The first playbook of the playoffs is here! It’s the second race at Vegas this year, the first one was just the third race of the season, and this one is shaping up to be quite a show. The track looked to have multiple racing grooves in practice which could be a sign of cars moving all over throughout the race. Also the high temp on Sunday is projected to be the hottest of the year at 101 for green flag and then shadows will come into play as the race moves into the second half and that will cool it down make the cars handle better and the racing really pick up as it has in the evening races this year.

The race is slated for 267 laps around the 1.5-mile track making a 400-mile contest with the stages being 80-80-107. In terms of strategy for the South Point 400, we’re looking for a couple of drivers to lead a bunch of laps and then the rest to fill the position differential scoring up. This race alternates between one driver leading over 120 laps and the rest splitting them relatively evenly and then two drivers leading between 80-100 laps and the rest leading 20 or less. Either way we are looking for the one or two that will top the laps led points. Also as a side note, the driver that has sat on the Pole has only won once in the 23 Cup races at Vegas and that was Kyle Busch in 2009. Sixteen total starting spots have seen a winner start there since Cup cars start racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

If you want to see more stats, or strategy breakdown, check out the Track Breakdown, Practice Notes, and Podcast that came out over the last few days.

Points By Starting Position

These are an average of points scored on each site by starting spot regardless of driver in the last five previous races. Those races are last year’s Fall race and then the four prior March races. This is also not a be-all-end-all tool but more of a suggestion or ballpark. Just because a driver is starting in a spot that hasn't done well, doesn't mean that can't change for this race.

Driver Starting Position Avg. DK Pts. Rank Avg. FD Pts. Rank Driver Starting Position Avg. DK Pts. Rank Avg. FD Pts. Rank
Clint Bowyer 1 33.10 13 46.26 18 Paul Menard 21 29.00 15 48.02 17
Daniel Suarez 2 75.50 1 72.20 1 Joey Logano 22 34.50 11 53.56 9
Kevin Harvick 3 5.85 40 33.28 38 Ryan Blaney 23 38.30 7 55.98 7
Aric Almirola 4 40.55 6 59.88 6 Martin Truex Jr 24 23.40 24 45.72 20
Kurt Busch 5 32.70 14 51.00 14 Matt DiBenedetto 25 28.30 17 49.50 16
Daniel Hemric 6 33.95 12 55.28 8 Erik Jones 26 20.30 26 43.12 25
Austin Dillon 7 17.40 32 43.34 24 Ty Dillon 27 16.35 34 35.88 36
Chase Elliott 8 23.95 23 50.08 15 Chris Buescher 28 24.80 20 45.54 21
Jimmie Johnson 9 15.15 36 38.76 32 Matt Tifft 29 34.70 9 53.08 10
Michael McDowell 10 51.60 3 62.72 3 Landon Cassill 30 24.60 21 44.42 23
Driver Starting Position Avg. DK Pts. Rank Avg. FD Pts. Rank Driver Starting Position Avg. DK Pts. Rank Avg. FD Pts. Rank
David Ragan 11 53.50 2 64.60 2 Bubba Wallace 31 8.40 39 30.14 40
Ricky Stenhouse Jr 12 18.75 29 42.88 26 Ross Chastain 32 19.20 27 40.52 29
Denny Hamlin 13 34.55 10 51.80 11 Corey LaJoie 33 18.15 31 39.52 30
William Byron 14 24.25 22 45.54 21 Garrett Smithley 34 28.00 18 41.84 28
Kyle Larson 15 28.40 16 51.50 12 BJ McLeod 35 18.20 30 37.52 33
Ryan Preece 16 35.00 8 51.04 13 JJ Yeley 36 15.20 35 33.74 37
Ryan Newman 17 10.40 38 37.00 34 Reed Sorenson 37 27.80 19 46.16 19
Brad Keselowski 18 51.30 4 60.14 4 Joe Nemechek 38 19.20 27 39.10 31
Alex Bowman 19 22.40 25 41.92 27 Joey Gase 39 13.40 37 31.24 39
Kyle Busch 20 43.00 5 59.90 5            
(Max 3)
        
 DriverStartMakeCar Fanduel DraftKingsBreakDown
Ky. BuschToyota18 $14000 $12500UPGRADE
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Ke. HarvickFord4 $12200 $12200UPGRADE
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Br. KeselowskiFord2 $12300 $9100UPGRADE
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Cl. BowyerFord14 $9000 $9800UPGRADE
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Ar. AlmirolaFord10 $8000 $6700UPGRADE
Ch. BuescherFord17 $6800 $5800UPGRADE
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Co. LajoieFord32 $3000 $5700UPGRADE