DraftKings NASCAR:  Gander RV 400
DraftKings NASCAR: Gander RV 400

This article is part of our DraftKings NASCAR series.

Gander RV 400 

Location: Long Pond, Pa. 
Course: Pocono Raceway 
Format: 2.5-mile tri-oval 
Laps: 160 

Race Preview 

Kevin Harvick made his 2019 breakthrough by winning last week in New Hampshire, but it is Kyle Busch who will be gunning for three-straight wins this week at Pocono Raceway. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has been the class of the field much of the season and would have four wins from his last five Pocono starts if he makes it to Victory Lane again this Sunday. Fantasy players should remember that his June win wasn't a cakewalk, though. Kyle Larson actually won both of the opening stages but dropped from contention after contact from a mistake left him languishing outside of the top 20. Brad Keselowski finished second in that race and led four laps, while William Byron started on pole and led 25. Martin Truex Jr. halted his recent short-term slump by returning to the top 10 in New Hampshire, and Harvick's victory last week could signal more to come from him. The championship playoff picture is beginning to come into focus with just six races remaining to make the field as Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson, and Daniel Suarez are locked in battle with 21 points separating the foursome. 

Key Stats at Pocono Raceway 

• Number of previous races: 83 
• Winners from pole: 16 
• Winners from top-5 starters: 49 
• Winners from top-10 starters: 59 
• Winners from 21st or lower starters: 7 
• Fastest race: 145.384 mph 

Last 10 Pocono Winners 

2019 spring - Kyle Busch
2018 fall - Kyle Busch
2018 spring - Martin Truex Jr.
2017 fall - Kyle Busch
2017 spring - Ryan Blaney
2016 fall - Chris Buescher
2016 spring - Kurt Busch
2015 fall - Matt Kenseth
2015 spring - Martin Truex Jr.
2014 fall - Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Pocono Raceway's 2.5-mile distance enables a wide variety of strategies to be employed by teams. Pitting without going a lap down opens that door. Effective communication between driver and crew chief is also paramount as Pocono's three unique turns create setup challenges not experienced at other circuits. NASCAR's new rules package eliminated the need for drivers to shift through turn 2, which reduced strain on transmissions as well and placed more emphasis on maintaining momentum. With Goodyear's more durable tires and traction compound being applied to the racing surface we should see more racing throughout the field. However, passing at the front still tends to be an issue with the current aerodynamic attributes. There is the potential for a driver to amass fantasy players a lot of points through leading laps, but the differing strategies could give some boost to finish differential scores as well. Past success at Pocono is a good indicator to pay attention to this week in addition to outright pace in practice and qualifying. 

DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap) 

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Kyle Busch - $12,300 
Kevin Harvick - $11,700 
Brad Keselowski - $11,100 
Martin Truex Jr. - $10,500 

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Chase Elliott - $9,500 
Ryan Blaney - $9,100 
Kurt Busch - $8,700 
Kyle Larson - $8,500 
Erik Jones - $8,300 

DraftKings Tier 3 Values 

Ryan Newman - $8,000 
Daniel Suarez - $7,800 
Austin Dillon - $7,300 
William Byron - $7,100 

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Paul Menard - $6,800 
Matt DiBenedeto - $6,400 
Daniel Hemric - $6,300 
Darrell Wallace Jr. - $6,200 

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap) 

Kyle Busch - $12,300 
Ryan Blaney - $9,100 
Erik Jones - $8,300 
Ryan Newman - $8,000 
William Byron - $7,100 
Landon Cassill - $5,200 

Kyle Busch is gunning for his third consecutive win at Pocono this week. Having won three of the last four at the track already it is hard to ignore him this week despite his exceptionally high price tag. Former Pocono winner Ryan Blaney is a good add to the roster to bring some Penske Racing potential to the party. Blaney won here in 2017 and finished 12th in the last two Pocono races despite starting outside of the top 15. Pocono has also been a good track for Erik Jones. He has four top-10s from five starts and finished third here in June. Fantasy owners should be very pleased with Ryan Newman's output. Steady top-10s have moved him into playoff contention. He finished 16th here in June and eighth in this race last season. William Byron diversifies this lineup further with Hendrick Motorsports. Pocono is a strategic track and Chad Knaus is a master at that, which should propel Byron to another top-10. Rounding the selections off is Landon Cassill who will struggle to make an impression at the front but could offer some valuable finish differential points. 

Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap) 

Martin Truex Jr. - $10,500 
Chase Elliott - $9,500 
Kyle Larson - $8,500 
Daniel Suarez - $7,800 
Austin Dillon - $7,300 
Matt DiBenedetto - $6,400 

Martin Truex Jr. is the only other driver to have won at Pocono in the last four races. He dropped out of the June race with engine trouble. He stabilized his small slump last week with a top-10 and could be back at the very front again this week. Chase Elliott has one of the best Pocono average finishes at 10.9 from seven starts, but will be starting from the rear after crasing in practice. He finished fourth in June and led laps in both of his last two races here. The June race looked like it could have been Kyle Larson's day, but a mistake cost him a top finish. He won both opening stages that afternoon and should contend again this week despite also starting in the rear after a big practice crash. Daniel Suarez has also been respectable at Pocono. He has three top-10s from five starts, led laps in the last two visits here, and finished as the runner up in this race last season. He seems to have the hang of this track, which is a big factor in selecting top picks this week. Austin Dillon doesn't share that same pedigree and crashed out of the June race. However, he qualified 10th for that race and could have a lot of upside potential this week if he is able to get to the finish without issues. Finally, Matt DiBenedetto is in the middle of his best run of races so far in his career. Two top-fives and three top-10s in the last five races make him a bargain this week. He got his best Pocono finish ever in June (17th) and stands a good chance of outperforming that on Sunday.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. C.J. Radune plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: cjradune, RaceDayScore: cjradune.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
C.J. Radune
Radune covers NASCAR, Formula 1 and soccer for RotoWire. He was named the Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association in 2012 and 2015.
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