Welcome to the Monster Energy Cup Series Preview. This week we will be looking ahead to the Cup Series race at Indianapolis. If you are just finding the DFS Army and are not a VIP member sign up and use code LARKIN to save 20%!! Our DFS Army 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. Come join the best team in NASCAR DFS! You can follow myself Ryan Larkin on twitter @Larkin8
Indianapolis marks the final race for the Cup series before the start of the playoffs. Four driver, Johnson, Boywer, Newman and Suarez are battling for the final two playoff spots. These drivers will be looking to capitalize on the many pit strategies here to secure stage points early. The numerous pit strategies that can be used here does open things up for drivers outside the playoff conversation to get a surprise win as well. Indy is a huge 2.5 mile track where teams can pit an stay on the lead lap. Track position has been massively important in the past and even with the new rules for 2019 it is expected to be much the same. A very important shake up for DFS this week is that qualifying will be ran at 10:35 am Sunday morning with a schedule race time of 2 pm. This will operate much like an Xfinity race where you only have a couple hours to make lineups based on where drivers qualify.
Date: September 8th
Practice 1: Saturday 11:05 am ET.
Practice 2: Saturday 1:30 am ET.
Qualifying: Sunday 10:35 am ET.
Race: Sunday 2:00 pm ET.
Laps: 160 Stages: 50/100/200
Defending Champion: Brad Keselowski
AVG. # of Cautions: 9 excluding stage breaks
AVG DNF’s: 9 per race
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Available articles include:
NillyJay’s – Calming the Chaos: Exceptional slate breakdown
BradyMillerDFS’s – The Sway Bar: Top plays for Drafkings
Larkin8’s – Cup Series Setup: Top Plays for FanDuel
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Dominator / Top Tier
Will be interesting to see how dominating a single car can be here with the new rule package. In the two years of stage racing we saw Kyle Busch dominate 87 laps in 2017 before wrecking out and last year we saw five drivers split the laps led with all five leading between 19 and 37 laps. All five drivers ended up finishing inside the top 8 as well. There are a few unknowns overall for this week and how many doms is one of them. I like a 2-3 dom strategy simply based off the number of laps and the likelihood of strategy to create multiple leaders. No surprise but Kyle Busch is the favorite to win this week. He won here in 2015 and 2016, was the main dom here in 2017 and also led 37 laps in 2018. Drivers like Hamlin, Truex, and Harvick have all been great here and have the fastest cars this year. They will be the biggest dom threats. As we have seen with Kahne in 2017 and Keselowski last year strategy can help lead a driver to victory so that is a little hard to project.
Mid to Low Tier
With how big the track is and how frequently we have seen cautions here in recent years it is much easier for teams to stay on the lead lap. Due to this lots of drivers that normally would have a limited upside actually see a much higher upside. The high DNF rate has also help these drivers really be able to put together good days. Place differential is always important but this week it is important to find those drivers like Menard and McMurray last year who can finish inside the top 10.
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Normally at a track so dependent on quality of equipment I would recommend avoiding the back markers. However, with how many DNFs we have seen the last few years these drivers do have some decent upside. This race is set up for crazy restarts and teams needing to take a chance so we could see this happen yet again. Reed Sorenson started 38th and finished 28th here last year and Michael McDowell ended up finishing 17th are examples of what we are looking for.
I will be giving my Fanduel Top Plays in a VIP article prior to the race.
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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 of course Become a VIP member and join me as well as our other DFS Army NASCAR contributors (Brady Miller, Taco, and NillyJay) in the NASCAR coaching channels.