NASCAR DFS: Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway DraftKings Lineup Plays

Brian Polking

The Cup Series makes a stop at Kentucky Speedway this weekend for Sunday’s Quaker State 400. The race will be the sixth event of the 2020 season at a mile-and-a-half oval, and that fact shouldn’t be lost when you get ready to assemble your NASCAR DFS lineups for DraftKings.

Over the last month or so, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin have spent most of the time being in a class by themselves, but three of those races came at Pocono and Indianapolis. Neither of those tracks comes close to resembling Kentucky, or any other 1.5-mile oval for that matter.

Granted, Harvick has also been among the best at the 1.5-mile ovals in 2020, but Hendrick Motorsports, especially Chase Elliott, and Team Penske have really flexed some muscle at these tracks, as well. I think the pool of potential dominator candidates is much larger this weekend, so we should see some more lineup variability in the big contests. This could be a good week to get a little creative with your roster combinations and do several entries.


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Must-Own Drivers

Kevin Harvick ($11,600)

While it is true that Harvick hasn’t had a lot of dominant performances at Kentucky, his overall speed at the mile-and-a-half ovals in 2020 should serve him well Sunday. He leads all drivers with 306 laps led in the five races at 1.5-mile tracks, topping 60 laps led and 30 fastest laps three times. Starting third, Harvick could be out front early and often, and I think he will end up finishing as one of the top scorers at DraftKings.

Chase Elliott ($10,500)

Elliott has been flat out fast at the 1.5-mile tracks all year. He has a 7.8 average finish in the five races, and more importantly, he has been able to gobble up dominator points on a routine basis. Elliott has led at least 26 laps and recorded double-digit fastest laps in all five starts at mile-and-a-half ovals, logging at least 28 fastest laps three times. I expect more of the same out of Elliott on Sunday.

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Cash Plays

Ryan Blaney ($9,800)

Nobody has scored more points in the five races at 1.5-mile tracks this year than Blaney, and his 4.8 average finish and four Top 5s in those starts are also tops in the series. He has also led laps in four of the five races, recording double-digit fastest laps in all of them. Blaney starts just outside the Top 10 Sunday, adding a few place differential points to the mix. He’s the total package.

Joey Logano ($9,600)

Logano has been a steady source of dominator points at the mile-and-a-half tracks all year. He has logged at least six fastest laps and led double-digit laps in all five races, leading at least 26 laps four times. After drawing a spot on the front row, Logano is in perfect position to at least earn a chunk of dominator points again on Sunday.

Jimmie Johnson ($8,800)

His numbers at the 1.5-mile ovals are bogged down by his disqualification in the Coca-Cola 600, but Johnson finished second in that race, and he has been in and around the Top 10 at these types of tracks all year. Starting 20th, he should be a dependable source of 40-plus fantasy points Sunday.

Tyler Reddick ($8,200)

The rookie has been a force at the mile-and-a-half tracks this year, posting a 12.0 average finish in the five races. He has finished no worse than 18th in any of those starts, and he has cracked the Top 10 twice. Reddick is also a former winner at Kentucky at the XFINITY level. Rolling off 24th, he offers a solid floor and decent upside for a price that you can work into a balanced lineup.

Cole Custer ($6,900)

He's probably not going to be the difference between winning a losing a big GPP, but Custer should be a safer, cheap option for cash lineups. He starts back in 29th, but he has am 18.0 average finish in the five race at 1.5-mile ovals this year, finishing no worse than 22nd in any of those starts.

Michael McDowell ($5,700)

McDowell is having himself a career year, and he has finished in the Top 20 in five of the last six races, logging Top 10s in two of the last three. Starting back in 30th, he is close to a lock to finish with a positive place differential and useful point total for a bargain price.

GPP Specials

Christopher Bell ($11,200)

It is the same story for Bell. His price tag is steep for an inconsistent, but he starts outside the Top 30 and offers Top 10 upside. Bell has the potential to be the biggest mover and one of the top scorers, but he has to hit his ceiling to justify the price tag.

Kyle Busch ($10,100)

His numbers at Kentucky are second to none, but Busch has been lacking in the speed department all year. He has led just nine total laps in the five races at 1.5-mile ovals, averaging just 9.2 fastest laps per race. I'm not convinced that starting from the pole will cure all his problems, but I definitely want Busch in a lineup or two in case he spends a lot of time out front.

Martin Truex Jr. ($9,200)

Truex has underachieved this season, but he has also shown flashes of elite speed, especially at the 1.5-mile track. In fact, he ranks third in points scored in the five races. Truex also had dominating wins at Kentucky in 2017 and 2018. At this price, I think you will want some exposure to him as a potential dominator.

William Byron ($8,600)

As his 19.2 average finish at the mile-and-a-half ovals in 2020 suggests, Byron isn't exactly a safe play this weekend. On the flip side, the No. 24 machine has had speed, and he has logged double-digit fastest laps in two of the five races and led double-digit laps in another. Starting 21st, Byron's upside is a Top 10 finish and 40-plus fantasy points.

Erik Jones ($8,400)

Jones has been far from reliable in 2020, but he offers Top 5 upside, and he should fly a little under the radar since he is starting 16th. He has a 5.3 average finish in three starts at Kentucky, finishing seventh or better in all three races and logging a third-place finish last year. Jones is a high-risk, high-reward play, but he could be a perfect contrarian to Tyler Reddick or Jimmie Johnson.

Alex Bowman ($7,400)

He's going to be an all-or-nothing play from a Top 5 starting spot, but this is a cheap price tag for a driver with a high ceiling Sunday. Only Kevin Harvick has led more laps at the 1.5-mile tracks in 2020, and Bowman has recorded at least 18 fastest laps in three of the five races. Try fading one of the popular dominators countering with Bowman.

Austin Dillon ($6,500)

Starting 19th with a lackluster record at Kentucky and reputation for being perpetually mediocre, I don't expect Dillon to be among the popular low-priced plays Sunday. However, he has been surprisingly solid at the 1.5-mile ovals in 2020, posting an 8.8 average finish and cracking the Top 15 in all five starts. I love him as a pivot to Cole Custer.

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