Coca-Cola 600. This 400 lap race will take place tonight at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Weather could be a factor but overall people seem to be optimistic that the race will run this evening. This is the longest race of the season so choosing drivers who will finish the race and stay out of trouble is of the utmost importance. Let’s get started.
Kevin Harvick ($12,500/11,200) Starting 22nd, Kevin Harvick is a must play for tonight’s race. Harvick is 6th in driver rating and 10th in average running position at Charlotte, but some of those numbers are skewed from some lackluster performances over a decade ago. He has been much stronger in race at Charlotte since 2013 and has finished in the top 10 in every race this season.
Martin Truex Jr. ($13,700/10,600) Truex was the fastest qualifying Toyota and will start the race 8th. In recent history, Truex finished 3rd in the spring of 2017, won the fall race after leading 91 laps in 2017, finished 2nd in 2018, and won last year leading 116 laps. I like Truex to lead laps and contend for the win.
Kyle Busch ($14,000/11,500) Starting 11th, there is a lot to like about Kyle Busch in tonight’s race at Charlotte. Similar to Truex, Kyle Busch has a strong history at this race track with the potential to lead 100 laps or more at win the race. Busch has a high ceiling but it comes at a steep price. Kyle is the highest priced driver on both Fan Duel and Draft Kings. I’m apprehensive to pay the high price with the lack of dependable low end drivers in this race, but Kyle deserves lineup consideration.
Alex Bowman ($12,000/9,400) The combination of Bowman’s strength at intermediate tracks and his momentum coming off a 2nd place finish at Darlington last Sunday at the win earlier this year at Fontana has me high on Bowman for tonight’s race. I like Truex, Harvick, and Busch more than Bowman, and his increased price has me likely fading him in a single entry environment, but he is worth considering for tournament lineups this evening.
Jimmie Johnson ($10,700/9,200) Don’t overlook Jimmie Johnson because of his 2nd place starting spot and potential for some negative differential points. His price enables you to take on some risk in hopes of leading some laps early and finishing in the top 5. For those new to NASCAR, Johnson dominated this race track back in the mid 00’s. He won 8 races at Charlotte including 4 in a row and 5 out of 6 from 2003-2005. He’s finished in the top 10 in 3 of his last 5 races at Charlotte and I’m confident that he can compete for a top 5 finish at the end of the race tonight.
Aric Almirola ($8,300/7,500) Aric Almirola spun during qualifying and only suffered minimal damage from brushing the outside wall with his rear bumper. Due to the spin, Almirola starts this race 40th and will be an obvious chalk play in cash games. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Almirola finish in the top 20, maybe even the top 15 which would make him a solid play regardless of ownership.
Matt Kenseth ($8,000/7,700) Kenseth is starting 4th which will scare off some ownership, but I really like him in this race. The price is right for Kenseth and if he can stay out of trouble and finish in the top 10 this becomes a must play at his price point. In his last 10 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kenseth finished in the top 10 in 6 races, 5 of those were in the top 5. Kenseth is top 5 in both driver rating (4th) and average running position (5th). I think he is a really good play in this spot tonight.
Daniel Suarez ($4,500/6,100) Suarez’s car was really bad in qualifying. It looked as though they might have missed the shock package and have some significant work to do. I have confidence in Suarez as a driver, but my confidence in his team is quite limited. With that being said, at his price, starting 37th there is limited risk involved in playing Suarez.The ceiling is pretty low, I would say a finish of 24th-29th is realistic.
My core lineup includes Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., and Aric Almirola. Good luck to all our subscribers and have a safe Memorial Day weekend.
Tyler Miller is a lifelong NASCAR enthusiast who spent five years as a producer on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (2008-2013). Upon meeting his wife in Washington DC, Tyler became an Army spouse and left his career to move all over the country and help raise their two children. Tyler holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sport Communication and Electronic Media Production from Ashland University and a Masters’ of Science in Marketing: Sports Marketing and Media, from Liberty University.