NASCAR action returns to the 1.5-mile raceway in Las Vegas for the first of two trips to the Nevada desert in 2022. Let’s delve into all of the pertinent NASCAR DFS information you need to know to get ready to make your fantasy NASCAR picks for Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 on DraftKings and FanDuel.
NASCAR DFS Preview, Picks & Predictions: Pennzoil 400
Pennzoil 400 Track Information
- Track: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
- Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
- Length: 1.5-mile (asphalt)
- Banking: 12-20 degree progressive banking in the turns
- Race Distance: 267 laps stages (80/160/267 laps – 400 miles)
- Dominator Points:
- DraftKings: 66.75 – laps led, 120.15 – fastest laps
- FanDuel: 26.7 – laps led
- Past winners: Kyle Larson (2021), Joey Logano (2020), Joey Logano (2019)
- Betting favorite: Kyle Larson, +500 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Entry List: All 36 Chartered Teams, plus Greg Biffle
- Weather: High of 62, mostly sunny
- Watch: FOX
- Listen: MRN (PRN.com, NASCAR.com, NASCAR Sirius/XM Channel 90)
On Track Schedule (All Times Eastern)
- Saturday, March 5
- 1:30 – 2:05 p.m.: group A and B practice sessions (15 minutes each)
- 2:05 – 3:30 p.m.: single-car qualifying, one lap, two rounds, impound follows immediately afterward
- Sunday, March 6
- 3:30 p.m.: green flag
NASCAR Preview & DFS Picks This Week
With the Busch Clash at the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Daytona 500 and what was witnessed last week at Auto Club Speedway, it is impossible to gauge just what racing should look like this week. Three races into the Generation Seven car, NASCAR fans and DFS players alike are left with more questions than answers as to what typical racing should be now. It has been known since last November that these new cars are hard to handle and can get in out front under a driver at a moment’s notice, especially when the wind is gusting up to 40 mph like it was last Saturday during practice.
A track record for cautions this past Sunday was not quite what most people had in mind. However, it is worth noting that this past Saturday’s Xfinity race at Auto Club witnessed a record-high number of cautions as well. Perhaps, Sunday was not so much about this new car but about track conditions, including the wind and an abrasive venue that has yet to be repaved since opening in 1996.
Las Vegas has hosted a singular event around this time of year for nearly its entire life as a NASCAR track. Although, since 2018, the track has hosted a playoff race in the later summer with conditions vastly different than what will be experienced this Sunday. For those digging into the research, be careful how much weight is given to all races and not just narrowed down to the events held this type of year.
Regardless, looking back at the past four early spring events in Las Vegas, the dominator numbers have been all over the board. Every single number from one through four has been hit in terms of the number of lap leaders. The anomaly among these races has to be the Pennzoil 400 from 2018 when the top lap leader, Kevin Harvick, led 214/ 267 laps. Since then, the top lap leader has led totals of 88, 92 and 103 laps, averaging 94 laps led.
The driver who has led the second-most laps has hit numbers of 86, 70 and 47, averaging 67 laps led. Over the past three Pennzoil 400 events, the top-two lap leaders are combining to lead around 161 of the 267 laps. This obviously leaves the door open for a third driver to grab a significant chunk of the remaining 100-plus laps. However, over these past four early spring Las Vegas races, the most laps a third dominator has hit was in 2020 when race winner Joey Logano led just 54.
Concerning DFS, the past two Pennzoil 400 optimal lineups have featured just two dominators. This is a pattern that should be replicated for cash games, assuming a slew of drivers does not fail to turn in qualifying laps like last weekend. DFS players can look to a potential third lap leader for tournaments, but this will need a value driver to start in the rear and pick up a double-digit place differential in the process of finishing in the high 20’s.
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