1) Kevin Harvick (Starting – 1st)
Homestead Bottom Line – Kevin Harvick will be a favorite to win at Homestead. He’s a recent winner and is the best default fantasy pick you can make. He’s also perhaps the safest pick you can make, since 2003 at Homestead he’s only once finished outside the top ten. He’s not competing for the championship but don’t count him out. He would love to play the spoiler role. With him starting on the pole you know he’ll be tough to beat. In Happy Hour Harvick had the best 10 lap average. On Sunday look for him to finish in the top five and compete for the win.
Homestead Track History – Homestead is a great track for Kevin Harvick. He’s a recent champion and currently has 8 consecutive top tens. Since he’s been in the #4 car his level of performance has went up to a whole new level. Last year at Homestead he had a strong showing. He finished 2nd, had a 4th place average running position, earned the 4th best driver rating, 4th best PROS Ranking and led 46 laps. In 2014 when he was competing for the championship he raced his way to victory lane. Additionally in the race he earned the 2nd best driver rating, had a 3rd place average running position and led 54 laps. In his three Homestead races prior to joining Stewart-Haas Racing he had results of 8th, 8th and 10th.
Recent Similar Track Success – Kevin Harvick is an elite performer at 1.5 mile tracks. In the last two races at tracks of this length he’s had results of 1st (Kansas) and 6th (Texas). For the season at 1.5 mile tracks minus Charlotte #2 (engine blew up) he’s only once finished outside the top ten and has a 7.0 average finish.
Yahoo A Driver / DraftKings $10,700
2) Chase Elliott (Starting – 5th)
Homestead Bottom Line – Chase Elliott will be tough to beat at Homestead. In recent races at high-speed intermediate tracks he’s been one of the best performers. Strength wise he’s been good enough to win a few times recently on this track type. If he can have an incident free race I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him close the deal and reach victory lane. On Sunday he’s starting in 5th, two of the last three Homestead races have been won from that position. Hopefully that’s a good omen. In practice this weekend Chase Elliott has shown some really good speed. Recently Elliott tested at Homestead and during the afternoon session he had the fastest car.
Homestead Track History – In the Sprint Cup series Chase Elliott has no starts under his belt at Homestead. Since that’s the case I would urge you to heavily focus on how well he’s run in recent races at high-speed intermediate tracks.
Recent Similar Track Success – Chase Elliott has become an elite performer at high-speed intermediate tracks. Performance wise he’s been good enough to win 3 of the last 5 races on this track type. Chicagoland has a high-level of fantasy correlation and at that venue he likely would’ve won if there wasn’t a late caution (led 75 laps).
Yahoo C Driver / DraftKings $9,000
Further Recommended Reading – Homestead Post Practice Predictions (another fantasy take), Speed Cheat Sheet, Practice Notes / Practice Speeds Center, Starting Lineup, PROS Rankings, Asterisk Mark Report, DraftKings Start Page, Yahoo Start Page
3) Carl Edwards (Starting – 10th)
Homestead Bottom Line – On Sunday Carl Edwards will be competing for the championship. He has one advantage on the other title contenders, he recently tested here. Following the test he said, “This test is going well so far and hopefully we can go run really well at Texas (won there) and come back here and dominate this race. That is what we’re planning on doing.” On Sunday look for Carl Edwards to compete for a top five and perhaps even be in contention for the win. In practice his car was very impressive. He was fast over short runs and long runs.
Homestead Track History – Homestead is a good track for Edwards. He’s won here twice and minus 2014 when he got into the wall hard he’s finished in the top 14 every race and has a 7.0 average finish. Last year in the season finale he was a solid competitor. He earned the 7th best driver rating, had a 7th place average running position and finished 11th. In 2014 he had his only Homestead result outside the top fourteen and finished 34th. That result is the product of him getting into the wall hard on lap 116 while he was running in 15th. In the two Homestead races prior to that he finished 12th. Between 2011 and 2005 he finished in the top 8 every race and had a 4.0 average finish.
Recent Similar Track Success – In the last two races at 1.5 mile tracks Carl Edwards has been impressive. At Kansas he finished 2nd, and at Texas he finished 1st. Additionally in those combined races he had a 3.5 average running position, ran the most fastest laps and led the 3rd most laps (97).
Yahoo B Driver / DraftKings $9,700