Victory Lane – Busch Clash
By Tyler Miller – @rickybobby_jr
The Busch Clash is the first race of the 2020 season. This is a 75 lap exhibition race including 18 drivers. For more information on the race, check out The Setup posted earlier this week. The starting lineup was set by a random draw on Saturday night. Ryan Newman and Brad Keselowski will start on the front row. At Daytona and Talladega I advocate for playing the bulk of entries in tournaments due to the high-risk nature of racing at super speedways. The goal for these races is to have all of your drivers on the lead lap with 5 laps to go. Drivers staying out of wrecks has more to do with luck than skill. Let’s dig in.
Denny Hamlin ($11,500/9,600) Lineups need a balance of drivers who can win the race and drivers who can gain maximum differential points. Denny Hamlin is both. Hamlin drew the 18th place starting position and is my pick to be the number one scoring driver in DFS on Sunday. Hamlin is 4th in driver rating, 6th in average running position, and has the most laps led of any active driver in the Busch Clash. I think Hamlin is a lock this weekend.
Joey Logano ($12,000/9,800) Joey Logano is a force at Daytona and Talladega. Logano picked up TJ Majors as his spotter after Dale Earnhardt Jr. retired at the end of 2017. Since then, Logano has two 4th place finishes in the Daytona 500 and finishes of 2nd and 3rd in the Busch Clash. I expect Logano to be up front and lead laps on Sunday. Starting 13th, lock Logano into your lineups.
Ryan Blaney ($10,000/8,000) Ryan Blaney has the best driver rating and average running position at Daytona for the Busch Clash. He has finished 4th in both career starts in this event. I like Ryan Blaney as a solid mid-tier play on Sunday. I think he can improve on his 14th place starting position to finish 4th-8th.
Brad Keselowski ($11,000/9,300) I really like Brad Keselowski in this race. I think Keselowski can lead laps early and have a solid finish. The issue with Keselowski is that you can’t afford to play him with Logano and Hamlin on Fan Duel. On Fan Duel, Keselowski plus Hamlin and Logano equals $34,500. That leaves you with $15,500 for 2 drivers and the minimum price is $8,000. Draft Kings is more generous with their pricing which allows for Keselowski, Hamlin, and Logano to fit in a lineup together. If you are playing multiple entries I would suggest swapping Keselowski for either Hamlin or Logano in a few and building from there. Keselowski has led over 18% of the laps he has run in the clash. I think he will take the lead from Newman early on and contend throughout the race. Starting 2nd, the only thing you are going to miss is the differential points.
Martin Truex Jr. ($9,500/8,200) Truex is too cheap. I like Truex for many of the same reasons as Keselowski. His salary allows him to be played with Logano and Hamlin. I think you need a driver who is starting near the front to lead laps and finish up front. I think Keselowski is probably the best play for that purpose, but I think Truex is right there and the price is right to fit him into lineups.
Chase Elliott ($9,000/8,900) I think Chase Elliott will be overlooked in the Busch Clash. Elliott is starting 11th and is priced low enough that he can fit in any lineup. I think Elliott will be the top Chevy driver. In 3 career starts in the clash, Elliott has finished 7, 13, and 7. He is 12th in driver rating, 13th in average running position, and has only led 17 laps in this event. I like him as a solid mid-tier play at low ownership.
Austin Dillon ($8,000/5,500) Austin Dillon is minimum price on both sites and is easily my favorite value play. During the only practice for this event, Dillon drafted with the Hendrick Motorsports drivers leading me to believe that they will work with him on Sunday. I think we will see Dillon as a pusher of Chase Elliott or Jimmie Johnson early in the race and hopefully he can stay inside the top 10. Starting 15th at minimum price, I think Dillon is a safe play.
Jimmie Johnson ($8,000/6,400) I’m not really high on Jimmie Johnson, but I think he will be chalk and it is worth mentioning that he is last year’s winner of this race and starting 16th. I have no idea why Johnson is minimum price on Fan Duel so not playing him could be a nightmare if he is highly owned. I like Austin Dillon over Johnson because I think his ownership will be lower and they will score a similar amount of points.
I like building a lineup around Hamlin and Logano. I think you need to find the right mix of Truex, Blaney, and Chase Elliott in the mid-tier with Austin Dillon or even Jimmie Johnson as your value play. Good luck in all your contests this Sunday!
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.