The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series travels west to Las Vegas, Nevada this Sunday afternoon, Mar. 12, for the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Las Vegas is the third stop on the schedule for the NASCAR Daily Fantasy Sports season, and Frontstretch will be your go-to source when building your 2017 DraftKings lineups.
The strategy this week will be similar to last week’s. Intermediate tracks, or mile-and-a-halfs, are all about finding “dominators” for your DraftKings lineup. At Atlanta, that was Kevin Harvick. This week, it is someone new.
Alternatively, for the middle to back-end of lineups, it’s crucial to find a driver that performed poorly in qualifying and could work his way up the field for those coveted position differential points.
Without further ado, here are two hot-start picks for this weekend.
Even though the NASCAR season is already underway, there’s still plenty of time to get in on the action at DraftKings. Each week of the NASCAR season, courtesy of Frontstretch, you can enter to win BIG cash prizes just by picking a team of 6 drivers. You pick, you play, you win, it’s that simple.
Brad Keselowski ($10,400)
Las Vegas: 8 Starts, 2 Wins, 3 Top-5s (37.5%), 4 Top-10s (50%)
Average finish at Las Vegas: 16.8
Qualifying Position: 1st/Pole
Keselowski will be starting from the pole for Sunday’s race, at a track where he has dominated in the past. When he starts towards the front in Vegas, he finishes strongly. Keselowski led 24 laps on his way to the win here last season, his second career win at the track. In 2014, Brad won from the second starting position and led 53 laps, the most laps led of the race. In 2013, he started from the pole and finished third.
Keselowski is as close to a lock as it comes when looking for points at the top half of DraftKings lineups. He has four straight top-10 finishes at this track, and has led laps in the past five races. Since Team Penske’s switch to Ford in 2013, Keselowski’s average finish is 3.0, 27.5 spots better than his average in the four races prior.
In last year’s DraftKings contest at Las Vegas, Keselowski totalled 71.5 DK points, which included 46 points for first place, 33 fastest laps (16.5 points), 24 laps led (6 points), and a +3 position differential rating.
For this race, Keselowski has the opportunity to lead more laps, set by Kevin Harvick’s example from last week where he led 292 laps from the pole at another 1.5 mile track. Keselowski is the definition of hot-start.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($6,700)
Las Vegas: 4 Starts, Two Top-20s
Average finish at Las Vegas: 21.5
Qualifying Position: 29th
Stenhouse falls into the later strategy. He is a driver who qualified poorly who has the best potential to climb up the ranks on race day. Stenhouse was surprising in the early going of last week’s race at Atlanta, but as the race went on, he slowly fell off. He ended the day with a 13th-place finish.
Las Vegas is similar in shape and size, but the track surface isn’t as aged, which does make quite a difference. Nonetheless, Stenhouse’s starting spot of 29th is intriguing because his 13th-place finish is still fresh on the mind, especially when looking at his recent success at Las Vegas.
Last year, Stenhouse finished a career-best 12th at Las Vegas after starting in 16th. In the past two races at the track, he has finished with positive position points, four points in 2016, and two points in 2015 (29th-place finish).
If Stenhouse finishes in the top-20, he will total a minimum of 33 DK points, which is respectable for the back end of your lineup.
A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.