NASCAR DFS: Coca-Cola 600

NASCAR DFS: Coca-Cola 600

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.

Coca-Cola 600

Location: Concord, N.C.
Course: Charlotte Motor Speedway
Format: 1.5-mile quad-oval
Laps: 400

NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 Race Preview

After taking a brief break from the points battle, the NASCAR Cup Series returns to its championship focus this week at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Joey Logano dominated the NASCAR All-Star Race a week ago at North Wilkesboro and is hoping that breakthrough leads to success this week in NASCAR's longest race. The Coca-Cola 600's high speeds and 600-mile distance make is one of the NASCAR's biggest prizes. This week's race will be the 65th running of the 600-mile classic and the 126th series race run on Charlotte's high banked oval. The pole winner has won at this track more often than any other starting position in the track's history and starting position is expected to be an important factor again this time, too. Fifty-five different drivers have visited Charlotte's Victory Lane and 10 of those former winners are entered this weekend. The quest for the 2024 championship resumes this week with eight playoff spots left to be claimed by race winners with 13 chances remaining for drivers to claim their spot by taking the checkered flag.

Key Stats at Charlotte Motor Speedway

  • Number of races: 125
  • Winners from pole: 19
  • Winners from top-5 starters: 70
  • Winners from top-10 starters: 93
  • Winners from 21st or lower starters: 10
  • Fastest race: 160.655 mph

Previous 10 Charlotte Winners

2023 - Ryan Blaney
2022 - Denny Hamlin
2021 - Kyle Larson
2020 II - Chase Elliott
2020 I - Brad Keselowski
2019 - Martin Truex Jr.
2018 - Kyle Busch
2017 fall - Martin Truex Jr.
2017 spring - Austin Dillon
2016 fall - Jimmie Johnson

Charlotte Motor Speedway is a high-banked oval that generates some of NASCAR's fastest speeds outside of the superspeedways. The track makes horsepower a critical element of success, and those cars that have early speed often have the chance to drive away from the competition. Some races in the past have been absolutely dominated by a single driver, but the newest generation of car has helped bunch the competition back up a bit. Ryan Blaney, for example, led 163 of 400 laps last season while Denny Hamlin, the winner in 2022, led just 15 laps despite starting on pole. The track's corners feature steep banking of 24 degrees and plenty of room for drivers to find the perfect line for their car, but track position remains an important factor. Clean air enables a driver to get the most out of the car, and that is an important advantage to have early and often. The long race has three stage finishes before drivers will go for the race win, and those extra points could come in very handy as the playoffs loom. The extra distance means extra pit stops and more opportunities for mistakes, though.

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DraftKings Value Picks for the Coca-Cola 600 (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Kyle Larson - $11,000
Denny Hamlin - $10,700
Ryan Blaney - $10,300
William Byron - $10,000

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Tyler Reddick - $9,700
Martin Truex Jr. - $9,500
Chase Elliott - $9,300
Christopher Bell - $9,000

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Joey Logano - $8,800
Chris Buescher - $8,500
Ty Gibbs - $8,300
Kyle Busch - $8,000

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Bubba Wallace - $7,700
Austin Dillon - $6,700
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $6,600
Justin Haley - $5,800

NASCAR DFS Picks for the Coca-Cola 600

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Denny Hamlin - $10,700
Chase Elliott - $9,300
Chris Buescher - $8,500
Kyle Busch - $8,000
Michael McDowell - $6,900
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $6,600

Denny Hamlin's (DK $10,700, FD $13,500) 2024 pace makes him a favorite nearly every week. Adding to his confidence this week would be the fact that he won this race in 2022 and led 20 laps last year before crashing out. Including last week's All-Star Race, he hasn't finished outside of the top five in the last four races leading up to this week, too. Chase Elliott (DK $9,300, FD $11,500) is also a former winner at this track. He led laps in eight of 12 series starts at the track but crashed out of the last two. Prior to those races, Elliott finished fourth or better four straight times. His average Charlotte start of 10.9 gives him an edge and this has been a good track for him as a result. Fantasy players also shouldn't sleep on Chris Buescher (DK $8,500, FD $10,000). The RFK Racing driver has been putting himself in position to win races but the cards just haven't fallen in his favor. His best Charlotte finishes have come recently, too. All four of his top-10 finishes at the track have come in the last six races, and he got out front to lead 12 laps last year in an eighth-place finish. Buescher has race-winning speed, he just needs all the pieces to come together.

Kyle Busch (DK $8,000, FD $8,500) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (DK $6,900, FD $5,500) were the focus of attention a week ago at North Wilkesboro, but both drivers should be looking forward to racing at Charlotte. It is an opportunity for both to put last week's issues in the rearview mirror. Busch has a win and an impressive 22 top-10 finishes from 36 starts at Charlotte. In addition, he finished sixth or better in all but one of the last seven races at the track, too. Stenhouse should also be capable of outperforming current trends this week. He has five top-10 finishes from 19 starts at the track with three of those coming in the last four races. Both of these drivers should be using this week's race to get the focus back on the track versus off it. In contrast, Michael McDowell (DK $6,900, FD $6,000) has been making his impact on the track. After a stretch of six straight races with finishes outside of the top 20, he heads to Charlotte on the heels of three straight top-10s. McDowell is back to the form he started the season with, but has a hole in the points that he needs to dig out of. He has just one Charlotte top-10, but that came in 2022 with the new generation of car.

Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Ryan Blaney - $10,300
Martin Truex Jr. - $9,500
Ty Gibbs - $8,300
Bubba Wallace - $7,700
Noah Gragson - $7,500
Austin Dillon - $6,700

Last year's Coca-Cola 600, Ryan Blaney (DK $10,300, FD $12,000), is still winless in 2024. Ford just recently made the breakthrough for its first win of the season in Darlington, and then Blaney's teammate followed that up by dominating the All-Star Race. Blaney is looking to get in on the action, too. Last year's victory was a breakthrough for Blaney at the track, but he also had two top-five finishes there before that win. If Ford really has discovered its form, fantasy players can expect Blaney to begin taking advantage of it. Martin Truex Jr. (DK $9,500, FD $10,500) is also winless this season. He leads the points among drivers without a victory, but he knows how important it is to get a race win under this playoff format. Truex dominated this race from pole in 2016 and has two other wins at the track. He finished third in last year's race, too. Teammate Ty Gibbs (DK $8,300, FD $9,000) only has one start in the 600-mile race and it wasn't a great result. His Xfinity Series record at this track is impressive, though. His average finish in three Charlotte Xfinity starts is 2.7 with a worst finish of fifth. 

Further down the pricelist are some bargains for consideration. Bubba Wallace (DK $7,700, FD $7,500) hasn't been great at Charlotte until he surprised with a fourth-place finish in last year's race. He also finished seventh at Texas last month, which is the most similar track to Charlotte run on so far this season, and has extra motivation this week with just six points separating him from being back among the playoff positions in the standings. Noah Gragson (DK $7,500, FD $7,200) has also been finding his stride. He hasn't finished outside of the top 15 since Texas, and finished fourth at Charlotte twice in four Xfinity Series starts. Finally, Austin Dillon (DK $6,700, FD $5,800) should be looking at this week's race as an opportunity to turn his momentum around. Charlotte has been a productive place for him in the past. He won this race in 2017 and finished in the top 10 in three of the last four visits, including his ninth-place finish last year from the 33rd starting position.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. C.J. Radune plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: cjradune, RaceDayScore: cjradune.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
C.J. Radune
Radune covers NASCAR, Formula 1 and soccer for RotoWire. He was named the Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association in 2012 and 2015.
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