“The Greatest Season Ever” continues as NASCAR heads to the gambler’s track of Las Vegas. A majority of fans are hoping to continue the trend of seeing an unexpected appearance in victory lane. As much as I’d love for that to continue as well, the fact is we will eventually see things start to balance out again, and some of these dominating forces will once again begin to go on their yearly tears.
Las Vegas is a track where a lot of guys have great runs and to pick a favorite for this race you’d have just as much luck of pulling a name out of a hat. This race has the potential to be the most competitive of the year, and with the way these last three races have gone, it seems likely that heading to a track like Vegas that we’ll have some interesting results.
Favorite: Brad Keselowski
Kes has been upfront each week this season. While he hasn’t won yet this year, his team is clearly fast enough to do so. Heading into this season he has had 2022 on his mind with him attempting to make a claim to other Cup teams to vie for his services. The potential for Brad to go off on a hot streak is very volatile and could happen at any moment.
In 15 races, Kes has 3 wins and 10 top tens at Vegas. His 3 wins are the most among active drivers. Rolling off 10th, I think he’s in a solid position to be able to stay near the front the whole race and showoff the speed he’s been producing this year.
Dark Horse: Chris Buescher
Last week we had fans questioning if we had a Roush Renaissance on our hands with Buescher’s stage one victory. He came up front to take the lead for himself and lead the race, a feat we haven’t seen out of a Roush driver in years. His car, unfortunately, started to drift away from that point on and he didn’t show the same speed the whole night.
His start’s here are mediocre, but compared to other middling drivers, he runs decent at Las Vegas with an average finish of 17.3. Last season when he visited Vegas twice for his new team at Roush, he finished 9th and 14th. I think that if his team can recreate that speed this week and correct their errors from last week as the race went on, they have a shot at a track Buescher is good at.
The tiers these drivers are broken down in are based on their price per DraftKings.
- Kevin Harvick: $9,700
- Brad Keselowski: $10,300
- Joey Logano: $10,000
- Martin Truex Jr.: $11,100
- Kyle Larson: $9,400
- William Byron: $8,300
- Alex Bowman: $8,800
- Kurt Busch: $8,100
- Austin Dillon: $7,600
- Chase Briscoe: $7,400
- Chris Buescher: $6,400
- Cole Custer: $6,500
- Ryan Newman: $6,700
- Daniel Suarez: $6,100
- Michael McDowell: $6,000
This week, your best bet is to base your team around Penske. Even Ryan Blaney has great stats here and those three are all strong favorites to win. Harvick is too tempting at $9,700 and sitting on the pole not to try and include as well. Martin Truex. Jr. is another name being thrown around a lot for the win, and while I think he’s safe to put in your lineup, I wouldn’t make him a priority.
William Byron and Alex Bowman are sitting at great prices and shouldn’t be ruled out for a win this week. Byron is coming off a win and could have a lot of momentum and Bowman is one of those guys that could just come out of nowhere and have a big day.
The most intriguing driver to watch for a good price is Chase Briscoe. He’s won here multiple times in Xfinity and was one of his better tracks last season. It’s still too early to say how competitive he’ll be overall this season, but I think he’s worth putting in a lineup and taking a leap of faith.
The best value this week comes from my dark horse pick, Chris Buescher. At such a cheap price and with what I’d be willing to bet was a lock for at least a top 20, I think he should be featured in almost every lineup.
The Pennzoil 400 starts at 3:30 on Sunday.