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NASCAR DFS: Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Preview)

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Kobalt 400

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The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend for the start of the annual West Coast swing. Sunday’s Kobalt 400 will also be the second race in a row contested on a 1.5-mile oval, and if last weekend’s race at Atlanta was any indication, NASCAR’s new rules for 2017 aren’t going to result in dramatic changes for DFS strategies.

Granted, it has only been one race, but the new downforce package and three-segment race format didn’t stop Kevin Harvick from absolutely dominating the laps led and fastest laps run categories.

I said prior to last week’s race that I still expect the dominator categories to be key to building a winning DFS lineup in 2017, and nothing I saw at Atlanta makes me think otherwise, especially for this weekend’s race.

As is the case at most 1.5-mile tracks, races at Vegas are often dominated by one or two drivers. The Kobalt 400 is scheduled for 267 laps, and in four of the last five races here, one driver has led 75-plus laps. In fact, a driver has topped 100 laps led three times in that same span.

Yes, the place differential category is always going to be a valuable source of points, but if you want to take down larger tournaments and win the big bucks, hitting on the driver who owns the dominator stats is basically a must this weekend.

Make sure to check back for updated picks and DFS lineup tips following qualifying. In the meantime, here is a closer look at the drivers who could help you come out of Vegas a winner.

Must-Own Drivers

Kevin Harvick

Yes, he gave away the win last weekend at Atlanta when he sped on pit road, but that doesn’t change the fact that Harvick finished as the top scorer on DraftKings by a wide margin thanks to owning the dominator categories, and a repeat performance could be on tap Sunday. He led a race-high 142 laps in a decisive win at Vegas in 2015, and over his career, he ranks fourth or better in both dominator categories.

Jimmie Johnson

Johnson’s success in Vegas has stood the test of time, and he remains a force in the dominator categories. He is a four-time winner here overall, and ranks first in both laps led and fastest laps run. Meanwhile, he has led 30-plus laps in each of the last five races here, finishing sixth or better four times.


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