And we’re back to Darlington for the third time this year, although it’s the first race that was actually scheduled coming in to 2020. That’s good news for Fantasy NASCAR players, though, because we have great data that’s relevant and recent to use to predict how Sunday night’s Southern 500 should play out. As far as tires go, Goodyear is bringing the same combination that was used in the first two Darlington races, as well as the set that was used at Homestead. This left side tire was also used at Fontana and, most recently, at Dover. Chase Elliott will lead the field to the green on Sunday night and you can click here for the full starting lineup for the 2020 Southern 500 race.
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Final Top 25 Fantasy NASCAR Rankings for the Cook Out Southern 500
1a. Denny Hamlin – Starts 2nd – DraftKings Price: $11,400 – FanDuel Price: $13,500 – Slingshot Price: $12,400
This race is going to come down to Denny Hamlin or Kevin Harvick, even people that don’t watch NASCAR regularly could figure this out. So for that reason I’m going to rank them as 1a and 1b in this post. I’m giving Hamlin the edge because he starts 2nd and has a better pit stall. As far as this year goes, Hamlin and Harvick each won one of the Darlington races in May, they each won one of the Dover races, and Hamlin took the checkered flag at Darlington. Denny has finished inside the top 5 in five of his last seven Darlington starts and is a three-time winner here as well. If he’s not contending for the win on Sunday night, it’ll be because of a mechanical issue or something like that.
1b. Kevin Harvick – Starts 8th – DraftKings Price: $10,900 – FanDuel Price: $14,200 – Slingshot Price: $13,200
Harvick is a two-time winner at Darlington and won the first race here this season in dominating fashion. His other win here was back in 2014, also in dominating fashion. As I said with my Hamlin paragraph above, these two are the class of the field heading into Sunday night, and that’s exactly why Vegas has them as the heavy favorites for this race. Harvick has nine straight finishes of 9th or better at “The Lady in Black” and eight of those are top 5s as well. He’s about as close of a lock as you can get.
3. Chase Elliott – Starts 1st – DraftKings Price: $10,600 – FanDuel Price: $11,700 – Slingshot Price: $12,000
I have been critical of this #9 team being down on speed lately, but now that it’s the Playoffs, I fully expect them to get back up to those levels we saw earlier on in the year. Don’t forget: Chase has the 2nd-best Green Flag Speed average rank this season behind Kevin Harvick. As far as Darlington goes, Chase has two top 5s in his last four starts here, and he led 28 laps in the second race here this season before wrecking. Yes, Harvick and Hamlin are the favorites to win on Sunday night, but I also think Elliott can be a contender–and I also think he can lead the most laps as well. Thanks to his 2nd-place finish at Daytona last weekend, Chase is starting on the pole and also has a great pit stall selection. I wouldn’t be surprised if he more than doubles his career laps led here on Sunday (he’s led 37 laps here in seven starts).