Welcome to the Monster Energy Cup Series Preview. This week we will be looking ahead to the Cup Series race at Las Vegas. 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
Vegas marks the first race in the 2019 Cup Series playoffs. It also the first 1.5 mile track that the series is visiting for the second time with the new rules package. In the spring we saw some drafting ability for a few laps but clean air ultimately was crucial and cars were able to get spread out over the long run. With temps going to reach the 90s and track temps over 120 we can expect a lot more tire fall off this race. This will lead to long run speed mattering even more and the cars getting spread out quicker. This isn’t something the will appear over a 10 lap average but more on a 30-40 lap run. The spring race also ran caution free minus the stage breaks. This was due to the high downforce and grip level. Last years fall race here was a bit of an oddity with 10 natural cautions and 10 DNFs. This is not the norm for Vegas which usually sees multiple long runs and few cautions.
Inspection at Las Vegas: Cars will be impounded after qualifying at Las Vegas on Saturday. The starting lineup is official at the conclusion of qualifying.
Date: September 15th
Practice 1: Friday 4:35 am ET.
Practice 2: Friday 7:30 am ET.
Qualifying: Saturday 4:05 am ET.
Race: Sunday 7:00 pm ET.
Laps: 267 Stages: 80/160/267
Defending Champion: Brad Keselowski
AVG. # of Cautions: 4 excluding stage breaks
AVG DNF’s: 3 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
Based on this race in the spring we will look for 2-3 Dominators. Logano and Harvick each led 80+ laps while there were an additional five who led double digit laps as well. Once an elite car got the lead it was really hard to pass them. Expectation is that will be the case again this week with the only difference being if we see tire fall off on the long run. If the cars lose the ability to run full throttle quicker than others then they will be much more likely to get passed. We saw in the spring race that cars could manipulate the draft off lap cars to help maintain the lead when under attack. The Fords have been extremely strong on this style of track all year with Harvick, Logano and Keselowski being the top drivers. All three will be top contenders especially the Penske duo who have won four of the last seven races at Vegas. Kyle Busch will always be a threat and it will be interesting to see how the Hendrick cars of Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman perform this week. Both were great during the summer stretch at this style track.
Mid to Low Tier
With qualifying laps being run wide open we will see a shake up in qualifying results. Looking for drivers who could have good long run speed and stay on the lead lap and in contention will be key. Place differential is always important. In the spring race we saw four drivers start 19th or worse finish inside the top 8. Look for drivers with the elite teams like Bowyer, Almirola, Byron types who qualify poorly but have the quality of car and crew to score a top ten.
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With so few DNFs in this races history and multiple long green flag runs we shouldn’t expect much from this group. Guys like Wallace, Ty Dillon and Corey Lajoie who have better equipment than the rest will be the best plays as they can hang around within a lap of the leaders and capitalize on any issues by others. Overall though tough to expect muxh from this group and would recommend avoiding if possible.
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.