NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
Both with 4 - Clint Bowyer and Austin Dillon
Both with 3 - Michael McDowell and Ryan Newman
All with 2 - Erik Jones, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kurt Busch, Chris Buescher, and Denny Hamlin

By Track
Austin Dillon - 7
Denny Hamlin - 6
Both with 5 - Joey Logano and Clint Bowyer
All with 4 - Kurt Busch, Michael McDowell, and Ryan Newman 

Recent Pole Winners:  
2018 Chase Elliott
2017 Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Last Year's Race Winner: Erik Jones

Likely Suspects: Here are my go-tos for Daytona's Saturday night race: Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman, Erik Jones, Clint Bowyer, Austin Dillon, Michael McDowell, Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, and Joey Logano.

My 2 Cents: Remember we don't have restrictor-plates anymore, so we can't called it restrictor-plating racing, but it's not going to make a huge difference in who runs well. Go with your traditional Daytona fantasy roster and you should be good. Or as good as you can get with aggressive racing in a pack. Enough said. My no-brainer pick this week is last week's race winner Alex Bowman. My next picks are the Ryans - Blaney and Newman - and Austin Dillon. I will complete my team with Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Michael McDowell, and Chris Buescher.

My Final Four: Joey Logano, Austin Dillon, Ryan Blaney, and Michael McDowell

Second-Look Driver:  This week's second-look driver is last week's race winner Alex Bowman. Now that Alex got his first Cup win under his belt, there's no telling what he can do, and he is pretty sporty at Daytona. At his last three races at Daytona he has scored a combined second best driver rating with one Top 10 and two Top 15s. Last week's second-look driver Erik Jones had a pretty good day at Chicagoland. He started in 21st place, finished in 7, and even led one lap.

Points to Ponder:
  • The first starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (nine) than any other starting position in the July race at Daytona International Speedway.
  • Chase Elliott leads all active series drivers in poles at Daytona with three (Feb. 2016, Feb. 2017 and July 2018).
  • Three active Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers have posted their first career win at Daytona International Speedway; all three were during the July race: Aric Almirola (07/06/2014), David Ragan (07/02/2011) and Erik Jones (07/07/2018).
  • The Wood Brothers have the most wins at Daytona in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with 15; followed by Hendrick Motorsports with 14.
  • Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson lead all active drivers in runner-up finishes in the July race at Daytona with three each.
  • Kurt Busch leads all active drivers in top-five finishes in the July race at Daytona with seven.
Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your picks by 8 a.m. ET on Friday, July 5th, and your final picks by 7:30 p.m. ET on race day Saturday, July 6th.

Enjoy the race!

Carol D’Agostino wields fantasy-racing superpowers. Each week, Carol researches statistics and combs through her personal racing notes to provide fans with fantasy racing advice at NASCAR Fantasy Fusion, a column she has written for Skirts & Scuffs since October 2011. Carol also does race coverage for Skirts & Scuffs at Richmond Raceway, and occasionally at her home track, Dover International Speedway. This year she joins the NASCAR Expert Picks panel at
Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet When she isn’t crunching numbers, you’ll find Carol in business meetings or hammering out a news release or creating a marketing strategy at a small niche public relations firm she founded called Purple Cat. 
NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona Reviewed by Carol D'Agostino on Wednesday, July 03, 2019 Rating: 5