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  • jt77316

    Auto Club Speedway –

    Schedule — all times are Eastern Time (ET)

    — Practice 1: Friday, 4:05 PM (FS1)
    — Practice 2: Friday, 5:35 PM (FS1)
    — Qualifying: Saturday, 2:35 PM (FS1)
    — Race: Auto Club 400, Sunday, 3:30 PM (FOX)

    Race Details

    — xx Drivers Entered; 200 Laps, 400 miles
    — Stage 1: Lap 1 – 60; Stage 2: Lap 61 – 120; Stage 3: Lap 121 – 200
    — Expected Fuel/Pit Window – xx-xx Laps

    Note: Fuel Cell capacity is an estimate.

    Auto Club Speedway –

    2 mile, low-banked, D-shaped oval superspeedway

    Similar Tracks: Chicagoland and Michigan

    Last Five (5) Race Winners

    — 03/22/2015: Brad Keselowski
    — 03/20/2016: Jimmie Johnson
    — 03/26/2017: Kyle Larson
    — 03/18/2018: Martin Truex, Jr.
    — 03/17/2019: Kyle Busch

    Last Five (5) DK and FD Fantasy Points Leaders

    03/22/2015: Martin Truex, Jr. (115.50 DK FPts) – Brad Keselowski (67.5 FD FPts)
    03/20/2016: Kevin Harvick (102.50 DK FPts) – Jimmie Johnson (75.0 FD FPts)
    03/26/2017: Kyle Larson (92.50 DK FPts) – Kyle Larson (74.2 FD FPts)
    03/18/2018: Martin Truex, Jr. (117.75 DK FPts) – Martin Truex, Jr. (75.5 FD FPts)
    03/17/2019: Kyle Busch (115.50 DK FPts) – Kyle Busch (77.9 FD FPts)

    Data from Last 5 Auto Club Races

    Driver Rating:

    1. Kyle Busch – 117.4
    2. Martin Truex, Jr. – 112.7
    3. Joey Logano – 110.1
    4. Brad Keselowski – 103.5
    5. Kevin Harvick – 100.4

    Laps Led:

    1. Martin Truex, Jr. – 224
    2. Kyle Busch – 203
    3. Kevin Harvick – 176
    4. Denny Hamlin – 71
    5. Kurt Busch – 65

    Fastest Laps:

    1. Martin Truex, Jr. – 119
    2. Kevin Harvick – 115
    3. Kyle Busch – 114
    4. Kurt Busch – 57
    5. Brad Keselowksi – 52

    Race Data, News, and Information

    Rotogrinders NASCAR Free tools
    Motor Racing Network
    Racing Reference

    Race Day Breaking News and Weather

    Stephen Youngstevietpfl
    Bob Pockrass
    NASCAR Weather
    Jayski

    Note: As needed information above will be updated

  • starstx

    @gje627 said...

    It would have held … absent tire issues ….

    Except that Austin Dillon pitted with 1 lap to go and tanked that lineup further. That would have been even more brutal if Blaney did not pit and that happened. Chastain was the guy I did not have enough of but I was really heavy on Bowman and Jones Blaney and Hamlin … Reddick as well. Truex of course.

    I do not think I would have the stomach for gje stakes. I am playing about 125 a week right now lol.

    Congrats to the winners this week.

  • gje627

    @starstx said...

    Except that Austin Dillon pitted with 1 lap to go and tanked that lineup further. That would have been even more brutal if Blaney did not pit and that happened. Chastain was the guy I did not have enough of but I was really heavy on Bowman and Jones Blaney and Hamlin … Reddick as well. Truex of course.

    I do not think I would have the stomach for gje stakes. I am playing about 125 a week right now lol.

    Congrats to the winners this week.

    Sorry … thought you were talking Blaney only ….

    Regarding my stakes? Small today.

    I only play big when the stars (numbers) align ….

    Soon … I will probably mostly sports bet … but then go real “bat-sh*t” crazy upside in NASCAR GPPs to hedge.

    Keep promising no more number posts here … must be an addiction …. Also hope the numbers help others too … :)

    If I can get my sh*t together by Tuesday, probably no more.

    So for the few who like numbers …. see previous page for final Auto Club numbers and please copy, paste and save.

    Of course, if anyone is looking for something specific … you can always PM me.

    If I post more numbers next week … well … you’ll know my sh*t is not together yet.

    Either way … no promises, though.

  • stevietpfl

    Morning Grind co-host, Lead NASCAR Analyst

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    @gje627 said...

    Looking for names …..

    In the Big DK Contest ….

    I see our very own Stevietpfl was part of the 131 player train to tie for 1st ….

    Congrats Stevie !!!

    EDIT: Not a paid spokesman … I don’t subscribe … I do things the strange way instead (numbers)… BUT when I first started I read/listened to everything Stevie wrote/said … and “epiphany” !!

    Appreciate it! Over half of the 131 players are subscribers, so projections were on point today. Pricing be so soft and the good plays hitting, really made it a chalky day.

  • kdsdawg

    what was the cash line in cash games. I am new to NASCAR. I played $84 in GPPs and won back $44. I might need to play cash games.

  • jt77316

    @kdsdawg said...

    what was the cash line in cash games. I am new to NASCAR. I played $84 in GPPs and won back $44. I might need to play cash games.

    I played the chalk cash build (Chastain, Dillon, Jones, Hamlin, Truex, and Byron) and won or tied every cash game I entered, and it scored a 267. That was part of a lot of trains so I am sure that was the cutoff.

    I somehow landed on the optimal lineup in my 20 entry max tournies (only four of them cashed). I was in a crunch for time and only did the $1, $2, and $4 though. The one week I don’t throw my 20 lineups into the Piston, look what happens!

  • gje627

    @stevietpfl said...

    Over half of the 131 players are subscribers, so projections were on point today.

    NOTE: Long post and did not “proof”; hence grammatical errors … especially “missed words” should be expected (said this many times before … my fingers are faster than my brain … so “yes” I am a lesser human being ). Anyways … sorry for that and hope you “git” what I’m trying to say. :)

    Like I said (implied) you’re a genius !!!! :)

    Out of curiosity who was your chalk?

    Of course everyone had Truex, but I also had Blaney and Austin Dillon high on my list. Since all three had significant enough issues to put them out of contention at the end of the race, it would have been interesting to see what the optimal would have been if those three drivers would have raced problem-free to the end.

    Like I do … I ran some numbers … YEE-HAW …. I like to honestly assess how my “picks” fared and while yesterday I thought they were pretty spot-on, the numbers below actually present more of a mixed-bag … at best. Additionally, I also looked at salaries … only eyeballed, so no real analysis but I do know a lot of experts this weekend were saying the salaries were “soft” …. In advance, I would like to apologize to Stevie and say I kind of disagree with this …. I’ll explain why at the end of this post.

    Back to drivers. Obviously, “My Big-Big-Big-Bad” was Tyler Reddick near the bottom of my value rankings on DK. While I would like to say had Blaney, Truex, and A. Dillon not had problems at the end, I would have been right and Reddick would have finished outside of the top lineups … in all honesty that would be misleading (okay, a lie), as he was clearly a strong value play regardless of any problems the higher-end drivers may or may not have had.

    So below, is a comparison of my actual rankings with the after-the-fact optimal exposures of drivers both in the Top 150 lineups and the Top 25 Lineups. Again, and it’s worth mentioning, I’m a strong believer in using the optimal lineups to evaluate my performance and not simply the “winning lineup” in a contest. This for a number of reasons, primary among them is sometimes the “crowd” is simply wrong and the higher-owned drivers fail and a lineup that is not the strongest wins a GPP. A second reason for this is that all contests are different in that different lineups can … and often do … end up being the winning lineup in different GPPs.

    With that said, yesterday the optimal lineup did in fact become the winning lineup in the Big DK Contest … but of course I can not say whether this was true for all DK GPP contests.

    Regardless, and back to the top lineups, the reason I list both the Top 150 and the Top 25 is kind of a “before and after thing”. The “Before” assumes a player max entering a contest with unique lineups and trying to evaluate appropriate exposure at the optimal level for each driver. In a nutshell, now that we have the Top 150 we can actually see, all other things being equal, what a contestant’s exposure should have been in original lineup construction.

    Next, the Top 25 is intended to be more representative of what “chalk” should have been, i.e. the drivers a contestant should have chosen to be in play in order to win some serious cash (though of course yesterday, the trains made it virtually impossible to make real money unless you had the winning/optimal lineup … and even then ….).

    Finally, and interestingly, while Truex was the “chalk” of the day … he barely made the optimal lineup. In fact, had he lost just two positions at the end and finished 16th instead of 14th he would not have been on the winning/optimal lineup at all. Again, regarding Truex, also note that he is not in a very large percentage of both the Top 150 and Top 25 lineups (at least I got that right yesterday when I said that there was a more than reasonable chance that Truex would not be on the winning/optimal lineup).

    With all that said, here are the numbers, as well as DK driver/best performers results from Auto Club.

    ___________________________________

    Auto Club Speedway 03/01/2020 – NASCAR Cup DK Optimal Exposures

    gje627 Rank Driver Top 150 Count Top 150 % Top 25 Count Top 25 %
    ——————- ———————————— ———————- ————————- ———————— ————————
    3 Alex Bowman 150 100.00% 25 100.00%
    4 Erik Jones 121 80.67% 21 84.00%
    9 Denny Hamlin 118 78.67% 17 68.00%
    34 Tyler Reddick 97 64.67% 22 88.00%
    8 Ross Chastain 70 46.67% 18 72.00%
    2 Ryan Blaney 54 36.00% 10 40.00%
    31 Kurt Busch 52 34.67% 12 48.00%
    13 Brad Keselowski 34 22.67% 7 28.00%
    1 Martin Truex 30 20.00% 3 12.00%
    33 Chase Elliott 25 16.67% 4 16.00%
    35 Cole Custer 16 10.67% 2 8.00%
    16 John H Nemechek 16 10.67% 2 8.00%
    32 Kyle Busch 16 10.67% 2 8.00%
    7 William Byron 13 8.67% 2 8.00%
    36 Aric Almirola 10 6.67% 1 4.00%
    12 Matt DiBenedetto 9 6.00% 2 8.00%
    22 Chris Buescher 8 5.33% 0 0.00%
    11 Daniel Suarez 8 5.33% 0 0.00%
    10 Ty Dillon 8 5.33% 0 0.00%
    18 Brennan Poole 7 4.67% 0 0.00%
    38 Jimmie Johnson 7 4.67% 0 0.00%
    15 Garrett Smithley 6 4.00% 0 0.00%
    28 Joey Gase 6 4.00% 0 0.00%
    23 Corey Lajoie 5 3.33% 0 0.00%
    30 Quin Houff 5 3.33% 0 0.00%
    5 Austin Dillon 4 2.67% 0 0.00%
    25 JJ Yeley 4 2.67% 0 0.00%
    27 Ricky Stenhouse 1 0.67% 0 0.00%
    24 Bubba Wallace 0 0.00% 0 0.00%
    20 Christopher Bell 0 0.00% 0 0.00%
    17 Clint Bowyer 0 0.00% 0 0.00%
    6 Joey Logano 0 0.00% 0 0.00%
    19 Kevin Harvick 0 0.00% 0 0.00%
    21 Kyle Larson 0 0.00% 0 0.00%
    37 Michael McDowell 0 0.00% 0 0.00%
    29 Reed Sorenson 0 0.00% 0 0.00%
    14 Ryan Preece 0 0.00% 0 0.00%
    26 Timmy Hill 0 0.00% 0 0.00%

    __________________

    Now to salaries …. To me, soft salaries or “hard” salaries (sounds strange so I like “loose” and “tight”) is relative. First, for each track there hasn’t been a significant number of DK contests, and far fewer on FD so who is to say salaries are appropriately set correctly?

    I would argue that salaries should be set to present contestants with the challenge of identifying the best drivers at each level of the salary spectrum.

    In this regard, tight salaries force contestants to choose at least one real low-ball backmarker … and choosing the correct one is often a crapshoot at best (skill? … no). On the other hand, loose salaries … or extremely loose salaries allow contestants to fit almost any set of 5 or 6 drivers into a lineup and totally disregard the obvious low-low-priced backmarkers, as well as most mid-tier value plays.

    Which is better? Or put differently, does either extreme make for a “skillful” fantasy contest? …. Probably not.

    So obviously, I would argue some balance is needed and yesterday the balance seemed to be present and to me, anyways, yesterday I thought the salaries were spot-on, at least on DK (FD NASCAR is just well … weird), because the results yesterday clearly indicate that the top, expensive plays were clearly important in a lineup but also that finding value (using skill) was also important in lineup construction … a good mix in my estimation.

    For comparison purposes, first … a look back at all DK Auto Club historical salaries. To compare, the table below simply lists side-by-side all DK Auto Club Cup salaries, for all contest years, by rank. If you notice, yesterday’s salaries were either in-line or slightly tighter than most previous Auto Club contests.

    However, sticking out like a sore thumb, of course, is a salary comparison for the top tier drivers between yesterday’s race and last year’s race. In doing so, it is obvious that last year’s salaries for the top tier drivers was extremely high when compared to yesterday driver salaries. Again, with all things being “relative”, I would argue that rather than this year’s salaries being “loose” last year’s salaries were simply “too tight”

    Remember, last year was the first year of the new and current aero package, designed to make cars more equal. For the most part, at least numbers-wise, this has been true (with the notable exception of the lead driver driving away in clean air). The practical effect of the new aero rules, has thus been extreme variations between, and among driver (car) performance has been reduced, and therefore nearly all drivers are much more (not totally equal) than in the past. Thus, rather than characterizing the salaries at Auto Club this years as “soft” or “loose” I, once again, would characterize last year’s salaries as too “hard” or “tight” .

    For your visuals, and your own analysis, the table below therefore is the aforementioned salary comparison.

    __________________________

    Auto Club Speedway – All Historical DK Cup Contests Salary Comparison

    Salary Rank 2020-03 2019-05 2018-05 2017-05 2016-05
    ———————- —————— —————— —————— —————— ——————
    1 11600 12600 11500 10800 10500
    2 11300 12100 10800 10500 10400
    3 10900 11500 10300 10300 10300
    4 10400 10800 10200 10000 10000
    5 10000 10400 10000 9800 9900
    6 9800 10000 9700 9600 9600
    7 9600 9700 9400 9400 9500
    8 9400 9400 9300 9100 9200
    9 9200 9100 9000 8900 9100
    10 9000 8800 8800 8700 8900
    11 8800 8600 8600 8500 8800
    12 8600 8400 8500 8300 8600
    13 8400 8200 8200 8200 8300
    14 8300 8000 8000 8100 8200
    15 8100 7800 7800 8000 7400
    16 7900 7600 7600 7800 7300
    17 7700 7400 7500 7700 7000
    18 7600 7300 7400 7500 6800
    19 7400 7100 7200 7300 6700
    20 7200 7000 7000 7200 6600
    21 7000 6900 6800 7100 6600
    22 6900 6700 6600 7000 6500
    23 6700 6500 6400 6800 6500
    24 6500 6300 6300 6600 6400
    25 6400 6200 6100 6500 6300
    26 6100 6100 6000 6400 6200
    27 5900 5900 5800 6300 6100
    28 5700 5800 5700 6200 6000
    29 5600 5700 5500 6000 5800
    30 5500 5600 5300 5900 5800
    31 5400 5400 5200 5700 5700
    32 5300 5300 5000 5500 5700
    33 5200 5200 4900 5300 5600
    34 5100 5100 4800 5100 5600
    35 5000 5000 4700 5000 5600
    36 4900 4900 4600 4800 5500
    37 4800 4800 4500 4700 5500
    38 4700 4700 na 4600 5400
    39 na na na 4500 5400

    _________________________

    Finally, a little more detail on the soft/hard, loose/tight debate from yesterday. Below is my final table. while quite simple I think it is very telling.

    First, of course is Alex Bowman … the huge stud from yesterday. On it’s face, it looks like DK significantly undervalued Bowman at only $8,800 and a lowly 11th ranked salary on the slate. However, based on past performance I would argue both his salary and ranking are correct.

    Remember, DK sets salary before practice and qualifying.

    While this is another debate completely (many have and still argue that salaries should only be set after practice/qualifying given both the perceived strength of a driver is not known until after practice and the opportunity (upside) for fantasy points is not known until after qualifying) … for our purposes, this is a debate for another day ….

    Next, there are some more numbers from yesterday that are very apparent. First, the total salary for the drivers in the optimal/winning lineup was $49,700. This is a reasonable salary and for very tight salaried rosters one would expect the number to be right at $50,000 to “squish” all the value out of drivers possible. Conversely, a loose salary structure would indicate that you can fit almost any driver in a lineup, however, you want …. thus … at the extreme spectrum …. $30,000, $40,000 $50,000 optimal combined salaries will all work (sidenote: this is Daytona where driver skill really does not matter … see my Daytona post where one year the optimal lineup’s salary was just over $31.000 !!!). Personally, $49,700 seems very acceptable for an optimal lineup.

    More importantly, I believe the true measure of soft/hard, loose/tight when comparing salaries is looking at the optimal and then looking at each driver’s fantasy point rank.

    In this regard, a loose salary structure would be something like this … the 1,2,3,4,5, and 6 highest ranked fantasy scoring drivers would all be on the optimal lineup … because regardless of their salary you could fit them all in the same lineup.

    Notice, however, yesterday this was not the case.

    Instead, the optimal/winning lineup consisted of the 1, 3, 4, 6, 10, and 12 fantasy point ranked drivers; meaning you had to go down to the 12th “best” overall fantasy performer in your lineup to be on the optimal … that’s almost a third of the way through the entire field of “best” to “worst” fantasy fantasy performing drivers and to me anyways, a totally acceptable salary distribution in the best lineup possible.

    Finally, and to repeat, finding mid-tier value was extremely important yesterday. As the first table in this post clearly indicates, both Tyler Reddick and Ross Chastain are in a large majority of both Top 150 (64.67% and 46.67%, respectively) and Top 25 lineups (88.00% and 72.00%, respectively), even though neither had exceptionally huge point days; meaning instead of simply playing all the top drivers you had to find value to win big yesterday.

    Therefore, while I certainly would not argue that salaries yesterday were not tight … I also would not argue they were that loose either. In other words, looks to me like salaries were pretty appropriate given the results.

    __________________________

    Note: Assume everyone knows this, but rank ties mean identical numbers. In the case of Blaney and Jones FPts ranks below, they both had the same FPts …. 54.50.

    __________________________

    Auto Club Speedway 03/01/2020 – NASCAR Cup DK Optimal Lineup Salary Analysis

    Driver Optimal Lineup Finish FPts Rank FPts Salary Salary Rank
    —————————— ———————— —————— ——————- ——————— ——————- ———————
    Alex Bowman YES 1 1 108.50 8800 11
    Kyle Busch NO 2 2 61.00 11300 2
    Denny Hamlin YES 6 3 60.50 9200 9
    Martin Truex YES 14 4 57.25 10400 4
    Brad Keselowski NO 5 5 56.00 10000 5
    Erik Jones YES 10 6 54.50 8100 15
    Ryan Blaney NO 19 6 54.50 9400 8
    Chase Elliott NO 4 8 51.50 9800 6
    Kurt Busch NO 3 9 47.50 8600 12
    Tyler Reddick YES 11 10 41.00 6700 23
    Jimmie Johnson NO 7 11 38.50 9000 10
    Ross Chastain YES 17 12 37.00 6500 24

    _______________________________

    ,

  • gje627

    Wow … that was an ugly post … even worse than I forewarned !!! Tried to clean it up a little (not much) but hopefully you get the overall points I make ….

    Really, really need to stop posting so much NASCAR blather ….

    Sorry.

  • Pandamonious

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    @gje627 said...

    Wow … that was an ugly post … even worse than I forewarned !!! Tried to clean it up a little (not much) but hopefully you get the overall points I make ….

    Really, really need to stop posting so much NASCAR blather ….

    Sorry.

    Nah, this is good stuff. I lost money on Sunday, but knowing my pool and seeing that my highest owned drivers, minus a couple were heavily populating the top line ups, and that actually some of my more strategic underweight/fades (Logano, Harvick, Larson) for one reason or another were nowhere to be found in them supports I made a lot of correct decisions. Just not together enough apparently, although heavy A. Dillon didn’t help.

    I also didn’t think pricing was loose at all, and continually found myself shy of salary to build the line ups I wanted to by a hundred here and a hundred there. I think it’s good you were actually able to run the numbers and crunch the data and show the pricing was closer to spot on then anything else.

    Anyway, if you enjoy posting it I would believe you should continue to. If you regret it after, you shouldn’t. It’s definitely not blather. Either way you have to do what’s best for you.

  • ljason8eg

    Good thing that race wasn’t a lap or two longer or Reddick would have suffered the same fate as Blaney and Dillon. I saw the team remove the right rear tire in the garage after the race and it was unwinding and down to the cords.

  • stevietpfl

    Morning Grind co-host, Lead NASCAR Analyst

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    @gje627 said...

    Wow … that was an ugly post … even worse than I forewarned !!! Tried to clean it up a little (not much) but hopefully you get the overall points I make ….

    Really, really need to stop posting so much NASCAR blather ….

    Sorry.

    Great post and a lot of great info. I like to look back at the optimal lineups as well, but you seem to dig into it a lot more than I do. We all know you’re the numbers guy! Anyway, appreciate the info, and I think you took what I said the wrong way. Let me try to explain what I meant.

    Pricing the way that it was, it created a lot of chalk DFS plays because of Martin Truex Jr. failing tech. I agree 100% with you, would love to see pricing come out after qualifying. The optimal like you said was Truex, Jones, Chastain, Hamlin, Bowman, and Reddick.

    In the large DK GPP.

    Martin Truex Jr – 61.90%
    Erik Jones – 37.37%
    Ross Chastain – 35.92%
    Denny Hamlin – 34.73%
    Alex Bowman – 31.48%
    Tyler Reddick – 19.72%

    All in the top 11 in ownership, and five of the top seven owned players. Had Blaney and Dillon not had issues, it would have been even chalkier because they were the second and sixth highest owned drivers.

    Pricing and qualifying made it a really chalky DFS week. That’s what I meant above. Thanks again for the kind words, and look forward to reading more of your post!

  • gje627

    @stevietpfl said...

    All in the top 11 in ownership, and five of the top seven owned players. Had Blaney and Dillon not had issues, it would have been even chalkier because they were the second and sixth highest owned drivers.

    Pricing and qualifying made it a really chalky DFS week. That’s what I meant above. Thanks again for the kind words, and look forward to reading more of your post!

    Got it … Thanks for the clarification … that helps !!!

    Absolutely agree !!! :)

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