Hello again NASCAR degenerates! I hope everyone had a good holiday weekend and enjoyed Sunday night at the Track Too Tough to Tame. Unfortunately I missed the majority of the race due to being out of town for the holiday but was able to catch Denny Hamlin recover from his costly mistake to move through the field for the W. The news of the week is that his car failed post race inspection and his win was taken away. Luckily this doesn’t mean much for our DFS results but he did get fined and his crew chief suspended.
Overall it was an okay week. Having Hamlin was good but Harvick wasn’t able to do much after leading some laps early and finished 9th. Newman finished 7th which also helped given his tag and taking the risk of using him at his price bump. Bowyer having issues early was costly though because he was my preference at his price level.
We head to Richmond this week, the final race before the Chase. It’s do or die for anyone without a win who’s on the outside looking in. You’ll see guys like Bowyer and Erik Jones do whatever it takes to get a in. And if one of them or a possible first time winner gets out in front late, watch for guys like Chase Elliott and Matt Kenseth to race as hard as they can to stay in on points.
Denny Hamlin $10,000: While Denny is fresh on the mind, let’s start with him. I will be watching coverage this week and closely look at practice before making a decision on him because original feel is I will tread lightly this week. All of the past history at Richmond and current momentum is there. But I’m concerned with the penalty and punishment handed down. Will it take away all momentum? Will he miss his crew chief heading into the Chase? Was the reason Denny was able to close the gap on Busch and Truex because they were bending rules and now will scale back? All questions that I’m asking and will take some time to figure out.
Kyle Busch $10,700: Four time winner at Richmond and 15 T5s in his career here. Didn’t hear his name much last week but finished runner up. His tag is steep again but I can’t overlook his success and current form as a threat to lead laps and win this week.
Kyle Larson $10,200: In his 7 total starts, he has an average finish of 11.7. His best finish was last year as a runner up and he’s proving to be a T5 car nearly every week. In this price range, I feel he will be the lowest owned of the other options. Possibly another reason to squeeze him in a few LUs.
Martin Truex Jr $10,400: Clinched the regular season title last week and given a late mishap, could’ve won as well. With some drivers, I’d steer clear of them if they already clinched the title, accumulated a large lead with playoffs points, and have little on the line. For this team, I’m not worried about that. They want to prove their dominance every week, evident by the move to take Stage 1 last week. Three straight T10s at Richmond, including a 3rd last year and leading the most laps (193).
Joey Logano $9,200: Speaking of penalties and how it affects your season, see Joey Logano. He returns to the scene of the crime where his win was taken away in the spring and hasn’t been the same since. His past results have been incredible with seven straight T10s. They’re also on the list of needing a win this week for the Chase so the motivation is there.
Jamie McMurray $8,500: If Jamie McMurray’s qualifying runs would get a little worse and/or he started leading laps, his price tag would have to increase. But he qualifies well, taking away his place differential potential and he’s not accumulating points for laps led. But he’s a solid option at Richmond given his success here. He has an average finish of 8.4 in the L8 with five T10s. Now if he’ll just qualify 20th this week, I’ll be all over him.
Ryan Newman $7,200: I just can’t quit him, especially given his price tag dropped so much this week. I’m not sure I understand the $900 drop. I expected $7,500-7,600. He’s had three straight T10s this season and five of six T15s. He’s finished in the T15 in 7/10 races at Richmond including a 7th this spring. I’m scratching my head at the price and will likely be heavily involved.
Danica Patrick $6,700: It’s been a few weeks since we’ve touched on Danica and wanted to give her some time. She has six straight T25s here with a 15th last September. Not sure I’ll use much this week with the price bump. Her normal peak is a T15 and she’s been around her normal T20 finish at Richmond. There’s better value elsewhere and could save you some of your salary to use elsewhere.
Aric Almirola $5,700: He has eight T20s in the L10 here with an average of 15. He finished 9th here in the spring which I thought would bump his price near the mid $6,000s. I’ve already seen him mentioned as a sleeper in numerous formats so don’t be surprised if he’s the highest owned of the lower tiered options.
David Ragan $5,500: Before price tags came out, I had him circled as the best option under $6,000. Almirola may change that but Ragan still deserves attention. He has T25s in four of five here and finished 19th here in the spring. Overall, this is one of his better tracks and his low tag makes him a great option low while saving salary to build at the top.
Boogity boogity boogity! Time for some Saturday night racin!
*Weekly disclaimer: This was written before qualifying. Be sure to make note of any car/engine changes and qualifying position as value may change once starting position is established