Welcome to the Monster Energy Cup Series Preview. This week we will be looking ahead to the Cup race at ISM Racway. I’m RyanLarkin88 and you can follow me on twitter @Larkin8. Our DFSArmy VIP members get access to the Domination Station and Research Station post qualifying. Also, VIP members get access to our VIP Slack and direct contact to the NASCAR coaches. If you are not a VIP member sign up and use code Xfinity to save 20%!!
This weeks Cup Series race takes place at ISM Raceway (Phoenix). The series races here twice a year once in March and once in November. ISM is a 1 mile low banked track. The new aero and motor rules for 2019 are NOT in play this week. Practice times especially 10 and 20 lap averages will be important. This means the race this week will be very similar to the ones in years past. Naturally this makes Kevin Harvick the most important driver of the week. Harvick has won 7 of the last 13 at ISM and led 1,190 laps over those races.
Race: Ticket Guardian 500
Practice 1: Friday 1:35 pm ET.
Qualifying: Friday 6:10 pm ET.
Practice 2: Saturday 11:35 am ET.
Final Practice: Saturday 2:05 pm ET.
Race: Sunday 3:30 pm ET.
Laps: 312 Stages: 75/150/312
Drivers: 36 on entry list
Defending Champion: Kevin Harvick
AVG. # of Cautions: 7.25 excluding stage breaks
AVG DNF’s: 4 per race
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Dominator / Top Tier
We have seen where 1 driver leads 190+ laps 5 of last 10 races with Harvick leading 143 of 219 in a rained shortened race as well. In other races we usually see 2 drivers lead share the dominating between 90 and 140 lasp led. There is an off chance at 3 dominators/Studs. We saw 3 drivers lead between 80-120 in March of 2017. Logano did end up wrecking out of that race and offsetting his laps led. In 2016, we had 3 drivers lead 139, 65, and 75 finishing 1st, 2nd, and 4th. 5th place in that race started 26th and also led 34 laps. At the end of the day don’t be afraid to mix up your dominator/Stud Strategy as it can fluctuate.
Mid to Low Tier
It will be important to attack this area. Harvick and Kyle Busch have crushed at ISM Raceway the last 7-8 years. That of course means your lineups will have to pay a premium to roster them. To offset that you will need to find strong value deep in the field. Use the research station to find drivers who have strong finishing history at ISM.
Due to the low DNF rate and low car count expected for this week punts will be harder to play. There will always be a chance that a driver can score 20-25 in the right circumstances and this could help when playing Harvick and Busch to possibly get a third dominator/stud.
This will conclude this edition of The Monster Energy Cup Series Preview. If you would like to reach out and talk NASCAR Follow me on twitter @Larkin8 or Become a VIP and join me as well as our other DFS Army NASCAR contributors (Brady Miller, Taco, and NillyJay) in the NASCAR coaching channels.