Well, if the practice sessions are any indication, this weekend’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at the Charlotte ROVAL might be even crazier than most expected. These drivers have never raced on this track, and with so many of them wrecking during the practices this weekend, it’s safe to assume that we’ll see even more carnage on Sunday when we have all 40 cars jockeying for position. As far as Fantasy NASCAR goes, I’m going to treat this race as a mix between a road course event and a restrictor plate event, and the best place a driver can be is up front. For those interested, I’ve put together a Fantasy NASCAR Road Course Cheat Sheet for this week, click here to check it out.
Kurt Busch is one the pole for the first ever Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at the Roval, and he’ll have road course ace A.J. Allmendinger starting alongside him in 2nd. The full starting lineup for the Bank of America ROVAL 400 can be found by clicking here. The practice speeds from Saturday’s two practice sessions can be found here: Practice #2 – Happy Hour and I’d recommend reading our in-depth notes on both as well: Practice #2 – Happy Hour.
Final Top 25 Rankings for the Charlotte Roval
1. Chase Elliott – Starts 4th – DraftKings Price: $10,500 – FanDuel Price: $12,000
Chase Elliott is a legitimate contender to win this race on Sunday. Heading into the ROVAL event, he’s 10 points to the good as far as the Playoffs standings go, but that can easily disappear depending on how the Stages play out. In addition to qualifying on the second row this weekend, Chase posted the 6th-fastest lap in Practice #2 on Saturday and then wound up 9th-fastest in Happy Hour later that afternoon. Elliott was also one of the few drivers that made a long run in Practice #2, which tells me he likes his car. The #9 Chevrolet came home 4th at Sonoma this year and then won and led the most laps at Watkins Glen. Chase is a good Fantasy NASCAR pick all around this weekend.
2. Kyle Busch – Starts 14th – DraftKings Price: $11,400 – FanDuel Price: $14,500
There’s a reason why Kyle Busch has the best average finish on road course races over the last two years: he’s the best driver in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garage. And when you’re at a new race track with no history, you probably want the best driver in the garage on your Fantasy NASCAR roster, right? The #18 Toyota will roll off the grid from 14th when the Bank of America ROVAL 400 goes green on Sunday but Busch should be near or at the front by the end of the first Stage. Rowdy finished 5th at Sonoma earlier this year and then wound up 3rd at Watkins Glen back in August. He’s good to go when it comes to the next round of the Playoffs, too, so Rowdy can just focus on trying to win here on Sunday. Does that mean a crazy strategy play? Possibly, but it’s impossible to predict that before this race gets going.
3. Martin Truex, Jr. – Starts 13th – DraftKings Price: $11,100 – FanDuel Price: $14,000
Martin Truex, Jr. has been the best driver on the road course tracks this season (average finish of 1.5) and there’s no reason to think that he won’t be a contender here at the ROVAL on Sunday afternoon. Truex actually qualified the best out of the “Big Three” here on Friday despite the fact that he didn’t make it to the last round, and he followed that up with the 3rd-fastest lap in Practice #2 on Saturday and the 5th-fastest lap in Happy Hour. As far as race strategy goes for this #78 team, they’re already locked into the next round of the Playoffs, so they’ll likely have one focus on Sunday: try and win the race. This could easily turn into off-sequence strategy calls from Cole Pearn, and if they work out, Truex should finish at or near the front.