Race Weekend Central

Daily Fantasy NASCAR DraftKings Forecast: 2024 Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas

Ahh, Las Vegas. The lights, the fast cars, but perhaps most importantly, the betting.

Welcome back to another week and another chance at making some money and gaining more traction in your fantasy groups! This week, the NASCAR Cup Series takes on Las Vegas Motor Speedway after an incredible race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Last week was my best week yet as Daniel Suarez won and I had several drivers in my lineup score incredible points.

I also came within 0.003 seconds of getting a huge win with Ryan Blaney too, but that’s just racing sometimes. This week though, is completely different.

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LVMS is the first true intermediate track the Cup Series visits this season and it presents a few different challenges. Handling and tire wear have to be optimal to be successful here, but the crew chiefs also have to be willing to take risks.

Many times the driver with the most fuel or the right tire combination at the end has gone to victory lane here. Like I said, it’s Vegas, and if you aren’t willing to play the odds, you’ll walk away empty-handed.

This weekend’s schedule is a little more traditional, as a practice session will take place before qualifying. Track position will be super important, as it can be very difficult to pass during a long green flag run.

Coverage of the Pennzoil 400 begins at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday (March 3).

Fantasy Forecast

As always here’s a quick breakdown of the DraftKings format if you’re new:

Points will be awarded on DraftKings for finishing position, position differential, fastest laps and laps led. The driver who wins the race scores 45 fantasy points, while second gets 42 points, third gets 41 points and so on, at least through the top 10. The 11th-place finisher scores 32 points, 21st gets 21 points and 31st gets 10 points.

However many spots they lose or gain on the track is added to or subtracted from the score. Then, if the driver leads a lap, they will earn 0.25 points for each lap led and 0.45 points for each fastest lap.

DraftKings NASCAR Scoring Rules

Here’s who I think will bring you a win this week. This lineup is perhaps the most balanced I’ve had all season. There’s maybe one or two surprises here, but the names at the top are who I’m banking on.

1. Kyle Larson ($11,000)

Stats that matter: 2 career Las Vegas wins, only 1 finish outside the top 10 in his last 6 starts, 9.9 career average finish at Las Vegas

    Finally, we’ve come to a week where I feel comfortable taking Yung Money himself.

    His record at this track speaks for itself, and he is the most recent winner here after picking up an impressive victory last fall. He’s also shown plenty of speed already this season, as he was in the mix at Atlanta before getting caught up in a mess not of his own making. He also finished 11th in Daytona.

    Undoubtedly, Larson will be fast this weekend and find himself toward the front at some point, getting you points from laps led and fastest laps for your trouble. He’s also the most expensive driver you can sign this week, but that shouldn’t deter you from picking up the former champion.

    See also
    Up to Speed: How Chevrolet Is Stealing Cup Series Wins in 2024

    2. Kyle Busch ($9,700)

    Stats that matter: Career average finish of 10.6 in 25 starts, only one finish outside the top ten in his last 8 starts at Las Vegas, has finished every Las Vegas race since 2011

    How can you not take the hometown hero this week?

    Sure he only has one win at Las Vegas, and that came back in 2009, but one thing is for sure: Busch knows how to get to the front here. He started back in 37th in the spring event back in 2022 and wound up fourth. With the scoring format, you’re bound to get points with him no matter where he starts.

    The only thing that could hinder his success this weekend is the fact that his starts with Richard Childress Racing last season were a mixed bag. He finished 14th in the spring and third in the fall. As long as the No. 8 team is on their game, you have to have Busch this weekend.

    3. Ross Chastain ($9,100)

    Stats that matter: Only one finish outside the top ten at Las Vegas while driving for Trackhouse, the fastest car on track for 72 laps during his last four starts, has never failed to finish a start at Las Vegas

    The fact is, Chastain is dependable and sometimes fantastic at Las Vegas.

    His teammate won last week, and he was in the mix as well, though it seemed he could never get his No. 1 Chevrolet to the point when it mattered. Similar to Larson, Chastain has shown speed over the first two weeks of the season but doesn’t have the results to show for it.

    I think the best case I can make for him this week is that he’s very nearly won here in the recent past, and both the driver and the team are willing to take risks to get him there.

    That watermelon should be sweating this weekend, and not from the desert heat.

    4. Austin Cindric ($7,000)

    Stats that matter: Finished 4th at Atlanta, was in contention late at Daytona, finished 6th in the spring race at Las Vegas in 2023, one of only 5 top ten finishes last season, averaging 34.7 points per race this season

    Cindric has already improved on his 2023 season by leaps and bounds by running extremely well the last two weeks. I think it’s time to buy in on his hot hand, to just see if he’s for real.

    Momentum has long been accepted as less of a myth and more of a fact in motorsports. I think Cindric could be in line for a decent run Sunday if not a spectacular one.

    Depending on his qualifying effort, he should at the very least impact your position differential scoring.

    5. Austin Dillon ($6,800)

    Stats that matter: Career average finish of 15.9 at Las Vegas, has completed 99.6% of his career laps at Las Vegas, career average start of 14.4 at Las Vegas

    This is the first of my two gambles with my lineup this week.

    Recent history would tell you that you would have better luck predicting what the weather in Florida will be five years from now as opposed to how Dillon will run any given week.

    Las Vegas, however, is one of driver No. 3’s most consistent tracks. He seems to have it figured out somewhat in the desert, as he has finished within the top 20 in three out of his last four starts there.

    Astoundingly, he’s never had a DNF here either. I think at his price and potential upside, Dillon is a good pick at $6,800.

    See also
    Through the Gears: Las Vegas Betting Preview

    6. Todd Gilliland ($5,900)

    Stats that matter: 74 laps led in 2024 (series leader), an average start of 17.5 in 2024 including starting 4th at Atlanta last week

    Here’s my biggest dark horse of this whole lineup.

    Sure, you could dismiss Gilliland’s recent success as a product of superspeedway luck. You could call his 74 laps led this season a fraudulent statistic because he hasn’t been able to close the deal and get a good finish.

    I don’t care, because Front Row Motorsports has been bringing the speed this season.

    Both Gilliland and teammate Michael McDowell have been exceptional this season so far on qualifying day. That could mean big rewards from laps led if they do it again. This week is a prove-it week for Front Row and the driver of the No. 38 Ford Mustang.

    Prop Bets and Locks

    Last week was a bit of a heart-breaker for me and my betting slip, as I had a real shot at a big payoff coming down to the end of the Atlanta race. This week presents another opportunity for some quick cash, and here’s where I think you can find it in the betting capital of the world.

    1. Christopher Bell to finish in the top three (+300): Who could forget Bell’s mad dash to catch Larson for the win last fall? Bell has been good at Las Vegas in recent times, boasting three top 10 finishes and two poles over his last four starts in the desert.
    2. Chastain (+1000) to win: What can I say? I have a really good feeling this week about Trackhouse’s No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro. As I mentioned, Chastain has been dependable and just downright dominant at times in Vegas. This place owes him a win from a couple of years ago, and I think the house will pay up this week.
    3. Ford (+300) to win: Ford has been very fast since they unloaded at Daytona, and to see them here at +300 while Chevrolet is the favorite kind of baffles me. Ford has a decorated history at this track going back to its inception back in the late 1990s. Do not sleep on Ford this week.

    That’s all for this week, and I’m all out of advice other than to listen to Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler” while you fill out your rosters and slips. Good luck this week and happy betting!

    About the author

    Garrett joined Frontstretch as a news writer in 2023, and became a fantasy racing and betting writer in 2024. Hailing from the heart of coal country in southern West Virginia,  he's a married father of three and currently enrolled in the Physical Therapy Assistant Program at New River Community Technical College in Beaver, WV. He has been a racing fan since 1998, primarily watching NASCAR, but branching out to F1 and IndyCar as his love for motorsports has grown.

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