The new NASCAR season is finally here and there’s quite a few “new” items that racing fans are going to have to get used to. All races will now be broken down into stages and points will be awarded differently because of it. Also, NASCAR is no longer awarding points for laps led. Be sure to check all of your fantasy leagues to see if there’s any scoring changes.
Speaking of which, I urge you to check out the Fantasy NASCAR leagues at Fantasy Racing Online (which I run). Last year we paid out over $20,000 in cash prizes, and it’s looking like we’re going to hit that mark again. We offer 4 different games for every kind of NASCAR fan. Click here to see all of our Fantasy NASCAR leagues, and be sure to sign up to compete for cash!
Final Top 25 Ranking For The Daytona 500
1. Joey Logano – Starts 15th – DraftKings Price: $9,900 – Yahoo! A Group
The Fords have been super fast all Speed Weeks long and the Penske boys are at the top of the list. Joey Logano masterfully avoided the wreck during the Clash last Sunday to take the checkered flag, and don’t be surprised if he’s once again fighting for the win here this weekend in the Great American Race. Joey won this race two years ago and was one of the best drivers in the series on restrictor plate tracks last season, posting an average finish of 11.9 (5th-best) with an average driver rating of 97.3 (4th-best). Additionally, over the last six points-paying races here at Daytona, Logano has the 4th-best average running position (13.3) and 3rd-best average driver rating (96.3). Between his win last weekend and a brand new contract extension signed this weekend, Joey Logano should have some major confidence heading into Sunday’s Daytona 500 and the #22 Ford is more than fast enough to get to victory lane.
2. Denny Hamlin – Starts 4th – DraftKings Price: $9,600 – Yahoo! A Group
There’s going to be a lot of eyes on Dale Earnhardt, Jr. when the green flag waves on Sunday, but the guy who has the best chance of dominating this race will start one spot behind NASCAR’s most popular driver. Denny Hamlin had the absolute best car on restrictor plate tracks last year–as his 110.3 average driver rating shows–and this #11 team hasn’t lost any speed whatsoever. Denny also won his Duel race on Thursday night, and what was most impressive about that performance was how he did it without any help from his Gibbs teammates. When he did have their help (in last Sunday’s Clash race), Hamlin was up front for most of the race and probably would have won if he blocked Brad Keselowski just a little earlier. Right now, Denny Hamlin is probably the best plate racer in the series, and he has posted five finishes of 6th or better in the last six points-paying races here at Daytona.
3. Brad Keselowski – Starts 7th – DraftKings Price: $10,300 – Yahoo! A Group
So far, this year’s Speed Weeks is pretty similar to last year’s for Brad Keselowski. In other words, he has had a super fast race car but hasn’t gotten the finishes he deserves. Last weekend, he was poised to take the Clash win on a last lap pass, but Denny Hamlin’s blocking ruined that, and then in Kez’s Duel race, he led the most laps in the event but ended up finishing 4th when it was all said and done. And if the similarities happen to continue through Sunday, it’s going to be a disappointing weekend for Brad Keselowski fantasy owners (since he finished 20th in last year’s Daytona 500)–just like it was for most of last season, as Brad had an average finish of 17.4 on the plate tracks in 2016 (and that even includes his win at Daytona in July). Still, Kez had the 2nd-best driver rating in the series on plate tracks last season (100.3), so it’s not like he had a bad car. If the #2 team can stay out of trouble on Sunday, expect Brad to challenge for the win, or possibly push his teammate to the victory.