DFS NASCAR Picks for Cup Series

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The NASCAR Cup Series will travel to Richmond Raceway for another short, flat track race. The Cup Series introduced the new short track aero package at Phoenix earlier this month. There were mixed reviews. Some drivers said they did not see much difference in the new package, while other drivers said it produced slightly better racing. There is no denying that the Toyota’s liked the new aero package. They led 298 of the 312 laps at Phoenix. Will the Toyota’s dominated the race at Richmond? We will see Sunday night at 7 p.m. ET on FOX.

 

PRACTICE AND QUALIFYING

The Cup Series had an early wakeup call Saturday at Richmond Raceway. The teams had a 20-minute practice session at 10:30 am. The race is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Sunday night. Most of the teams expect the track conditions to be different for the race, but we cannot ignore the speeds from the practice Saturday morning. Most of the drivers were able to make some long runs in practice. We can use this data and combine it with the qualifying positions (track position is important at Richmond) to help select the drivers for our DFS lineups.

Here are the speeds from Saturday’s practice at Richmond…

 

 

 

DRAFTKINGS POINTS AT RICHMOND AND PHOENIX

We cannot ignore what happened at Phoenix earlier this season. Richmond is a short, flat track like Phoenix, but they race differently. We need to look at the data from the two races at Richmond last year and add in the data from the race at Phoenix this year in order to handicap the Toyota Owners 400. The drivers who ran well in all three races should be the drivers we will want in our DFS lineups Sunday night.

Here are the stats from the last two races at Richmond and the race at Phoenix earlier this season, sorted by DFS Points….

 

 

DRAFTKINGS STRATEGY

The Toyota Owners 400 is scheduled for 400 laps (300 miles). That means there are 100 points available for leading laps and 180 points available for fastest laps (180 dominator points). The trend in the Gen-7 car races at Richmond is for one driver to lead 100 laps and score 30 fastest laps (38.5 dominator points). Another driver leads 90 laps and scores 28 fastest laps (35.1 dominator points). Two other drivers led 80 laps and score 28 fastest laps (32.6 dominator points). That is 138.8 bonus points from four drivers. We need to have at least three of these drivers in our lineups Sunday night. I plan to play a lot of “stars and scrubs” lineups this week, because it really doesn’t matter what our cheap drivers do in the race, as long as we have three or four of the dominators in our lineup.

The drivers with the best chance to score dominator points today includes Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr., Alex Bowman, William Byron and Denny Hamlin

The drivers with the best chance to score place differential points include William Byron, Denny Hamlin, Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick, Brad Keselowski, Chase Briscoe, Josh Berry, Michael McDowell and Justin Haley

 

 

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.

 

 

DRAFTKINGS CASH CONTEST LINEUP

KYLE LARSON ($10,800): Larson won the race at Richmond last year and he may do it again Sunday night. Larson won the pole, has the No. 1 pit stall and the No. 5 car posted the fastest lap in practice with the second-best long-run speed (on the 20-lap average speed chart). Larson is the best pick to lead the most laps and score the most DFS Points at Richmond.

MARTIN TRUEX JR. ($10,200): I really like Truex at Richmond. Truex has finished the last 10 races at Richmond in the top-11 with an average finishing position of 4th. That is a large sample size with a lot of top-five results. Truex has average 57 laps led in his last six races at Richmond. He should be one of the dominators Sunday night.

BRAD KESELOWSKI ($8,200):Richmond is one of the best tracks for Keselowski. The track conditions did not have any speed when he made his qualifying lap. His car has speed and the No. 6 team will gamble with their pit strategy to get Keselowski to the front. That is what they did last year when Keselowski led 102 laps and finished 6th at Richmond. Keselowski has a good chance to score place differential points and score some dominator points at Richmond.

CHASE BRISCOE ($7,600): Briscoe is always at his best on the short, flat tracks. He finished 11th and 12th at Richmond last year and 11th in this race in 2022. Briscoe got the short end of the stick in qualifying. The track had no grip when he made his lap and he got loose going over the bump in turn two. Briscoe starts 32nd with a good chance to finish in the top-15.

JOSH BERRY ($7,500): Berry should be a good pick from the 30th starting position. Berry started 30th in this race last year and finished 2nd. I am not expecting Berry to be that good Sunday night, but a top-20 finish would be enough to help this lineup reach the payline. I will take a chance with Berry at one of his better tracks.

JUSTIN HALEY ($5,300): Rick Ware Racing is the most improved organization in 2024. Haley doesn’t qualify well, but the No. 51 car runs decent when the green flag is waived. Haley finished 24th at Phoenix and 17th at Bristol. Haley starts 36th and he posted the 10th-fastest speed in practice. Haley is a safe pick for your lineup Sunday night.

 

 

DRAFTKINGS TOURNAMENT CONTEST LINEUP

KYLE LARSON ($10,200): There are going to be people who will fade Larson because of his high ownership. That is probably a good strategy in some of your lineups, but I rather have more shares of Larson than the rest of the field. He is one of the toughest drivers to run down once he gets the lead. I at least expect Larson to lead 70 laps in Stage 1 and be one of the top scoring drivers in DFS Sunday night.

TY GIBBS ($10,000): If you follow me on X (formerly known as Twitter), you know I just bet Gibbs to win the Championship. Gibbs has been the most consistent driver this season. Gibbs finished 5th at Las Vegas, 3rd at Phoenix, 9th at Bristol and 3rd last week at COTA. Gibbs also finished 9th in this race last year. The No. 54 car has the speed to lead some laps Sunday night and Gibbs has the talent to finish in the top-five. I will take a chance with Gibbs at Richmond.

JOEY LOGANO ($8,400): Richmond is one of the best tracks for Logano. If he cannot run well on Easter, his team has big problems that may not be able to be solved. I think Logano will run well and be a good source of dominator points for only $8,400. Logano posted the 2nd fastest speed in practice with the 6th fastest long-run speed. I have a feeling people will be afraid to play Logano (that is understandable), but I play the No. 22 car.

ALEX BOWMAN ($8,000): Richmond has been a good track for Bowman. He won at Richmond in 2021 and he finished 8th in both spring races at Richmond in the Gen-7 car. Bowman was the fastest on the 15-lap, 20-lap and 25-lap speed charts in practice. His car is one of the fastest on the long runs. Bowman finished 4th in his last two races (Bristol and COTA), so he is on a bit of a hot streak. Bowman could score a lot of dominator points for only $8K Sunday night. That is just too good to pass up.

BRAD KESELOWSKI ($8,200): I want as many drivers who can lead laps as possible at Richmond. Keselowski may not have the fastest car in the field, but he doesn’t need it in order to lead laps. His crew chief will get Keselowski the track position he needs and score our lineup some bonus points. I like Keselowski for Cash and Tournament Contest lineups this week.

HARRISON BURTON ($5,200): Richmond is not only the home track for Burton, it is one of his best tracks on the schedule. Burton finished 18th and 19th in the last two spring races at Richmond. Burton starts 26th and he posted the 11th-fastest speed in practice. His car was also decent on the long-runs. Burton posted the 7th fastest speed on the 15-lap and 20-lap average speed charts. I will take a chance with Burton at his home track.

 

 

FANDUEL MODEL (Prediction Based on Stats)

 

 

FANDUEL CASH CONTEST LINEUP

 

 

FANDUEL TOURNAMENT CONTEST LINEUP

 

 

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