Plate racing is back this week! The second, and final, race at Daytona International Speedway this year is the is the venue for the event and 160 laps is the scheduled distance for the race. Now it is a bit different than the Daytona 500, other than distance of course, because there aren’t actually restrictor plates in the engines of the cars this week as the Daytona 500 was the last race with the plates actually in the cars and instead they have tapered spacer in its place. The spacers do exactly the same thing, as we saw at Talladega earlier this year and as we saw at practice on Friday for Daytona as the cars were essentially racing in packs for most of the session, which is what we expect to see Saturday night.
Looking at the Track Breakdown you will see a whole bunch of great data points to use this week, not only for the drivers but in terms of track and race history and who might be better values to take advantage of this time around.
In terms of strategy this week, focus on the drivers further back in the starting grid in your lineups because position differential will be the absolute most important stat this week. Don’t be afraid to leave a ton of money on the table as well, like as much as $10,000 is fine to do because of the focus on the cheaper drivers starting further back. You will see lineups that have just the drivers starting in the last 5-6 spots depending on the site, but you don’t need to go that extreme and leave like $25,000-$30,000 on the table, that’s excessive. It’s also a week to go lighter on cash in general simply because the unpredictable nature of the race can wreak havoc on a cash format and therefore GPPs are the better formats to play.
NASCAR Props Challenge
- Will Saturday’s race winner be decided by a last lap pass? I’m going to say NO, but this is mostly just a guess if we’re being completely honest. The last few laps at Daytona could be pure mayhem so we’ll see how this unfolds. But I’ll go conservative and say no.
- O/U 27.5 lead changes? Conventional wisdom says to assume a ton of lead changes because it’s Daytona and there will be a ton of movement on the track. I will take the UNDER with some caution because there are only 160 laps and while there were will plenty of lead changes, I’m not anticipating 28.
- Will the race winner also win a stage? Again I’ll say NO. Winning a stage is awesome, but that doesn’t mean the stage winners won’t wreck by the time the race is over. And even if they don’t wreck they would have to move back up to the front by the end of the race. So no, whoever wins the first two stages will not win tonight’s race.
- Which three-car team will have the highest finishing driver? Team Penske or Front Row? I’ll play the logical card and take Team Penske with the team that touts Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, and Ryan Blaney. Don’t discount Front Row though. Michael McDowell, David Ragan, and Matt Tifft are sneaky plays and if they can dodge some bullets they could have a successful run at Daytona.
- O/U 4.5 drivers lead ten laps? I’ll take the OVER for this one. Five seems like an easy number for the amount of drivers to lead ten laps. Last year there were seven drivers to lead at least ten laps and with 160 laps on the docket, it seems feasible for five drivers to lead ten laps.
- Which two-car team scores more points at Daytona? Chip Ganassi or Roush Fenway? You have to probably roll with Roush Fenway with Ryan Newman and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. That’s not to take anything away from Kurt Busch or Kyle Larson, but Stenhouse is a very good restrictor plate racer and should be aggressive and contend.
- Which driver score more points? Michael McDowell or David Ragan? The Front Row teammates are both in contention on Saturday and they could both be surprising contenders. It’s almost a coin flip, but we’ll roll the dice and take Michael McDowell. Ragan is starting 27th and McDowell is starting 28th so they’re pretty close unfortunately.
- Will the race winner start inside the Top 10? With qualifying being cancelled the starting owner was determined by ownership points so a ton of the best drivers are at the front of the field for tonight’s race. Assuming there will be the usual wrecks, cautions, and general movement in the field, I’ll say NO and cheer for someone outside the top ten to win.
- O/U 13.5 different drivers score stage points? 13.5 seems high so I’m taking the UNDER. There will be plenty of movement in this race, but I’ll assume 13 or fewer guys register stage points.
- Will Saturday’s race finish in NASCAR Overtime? There are massive weather concerns, there are generally some aggressive moves that result in cautions toward the end. I’ll go a little bold on this prop and say YES.