The Clash at Daytona is here, and with qualifying all set (by a random draw), it’s time to give NASCAR DFS picks and projections for the slate. As a reminder, I’m going for the three-peat after I took down this same slate with finishes of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the $100k GPP in 2016 and followed it up with the top five lineups in 2017.
We’ll have a *ton* of coverage for the Daytona 500, including a full update of the RotoViz NASCAR Apps, a long-form strategy article, ownership projections, and more! In the mean time, let’s hope if I don’t three-peat that a RotoViz reader takes down the big GPP this weekend!
NASCAR DFS MACHINE LEARNING MODEL PROJECTIONS – THE CLASH
Here are the machine learning projections for The Clash.
|Martin Truex Jr||6||8.292454722||2.063822549||3.163973412||35.5130329||7900|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr||8||7.928398451||1.534203365||4.148661249||38.60108456||7400|
NASCAR DFS PICKS: CASH GAMES
Brad Keselowski — Keselowski almost won this race last year, and is one of the best restrictor plate racers in the Cup series. He starts dead last, which is a recipe for success at restrictor plate races, where place differential is king. If you don’t play him in cash, you’re losing.
Jamie McMurray — I’ve heard talk of fading McMurray to get on his teammate Kyle Larson but that’s just dumb. McMurray is an incredible plate racer, with multiple plate wins, and knows how to avoid the big one, with a DNF rate well below average at plate tracks. That’s the ultimate recipe for safety in addition to his 16th place starting position out of 17 drivers.
NASCAR DFS PICKS: GPPS
Kurt Busch — The elder Busch will probably get overlooked for Keselowski and his brother Kyle Busch. Kurt was the Daytona 500 winner last year, and has more experience than any driver in the field. Kurt has 13 top-five finishes at Daytona in 33 career points-paying races — and that’s in 40-43 car fields. Bet on him to finish top five in a 17 car field if he avoids the crashes.
Ryan Newman — Newman will be another driver overlooked for the likes of Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, and Kyle Busch, and even Kurt Busch and McMurray to an extent. This is strictly an ownership percentage play, but Newman probably won’t be above 25 percent ownership unless restrictor plate theory has highly evolved since last year. Play him at 35-40 percent if you use a multi-entry strategy, and you’ll be fine.
I like going overweight on Kasey Kahne. He gets a significant downgrade in equipment/team quality by moving from Hendrick to Premium Motorsports, but that’s all moot at plate tracks. Kahne has the experience to pull off a top five finish, and with a bit of mayhem, he could be in the winning lineup. Don’t go crazy, but 15-20 percent ownership isn’t unreasonable when he’ll probably be 10 percent owned or less.