Just three races remain in the NASCAR Cup Series season, with Homestead-Miami Speedway on the docket this weekend.
Let’s see who you should target in daily fantasy NASCAR DraftKings for Sunday’s (Oct. 22) 4EVER 400, airing at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC.
Homestead is the final 1.5-mile racetrack on the schedule, but it’s rather unique compared to the other intermediates. It looks more like a giant and wider Martinsville Speedway or a smaller Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with long front and back straightaways. Its surface is rougher than the other 1.5-milers too, as it’s pavement is quite a bit older. So it’s more similar to Darlington Raceway and Auto Club Speedway in that area.
For DraftKings, you can look at recent Darlington and Auto Club races as well as the other 1.5-mile ovals from the last couple of years to see who’s run well and likely to perform this weekend. Of course, since Homestead is different from other tracks, you can examine its history, as some drivers are more skilled there than at other racetracks.
As usual, take a look at the practice and qualifying results, especially the lap averages. If a lot of drivers run 10 consecutive laps, whoever’s fastest is likely who I’m putting in my lineup. Or if a driver from a top-tier team has trouble and ends up starting from the back, they’re an automatic lock on DraftKings, at least for several of my lineups.
Practice starts at 9:05 a.m. ET, while qualifying follows at 9:50 a.m. Both sessions stream on the NBC Sports app and air on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR radio.
Before I get to my picks for this week, let’s check out the results from Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
|DraftKings Salary||Driver||DraftKings Score|
Here’s a quick look at the rules for DraftKings:
The winner on the racetrack tallies 45 points, while second place gets 42, third 41 and so on. Tenth scores 34, while 11th gets 32 and it decreases by one from there through 20th. This pattern repeats from 21st through 30th and again from 31st through 40th.
Additionally, drivers can earn or lose a point depending on where they started the race. For example, if Tyler Reddick started seventh and won, he would gain six points in addition to his finishing position points, totaling 51 fantasy points.
Drivers also can earn 0.45 points for each fastest lap and 0.25 for each lap they lead.
Here are the drivers you should consider for Homestead:
DraftKings Picks: Top Tier
Kyle Larson ($11,500)
Career at Homestead: 9 starts, 1 win, 5 top fives, 5 top 10s
Average finish at Homestead: 10.7
Kyle Larson won last week, so he’ll probably ease back these next two races, right? Well, not necessarily. He said in his press conference after winning Vegas that he “(wants) to have a great run (at Homestead)” and “to dominate.”
Larson’s thinking about the momentum he wants to bring with him to the championship race at Phoenix Raceway, so he’s not going to take things easy at Homestead.
As the defending winner at this track, it’s hard not to target the 2021 Cup champion in daily fantasy. Larson flat out dominated last year’s race, leading nearly 200 laps. In 2021, he came home in fourth in his first season with Hendrick Motorsports. And while running for Chip Ganassi Racing, he led over 100 laps in both 2016 and 2017, finishing second and third, respectively.
Larson’s also done well on similar racetracks, leading 99 laps at both Texas Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway. He crashed in the former event, but was fourth at Kansas. Also, he won the second Darlington race after leading 55 laps.
He’s pricey on DraftKings for a reason and will hopefully be worth it this weekend.
Martin Truex Jr. ($10,000)
Career at Homestead: 18 starts, 1 win, 7 top fives, 12 top 10s
Average finish at Homestead: 9.7
Where Larson wants to ride the wave of momentum, Martin Truex Jr. wants to get that momentum started. Truex started off the postseason with seven finishes of 17th or worse. However, he turned things around last week at Las Vegas, earning a ninth-place finish, even after a way-too-early gamble of staying out on older tires.
Truex had some good runs at other 1.5-milers too; he finished third at Charlotte Motor Speedway and was eighth in the spring event at Kansas. At Darlington in May, the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing driver led 145 laps before he crashed out late. Then in September, he drove from 31st to 18th; though he didn’t lead any laps, he still earned valuable DraftKings points for gaining positions.
But the main reason why Truex is on my initial roster is his performance at Homestead. He’s earned four top fives and five top 10s in the last six races there, which includes a win in 2017. He was sixth last year and third in 2021, leading 28 and 37 laps in each, respectively. Also, in 2019, he led 103 circuits en route to second place.
I’ll be watching his practice session this weekend to see if he has good pace there once again.
(Also like Tyler Reddick)
Brad Keselowski ($8,300)
Career at Homestead: 15 starts, 0 wins, 4 top fives, 7 top 10s
Average finish at Homestead: 13.6
Brad Keselowski doesn’t have the same results at Homestead like his peers, but he does have a few good finishes. He finished fifth last year and was 10th in 2020. Also, in 2017 and 2018, he placed seventh and fifth, albeit with Team Penske.
Keselowski’s runs at similar tracks this year have been pretty good too. Last weekend in Sin City, the No. 6 RFK Racing driver and co-owner drove from 21st to fourth, even leading 38 laps in the process. Also, at Texas, he came home seventh, while at the playoff Kansas race, he finished ninth. Lastly, at Darlington, Keselowski finished fourth and sixth in the spring and fall races, respectively.
If Keselowski keeps running the way he has this year, he should once again post a top 10 at Homestead.
Kevin Harvick ($8,100)
Career at Homestead: 22 starts, 1 win, 12 top fives, 19 top 10s
Average finish at Homestead: 7.3
Kevin Harvick (and Stewart-Haas Racing as a whole) has struggled mightily this year. However, he tends to finish up front at tracks where he’s really good at, and Homestead is one of them.
One of his three finishes outside the top 10 was in 2020 when he crossed the line in 26th. Other than that, his last result worse than 10th was a 19th back in 2007. It’s insane how he’s performed so well there in multiple generations of Cup cars. Last season, Harvick gained eight spots to finish in eighth place.
But how has Harvick done on other 1.5-mile tracks this year? Well, at Texas, the 2014 Cup champion advanced from 22nd to sixth, while at Kansas in the fall, he was 11th, gaining nine positions on the racetrack. And at the first Darlington race in May, he came home second.
Harvick’s running a special scheme this weekend, as Budweiser has returned as a sponsor, and he’d love nothing more than to go out and have another good outing at Homestead.
John Hunter Nemechek ($6,800)
Career at Homestead: 3 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 0 top 10s
Average finish at Homestead: 23.0
John Hunter Nemechek returns for his fourth Cup race at Homestead with his third different team. This time, Legacy Motor Club has tapped him to drive this weekend before he shifts over to the organization full time in 2024. Last year, he filled in for Bubba Wallace but ended up finishing 27th.
Nemechek does have a top 10 at a similar track in the Cup Series, a ninth at Darlington in 2020.
Meanwhile, at Homestead in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, he was third in 2018 and sixth in 2019.
He’s probably one of the hottest drivers in Xfinity right now, earning two wins, five top fives and six top 10s in the last six races. Could Nemechek carry some of that momentum over to the Next Gen Cup cars? Maybe not, but after the way Hocevar’s been running for Legacy, I wouldn’t count Nemechek out for a top 15.
Austin Dillon ($6,400)
Career at Homestead: 9 starts, 0 wins, 1 top five, 3 top 10s
Average finish at Homestead: 11.6
Very rarely do I even consider Austin Dillon on DraftKings. He’s had some very poor results this year and is below Todd Gilliland, Justin Haley and even Corey LaJoie in the standings. This weekend, though, I’m making an exception for the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing driver.
Dillon has three finishes in the teens in the last five Cup events, coming at Vegas, the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL and Bristol Motor Speedway. Also, he was 10th at Kansas in the spring and drove from 33rd to ninth at Charlotte in the Coca-Cola 600.
At Homestead, Dillon’s earned three top 10s in the past four races. Last year, he gained 28 spots up to fourth place. In 2020, he drove from 16th to seventh, and in 2019, he started 22nd and finished eighth. Even his result outside the top 10 was a 12th after starting 22nd.
Dillon could be a sneaky good and possibly lower-rostered driver on DraftKings. Hopefully, he’ll find the pace he needs to earn a good finish.
About the author
Joy joined Frontstretch in 2019 as a NASCAR DraftKings writer, expanding to news and iRacing coverage in 2020. She's currently an assistant editor while continuing to write daily fantasy and news articles. A California native, Joy was raised as a motorsports fan and started watching NASCAR extensively in 2001. She earned her B.A. degree in Liberal Studies at California State University Bakersfield in 2010.
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