DraftKings NASCAR: Bluegreen Vacations 500
DraftKings NASCAR: Bluegreen Vacations 500

This article is part of our DraftKings NASCAR series.

Bluegreen Vacations 500

Location: Avondale, Ariz.

Course: ISM Raceway

Format: 1.0-mile oval

Laps: 312

Race Preview

Kevin Harvick's win at Texas last week pairs him with Martin Truex Jr. as the first two contenders for the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series championship. Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch are each within shouting distance of making their way into the fray while Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott have a bit more work to do. Any of those drivers would guarantee his spot in the final four with a win this week at ISM Raceway. Kyle Busch won the last two races at this circuit, but it has been Harvick's playground throughout his career. The championship contender has nine career victories at the track with four of those coming from consecutive races. The six championship hopefuls not yet locked into the final four will be aiming to knock him off of that perch. Toyota has won three of the last four Phoenix races, but both Chevrolet and Ford have made appearances in Victory Circle as well. Earlier this season Kyle Busch started from the second row and led 177 laps to win his second in a row at the track, while Ryan Blaney started on pole and won the first stage.  

Key Stats at ISM Raceway

• Number of previous races: 46

• Winners from pole: 4

• Winners from top-5 starters: 16

• Winners from top-10 starters: 24

• Winners from 21st or lower starters: 4

• Fastest race: 118.132 mph

Previous 10 Phoenix Winners

2019 spring - Kyle Busch

2018 fall - Kyle Busch

2018 spring - Kevin Harvick

2017 fall - Matt Kenseth

2017 spring - Ryan Newman

2016 fall - Joey Logano

2016 spring - Kevin Harvick

2015 fall - Dale Earnhardt Jr.

2015 spring - Kevin Harvick

2014 fall - Kevin Harvick

Phoenix is a unique 1.0-mile oval that races more similar to a road course than a traditional oval. The flat track with its distinctly different turns challenge setups and force drivers to manage their tires. The spring race this season featured a long green-flag run to the finish that was won by Busch's ability to preserve his tires to make a late charge and pass on Blaney. Fuel conservation for those long runs will also be imperative and teams will try to set the stage for fuel savings as early in the race as possible. Ultimately, Blaney slipped to third after being passed for the lead as he was forced to conserve fuel once conceding the lead. Being such a unique circuit means track position will also become a factor. Blaney was one of the cars that used a two-tire stop to gain position late in the running, which resulted in that top-five finish. Managing the strategy can make the difference between an extra stop versus the competition on Sunday, and that could be more than enough to make or break a championship hopeful's dreams of racing for the title in Miami.

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

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Kyle Busch - $11,900

Kevin Harvick - $11,500

Denny Hamlin - $10,600

Chase Elliott - $10,200

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Kyle Larson - $9,600

Ryan Blaney - $9,400

Brad Keselowski - $9,100

Kurt Busch - $8,700

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Erik Jones - $8,500

Aric Almirola - $8,100

Alex Bowman - $7,800

Ryan Newman - $7,600

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Daniel Suarez - $7,200

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $6,600

Ty Dillon - $6,200

Daniel Hemric - $6,100

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Kyle Busch - $11,900

Denny Hamlin - $10,600

William Byron - $8,300

Daniel Suarez - $7,200

Ty Dillon - $6,200

John Hunter Nemechek - $5,300

Kyle Busch heads the lower-risk lineup after leading more than 100 laps in each of the last three Phoenix races and winning the last two. He has three track wins and just one finish lower than ninth since 2013 and will start on pole Sunday. Teammate Hamlin is also racing for his spot in the championship four and won at this track in 2012. He finished fifth here earlier this season and has three top-10s in the last five races at the track. He starts just behind Busch in third. William Byron has continued to score top results despite no longer remaining in the playoffs. He was second at Martinsville and fifth at Kansas. He finished ninth in this race last season and started inside the top 10 in the spring. Daniel Suarez brings Stewart-Haas Racing power to this roster along with two Phoenix top-10s. He finished third at Texas and should bring some of that momentum to a track that suits him this weekend. Ty Dillon has only finished outside of the top 20 twice in his seven race Phoenix career and was 15th there earlier this season. Making his debut in the fantasy selections is John Hunter Nemechek. He made his series debut at Texas last week substituting for Matt Tifft and will be in the car again this week. He finished 21st last week and has two prior starts at Phoenix in the Xfinity series with two top-10 finishes and a pole. In his six starts in the Gander Outdoors Truck series at the track, he earned two top-fives and four top-10s. He will be racing in all three major series races at the track this weekend.

Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Kevin Harvick - $11,500

Chase Elliott - $10,200

Erik Jones - $8,500

Aric Almirola - $8,100

Daniel Hemric - $6,100

Ross Chastain - $5,600

It is hard to think of ISM Raceway and not have Harvick pop into mind. He used to dominate the circuit and has nine wins there. Kyle Busch has taken the recent victories, but Harvick has not finished out of the top 10 there since 2013. Elliott is in a must-win situation in the playoffs and will be racing to get the job done this week. He has four top-10 finishes from seven career starts at the track, and the team will be looking to get him into the lead through any means possible. Erik Jones and his Joe Gibbs Racing team start ninth and bring some Toyota flavor to this option. He hasn't started lower than 11th at the track and has three top-10s from six starts. Aric Almirola may still be smiling from his runner-up finish at Texas and will be looking for more this week. His best Phoenix finishes have come since joining Stewart-Haas. He led 26 laps in the spring race and finished fourth for the second consecutive race at the venue. Daniel Hemric has a short Cup series resume at Phoenix with just one start, but he led four laps and finished 18th. He earned four top-10s from four starts here in the Xfinity series. Ross Chastain finishes off the selections with an average Phoenix finish of 26th from three starts. 

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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