NASCAR DFS Coca-Cola 600

Dale Money | May 23rd, 2020

After the Xfinity race was postponed the day before due to a torrential down pour, rain would indeed prove to be the decider in Wednesday’s Cup Series event. Until the last thirty or so laps, it did look as though the weather would indeed holdup.

After Denny Hamlin jumped out to a late race lead on the restart, it wouldn’t take long until Chase Elliot made an attempt to challenge Hamlin for the position. As Elliot pushed Hamlin forward, he would end up getting turned by Kyle Busch, resulting in the No. 9 car spinning into the right side wall. As they would go to a caution the rain began to trickle, and with 20 laps left the race would inevitably be called, leaving Hamlin the winner. His second Cup series victory, following the Daytona 500.

Looking at Charlotte Motor Speedway, it is 1.5 mile quad oval track with an asphalt surface. The track was built in 1959 and was host to it’s first NASCAR 600 race a year later. Now let’s jump into our top drivers for Sunday Afternoon’s race, as I breakdown my high salary and value selections.

High Salary Drivers

Brad Keselowski (10,300 DK  11,000 FD)

In what looked like a possible race victory on Sunday after winning stage 2, Keselowski would instead continue to drop in position, eventually finishing with a disheartening 13th place result. He would fortunately be given a second opportunity at Darlington the next week, racking up a fourth place spot on Wednesday night.

After his forgettable 36th place finish at Daytona, Keselowski has performed quite well in his five following races on the schedule. Having finished with a top 7th place result or better on three of those occasions. He has had a mix bag of results over the past eight races at Charlotte, with four finishes in the top 8 and two finishes outside the top 18. Most recently, he would finish 19th but would lead 76 laps.

Kyle Busch (11,500 DK 14,000 FD)

Coming off a second place finish on Thursday, Busch falls directly back onto his feet for this upcoming Coca Cola 600. Their has not been a driver with a better average finish at Charlotte over the last couple of races, outside of Martin Truex Jr. In those past two results, Busch has finished with third and first place results respectively.

Busch could be a gold mine as far as bonus points through laps led go. When you consider Rowdy has trumped all Cup drivers with 456 laps led in the past two races at Charlotte. Now six races into the season, Busch took a pretty large hit in the point standings after finishing 26th at Darlington last Sunday. This Sunday’s event could be the remedy for Busch’s big bounce week.

Value Plays

Aric Almirola ( 7,500 DK 8,300 FD)

After a poor first couple of races out of the gate, Almirola would quickly turn that around coming through with back to back top eight place finishes at Fontana and Phoenix. Since the return to NASCAR,  he has only continued to pour it on, racking up a 12th and 7th place result in these past two races at Darlington.

Almirola’s recent history at Charlotte has been rather serviceable. He has secured three top-15 or better outcomes in his last four attempts here, and has but one DNF over his 13 Charlotte races. One of the better values, Almirola just continues to quietly post solid performances at a very affordable rate.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr (7,400 DK 6,600 FD)

If you look at Stenhouse’s recent numbers at Charlotte, they’ve in fact been very impressive. In the past two races here, he has an average finish of 7.5, which not only makes this his best track in recent memory but ranks Stenhouse sixth best among all current drivers. The last race here at Charlotte, he would finish with a 5th place result  along with a driver rating of 97.7.

It’s also proven to be one of the better tracks historically for Stenhouse. Over his 14 career races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Stenhouse has an average finish of 15.41. Making this Stenhouse’s fifth best Cup track. This is one event you might want to put your trust into the No. 47 driver.

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