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NASCAR Fantasy Picks for the 2024 Goodyear 400 from Darlington

NASCAR Fantasy takes to the egg-shaped oval of Darlington Raceway for the running of the Goodyear 400. Who should be in your race day lineup?

The historic South Carolina venue, known for its treacherous and ever-changing track conditions, has remained a fan favorite for motorsport lovers. This is NASCAR’s tenth consecutive year featuring cars with throwback paint schemes recognizing historical drivers, teams, sponsors, and more.

293 laps will be contested for the NASCAR Cup Series on Sunday, May 12th. The Goodyear 400 will take place at 3:00pm ET (12:00pm PT) on Fox Sports 1 with radio coverage on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM’s NASCAR Radio.

NASCAR Fantasy Live gives fans the chance to partake in driver selection each Cup Series race weekend. One will pick five starters and one “garage” driver per event. The garage driver will not receive any points but can replace a starter who may face trouble in the first part of the race. At the end of stage two, picks will lock, and no changes can be made. Points are awarded based on stage points and finishing positions in addition to four “head-to-head” driver picks. A driver may only be picked ten (10) times across the 26-race Regular Season and then five (5) times in the 10-race Playoffs. See NASCAR’s website here for rules of how to play.

My suggestions are NOT my guaranteed lineup for Sunday’s race. See immediately below for a recap of my results from last weekend’s AdventHealth 400 from Kansas Speedway.

Check out my picks for Sunday’s Goodyear 400 from Darlington Raceway.

NASCAR FANTASY RECAP: AdventHealth 400 @ Kansas


  • Kyle Larson – 5 uses left
    • 40 Place Points (1st) + 17 Stage Points (S1 – 3rd, S2 – 2nd) = 57 Total Points
  • Denny Hamlin – 3 uses left
    • 32 Place Points (5th) + 18 Sage Points (S1 – 1st, S2 – 3rd) = 50 Total Points
  • Christopher Bell – 6 uses left
    • 31 Place Points (6th) + 7 Stage Points (S1 – 4th, S2 – N/A) = 38 Total Points
  • Ross Chastain – 7 uses left
    • 18 Place Points (19th) + 11 Stage Points (S1 – 2nd, S2 – 9th) = 29 Total Points
  • Tyler Reddick – 5 uses left
    • 17 Place Points (20th) + 3 Stage Points (S1 – N/A, S2 – 8th) = 20 Total Points
  • Chase Elliott – KEPT IN GARAGE, 7 uses left
    • 34 Place Points (3rd) + 1 Stage Point (S1 – 10th, S2 – N/A) = 35 Total Points


  • Denny Hamlin vs. Kyle Larson
    • PICK: Larson
    • RESULT: Correct (Larson = 1st, Hamlin = 5th)
  • Bubba Wallace vs. Chase Elliott
    • PICK: Elliott
    • RESULT: Correct (Wallace = 17th, Elliott = 3rd)
  • Tyler Reddick vs. Christopher Bell
    • PICK: Reddick
    • RESULT: Incorrect (Reddick = 20th, Bell = 6th)
  • Martin Truex Jr. vs. William Byron
    • PICK: Truex Jr.
    • RESULT: Correct (Truex Jr. = 4th, Byron = 23rd)

RANKING (after 12 of 36 races)

  • Weekly Points = 224 PTS.
  • Total Season Points = 2,396 PTS. (199.7 average per race)
  • Collective Rankings = 3,095th (+18 positions from Dover Motor Speedway)


PICK 1 – Denny Hamlin

Denny Hamlin takes my top spot for another week. A caution in the final laps of last weekend’s Kansas halted the No. 11’s chances at a fourth win this season. The two-lap restart saw him fall to a 5th place finish.

Hamlin will go down as one of the greatest drivers ever in Darlington history. He is a three-time Southern 500 winner (2010, 2017, 2021) and found a Goodyear 400 trophy in May of 2020. His first Cup Series race at Darlington in 2006 saw a Top 10, and in his 2004 Xfinity Series debut, he impressed with an 8th. In the four Next Gen races, Hamlin has led in each, making him the only driver to do such. If he, Chris Gabehart, and team can execute from start to finish, the Joe Gibbs Racing bunch will find victory lane.

PICK 2 – Kyle Larson

Back to the winner’s circle went Kyle Larson at Kansas. His 25th career Cup victory went down as the closest in NASCAR Series history, edging out Chris Buescher by 0.001 of a second.

Like any racetrack on the calendar, Larson enters the weekend as a contender. It is even more convenient, seeing he is the most recent track victor winning last September’s Southern 500. In total, he has finished eight of his twelve career Darlington races inside the Top 10. Larson’s first eight-track starts from April 2014 to September 2021 (excluding 2020) saw no result outside 14th place with five podiums. He will have to improve upon stage finishes having only three of the last eight inside the Top. Various forms of momentum will be his ticket towards a successful race day.

PICK 3 – William Byron

For the first time in nearly a full season, William Byron has been met with two finishes of 20th or worse. An incident at Dover and a lackluster run at Kansas have slid the Hendrick Motorsports driver back to 7th in points.

Something about Darlington has always clicked with young Byron. An incident with fellow competitor Joey Logano in the closing laps of 2022’s Spring race ended Byron’s shot at his first win at the “Lady in Black.” However, he avenged the disappointment with a win in last year’s event. Byron’s worst finish in the Next Gen at Darlington is 13th, and he leads drivers in those four races with an Average Running Position (A.R.P.) of 6.05. A win on Sunday would move his Next Gen win total to twelve.

PICK 4 – Erik Jones

It is great to have Erik Jones back. A vertebrae fracture from a crash at Talladega Superspeedway kept the Legacy Motor Club sidelined for two weeks.  His return comes at a track that is arguably his best.

Two of Jones’s three Cup Series victories have come at Darlington, winning the Southern 500 running in 2019 and 2022. These checkered flags put him in an elite category as one of only three active drivers with multiple circuit wins. Jones is one of nine drivers to earn points in at least five of the eight Next Gen stages. Career stats show the 27-year-old ranked in a tie for 2nd with a Top 10 percentage rate of 66.7% (eight of twelve showings). Unfortunately, he will roll off from the 30th position in Saturday’s race, but Jones will rally to the front.

PICK 5 – Tyler Reddick

Tyler Reddick has improved upon consistency this year with seven finishes inside the Top 20. Unfortunately, his recent two were the lowest results since Bristol Motor Speedway.

Nonetheless, Reddick is another talent to find great success at Darlington. Although winless at the racetrack, he always ends up finding himself in the picture. He has finished 2nd twice and 3rd once in the four Next Gen races. A chance at a Top 5 or Top 10 was likely last Spring until a late-race pileup took out he and numerous top contenders. Reddick will lead the field to green for Sunday’s Goodyear 400. His pole time and lap averages ranked amongst the best of the field, and I think this is a sign for a strong day in NASCAR Fantasy. Keep it near but off the wall, please!


Christopher Bell

  • Joins Byron as one of two drivers with 7 Next Gen stage appearances
  • 4th best Next Gen A.R.P. (9.45)

Joey Logano

  • 2022 Spring winner
  • One of four drivers with two or more Top 5s in Next Gen

Martin Truex Jr.

  • Two-time Darlington winner (2016 Fall, 2021 Spring)
  • Second-most Next Gen laps led (221)

Kyle Busch

  • 6th-ranked Darlington A.R.P. in Next Gen (10.28)
  • 58.3% chance of finishing inside Top 10 (14 for 24 in Darlington career)


Bubba Wallace

  • Three straight Darlington finishes of 9th, 5th, and 7th
  • 8th-ranked Darlington A.R.P. in Next Gen

*BONUS* RFK Racing – Brad Keselowski, Chris Buescher

  • Starting 2nd and 3rd, respectively, for Sunday’s race
  • Keselowski: 2018 Fall winner; three straight track Top 10s
  • Buescher: career-best 3rd in 2023 Fall event; two straight track Top 10s


Alex Bowman

  • 21st-ranked career average finish at Darlington (19.6)
  • Only three Top 10s in 12 track starts

Ryan Blaney

  • No finish better than 8th in 14 Darlington starts

Daniel Suarez

  • 28th-ranked average finish in career (23.9)
  • Only four Top 20s in 12 Darlington trips


William Byron vs. Denny Hamlin

Two of the best at Darlington kick off the first of four pairings. William Byron leads with a Next Gen A.R.P. of over two seconds higher than the field and enters the weekend as the defending Spring victor. Denny Hamlin takes the cake with Next Gen laps led and career Darlington results including the best average finish and Top 10 percentage rate.

The two will duel all day, but in the end, I like Byron to execute the better finishing result.

Tyler Reddick vs. Joey Logano

After claiming his 7th Cup Series pole, Tyler Reddick will guide the pack into turn one on Sunday. I discussed how successful he has been in recent Darlington races. Joey Logano, however, may have something to say about it. The Penske driver is overdue for a good showing with only three Top 10s through twelve races this season. Logano also has the 5th best A.R.P. in the Next Gen.

As long as he does not hit the wall like he did at Kansas or in Saturday practice, Reddick takes this one.

Chase Elliott vs. Ross Chastain

Chase Elliott’s consistency this year has been remarkable. Since Richmond Raceway, the No. 9 has been a weekly threat towards finding the checkered flag. I did not include Ross Chastain above; however, his recent Darlington resume has seen impressive speed. He had a shot to win last Spring before taking himself out of contention in a late restart crash. Additionally, Chastain found the checkered flag in Friday night’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race.

Inconsistency from Chastain at Darlington has me leaning toward Elliott for my NASCAR Fantasy pick.

Kyle Busch vs. Christopher Bell

Did anyone envision Kyle Busch wrecking on Lap 2 in Friday’s Truck event? The DNF was his earliest in any NASCAR event since 2003. Despite that, his Cup Series career at Darlington has been strong, and he has run well in the Next Gen car. Christopher Bell is in a similar boat by running up front early; however, he has not had the finishing track results or overall consistency this year.

Bell did prove me wrong last week, so I will give him the shot for Sunday.

What does your NASCAR Fantasy lineup for the 2024 Goodyear 400 from Darlington Raceway? Who wins at “The Track Too Tough to Tame?” Tweet us @LWOSMotorsport. Stay tuned here at LWOS Motorsports for NASCAR news, results, updates, and more.


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