On the third installment of the West Coast Swing, NASCAR Cup Series teams head to the desert for the FanShield 500 at Phoenix Raceway.
Drivers will compete on a 1-mile flat track and attempt to make passes in the turn 1 dogleg.
Since this is the first race the drivers will use the new short-track package, there are a lot of unknowns coming into this weekend. The cars will be low in downforce and high in horsepower, with a noticeably smaller rear spoiler and front splitter. This combination accentuates handling and driver performance.
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) March 6, 2020
While there is not yet any data from this year’s package, you can look at a driver’s history at Phoenix, as well as practice speeds, to construct your lineup.
FanDuel has put more emphasis on finishing position than other DFS sites. For this reason, it allows you to look at the entire field instead of just dominators and big movers.
Also, with only 0.1 points awarded for each lap led by a driver, the need for a dominator is less important when building a winning lineup. The 200-lap race will have a total of 20 points up for grabs in this category. Take note when building your roster and focus on mid-pack competitors who can climb up toward the front on race day.
Here are a few competitors to take note of for Sunday’s race.
ELITE TIER: $10,000 and up
Kyle Busch ($14,000)
Career at Phoenix: 29 starts, 3 wins, 11 top fives, 21 top 10s
Average finish at Phoenix: 10.8
Kyle Busch is phenomenal at Phoenix, as he’s currently riding a nine-race top-10 streak. Two of those were victories and just one came outside of fourth place. Also, in the last two years, he’s either finished first or second. In addition, Busch has led 681 laps in the past nine races.
While the 2019 Cup Series champion hasn’t been as happy with his race car as he would like, he did finish second last week at Auto Club Speedway. That helped to boost his Fanduel score to 67.5. Look for him to continue his top-10 streak in the desert.
Kevin Harvick ($12,500)
Career at Phoenix: 34 starts, 9 wins, 17 top fives, 23 top 10s
Average finish at Phoenix: 9.2
If Busch is phenomenal, then Harvick must be outstanding. He has 13 consecutive top 10s with almost half of them victories. Although he hasn’t led as many laps in the past three years, he still is consistent and nabbed a win in 2018. Also, the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing driver has finished in the top 10 in all three races this season. On Fanduel you need that kind of consistency to help you win your contests.
Harvick’s long-run speed was also much better in Friday’s final practice than it had been previously. If you wish, though, you could drop down to Brad Keselowski; he was quick in practice as well.
Chase Elliott ($11,000)
Career at Phoenix: 8 starts, 0 wins, 2 top fives, 4 top 10s
Average finish at Phoenix: 13.8
Elliott’s recent history isn’t great, as he’s had some bad luck the last three races. However, he did finish third in this event in 2018. He also has led 156 total laps in eight starts, including 106 in 2017.
The Hendrick Motorsports wheelman seems to have adjusted well to the new low downforce package; he made the fastest single-lap time in final practice and was second in first practice. Last week in Fontana, Calif. he earned 61.5 Fanduel points after finishing fourth. While it does remain to be seen how he will do this week, his practice speeds indicate that he could soar to the front and lead laps.
ALL-STAR TIER: $6,000 – $9,999
Tyler Reddick ($6,700)
Xfinity Series career at Phoenix: 5 starts, 0 wins, 2 top fives, 4 top 10s
Average finish at Phoenix: 7.2
The back-to-back Xfinity Series champion scored above 50 points on Fanduel in the past two weeks, which is great for his price. Reddick won’t break the bank and allows you to choose several top-tier drivers. He’s certainly out-performing his Richard Childress Racing equipment, and with this new package he has a chance to continue that trend.
BARGAIN TIER: $5,999 and below
Ty Dillon ($5,500)
Career at Phoenix: 8 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 0 top 10s
Average finish at Phoenix: 19.1
The No. 13 Germain Racing driver is mostly here for his potential. In five of eight starts at Phoenix, Dillon ended the race higher than where he began. One of those was in 2017 where he finished 18 positions greater than where he finished. That really adds to your Fanduel score and, like Reddick, doesn’t cost very much. Another example of this came two weeks ago at Las Vegas, where he earned a top 10 after starting 24th. He scored 64.7 Fanduel points as a result of that performance.
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