A very fun weekend of racing concludes on Sunday with the Cup Series going 400 miles around Indy. This is usually one of the top races of the year that drivers want to win and kiss the bricks at the finish. The race has moved to July 4th weekend for the first time in 2020. This is usually an interesting race that sees strategy and pit road craziness with the small pit road. This is a race that will probably be affected by there being no practice and I wouldn’t be stunned if we saw some wild things happen early on.
The way I plan to structure this article each week is to talk about strategy for the track we are at and then dive into each price range. I will probably give my favorite play or 2 from each range but I really want the focus to be on strategy. NASCAR only has 40 drivers in each race so I’m not going to write up half the field. Let’s dive in!
I do a lot of my weekly research over at Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet (https://frcs.pro). They give you a great database to sort out stats so you can see who has good track form along with track type history. They really have all the tools you would want to analyze what drivers are trending and how they match up with the race ahead. Be sure to check them out!
I will be going with 1-2 dominators in lineups this week. We should see drivers using a lot of strategy since track position is king here at Indy, much like last week at Pocono. This means that I am going to be mainly focusing on place differential plays or at least guys who are priced where they don’t need to get dominator points.
We have seen 1 person dominate most of this race in the past, like Harvick last year, but as we have said in recent weeks, no practice and people using a lot of strategy lends itself to mixing up the leader in this race enough to spread dominator points out. I really can’t wait till we have practice and qualifying back, but that is a topic for another time.
Christopher Bell is once again priced as the most expensive driver, just like last Saturday at Pocono. He finished 4th in that race paying off his price tag. If you use the matrix, he can certainly pay off again with that type of finish, but where I ultimately land is that I like the other guys right below him more with their dominating/finish upside. The matrix tool really helps you compare these drivers on Chris’s sheet.
- Kevin Harvick ($11,000) Starting 11th – I don’t know how he is not your favorite play up here this week. He has the history here and he has had a great car lately. He even has a bit of place differential that even increases his upside. Pocono is a decent comp for Indianapolis and he just finished 1st and 2nd there last weekend. Fire up some Harvick this weekend.
Notables: Denny Hamlin
$8K AND $9K RANGE
The place differential plays are the ones I like the most in this range. I’m not going to include Logano in the writeups below, but I do think he has a decent amount of upside. Where I am with him is I expect him to lead early on, but once the strategy kicks in at the competition caution, I could see things being shaken up. He was bad due to a few mistakes last weekend at Pocono and I ultimately like others a bit more.
- Clint Bowyer ($9,000) Starting 22nd – 2 straight top 5s here for Clint. The Stewart-Haas team has been very good at Indy and you can see I am liking them again this weekend. Starting mid pack, Bowyer provides us some upside. He should be able to build off 2 top 10s at Pocono last weekend.
- William Byron ($8,700) Starting 18th – Byron ran very well here a year ago running around 10th most of the day, but ended up with a 4th place finish. He had 2 decent finishes last weekend at Pocono and starting 18th, he is another guy who gives us some upside. I am hoping he goes a bit overlooked with the drivers around him like Jones.
Notables: Joey Logano, Erik Jones
$6K AND $7K RANGE
Once again we have some very nice place differential plays in this range. I hope my takes here are a bit different than the field this week and we can gain some leverage.
- Ross Chastain ($6,400) Starting 32nd – Ross is a very interesting tournament play for me this weekend. He ran this car at Charlotte in the Coke 600 and finished 22nd. I think he has 15-20th place upside and that would do at $6,400. When at Charlotte there was some talk that this car had some Chip Ganassi funding and I am willing to take that gamble again here and maybe we can get him at fairly low ownership.
- Matt Kenseth ($7,900) Starting 21st – Finally we saw a couple decent runs from Kenseth last weekend at Pocono finishing 11th and 12th. My hope is they can build on that this weekend at Indy. He has been good here in the past, obviously in different cars, but he should know his way around this place.
Notables: Cole Custer, Ty Dillon
BELOW $6K RANGE
Not much down here again this week, but there are a few guys you can mix and match. As I always say, don’t get locked in on one driver down here as these are the ones that usually have the most variance from week to week.
- Ryan Preece ($5,800) Starting 36th – Preece was good in his only race in the Cup Series here last year finishing 16th. I wish we could take that and run right now, but I like the way he is running right now and I see top 20 upside again for him on Sunday.
Notables: Ryan Newman, Michael McDowell
Please feel free to hit me up with questions in Slack. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the 2020 season preview article. It is filled with great strategy and info on car/crew chief changes for the season. Good luck to everyone on Sunday and let’s keep the green screens rolling!