The D.E.N.N.I.S System - Gander Outdoors 400

Welcome to another edition of The D.E.N.N.I.S System!

After a great debut week where we nailed everything at Kentucky, we went to New Hampshire and let the wheels fall off! A quick recap from last week:

Demonstrate Value: Matt Kenseth – Yes, he was a top value play.
Engage Physically: Joe Gibbs overtaking Kurt Busch – Not so much; Kurt led a large amount of the race.
Nurture Dependency: Kyle Busch – No. His car really was not great until the last 50 laps and still could not hold off Harvick.
Neglect Emotionally: Kevin Harvick – LOL. The race did not go how I thought (Truex/Busch dominating).
Inspire Hope: Daniel Suarez – No. Continues to qualify too high and is a constant let down.
Separate Entirely: Alex Bowman – Maybe? He dropped 3 spots, so yeah I mean the fade was right but there were far more disappointing drivers (believe me, they all made my builds).

I mentioned this going into the race that it was not likely we would hit 6/6 again, but 1-2/6 depending on how friendly you want to be is not what I imagined.

This weekend, we will head to Pocono, which should provide a little more excitement than Loudon. Oh, wait, Busch/Harvick/Truex finished 1/2/3 in this race last year.

Top 10 Finishers (bold appears in all 5)

2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
Kyle Busch Buescher Kenseth Earnhardt Kahne
Harvick Keselowski Keselowski Harvick Gordon
Truex Jr. Smith Gordon Logano Kurt Busch
Hamlin Harvick Earnhardt Bowyer Newman
Keselowski Stewart Biffle Biffle Earnhardt
Bowyer Larson Johnson Gordon Keselowski
Suarez Hamlin Allmendinger McMurray Logano
Jones Edwards Bowyer Newman Kyle Busch
Kenseth Kyle Busch Stewart Hamlin Stewart
Elliott Kurt Busch Edwards Kahne Biffle

Most Points (not including fastest laps)

2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
Kyle Busch (64.5) Buescher (70) Biffle (59.5) Biffle (61.75) Kahne (79.5)
Truex (47.75) Smith (68) Kenseth (52.5) Earnhardt (57.5) Gordon (63.75)
Keselowski (46.5) Harvick (54.75) Allmendinger (52) Gordon (52.75) Earnhardt (59.5)
Harvick (46) Larson (52.25) Earnhardt (51) Bowyer (50) Stewart (46.75)
Hamlin (44.5) Keselowski (49) Keselowski (49.75) Newman (49) Keselowski (46.5)
Kenseth (43.25) Kyle Busch (42.25) Gordon (48.5) Logano (47.5) Kurt Busch (45.25)

Most Fantasy Points by Starting Position

2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 Average
1 22 25 25 18 22
2 30 7 9 22 25
11 17 22 5 25 18
6 11 15 14 20 11
4 7 9 21 11 30
15 16 10 2 5 4

Cars that Did Not Finish

Year Cars Crash Technical
2017 5 3 2
2016 3 2 1
2015 4 2 2
2014 9 7 2
2013 10 5 5

Best Average Points ( means only 1 race)*

1. Chris Buescher (41) 6. Clint Bowyer (37.85)
2. Ty Dillon (40)* 7. Ryan Newman (32.55)
3. Brad Keselowski (38.55) 8. Kasey Kahne (32.1)
4. Erik Jones (38)* 9. David Ragan (31.5)
5. Daniel Suarez (38)* 10. Kyle Larson (29.375)

As unfortunate as it is to say, the Sunny references will likely take a backseat this week, as there is not a ton of time between qualifying and the race (with XFINITY running up against writing this article).

Here are five things we can take away from this information:

1. No, Chris Buescher is not dominant here. This is heavily skewed data resulting from him winning the 2016 race as part of pit strategy. Could he be in play? Sure, but that will depend on where he qualifies.
2. There is also a lack of stars in the top 10 list. You do not see any of the Big Three there, despite them finishing 1/2/3 last year. This is why you have to look deeper into the stats. Each of the Big Three had one race where they wrecker or suffered damage that sent them to the back, resulting in a -25 or worse result for the race. It all happened in different years, as well. Otherwise, all three have put forth dominant performances in at least half the races where they did not finish in the negatives.
3. There does not tend to be Daytona like wreckage here. The DNFs are at a minimum, and even the amount of drivers that do not finish on the lead lap is lower. This is important for FanDuel, where the laps completed are important.
4. There are only 160 laps at Pocono. Looking at past results in the last 5 years, you can expect one driver with over 50 laps led and 1-2 with 30 laps led. With 4 laps led being equivalent to one place differential point, qualifying position becomes all the more important. This is a race where we cannot be concerned about laps led as much as place differential.
5. This COULD be a race where one of the higher owned cars severely underperforms. It will likely be because of wreckage. Even though there are not many, it could easily affect one of the big names, as we have seen. Things have been much more calm in the weeks following Daytona that makes me believe we could see something like what happened at The Brickyard last year.


Well, I guess the easiest thing to say is that now 13 drivers are all demonstrating value. I literally think all 13 failures can be considered strong value plays this weekend. It is likely that some of them will not pan out, but all of them are worth looking into this weekend. That fact makes this article a little more disappointing than the previous versions, but I can only work with what I am given.


I cannot even write this section without using expletives. A week or so ago, Stevie the Great shared an article about how these drivers were working to get over on NASCAR and their inspection process. WELL, JOKE IS ON THEM! Typically, we have a Friday to Sunday window between qualifying and the race. This week was shorter. Then, it got even shorter, as car after car failed tech. It is amazing that ten drivers have already failed tech as I have written this, including 5/6 of those who qualified in the top 6. This has effectively turned the race on its head. So, rather than going with a specific driver to engage physically, we can go with the drivers who tried to cheat the system and cause chaos instead.


Jimmie Johnson, you continue to make me dependent on you because you qualify so much worse than you finish. This week, it was the post-qualifying failure that dropped you to 35th. You are there, though, because you have not been the Jimmie Johnson we know from years past. That does not matter, though. You still have at least a top 15 car and come into the week price almost $3k under Kyle Busch. If you even get a couple fastest laps, you will finish the weekend with over 50 fantasy points, which will make you one of the top point per dollar plays this week.


OH CHASE ELLIOTT. You have really done it this time. After screwing me every time I do use you, you go ahead and decided that you finally wanted to contend for a win last week. This week, you start in that weird position where it makes it hard for me to want to trust you, but I find myself once again believing that you can do it. You are not just a last name, but a real race car driver. To try to be different, I am going to grab some exposure to you, but be a nice guy, and keep the past in the past. Let’s turn over a new leaf together and win a race and me some money.


Ryan Newman has been relatively useless for most of the season, but as we get closer to the playoffs, I think we will see and his team more aggressive. That works perfectly for this weekend. Now starting in the 9th position, we will be getting a lower owned driver who could still finish with a top 10 and give us that differentiation from the chalky group of drivers that failed inspection. I do think he is capable of a top 5 here, and that is why in tournaments only I want to make sure I have some exposure.


Probably the easiest call of the week is to fade Daniel Suarez. I was not going to play him starting third. There is 0% chance I am playing him here. I do not think he will lead many laps, and to boot, I do not think he will finish as a top 10 car, so he is looking like an easy fade. Sorry, Danny. You did not earn the pole, and your inability to get the job done makes you an easy guy to walk away from at Pocono. You can play him if you want, but there is no way I am going to play him.


I mean, is there a chalky winner now? It would have been Harvick, but I do not like that he is now coming from the back. I guess if I had to go with anyone, it would be Denny Hamlin. He has done well on this type of track and has to be hungry after what you must consider a worse than expected season thus far. This could be the spark the team needs to get moving in the right direction.


I am not sure anything is going to be chalky this weekend, but I do think we will see a new winner. Not only will we see a new winner, but we will see a first-time winner. That winner will be Chase Elliott. Now that I have said that, he will reward me with a first lap accident to ensure he finished as low as he possibly can.

About the Author


  • hautalak

    Always trust the DENNIS system! Thanks for the writeup. Getting into NASCAR again this week since I have some spare cash and usually do ok in it. I like this week more than others with the chaos.

  • nickfromcwe

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    @hautalak said...

    Always trust the DENNIS system! Thanks for the writeup. Getting into NASCAR again this week since I have some spare cash and usually do ok in it. I like this week more than others with the chaos.

    I do too. Even with the obvious, undeniable chalk, I think there will be ways to attack this week. Yes, it is likely that the big (and even single entry contests) will have ties at the top, making money is making money.

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