The Xfinity Series will join the Cup Series at Michigan International Speedway this weekend. There are only six races left until the playoffs begin for the “Series Where Names are Made”. The field is not stacked like it was last week, but the racing should still be exciting and it should be a good race to play a DraftKings contest in. The New Holland 250 can be seen Saturday 3:30 p.m. ET on USA Network.
XFINITY SERIES PRACTICE RESULTS
The Xfinity Series had their regular practice schedule this week (Don’t get me started on how it sucks that most people could not see it). The teams had 20 minutes to dial in their cars for the race and most of the cars were able to make some long runs in practice. That is important because the drivers who can maintain their speed over the long run will be up front Saturday. The cars are impounded after qualifying so the speed the cars had in practice is the speed the teams will start the race at Michigan.
Here are the lap times from the practice Saturday at Michigan…
AVERAGE DFS POINTS ON INTERMEDIATE TRACKS (2022)
The Xfinity Series schedule used to be filled with intermediate tracks, but that is no longer the case. The series has only competed on four large intermediate tracks this year. These tracks include Auto Club, Las Vegas, Charlotte and Texas (Atlanta is closer to a Superspeedway track so I do not include the race at Atlanta). We can learn a lot from the four races on the large intermediate tracks this season.
Here are the average DraftKings points on the 1.5 and 2-mile ovals in 2022…
STRATEGY FOR MICHIGAN
The race at the Michigan is scheduled for 125 laps (250 miles). That means there are 31.25 points available for laps led and 56.25 points available for fastest laps (87.5 dominator points). That is a lot of dominator points for an Xfinity Series race.
The trend in the Xfinity Series races at Michigan is for one driver to lead 60 laps and be the main dominator in the race. There are typical two other drivers who score a lot of dominator points. One of these drivers leads 30 laps and the other leads 25 laps.
My strategy this week will be to pay up for the driver I think can lead the most laps and pair him with the two drivers who lead 30 and 25 laps. Our lineup will return a good value if we can have the three drivers who led 115 of the 125 laps Saturday. All we will need the other three drivers to do is not score negative points.
My top dominators for Saturday’s race include: Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier, AJ Almendinger and Ty Gibbs
DRIVER RANKINGS FOR MICHIGAN
CORE DRIVERS FOR MICHIGAN
TOP-TIER DRIVERS: Ty Gibbs ($10,900), Noah Gragson ($10,700), Justin Allgaier ($10,500), Josh Berry ($10,300), AJ Allmendinger ($10,100), Austin Hill ($9,800), John H. Nemechek ($9,600), Sam Mayer ($9,400), Brandon Jones ($9,200)
VALUE DRIVERS: Riley Herbst ($8,800), Sheldon Creed ($8,600), Sammy Smith ($8,400), Ryan Sieg ($8,000), Kaz Grala ($7,800), Alex Labbe ($6,700), Kyle Sieg ($6,100)
PUNT PLAYS: Blaine Perkins ($5,900), Masson Massey ($5,800), Josh Bilicki ($5,400), Patrick Emerling ($5,200), Bayley Currey ($5,100), Ryan Ellis ($4,900), Josh Williams ($4,500)
DRAFTKINGS CASH CONTEST LINEUP
JUSTIN ALLGAIER ($10,500): Allgaier has been on fire this summer. He won at Darlington, Nashville and New Hampshire. The No. 7 car posted the fourth-fastest speed in practice with the fastest long-run speed. Allgaier should be a threat to win again today.
JOHN H. NEMECHEK ($9,600): Nemechek will be behind the wheel of the No. 26 car for Sam Hunt Racing. He drove this car in four races this year. Nemechek finished 12th at Las Vegas, fifth at Phoenix, fourth at Darlington and 18th at Road America. Nemecheck starts 31st so he should be a safe pick with the upside to be one of the top-five scoring drivers in your DraftKings contest.
BRANDON JONES ($9,200): I usually play Jones in Tournament Contests because his is a “checkers or wreckers” type of driver, but he should be a safe pick today. Jones finished second in this race last year and sixth in 2019 (the Xfinity Series did not race at Michigan in 2020). Jones posted the sixth-fastest speed in practice. He should score well for all contests.
SAM MAYER ($9,400): Mayer started the season on fire but he has been in a slump lately. Mayer has been good on the large oval tracks though. He finished sixth at Auto Club, third at Texas and third at Charlotte. Now Mayer starts 26th in today’s race. The No. 1 car posted the third-fastest speed in practice. He is a lock for Cash Contests and should be a good pick for Tournament Contests too.
ALEX LABBE ($6,700): Labbe was not on my radar entering this week but then he went out and qualified 30th for the race. Labbe has a 19.8 average finishing position this year so he should score some place differential points. Labbe posted the 24th fastest speed in practice. He should be a safe pick for our Cash Contest lineup.
JOSH WILLIAMS ($4,500): Williams will be my “punt play” in the Xfinity Series contests. Williams starts 28th and he posted the 17th-fastest speed in practice. His average finishing position in his last four races is 22nd. Williams is one of the best cheap drivers today.
DRAFTKINGS TOURNAMENT CONTEST LINEUP
JUSTIN ALLGAIER ($10,500): Allgaier will be in both lineups today. He has competed with Ty Gibbs for the best driver in the Xfinity Series this year, but I will play the No. 7 car based on practice speed. “Little Gator” should be one of the top dominators in today’s race.
AJ ALLMENDINGER ($10,100): It is risky to play two drivers who start in the top-three but Justin Allgaier and AJ Allmendinger are the two safest plays in the field. Allmendinger has finished 17 of the 20 races in the top-10. He also won the race at Michigan last year. Allmendinger posted the second-fastest speed in practice. He should dominate a portion of the race today.
AUSTIN HILL ($9,800): Do you like safe drivers? I do. It is hard to find a driver as consistent as Hill right now. He has finished 9th, 8th, 7th, 1st, 4th, 8th and 3rd in his last seven races. Hill starts 16th and should be a lock for a top-10 finish at Michigan.
SAM MAYER ($9,400): I have Mayer in both the Cash and Tournament Contests this week. It is tough to fade the speed he has from the 26th starting position. You can pivot to John H. Nemechek at a bit lower ownership, but I trust Mayer more than Nemechek.
BAYLEY CURREY ($5,100): Currey should be a good “punt play” today. He posted the 23rd fastest speed in practice but he starts 35th in the race. Currey has a 22nd place average finishing position on the large ovals this year. He will score really well if he finishes inside the top-25 today.
JOSH WILLIAMS ($4,500) I will play Williams in the Cash and Tournament Contest lineup for a few reasons…. I like his practice speed compared to his starting position and using Williams as a “punt play” leaves $600 of salary on the table. That should make the lineup a bit unique.
Good Luck Saturday!
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