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Fantasy NASCAR: Daytona 500 Power Rankings

Last Year Saw Some Wrecking Down the Stretch

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Advance Auto Parts Clash Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

After Yahoo sadly dropped Fantasy Auto Racing, I was forced to adapt and change last year into the Fantasy NASCAR format on Fantasygames.nascar

The rule I have implemented for myself are:

  1. I will not pick a driver more than 10 times this season.
  2. Due to #1 these are “Power Rankings” (in quotations) such that I’m not going to be picking Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch every week. I’m looking for value here.
  3. My general format for my power rankings:
    A. Top 2 picks will generally be the favorites, the ones who should be top 5 or top 10
    B. #3 and #4 will be your riskier picks, could be top 5 or bottom 15
    C. Pick #5 is the dark horse

Race Information

Race: Daytona 500
Laps: 200
Date: February 17th
Venue: Daytona International Speedway
2018 Winner: Austin Dillon (3:26:15)
Broadcast: Fox

The 61st Daytona 500 is just around the corner and I am AMPED! Changes this year include a new smaller tapered spacer to reduce the horsepower, more aerodynamic engine restrictors, less organization testing, and automatic DQ’s for post-race inspection violations in all three series.


Daytona International Speedway. This track was built in 1959 by William France Sr, it is more open allowing drivers to really open up as the inaugural Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race of 2017. Lights were introduced in 1998 and the track was most recently repaved in 2010. The track runs 31 degree high banks and is 2.5 miles long. At courses that open up like this and Talladega look for racers who do best under the restrictor plate races.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Coke Zero Sugar 400 Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Power Rankings

The Favorites

Aric Almora — He is among my favorites going into this year, he really lifted up his name last year. At Daytona he has averaged a 12th place finish over the last three years. I can only imagine how much that ‘bump’ Austin gave him down the final stretch has eaten away at him or a year now.

Austin Dillon — He really has done well here every year except 2017 which was the only year he wasn’t a top 10 finisher at Daytona. In honor of last years trading rubber, here is an Austin wreck from 2013.

High Risk / High Reward

Trevor Bayne — He has finished on average 16th here over the last three years which puts him among the best racers.

Ryan Newman — He has finished on average 12th place at Daytona (both Daytona races included) over the last three years. Plus, how can you not cheer for this car?

The Dark Horse

Michael McDowell — Surprisingly he has one of the better averages at Daytona. Both Daytona races included, he has averaged a 15th place finish over the last five years. The last three years – 13th place on average.