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NASCAR DFS: Bojangles Southern 500 Post-Qualifying

Fantasy NASCAR Expert Brian Polking is hooking you up with the top drivers to target on DraftKings now that qualifying is in the books for the Bojangles Southern 500!

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Bojangles Southerns 500

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The Sprint Cup Series was supposed to hold qualifying for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Saturday afternoon, but Hurricane Hermine had other ideas. Bad weather washed out track activities Friday, causing NASCAR to cancel qualifying for additional practice time.

As a result, the field was set by owner points, putting Kevin Harvick on the pole. Brad Keselowski will join him on the front row while Carl Edwards, Kurt Busch, and Joey Logano will complete the top five.

There has been a direct correlation between starting up front and winning at Darlington. The track has been hosting races a long time, and 96 of the 112 races have been won by a driver starting in the top 10. Meanwhile, just six races have been won by a driver starting outside the top 20.

Drivers starting in the top five have also led a majority of laps at Darlington in recent years. The top five qualifiers have combined to lead more than 200 laps in each of the last five races here, and one top-five starter has led at least 124 laps in every race during that span.

With 367 laps on tap Sunday night, scoring plenty of points in the laps led and fastest laps run categories is going to be crucial. Loading your DFS NASCAR lineups with a few of the big names starting up front should help you do just that.

With that in mind, here is a closer look at the top drivers to target for DFS NASCAR now that the field is set in stone.

Must-Own Drivers

Kevin Harvick ($10,600)

The inclement weather has Harvick on the pole, and recent history suggests a dominant showing could be on tap. He started on the pole at Darlington in 2014, winning the race and leading 238 of the 374 laps. Last year, he led 44 laps and finished in the top five. Starting out front, Harvick is in prime position to be the top scorer this weekend.

Kyle Busch ($10,400)

Busch has been rock solid at Darlington, logging seven top 10s in the last ten races here, including four straight. More importantly, he has delivered several dominant performances. Since joining the Cup Series, his 591 laps led at the track are most of any driver. He starts sixth this weekend, and he has led a combined 478 laps here in three previous starts from a top six starting spot.

Brad Keselowski ($10,200)

Although he has been a bit boom or bust at Darlington, Keselowski's value has increased significantly now that he is starting on the front row. Last year, he led a race-high 196 laps after starting on the pole, and he has the track position to deliver a similar performance this weekend.

Value Plays

Kyle Larson ($9,100)

With the field being sent by points, there aren't many drivers starting outside the top 15 with a realistic shot of winning the race, but Larson is on the short list of drivers who could pull it off. He has finished in the top 10 in both of his Cup starts at Darlington, and he has finished in the top 10 in all three of his XFINITY starts at the track. Larson could be a real X-factor in GPPs.

Ryan Blaney ($7,600)

Blaney finished 30th in his lone Cup start at Darlington, but he has shown all year he is capable of running in the top 10 on any given week. With the field being set by points, the rookie has to start 20th, giving him plenty of potential in the place differential category. He has the high ceiling you look for in a GPP sleeper.

Greg Biffle ($7,200)

His days of dominating at Darlington are long gone, but Biffle is still able to provide decent results at the egg-shaped oval. He has an 11.2 average finish in his last five starts here, and he hasn’t finished worse than 18th during the stretch. Biffle starts 23rd this weekend, so 30-plus fantasy points are well within reach by the time place differential is factored in.

Paul Menard ($7,100)

His record at Darlington isn't anything special, but Menard is cheap, starting back in 24th and has a decent shot at cracking the top 20. He probably isn't going to put you over the top in a GPP, but he should finish with 25-30 fantasy and won't break the bank. Feel free to target Menard in cash games.

Aric Almirola ($6,400)

Almirola hasn't shown much upside this year, but in four previous starts at Darlington, he has managed three top 20s. He is starting back in 26th after qualifying was rained out, and while he doesn't have a huge ceiling, he should be able to provide a decent point total while saving a chunk of cap space. Target Almirola as a safe, low-priced option in cash games.

Sleeper Special

Brian Scott ($5,000)

It has been a rough year for Scott, but he has been showing signs of life lately, posting a 24.4 average finish over the last five races. He starts 34th Sunday, so if he cracks the top 25 again, he could boost his final score by around 10 points through place differential. His price tag is as low as it gets, so at the very least, Scott will free up a ton of cap space and can't hurt your lineup too bad.

2016 Bojangles' Southern 500 Starting Lineup

Pos

No.

Driver

Sponsor

Make

1

4

Kevin Harvick

Busch Beer

Chevrolet

2

2

Brad Keselowski

Miller Lite

Ford

3

19

Carl Edwards

ARRIS

Toyota

4

41

Kurt Busch

Haas VF1/Monster Energy

Chevrolet

5

22

Joey Logano

Shell-Pennzoil

Ford

6

18

Kyle Busch

Interstate Batteries

Toyota

7

11

Denny Hamlin

SportClips

Toyota

8

78

Martin Truex Jr.

Auto-Owners Insurance

Toyota

9

48

Jimmie Johnson

Lowe's

Chevrolet

10

20

Matt Kenseth

Tide Pods

Toyota

11

24

Chase Elliott

NAPA Auto Parts

Chevrolet

12

3

Austin Dillon

American Ethanol

Chevrolet

13

1

Jamie McMurray

McDonald's

Chevrolet

14

31

Ryan Newman

Caterpillar

Chevrolet

15

88

Jeff Gordon

Nationwide

Chevrolet

16

42

Kyle Larson

Target

Chevrolet

17

14

Tony Stewart

Coca-Cola

Chevrolet

18

5

Kasey Kahne

LiftMaster

Chevrolet

19

6

Trevor Bayne

AdvoCare

Ford

20

21

Ryan Blaney

Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center

Ford

21

47

AJ Allmendinger

Kroger

Chevrolet

22

17

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Fastenal

Ford

23

16

Greg Biffle

Hooters

Ford

24

27

Paul Menard

Valvoline/Menards

Chevrolet

25

10

Danica Patrick

Nature's Bakery

Chevrolet

26

43

Aric Almirola

STP

Ford

27

15

Clint Bowyer

5-Hour Energy

Chevrolet

28

13

Casey Mears

GEICO

Chevrolet

29

38

Landon Cassill

Rumple Furniture/Bailey Excavating

Ford

30

95

Michael McDowell

Thrivent Financial

Chevrolet

31

34

Chris Buescher

Love's Travel Stops

Ford

32

23

David Ragan

I'm a Pepper

Toyota

33

7

Regan Smith

Nikko RC Turbo Panther

Chevrolet

34

44

Brian Scott

Twisted Tea

Ford

35

83

Matt DiBenedetto

Orange Crush

Toyota

36

98

Cole Whitt

Carolina Skiff

Chevrolet

37

46

Michael Annett

Pilot Flying J

Chevrolet

38

32

Jeffrey Earnhardt

Otter Pops/Corvetteparts.net

Ford

39

55

Reed Sorenson

TBD

Chevrolet

40

30

Josh Wise

Curtis Key Plumbing

Chevrolet


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