FREE NASCAR DFS Cup Series Homestead Breakdown, Cheat Sheet, and Core Plays

Welcome to another FREE NASCAR DFS breakdown brought to you by Run Pure Sports! This will be another abbreviated article this week as I look to get you set up for success for today’s Cup Series race from Homestead-Miami Speedway! Like many NASCAR enthusiasts, this is one of my favorite tracks the series goes to on the circuit. It’s a shame we only get to see one race here a year and we have to wait soooo long in the season to get to it. But, we are here now, and it should be an awesome afternoon of racing!

Breakdown

What makes Homestead so much fun is the aggressive tire wear that the worn out track surface provides. The track chews through tires to tune of 2+ seconds of fall off on lap times within the first 10 laps of a run. These cars become a handful to manage very quickly into a run which will have these drivers on edge for the entire afternoon. As those tires wear, the preferred line moves up close to the wall, and the closer you push it, the faster you will go! This is one of the few tracks where you can really see the elite talent in the series on full display. You absolutely can’t go wrong with an afternoon full of rim riding and slide jobs!

While drivers tend to hug the wall as tires degrade, Homestead’s multi-groove racetrack opens up abundant passing possibilities. This characteristic, coupled with significant tire wear throughout a run, paves the way for comers and goers throughout the ranks, normally resulting in a fair share of position differential points scored.

In the last 3 races here, we have seen 8 performances of 16 or more position differential points. All 8 of those performances were good enough to finish in the Top 6 of DraftKing’s scoring. Those same races saw an additional 10 performances of between 10-15 PD points, 7 of which landed inside the Top 10 of DK scoring. Needless to say, position differential is going to play a key role in tournament success once again today.

Dominator points are also going to be key today. Last year’s race here saw Larson almost score 100 dominator points. Last 3 races here we have seen 13 performances of 10 or more dominator points, 11 of which were good enough to land inside the Top 10 of DK scoring. With the tire wear we see at Homestead, it provides an opportunity for dominator points to come from various different points in the starting grid. 7 of those 13 performances came from drivers starting inside the Top 10, while 3 came from guys starting 15th or worse. It’s not about how you start here.

Top Dominator Performances Last 3 Homestead Races

The strategy for today is simple and is going to be a lot like last week’s strategy. Dominator points and position differential need to be your focus. Ask yourself if a driver your clicking on can score you 10+ Dominator points or ~15+ Position Differential points. If they can score a combination of both then even better! If they can’t score you any of those bonus points then they are a pass. There is no reason trying to get cute on today’s slate.

Cheat Sheet

Here is my Cheat Sheet for today’s Cup Series race from Homestead. Track history is very important at a track like Homestead. In my cheat sheet, I have given you a zoomed in look at how drivers have performed in the last 3 races here at Homestead. To give you a sense of how drivers have performed in 2023, I have included some data from the 3 other High Tire wear Intermediate races from this season, 2 at Darlington and 1 at Auto Club.

Finally, the most important metric to use today is the data from yesterday’s practice session, particularly the the long run lap data from that session. We want to key in on those drivers who’s car seemed to get better longer into a run, so that 15-25 lap range.

I have highlighted the drivers I like today. Drivers highlighted in pink indicate drivers that I like that I think could go under owned in today’s slate, making them ideal for those “large field” tournaments today. I put that in quotes since we really don’t have large field tournaments in NASCAR contests anymore this time of year.

Core Plays

Potential Dominators

Kyle Larson $11,500 – It’s Kyle Larson’s world today, and we are all just living in it. Rim riding GOAT.

Denny Hamlin $11,000 – Tied for the most wins all-time here with 3. Tire wear is kind of Denny’s thing and this team has been awesome all season. Will be a contender today,

William Byron $10,500 – 1 of only 2 drivers to have scored 10+ Dominator points in 2 of the last 3 here. Car got better the longer the run went.

Martin Truex Jr $10,000 – Another one of the high tire wear kings on the slate today. He is the other driver to have scored 10+ Dominator points in 2 of the last 3 here. Starts on the pole and should be really strong on the long runs.

Ryan Blaney $9,400 – Not exactly a track that Blaney has had a ton of success at with only 1 career Top 10. But, he looked to have a really fast long run car in practice and this team has shown some recent intermediate speed.

Brad Keselowski $8,300 – Another vet who can save tires. Had great long run speed in practice and this team has been a contender on intermediates as of late.

Position Differential

Chris Buescher $8,800 – Could go under owned here with his practice speeds. His teammate BK was fast though, and Buescher had Top 10’s in both Darlington races this season, with a 3rd in race 2. He also led 50+ laps here in 2021.

Joey Logano $8,500 – Virtual lock here from P36 at this price tag. In a back up car, but only needs to finish ~18th to hit value.

Kevin Harvick $8,100 – If Larson is the rim riding GOAT, then Harvick is the high tire wear GOAT. His car was at is best 25+ laps into the run in practice.

AJ Allmendinger $7,000 – Strong run here last year in this car with a 3rd place finish. Top 10 the last time we were on a high tire wear intermediate in Darlington as well.

Aric Almirola $6,900 – Going to need some shares here with the upside he provides from P30. 5th here in 2020 and finished 14th at Darlington 2 this year. Car wasn’t great in practice, but it got better the more laps he put on his tires.

JHN $6,800 – GPP option only for me today. Car has been solid lately and you got to love the extra track time JHN got in the Xfinity race yesterday.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr $6,700 – By far the fastest in practice in this range, and the best on this track type in 2023 as well. Wrecky Stenhouse chalk on a track where guys are on the edge of wrecking most of the day… What could possibly go wrong?

Puke Value Plays

Corey Lajoie $5,700 – Potentially low owned GPP option today. Car got consistently better as laps ticked off in yesterday’s practice session.

Harrison Burton $5,500 – 20th in this race last year. Finished 6th at Darlington 1 and 15th at Auto Club. Should finish around 20th is he stays out of trouble.

Todd Gilliland $5,200 – Starts 32nd and has been running in the low 20’s on this track type in 2023. Not in love with him today, but not a terrible option if you need the salary savings.

Core (It might still be Cursed)

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