The Coke 600 is the second straight race on a 1.5-mile track and normally that would give fantasy owners a unique opportunity to take last week’s results and use them to set this week’s lineup. The problem is that several of the drivers who should have been strong in Kansas – notably Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., and Joey Logano – struggled instead.
It’s in times like these that fantasy players need to make a decision about when to use the track type data and when to concentrate on how a driver has run specifically at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Last year marked the first time in the history on the sport that this track hosted only one race, but the Coke 600 has always marched to the beat of its own drummer, so that will be used heavily to predict this year’s success.
1. Martin Truex Jr.
The numbers look really good for Truex this week - but then again, they looked great for him at Kansas too and he still struggled. That's why they run the race.
2. Brad Keselowski
If one discounts Keselowski's 36th-place finish at Texas this spring, it's easy to make him a favorite. He's won three of the last 11 1.5-mile races and finished in the top 10 in all but two events.
3. Chase Elliott
Elliott has been all over the board this year on the 1.5-milers, but his fourth-place finish at Kansas last week shows improvement among the Hendrick Motorsports teams.
4. Kurt Busch
No one has shown more consistency on the 1.5-milers this year than Busch. He enters the Coke 600 with a six-race streak of top-10s that includes a best of third at Atlanta.
5. Erik Jones
Jones could be this week's best differentiator. He is coming into his own on 1.5-mile tracks with a fourth at Texas and third at Kansas in his last two attempts.
6. Kevin Harvick
The Coke 600 will be pivotal for Harvick to see if it can arrest a downward slide. After winning Texas last year, he rattled off three more top-fives on 1.5-milers, then slipped to eighth at Texas this spring and 13th at Kansas.
7. Clint Bowyer
Never underestimate the power of emotion. After getting into a physical altercation with Newman last week following the All-Star Race, he is going to be highly motivated to score a top-10.
8. Aric Almirola
Almirola's 12th-place finish at Kansas snapped an eight-race streak of top-10s on 1.5-milers, but it was still well within the range of how he's finished this year.
9. Daniel Suarez
Last year, Suarez scored only one top-10 on the 1.5-mile tracks and that came in the second half of the season. So far in 2019, he has two top-10s with a best of third at Texas.
10. Kyle Busch
Charlotte hasn't been terrible to Busch, but it really has not been one of his better tracks and that is why he got his first victory there only last year.
11. Joey Logano
Logano was almost perfect on the 1.5-milers last year with top-10s in all but one race. Notably, that was the Coke 600. This year he only has one top-10: a win at Vegas.
12. Jimmie Johnson
Fantasy owners need to decide if they believe Johnson's last two efforts on 1.5-milers were representative of a turn around. He finished fifth at Texas and sixth at Kansas.
13. Alex Bowman
Last week in the Digital Ally 400, Bowman capitalized on the promise he's shown on 1.5-milers with a second at Kansas. His other three starts were outside the top 10, however.
14. Kyle Larson
We expect Larson to continue to improve now that he is over the hurdle, but based on his first two starts on 1.5-milers this year a finish just outside the top 10 is indicated.
15. Denny Hamlin
Hamlin's victory at Texas was important, but it was not particularly predictive of how he's run on the other 1.5-milers. The other three efforts were 10th or worse.
16. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
With consistency on his side, Stenhouse will not cost you a lot of points and if he hits on all cylinders he could be a great value. On 1.5-mile tracks, he swept the top 20 with a best of sixth at Vegas.
17. Chris Buescher
We will go ahead and handicap Buescher by the numbers this week, but if he gets track position late in the Coke 600 he could get his third top-10 on a 1.5-mile track.
18. William Byron
Byron's sixth-place finish in the O'Reilly 500 is part of a perfect record of top-20s on 1.5-mile tracks.
19. Ryan Newman
When a driver and team begin to improve, they often get into situations that were unexpected racing against drivers they haven't faced recently. That may explain the tiff between Newman and Bowyer.
20. Austin Dillon
With a worst finish of 21st at Atlanta in the first 1.5-mile race this year, Dillon has not lost a lot of points for his fantasy owners.
21. Paul Menard
In four starts on 1.5-mile tracks, Menard has gotten progressively worse. His last attempt at Kansas netted a 24th and that just isn't enough for a team of this caliber.
22. Ryan Blaney
We know that Blaney is capable of much more than this, but until he cracks the top 20 on a 1.5-mile track it is difficult to handicap him among the leaders.
23. Daniel Hemric
Among the rookies, Hemric has shown the most strength on this track type with three top-25s in four races. His best effort was an 18th at Kansas.
24. David Ragan
Dollar for dollar, Ragan might be the best value in the game this week with an average finish of 24th and a best of 16th in four starts on 1.5-milers.
25. Ty Dillon
Since the 1.5-milers dominate the schedule with more than 30 percent of the races, it contributes to a lot of consistency for drivers. All four of Dillon's starts on this track type were in the 20s.
26. Ryan Preece
Since getting into trouble on pit road at Atlanta, Preece has developed a lot of consistency on 1.5-milers with results in the low- to mid-20s.
27. Bubba Wallace
Last week's top-five in the All-Star Race could be exactly what is needed to get Wallace to shake the funk he's been in for the past year.
28. Corey LaJoie
He may not be the first driver who comes to mind, but LaJoie has swept the top 30 on 1.5-milers and even has a 22nd to his credit.
29. Matt Tifft
Tifft has gotten progressively better on the 1.5-mile tracks this year with a best of 21st in his most recent appearance at Kansas. A top-20 may still be in the future, but he can get something in the mid-20s at least.
30. Michael McDowell
McDowell's best 1.5-mile attempt ended in 15th at Texas. The rest of his efforts were outside the top 25, however.
31. Matt DiBenedetto
One can expect a finish of about 25th for DiBenedetto based on his performance in the first three 1.5-mile races this year. His best effort was a 21st at Vegas.
32. Parker Kligerman
Discounting the plate tracks, Kligerman has been a very consistent pick with results of 27th to 31st on unrestricted courses.
33. Ross Chastain
Fantasy owners know what to expect from Chastain on 1.5-mile tracks. He's finished between 29th and 33rd in all four races, so he should be considered if he fits the right niche on your roster.
34. Landon Cassill
With a 32nd at Vegas and a 30th at Texas, Cassill has been an occasionally good value on the 1.5-mile tracks. He comes with some risk though. This car was 37th in the most recent outing in Kansas.
35. BJ McLeod
The first three 1.5-mile races this year saw McLeod land in the low-30s on two occasions. With a little luck, he will land there again in NASCAR's longest race.
36. Quin Houff
Houff has finished most of his races this year in a range of 32nd to 36th. Granted there have been some light fields sprinkled throughout the season, but he's shown consistency.
37. Cody Ware
Ware's best 1.5-mile result this year came in the second week of the season. He finished 33rd at Atlanta.
38. Reed Sorenson
One doesn't get much more consistent than this: In three starts on 1.5-milers, Sorenson finished 36th at Vegas, 34th at Texas, and 35th at Kansas.
39. Joey Gase
There is not a lot of data to parse where Gase is concerned. He's made four starts and in two of those he finished at the very back of the pack in 38th.
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