Race Weekend Central

Daily Fantasy NASCAR DraftKings Forecast: 2024 Coca-Cola 600

After some close-quarters classic short-track racing for $1,000,000 last week, it’s time to see who gets to cash in on the next NASCAR Crown Jewel.

The Coca-Cola 600 from Charlotte Motor Speedway is a stalwart on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule, and for good reason. This prestigious race has more in common with long-distance marathon racing than it does anything else.

At 600 miles, it’s the furthest distance compared to any of the other points-paying Cup races that will be run this season. It makes the race a true test of who is the toughest driver in the sport. These drivers will not just be battling each other. They’ll be battling the heat, the changing track conditions as we go from the daytime start into the night, and of course, their own racecars. Whoever has the most endurance and concentration usually ends up winning this race.

See also
Through the Gears: Charlotte Coca-Cola 600 Best Bets

Charlotte is an intermediate track, the best match for the current Next Gen chassis. With that said, these racecars can have some temperamental handling according to the track’s changing conditions as the evening rolls on. The crew chiefs will have to set these cars up perfectly and keep up with the racetrack if they want to have success.

While there have been some legendary names that have won this race, such as Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth, there have been some upsets. For example, Casey Mears had just enough gas back in 2007 to get his first and only win in the Cup Series. For some fantasy perspective, JJ Yeley finished second and Kyle Petty finished third in that race. Can you imagine having the fantasy know-how to have any of those three guys in your lineup that night? Yeah, me neither.

Anything can and will happen in this race, which makes it hard to pick for. I tend to lean on long-term trends and statistics on intermediates to make my picks for this one. But if you find yourself with a top-heavy lineup and not a lot of money left, it’s perfectly OK to take a couple of fliers this week, similar to a place like Daytona or Talladega Superspeedway.

Coverage of the Coca-Cola 600 begins Sunday (May 26) at 6 p.m. ET on Fox.

Here are the rules for Fantasy NASCAR on DraftKings 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 are added to or subtracted from their 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

Fantasy Forecast

1. Ryan Blaney ($10,300)

Stats that matter: Defending Coca-Cola 600 winner, 3 top-five finishes in his last 5 Coca-Cola 600 starts, career average finish of 10.6 on intermediate tracks

The defending champion has had kind of a weird year.

He started off red hot, then cooled suddenly and hasn’t really warmed back up yet. I do, however, think Blaney is the driver to beat this weekend. He won this race last year, entering with momentum of his own, and his Team Penske teammate Joey Logano finally looks to have turned things around with an All-Star Race win last week.

If Blaney has a chance to lock up a playoff berth anywhere outside of Talladega Superspeedway and Daytona International Speedway, it’s here. His average finish of 10.6 on 1-to-2 mile tracks shows just how consistent he is. Blaney’s a safe bet this weekend whether he wins or not.

2. Chase Elliott ($9,300)

Stats that matter: 1 career win at Charlotte (oval), average finish of 5.3 on 1.5-mile tracks this season, has never won a Crown Jewel event

Well, here we are with “Awesome Chase from the Same Place” in the same spot he’s been occupying as of late on this list.

With his win at Texas Motor Speedway earlier this season, I think that alone warrants him another week in the lineup for sure. He’s been absolutely incredible on intermediates this season, racking up a third at Kansas Speedway and a top 12 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March.

Elliott is also returning to the site of his infamous run-in with Denny Hamlin last season that got him suspended. Look for the No. 9 up front this weekend again and in serious contention for that elusive first Crown Jewel.

3. Ty Gibbs ($8,300)

Stats that matter: 1 career Xfinity Series win at Charlotte (oval), finished 2nd at Darlington

When I think about picking Gibbs this week, I’m thinking of 1994.

There was a very, very young driver on the circuit in his second full-time season. He had shown flashes of potential all throughout his career to that point. His first ever win came in the spring of 1994, in the Coca-Cola 600.

As you probably already know, that guy was Jeff Gordon.

I’m not saying Gibbs is a modern day Gordon by any means, but I’ve had this race circled for him for a long time. I think Sunday could be a huge breakthrough win for him, just like it was Gordon 30 years ago.

4. Kyle Busch ($8,000)

Stats that matter: 6 top-10 finishes in his last 7 starts on the Charlotte oval, 1 career Coca-Cola 600 win, career average finish of 13.7 on the Charlotte oval (35 starts)

KFB left North Wilkesboro Speedway with a sore face and a bevy of headlines courtesy of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (and Ricky Stenhouse, Sr. too for that matter).

All the more reason to pick him this week. Not only is Busch great here statistically, driver No. 8 might have found his old self thanks to last week’s extracurricular activities.

If he has, it could be a return-to-form kind of night for one of the very best to ever drive a race car.

See also
Kaden Honeycutt Robbed of Chance for 1st Truck Win After Extended Pit Stop at Charlotte

5. Chase Briscoe ($7,300)

Stats that matter: Finished 5th at Darlington, 6th at Texas in 2024, finished 4th in the 2022 Coca-Cola 600

Briscoe was probably my biggest disappointment last week in the All-Star Open.

He failed to transfer and just never really showed the speed he did in that race last season. However, there are two things to hang my hat on with this pick for Sunday.

He finished sixth at Texas earlier this year, and that place is a sister track to Charlotte. He ran well there and was floating around in the top 15 all day.

The second thing is I think back to this race in 2022. Had he not just licked the stamp and sent it on Kyle Larson in the closing laps, Briscoe very may well have won it. I think he has shown enough on 1.5-mile tracks this season to take a flier here.

6. Austin Dillon ($6,700)

Stats that matter: 1 career Coca-Cola 600 win (2017), 3 top-10 finishes in his last 4 Coca-Cola 600s

I can’t really go into how bad Dillon’s season has gone thus far. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again and keep on going if I’m not careful.

Instead, I’ll talk about how I saw some good things out of this team in the All-Star Open after Mother Nature took a pole run away from him. The team and driver didn’t quit, and though they came up a little short of the transfer, they showed some speed.

Dillon is also great here statistically; Charlotte has some sentimental value for him, the site of his first career win in the Cup Series. If you’re looking for an upset Sunday, look no further than the famous No. 3.

Prop Bets and Locks

  1. Brad Keselowski to win his group (+300): Bad Brad is red hot as of late, despite a poor showing at Wilkesboro. He finally picked up his first win since joining RFK in Darlington and finished second at Texas in April. He’s going up against some tough contenders (Elliott, Blaney and Martin Truex Jr.) this week, but he could easily beat those guys.
  2. Ford to win (+250): Ford has finally found its footing with wins in back-to-back races. That makes it all the more surprising they come into this race as the underdog manufacturer. Sure, the plus end of this wager isn’t real high, but you can still make some solid money should one of their drivers pull off Victory Lane Sunday.
  3. Jimmie Johnson (+1400) to finish in the top 10: Johnson ruled this place in the 2000s and 2010s. He was running pretty OK in his most recent start this season at Kansas, but again left with his No. 84 on the hook. If he could find the magic again anywhere (outside of Dover), it’s at one of his very best tracks.

That’s all for this week, but I have a couple of quick things before I head out.

First, there are a lot of cool bets to check out involving Kyle Larson and the famous Indy 500-Coke 600 double. Look those up and get in on the action if you can. There is a tremendous buzz around him doing that this season, and you’d be robbing yourself if you didn’t try something.

Last but certainly not least, thank a veteran this weekend. Above all of the racing, cookouts and gatherings, those are the people who should be celebrated most. The only reason we get to enjoy the sport we love is because some paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

Good luck this week and happy betting!

About the author

Screenshot 2024 02 13 12.27.21 Am

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.

Follow on X @Cook_g9

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Share via