DFS NASCAR Picks for Cup Series


The NASCAR Cup Series will race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this week. The “Magic Mile” is a one-mile flat track that the teams have a lot of notes to work with. New Hampshire is similar to Phoenix, Richmond, North Wilksboro, Gateway and Iowa; so the teams will use the notes from those races for the Magic Mile. The race at Iowa was pretty good. Hopefully we get the same in New Hampshire. The U.S. Today 301 can be seen Sunday at 2:30 p.m. on USA Network.



The Cup Series had a four-minute practice before it was washed out from rain. Most of the drivers did not even get up to speed and some teams did not even make it onto the track. We will not learn anything from the short practice this week.

Qualifying was also washed out. That means the starting lineup was set “per the rule book.” The race at Iowa last week is similar to the race at New Hampshire Sunday. The drivers who start up front were fast at Iowa. They should be fast at the Magic Mile too.



The race at New Hampshire should be one of the easier races of the season to predict. We have seen the drivers compete on five similar tracks this year, so we have plenty of data to work with. There have been two Cup Series races at the Magic Mile using the Gen-7 car, so I will be looking at those stats too. We can learn a lot about the U.S. Today 301 by looking at the stats from the short, flat track races this year and the previous races in the Gen-7 car at New Hampshire. Here are the stats from those races, sorted by DFS Points…




The trend in the two Cup Series races at New Hampshire in the Gen-7 car is for one driver to lead 180 laps (45 DK Points) and score 48 fastest laps (21.6 DK Points) for a total of 66.6 dominator points. Another driver leads 40 laps (10 DK Points) and scores 34 fastest laps (15.3 DK Points) for a total of 25.3 dominator points. Two other drivers lead 30 laps each (7.5 DK Points) and score 30 fastest laps (13.5 DK Points) for a total of 21 dominator points. We need to score as many of the dominator points as possible this week so that means we need to pay up for the drivers who we think will lead the most laps.

Martin Truex Jr. led 172 laps, scored 48 fastest laps and finished fourth at New Hampshire in 2022. That was good enough for 101.6 DK Points. He came back in 2023 and led 254 laps, scored 88 fastest laps and won the race. That was good enough for 149.1 DK Points. The people who faded Truex at New Hampshire did not win any cash. Passing for the lead at this track has been very tough. There is a good chance that one driver will score over 100 DK Points Sunday. That driver will determine if you win or lose your money. Be sure to get as many drivers who can lead the most laps into your lineup, because the rest of your lineup really does not matter (as long as your cheaper drivers do not lose a ton of place differential points Sunday).

The drivers with the best chance to dominate the race Sunday include Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, Christopher Bell, Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano

The drivers with the best chance to score place differential points are Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Ty Gibbs, Noah Gragson, Chase Briscoe, Erik Jones, Austin Cindric and Ryan Preece



DRAFTKINGS MODEL (Prediction Based on Stats) 

Finish = Finishing Points                PD = Position Differential              Fastest = Fastest Laps Led = Laps Led

* The number in front of the driver is his projected finishing position based on stats.




CHRISTOPHER BELL ($11,000): Bell has been a beast on the tracks similar to New Hampshire. He had the best driver rating at Phoenix and Gateway, the fifth-best driver rating at Richmond and the sixth-best driver rating at Iowa. He won at New Hampshire in the Gen-7 car in 2022 and the No. 20 car looks fast again this week. Bell should be one of the top dominators Sunday.

KYLE LARSON ($10,000): Larson has been fast on every type of track this year, but he had problems at Iowa so now the No. 5 car will start 19th in the U.S. Today 301. Larson is almost a lock to score 10-15 place differential points and he has a decent chance to lead some laps too. There is just too much upside with the No. 5 car this week, so I cannot fade him no matter what his ownership is.

CHASE ELLIOTT ($9,200): Elliott has become the most reliable driver in the Cup Series this year. He only has one win (Texas), but his 9.1 average finishing position through the first 17 races is by far the best in the Cup Series. Elliott was the driver who benefitted the most from qualifying being rained out. Elliott will start on the front row and the No. 9 team will have the No. 1 pit stall. The No. 9 car has a great chance to be one of the top dominators at New Hampshire.

NOAH GRAGSON ($7,300): Gragson hasn’t been good at New Hampshire in the Cup Series, but it is a small sample size (one race). He has been good on the tracks similar to New Hampshire. Gragson finished 12th at Phoenix, 12th at Richmond, and 16th last week at Iowa. New Hampshire was the best track for Aric Almirola in the No. 10 car. Maybe Gragson can have similar success Sunday.

CHASE BRISCOE ($7,200): Briscoe is at his best on the tracks similar to New Hampshire. His car has had a lot more speed than the results suggest. Briscoe finished 10th last year at New Hampshire in the Gen-7 car and 15th in 2021. The No. 14 car should be a good value pick with the upside for a top-10 finish Sunday.

DANIEL HEMRIC ($5,100): I need a cheap driver who will not kill my lineup Sunday. Hemric starts 33rd in the U.S. Today 301. Hemric has an average finishing position of 28th on tracks similar to New Hampshire this year. He will score 18 DK Points if he can finish 28th Sunday. That is not a lot of points, but I do not need many points if Christopher Bell and Chase Elliott lead the most laps Sunday.

* I could either use KYLE BUSCH from the 30th starting spot and pair him with AUSTIN CINDRIC who starts 29th or use NOAH GRAGSON and CHASE BRSICE. I decided to use the two Stewart-Haas Racing drivers, but I think both lineups could work out Sunday.





MARTIN TRUEX JR. ($10,500): New Hampshire ranks as the best track for Truex. He has finished eight of his last nine races at the Magic Mile in the top seven. That includes a trip to Victory Lane last year and an average finishing position of fifth over the last decade. The problem with Truex this year has been with qualifying. That will not be an issue Sunday. Truex will start seventh since the lineup was set “per the rule book.” Truex has the track position to score a lot of DFS points at his best track.

RYAN BLANEY ($10,300): It took Blaney 17 races to find Victory Lane. Can he win again Sunday? The No. 22 car looks like they unloaded with the same speed they had last week in Iowa. Blaney starts on the front row, so he has the track position to lead a lot of laps and score a lot of points for your DFS lineup.

JOEY LOGANO ($9,800): Logano has been at his best on the shorter, flatter tracks this year. Logano finished second at Richmond, destroyed the field at North Wilksboro, finished fifth at Gateway and sixth last week in Iowa. Logano also finished three of his last four races at New Hampshire in the top-four. I will take a chance with Logano at his home track.

KYLE BUSCH ($7,500): I know it is tough to trust Busch right now. His team has had a lot of problems, but the risk is reduced because Busch starts 30th Sunday. His average finishing position at New Hampshire in the Gen-7 car is 13th. Busch will score 47 DK Points if he can finish 13th Sunday. That is just too many points to pass up for this race.

RYAN PREECE ($6,200): This is a home game for Preece. He knows this track better than any track on the schedule. Preece has four starts at New Hampshire in the Cup Series and his average finishing position is 21st. Preece will score 31 DK Points if he can finish 21st Sunday. That is enough points if we hit on the dominators in this lineup.

DANIEL HEMRIC ($5,100): Hemric is my “punt play” in my Cash Contest lineup and I will use him in my Tournament Lineup too. It is not because I really like Hemric this week, but it is because he is the only driver that fits the salary cap other than Kaz Grala. I trust Hemric more than Grala at New Hampshire.



FANDUEL MODEL (Prediction Based on Stats)









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