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What Coca-Cola 600 starting grid tells us about DFS options

NASCAR is back at 6 p.m. Sunday evening at the Coca-Cola 600. We break down what the qualifying results tell us about DFS lineup strategy and picks.

A general view of the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2020 in Concord, North Carolina. Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Qualifying is a wrap at the Coca-Cola 600, and Kurt Busch has claimed pole position. He will be joined by Jimmie Johnson on the front row, with Chase Elliott and Matt Kenseth in the second row. Last year’s Coca-Cola 600 pole-sitter, Aric Almirola, spun out during his qualifying run and will start in last place, next to Joey Gase.

Now that the starting order is set, fantasy sports fans can firm up their DFS lineups before Sunday’s race gets going at 6 p.m. Wrecks and pit lane performance will have the biggest impact on how the race turns out, but the starting grid can offer some insight as you decided which drivers to go with in DraftKings DFS contests.

This was the first time since NASCAR restarted the season that they’ve run qualifying laps. The first race had the starting grid decided first by a quasi-random draw, and the second race was based on an inversion of results in the first race. For the Coca-Cola 600, we got to see how drivers looked on the track. It was only a limited look, so we have to consider small sample size implications, but it’s still something to consider.

For example, Kevin Harvick was the second most expensive driver ($11,200), but he struggled to a 22nd starting position. The upside to that is you can pick up plenty of points if he makes his way toward the front of the pack.

Aric Almirola spun out on what he thought was a flat tire. He will start in the 40th and final position because of that. He claimed pole position last year and finished in ninth, so we know he can do some solid work on the track. He offers some intriguing value at $7,500, and you know he cannot lose points on position differential!

One driver to potentially avoid would be A.J. Dillon at $7,000. He’s starting in the sixth position, and while he won at Charlotte in 2017, he’s finished 23rd, 34th, 39th, 34th, and 16th in the five races since.

Here’s the full starting grid for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600.

Coca-Cola 600 race order

Starting spot Driver Car # Team Time
Starting spot Driver Car # Team Time
1 Kurt Busch 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 29.79
2 Jimmie Johnson 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 29.799
3 Chase Elliott 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 29.834
4 Matt Kenseth 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 29.847
5 Tyler Reddick 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 29.85
6 Austin Dillon 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 29.877
7 Joey Logano 22 Team Penske Ford 29.925
8 Martin Truex Jr. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 29.946
9 Brad Keselowski 2 Team Penske Ford 29.953
10 William Byron 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 29.956
11 Kyle Busch 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 30.019
12 Alex Bowman 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 30.02
13 Denny Hamlin 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 30.027
14 Erik Jones 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 30.033
15 Christopher Bell 95 Leavine Family Racing Toyota 30.042
16 Ty Dillon 13 Germain Racing Chevrolet 30.059
17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 30.071
18 Ryan Newman 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford 30.072
19 Chris Buescher 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford 30.081
20 Clint Bowyer 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 30.095
21 Ross Chastain 77 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet 30.15
22 Kevin Harvick 5 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 30.156
23 Bubba Wallace 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet 30.172
24 Corey LaJoie 32 GO FAS Racing Ford 30.183
25 John Hunter Nemechek 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford 30.254
26 Ryan Blaney 12 Team Penske Ford 30.313
27 Michael McDowell 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford 30.324
28 Cole Custer 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 30.334
29 Ryan Preece 37 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 30.352
30 Quin Houff 00 StarCom Racing Chevrolet 30.848
31 Grey Gaulding 27 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet 31.16
32 Timmy Hill 66 Motorsports Business Management Toyota 31.234
33 Matt DiBenedetto 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford 31.452
34 J.J. Yeley 7 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet 31.48
35 Brennan Poole 15 Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 31.502
36 B.J. McLeod 78 B.J. McLeod Motorsports Chevrolet 31.59
37 Daniel Suarez 96 Gaunt Brothers Racing Toyota 31.858
38 Garrett Smithley 53 Rick Ware Racing Ford 31.971
39 Joey Gase 51 Petty Ware Racing Ford 33.538
40 Aric Almirola 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Spun out