I am going to play the “NAS $400K Piston[$100K to 1st]” contest on DraftKings.com under the name IndyJones. The game pays $100,000 to the winner and pays through the top-9,880 places. It comes with a $10 entry fee.
Each driver is given a dollar value with each participant being allotted a budget of $50,000 to purchase six drivers.
Last week at Atlanta Motor Speedway I banked heavily on Hendrick Motorsports being competitive under the new rules package partially put in place in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. That proved to be disastrous. This weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway looks to be even more of a crap shoot with the new rules package being fully implemented. That said, I am going back to a Ford based team for the Pennzoil 400.
Here are the six drivers I chose and why:
Joey Logano($10,700) – Although the Penske Racing driver has never won at LVMS, Logano has a very solid record on the ‘Sin City’ track. Four top-5 and seven top-10 finishes in 11 starts along with an average finishing position of 9th highlight the defending Cup Series champ’s record on the 1.5-mile track. ‘Sliced Bread’ also won an Xfinity Series race in Las Vegas back in 2017. He will almost certainly be in contention for a top finish if not the win on Sunday.
Ryan Blaney($9,500) – Like his Penske Racing teammate, Blaney has never won a MENCS race in Las Vegas but he has a very solid record in the desert. With only five starts to his credit, the driver of the No. 12 Ford has scored two top-5 and four top-10 finishes at this track. He has also compiled two top-5 results in Xfinity Series races at LVMS.
Jimmie Johnson($8,100) – I just can’t help myself when it comes to this driver. At some point I keep thinking Johnson and the No. 48 team will rekindle the magic and find what they once had and considering that he comes at a below average price, I’m willing to take the gamble on the seven-time champion. As will be the case at pretty much every track the series visits, Johnson has the most outstanding record here among active drivers with four wins, six top-5s and nine top-10s over the course of his brilliant career.
Ryan Newman($7,200) – I have the Roush Fenway Racing driver on my team for each of the first two races of 2019 and he has delivered top-15 finishes each time. So at his current price, I am going to stick with him. The Indiana native has earned four top-5s and nine top-10s in a total of 19 MENCS starts in Las Vegas and the No. 6 Ford looked solid last week on the 1.5-mile track in Atlanta.
Daniel Hemric($7,100) – At times last week the Richard Childress Racing rookie looked very strong in Atlanta by running within the top-5 before a flat tire drew him to pit road late in the event. He wound up 20th in the final rundown. While Hemric has no MENCS track record at Las Vegas, he has seen success in the desert. He scored a 13th and a 6th there in the Xfinity Series.
Paul Menard($6,900) – The Wood Brothers Ford driver finished 14th in Atlanta and has a solid record in Vegas with one top-5 and five top-10 results in 13 races there. At this price Menard fits my budget and seems like a good value.
*This is not an endorsement of gambling nor should these picks be used for your own gambling purposes.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association
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