I’m playing DraftKings this season and will be posting my picks here each week. Disclosure: If you want to play and sign up using this link, DraftKings will give my website a commission.
Last race’s results: Played $4 Brake Pad contest and finished 1,560th out of 5,400. Won $8.
Season results: $55 wagered, $72 won in 15 contests.
This week’s contest: $9 Track Record game ($400k in total payout).
— Kyle Busch ($10,500): The polesitter and two-time defending champion is likely going to lead a bunch of laps. It’s hard to go against his hammer possibilities, even though he’ll lose points in place differential if he doesn’t win.
— Kyle Larson ($10,200): Larson struggled on Saturday by his standards and had his worst qualifying effort of the season, so he’ll start 25th. The thing is, you know his cars have speed (look at the team’s usual performance, along with teammate Jamie McMurray qualifying third) — which means Larson will probably still get a top-10 out of it and get you a bunch of place differential points along the way.
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($8,200): Earnhardt seemed to have a car better than the 13th-fastest qualifier, which means he could pick up some positions. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him get a top five at Indy given the Hendrick speed overall, and he’s relatively affordable for someone with that potential.
— Kasey Kahne ($7,900): It’s scary to pick Kahne these days, because something always seems to go wrong and screw up his race. But he seems to have a fast car at Indy — he had the sixth-fastest average of the 12 cars who did at least 10 laps in final practice — so it might be worth taking a chance on a guy who starts 19th and could pick up some place differential points.
— AJ Allmendinger ($6,900): It doesn’t look like he has a very good car this weekend, but he qualified 40th. So if he gets a top-25 finish at all, that’s 15 points right there in place differential — which is a way better deal than you’re going to get with other drivers in this price range.
— Paul Menard ($6,300): Here’s a former Brickyard 400 winner who starts 17th and is available for a good price. Menard has consistently made good runs at Indy — he has six top-15 finishes in his last seven Indy races.