Victory Lane – Drydene 400
By Tyler Miller – @rickybobby_jr
The first race in the Round of 12 is at Dover International Speedway Sunday afternoon. Dover is a 1 mile high-banked concrete racetrack in Dover, Delaware. Martin Treux Jr. won at Dover in the spring. Denny Hamlin set a new track record with a qualifying time of 21.559, 166.984 mph in winning the pole position for Sunday’s race. Kyle Larson starts second, followed by Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, and Chase Elliott. Since Dover is a 1 mile oval, Victory Lane will be a cash game breakdown, focusing on drivers to play in 50/50, single entry cash games. I recommend playing an 80/20 mix of cash games and single entry tournaments. Let’s get started.
Kevin Harvick ($14,000/11,100) Kevin Harvick will have a strong race on Sunday and finish in the top 3. From his 4th place starting position, he will need to lead laps to score top 3 in DFS points but he has a fast enough car to do just that. Harvick ran the third fastest single lap speed and was fastest in consecutive 15, 20, and 30 lap averages. Harvick is the second highest priced driver on Fan Duel (3rd on Draft Kings) which presents some risk, but top 10 finishes in the last 3, and 4 of the last 5 races at Dover show enough consistency to keep me comfortable in playing him this weekend.
Martin Truex Jr. ($14,500/11,600) Martin Truex Jr. has a fast car at Dover this weekend. Truex failed pre-qualifying inspection twice but will keep his 3rd place starting position and should be fast enough to lead laps and contend for the win at Dover on Sunday. With Truex’s high salary and 3rd place starting position, you should be able to fade him in cash games. I like Truex at the top, and he might lead the most laps and win the race, but I think Harvick is a better option because the extra $500 allows you to use better mid-tier drivers.
Joey Logano ($11,000/9,500) I really like Joey Logano this weekend. I like the top 5 speed he showed during longer runs in final practice, I like his 14th place starting position, and the fact that his salary is discounted compared to other playoff drivers. I think Joey Logano will be a top 3 DFS scoring driver at Dover on Sunday and I feel good about locking him into all cash lineups.
Kyle Larson ($12,500/9,700) I want to use Kyle Larson this weekend but it feels like a trap. Larson qualified 2nd and won final practice (meaning he had the fastest single lap speed). Larson was fastest in 5, 10, and 25 consecutive lap average during final practice. Larson has finished top 10 in 7 of his last 9 races dating back to Pocono. Call it a gut feeling but I don’t feel good about playing Larson, though he has shown speed at Dover this weekend and on paper looks like a solid play.
Jimmie Johnson ($9,200/7,800) I think Jimmie Johnson is a solid play at Dover in cash games. Johnson qualified 11th and has a good shot at finishing in the top 10. In cash games a key to success is finding drivers who can finish in the top 10 for under 10k in Fan Duel salary and I think Johnson is that guy this week. Johnson was top 3 in every consecutive laps run category in final practice (meaning he was top 3 in 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 consecutive lap average speed). I’m really into Jimmie Johnson this weekend and I think he can provide a lot of value to DFS lineups at Dover.
Daniel Suarez ($8,000/7,300) As I mentioned in The Setup, Daniel Suarez has finished top 10 in 4 of his 5 career races at Dover with the only outlier being an 11th place finish this spring. I put Suarez in the same category as Jimmie Johnson this weekend as a sub 10k driver who can finish in the top 10 and provide great value in cash games. Suarez qualified 15th but showed top 10 speed during longer runs in final practice.
Matt DiBenedetto ($7,200/7,700) Matt DiBenedetto qualified 20th and showed top 12 speed in 10, 15, and 20 lap averages. I would be surprised if DiBenedetto finished in the top 10, but I think he can finish inside the top 15 which would make him a solid play in cash games at Dover.
William Byron ($8,800/8,400) I like William Byron this weekend, I like his salary and his speed in final practice, but I don’t like his starting position. Starting 6th, Byron will almost certainly score negative differential points. I think he is a solid mid-tier driver and can be used in cash games, but I think there are three better options in the mid-tier, listed above.
I like playing two high salary drivers and three mid-tier drivers at Dover this weekend. You can scrape the bottom of the salary barrel and play someone like Reed Sorenson who is starting dead last and has nowhere to go but up, but remember that Dover is a 400 lap race and Fan Duel awards 0.1 points per lap run. With 22 second lap times, the bottom dozen drivers will be 10 or more laps down, which will eat into their ability to produce points.
My core cash lineup for Sunday at Dover includes Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, and Jimmie Johnson. If you want to play three drivers at the top I would play Harvick, Logano, and Truex. If you want to play three mid-tier drivers I would play Johnson, Suarez, and DiBenedetto. Good luck to all our subscribers this 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 is currently pursuing a Masters’ of Science degree in Marketing: Sports Marketing and Media, from Liberty University.