Charlotte Coca Cola 600 Fantasy NASCAR Top Tier Elite Picks
Charlotte Fantasy Spin – At Charlotte in the Coca Cola 600, Kyle Larson will be tough to beat. Larson has been the class of the field at high-speed 1.5-mile tracks this year and at Charlotte, he’s performed at a super-elite level in the #5. This year at high-speed 1.5-mile tracks, Larson has the best Total Speed Ranking between the combined events and is 2 for 2 at finishing 2nd. In both of them he’s come close to victory lane. If the late caution didn’t come out at Las Vegas he was a lock to win and at Kansas if he didn’t get punted on the last lap, he potentially could’ve won. Additionally, between those races, Larson has the best average running position (4.8), the 2nd best driver rating and he’s averaging leading the 2nd most laps per race (74.0)
Charlotte Track History – At Charlotte in the #5, Kyle Larson has been stellar and should be 2 for 2 at reaching victory lane. Last year, Larson had what he called the worst race of his life, but he likely would’ve reached victory lane if Chase Briscoe didn’t do a failed “Hail Mary” at the end which brought out a caution in which late wildness ensued. In the race, Larson started in the back due to unapproved adjustments, got a pit penalty on lap 33, got another pit penalty around lap 61, spun on lap 166 while running around 10th but then he rebounded after that. In Stage #3 he finished 3rd and then in the final Stage, Larson led 50 laps and was the leader at the 600-mile point, but he was swept up in late carnage in over-time. When the checkered flag waved, Larson finished 9th. In terms of Total Speed Rankings he ranked 13th but take note his speed over the segments were 21st, 20th, 5th and then 2nd. In 2021, Larson won the opening three Stages, led 327 laps, had a 1.3 average running position and was just .5 shy of having a perfect driver rating. Also in the race, Larson had the best Total Speed Ranking, was the Fastest Driver Late In A Run and had the 2nd best Green Flag Speed.
Charlotte Fantasy Spin – Denny Hamlin, the defending Coca Cola 600 champion will be tough to beat on Sunday. Charlotte has been a great track for Hamlin, and he’s also been stellar at high-speed 1.5-mile tracks this year where there’s correlation. This year at high-speed 1.5’s, Hamlin just raced his way to victory lane at Kansas (Best Total Speed Ranking, 3.6 average running position, led 34 laps) and at Las Vegas he finished 11th, but take note before the late caution came out he was running in 3rd. Between the combined 2023 events, Hamlin has the 4th best Total Speed Ranking. Going even further back, over the last seven races held at high-speed 1.5-mile tracks since Kansas last spring, Hamlin has a series best 4.9 average finish. On Sunday, look for Hamlin to be a top five contender who’ll be a factor to win.
Charlotte Track History – Denny Hamlin has been a fantasy ace at Charlotte. He’s the defending champ and over the last three races, Hamlin has a series best 3.3 average finish. Last year, Hamlin had a strong showing and raced his way to victory lane. I wouldn’t make a case he had the best car, but he hung around all night and at the end was in position to take advantage of the situation. In the race, Hamlin started on the pole, led 15 laps, finished 10th in Stage #1, was involved in a “Big One” in Stage #2 while running near 10th, finished 10th in Stage #3 and was running in 4th on lap 391 before mass mayhem late ensued. In the race, Hamlin had a 7.1 average running position, the 7th best Total Speed Ranking and ranked 7th for Speed Late In A Run. In 2021, Hamlin finished 9th in Stage #2, 7th in Stage #3 and then 7th when the checkered flag waved. Additionally, Hamlin had a 10.2 average running position, was the 8th Fastest Driver Late In A Run, had the 9th best Green Flag Speed and had the 10th best Total Speed Ranking. In 2020 Race #2, Hamlin started deep in the field in 29th, but navigated his way up to a 2nd place finish. In the 2020 600, Hamlin’s evening unraveled when he lost a weight ballast on the track during pace laps. When the green flag waved, he was in the garage and didn’t get out on the track until lap #6. Because of those problems, you can’t read into Hamlin’s 29th place finish at all.
Charlotte Fantasy Spin – At Charlotte, William Byron will be tough to beat. The #24 is fast every week, and Byron’s been especially strong at high-speed 1.5-mile tracks. In 2023 at these venues, Byron raced his way to victory lane at Las Vegas and finished 3rd at Kansas despite his race not being incident free. Between the combined events, Byron is tied for the best average finish (2.0), has the best driver rating, he’s averaged leading the most laps per race (93.0) and his Total Speed Ranking is the 6th best. On Sunday, look for Byron to be a top five contender who’ll be a factor to win.
Charlotte Track History – At Charlotte, William Byron doesn’t have a standout track record, but he’s been good recently. Last year, Byron looked to be a top ten contender but finished an asterisk mark 32nd. On lap 183 he was running in 8th, but then shortly after that he was caught up in a “Big One” which marked the end of his race. In terms of Total Speed Rankings, Byron ranked 5th. In 2021, Byron was fast, and ranked #1 for speed late in a run, despite Larson’s domination. In the race, Byron finished 3rd in Stage #1, 3rd in Stage #2, 2nd in Stage #3 and then finished 4th when the checkered flag waved. Additionally, Byron led 19 laps, had a 3.2 average running position, had the 2nd best Green Flag Speed and the 2nd best Total Speed Ranking.