DraftKings’ daily fantasy NASCAR contest is back after a week off. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series rolls into Darlington Raceway for throwback weekend. The green flag flies for the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at 6 p.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN.
The DraftKings strategy for intermediate tracks is all about finding dominators for your roster. A dominator is a driver who will run up front, lead laps and generate fast laps for extra bonuses.
Alternatively, for the middle to back end of lineups, it’s crucial to find a someone that performed poorly in qualifying and could work their way up the field for those coveted position differential points.
Here are two must-start drivers on DraftKings for Sunday’s race.
Denny Hamlin ($9,900)
Starting Position: 13th
Hamlin’s car was fast right off the hauler. He notched the second fastest lap of the opening qualifying session on Friday, only .067 seconds slower than practice leader Kyle Larson. He followed that up with a fifth place run in session two. Hamlin did not qualify as well as expected, and will be starting 13th.
Denny has the best average finish of all active drivers at Darlington. He won this race back in 2010, and has finished inside the top five in four of the last five races here. He has the potential to gain at least eight position differential points with another top five finish.
Joe Gibbs Racing has been gaining momentum the past few weeks, and it looks like they haven’t lost a step coming off the bye week. Hamlin is a serious contender to head to victory lane on Sunday.
Kevin Harvick ($9,100)
Starting Position: 1st/Pole
Kevin Harvick locked up the pole in an exciting qualifying session Saturday afternoon. He will start alongside Martin Truex Jr. on the front row. While Truex may be the most popular dominator pick due to his track record this season, and the fact that he is the defending race winner, Harvick is not far behind him.
Kevin was fifth fastest in opening practice, posting fastest lap time of 28.609 second, only .194 seconds off leader Larson. In final practice, Harvick slid up the board to second.
Harvick has had a great run at Darlington the past four years. He has four straight top-five finishes, including a win in 2014, his championship season. He led a race high 238 laps. Last year, Harvick was dominant again. He led 214 laps, and recorded 48 of the fastest laps en route to a second place finish.
The #4 team has made the right adjustments, and the car has been faster every time it has been on track. Kevin will lead laps early, and has the speed to win this race for the second time in four seasons.