DFS NASCAR Picks for Richmond


The NASCAR Cup Series travel back to Richmond Raceway this weekend. The Cup Series last competed at this track in April and the race was dominated by Hendrick Motorsports. There have been four other races on short, flat tracks (Phoenix, Martinsville, Gateway and New Hampshire). Most of these races have been dominated by Joe Gibbs Racing. These two organizations have won 19 of the last 27 races at Richmond (70%). It will be fun to see if any team can beat HMS or JGR at this short, flat track. The Cook Out 400 can be seen Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on USA Network (Steamed on the NBC Sports App).



The Cup Series had a short practice session to shake down their cars for the race Sunday. Richmond is a .75-mile track so most of the teams had plenty of time to make some long runs. We can learn a lot by looking at the 10-lap average speed chart this week.

Here are the lap times from the practice Saturday at Richmond…




We have a lot of data to work with this week. We can use the data from the race in April at Richmond and the data from the other short, flat tracks in 2023. These tracks include Phoenix, Gateway and New Hampshire. I will also add in the data from the All-Star Race at North Wilksboro.

Here are the driver rankings from the races on the short, flat tracks in 2023…




There have been three races at Richmond in the Gen-7 car. They all had one thing in common…. Passing for the lead was difficult. The trend in these races was for one driver to lead roughly 120 laps and score 50 fastest laps (52.5 dominator points). A second driver led 100 laps and scored 42 fastest laps (43.9 dominator points). A third driver leads roughly 70 laps and scores 42 fastest laps (36.4 dominator points). We MUST pay up for the drivers who we think can lead the most laps Sunday. We will win a lot of cash if we can find the three dominators for our lineups and score the 133 dominator points they are projected to score. It will not matter what the rest of the lineup does, as long as they do not start in the top-10 and finish last.

The drivers with the best chance to dominate the race Sunday include Tyler Reddick, William Byron, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick

The drivers with the best chance to score place differential points are Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Ross Chastain, Christopher Bell, Aric Almirola, Chase Briscoe, Daniel Suarez, AJ Allmendinger, Austin Cindric, Erik Jones 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.



FANDUEL MODEL (Prediction Based on Stats) 




TOP-TIER DRIVERSMARTIN TRUEX JR. (DK $11K / FD $14K), KYLE LARSON (DK $10.8K / FD $13.5K), DENNY HAMLIN (DK $10.5K / FD $13K), KYLE BUSCH (DK $10.4K / FD $11K),  CHRISTOPHER BELL (DK $10.2K / FD $12K), KEVIN HARVICK (DK $10.1K / FD $12.5K), WILLIAM BYRON (DK $9.9K / FDK $11.5K), JOEY LOGANO (DK $9.7K / FD $10.5K), CHASE ELLIOTT (DK $9.5K / FD $10K)

VALUE-TIER DRIVERSTYLER REDDICK (DK $8.9K / FD $8.5K),  TY GIBBS (DK $8.3K / FD $7.2K), ALEX BOWMAN (DK $8.1K / FD $8K), DANIEL SUAREZ (DK $7.8K / FD $6.8K), CHRIS BUESCHER (DK $7.7K / FD $7.5K), BUBBA WALLACE (DK $7.5K / FD $6.5K), ARIC ALMIROLA (DK $7.3K / FD $7.8K), CHASE BRISCOE (DK $6.8K / FD $7.1K), RYAN PREECE (DK $6.9K / FD $6.2K), ERIK JONES (DK $6.3K / FD $5K),  AJ ALLMENDINGER (DK $6.2K / FD $5.2K), JUSTIN HALEY (DK $6.1K / FD $4.8K)





– I want at least two dominators in all lineups Sunday. My Points Prediction Model has Denny Hamlin and William Byron as the top two dominators, so they get a spot in the Cash Contest lineup. Kevin Harvick had the best car in practice and he has been very consistent at Richmond. Aric Almirola is a short, flat track expect. Almirola was also fast in practice. AJ Allmendinger is a lock for all Cash Contest since he starts dead last. Austin Cindric starts 30th. He cannot kill the lineup, but he can help it reach the pay-line Sunday.



Track position was very important in the first race at Richmond. I will play many of the drivers who start in the top-10 and hope I can score all of the dominator points Sunday. Denny Hamlin is going to be a popular pick so I will pivot to a lower-owned Kyle Busch. Tyler Reddick has never led a lap on a short track, so I will bet Rowdy can take an early lead and run away from the field. William Byron, Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott all looked good in practice, qualified up front and have a history of running well at Richmond. I will play these three drivers as dominators Sunday. Ty Dillon starts 34th and his average finishing position in his last three races is 24th. He was eighth-fastest in practice so I will take a chance with Dillon. J.J. Yeley starts 35th and his average finishing position in his last seven races is 18th. Yeley was 13th fastest in practice, so I will use him as a “punt play”.








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