Race Weekend Central

Daily Fantasy NASCAR FanDuel Forecast: Bank of America ROVAL 400

It’s a home race with a twist for most of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams this weekend, as the drivers will take to the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL for the second time ever. The Bank of America ROVAL 400 will air on NBC on Sunday, Sept. 29, at 2:30 p.m. ET.

The ROVAL is a combination of a road course and oval, as the course is a mixture of the traditional 1.5-mile Charlotte track and its infield. This 2.2-mile layout with left and right turns was first introduced to the Cup Series last year and provided a mixture of excitement and carnage.

Due to the layout changes, this course hardly resembles the traditional Charlotte track used for the Coca-Cola 600. So ignore all stats and trends related to that race and the former fall races held on the 1.5-mile Charlotte oval when filling out your daily fantasy lineup.

With only one race being held so far at this configuration, there isn’t much data to pool from when picking your drivers. But this course shares similarities with road courses Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International, so pay attention to who has been good at those tracks in recent years.

Here are the rules for FanDuel’s Daily Fantasy NASCAR game.

FanDuel has put more emphasis on finishing position than other DFS sites. For this reason, it allows you to look at the entire field instead of just dominators and big movers.

Also, with only 0.1 points awarded for each lap led by a driver, the need for a dominator is less important when building a winning lineup. The 109-lap race will have a total of 10.9 points up for grabs in this category. Take note when building your roster and focus on mid-pack competitors who can climb up toward the front on race day.

Here are a few drivers to keep an eye on for Sunday afternoon’s race….

ELITE TIER: $10,000 and up

Martin Truex Jr. ($14,500)
Career at Charlotte ROVAL: 1 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 0 top 10s
Average Finish at Charlotte ROVAL: 14.0

Truex was a corner away from being the inaugural ROVAL winner last year before Jimmie Johnson spun into him, relegating him to 14th. It wouldn’t be surprising at all to see Truex redeem himself this year. After all, he’s entering the event as the hottest driver in NASCAR, having won each of the past two weeks.

On top of that, Truex has been perhaps the best road course racer of the past three years. He’s won three of the past six road course races and nearly won the other three as well. Sure, he’s the most expensive driver this week, but Truex has a chance to sweep the first round of the playoffs and is worth every dime this week.

Kyle Larson ($12,000)
Career at Charlotte ROVAL: 1 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 0 top 10s
Average Finish at Charlotte ROVAL: 25.0

Larson was the most dominant driver of the first ROVAL race, leading a race-high 47 laps and winning stage 1. He was in position to win at the end until Brad Keselowski over-drove the first turn on the second-to-last restart and led Larson into the wall.

He’s not known for his road course skills, but Larson has finished in the top 10 in both road courses races in 2019. With a spot in the Round of 12 on the line, expect Larson to step up those performances and potentially compete for the win on Sunday.

Ryan Blaney ($10,500)
Career at Charlotte ROVAL: 1 starts, 1 wins, 1 top fives, 1 top 10s
Average Finish at Charlotte ROVAL: 1.0

He may be winless so far in 2019, but Blaney is currently the only person in Cup history to win at the ROVAL. He won the inaugural event last year after slipping by the wrecked pair of Truex and Johnson exiting the final corner. Naturally, this also leaves Blaney with the highest average finish and greatest winning percentage at the course.

Despite the circumstances, the win was far from a fluke. Blaney led 16 laps and won stage 2 last year. Blaney has proven to be pretty savvy on the road courses, posting top fives in both 2019 road course races. If he doesn’t repeat as ROVAL winner, then he could at least extend his streak to four consecutive road course top fives.

ALL-STAR TIER: $6,000 – $9,999

Matt DiBenedetto ($8,000)
Career at Charlotte ROVAL: 1 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 0 top 10s
Average Finish at Charlotte ROVAL: 13.0

DiBenedetto has also proven to be quite the road course racer. He finished top 10 in both road courses this year, including a fourth at Sonoma. One year ago, DiBenedetto finished 13th at the ROVAL, and the No. 95 he drives now finished 15th with Regan Smith behind the wheel.

The No. 95 has been much faster this year, and DiBenedetto has some unfinished business with the team before moving to Wood Brothers Racing next year. He nearly won last month at Bristol Motor Speedway and could complete his Cinderella 2019 season by claiming his first win at the ROVAL. Even if he doesn’t, DiBenedetto is capable of notching another top 10 this weekend.

William Byron ($7,700)
Career at Charlotte ROVAL: 1 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 0 top 10s
Average Finish at Charlotte ROVAL: 34.0

Byron could’ve finished much higher last year in the ROVAL, but he was caught up in the Keselowski incident. This year, Byron has shown a lot of speed on the road courses. He qualified on the front row at both and led laps and won a stage at Sonoma. But Byron finished outside the top 15 in both races: a differing strategy hurt his finish at Sonoma and a handful of altercations with Kyle Busch left his No. 24 too damaged to finish strong at Watkins Glen.

Starting on the pole for the fifth time this season, expect Byron to be fast again this weekend, and if he and his team can keep their composure and run a full race, then there’s no reason he won’t be factor for the win. Plus, Byron is just above the playoff cutline, so his team has to put everything on the line to have a good run at the ROVAL. Byron has all the makings of a solid dark horse on Sunday.

About the author

Michael.massie 113x150

Michael Massie joined Frontstretch in 2017 and has served as the Content Director since 2020. Massie, a Richmond, Va., native, has covered NASCAR, IndyCar, SRX and the CARS Tour. Outside of motorsports, the Virginia Tech grad and Green Bay Packers minority owner can be seen cheering on his beloved Hokies and Packers.

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