Welcome to the NASCAR DFS Pit Stop for Sunday’s Dixie Vodka 400from Homestead-Miami Speedway!
This is the second of three races that will determine which four drivers race for the NASCAR Cup Series championship in two weeks at Phoenix. Last week, Joey Logano punched his ticket into the Championship 4, and this week another driver might be able to do the same. Homestead is a cookie-cutter 1.5-mile track where the high line is usually the best line to run. There are certain drivers who excel at that line and they will, of course, be high on our list this week.
Like I said in both the Truck Series and Xfinity Series article, this is a race you can chase dominator points. I will be rostering 2-3 potential dominators in every lineup I have to chase the 186.9 dominator points.
NASCAR DFS: Top Tier/Dominators
Ross Chastain ($9,600)
Starting Position: 20th
Chastain has never raced at Homestead in a competitive car, but he has been exceptional at this track type in 2022. Chastain owns the number one speed ranking on high-speed 1.5-mile tracks in 2022, as well as the best average finish (7.8), the best average running position (6.6), and the most average laps led per race (51.5). In Saturday’s practice session, Chastain was faced as he posted the 6th fastest single-lap, and he was atop the 10-lap average chart as well.
Tyler Reddick ($10,900)
When you talk about drivers who like running the high line, Reddick is a master of it. While Reddick has never won here in the Cup Series, he has an average finish of 3rd in his career. In practice on Saturday, Reddick showed great speed, but he was above all others in the long run showing he is able to manage his tires on a track where that matters greatly. Reddick was 3rd fastest in single-lap speed, but in 15, 20, and 25-lap runs, he was the fastest.
Kyle Larson ($10,800)
Larson is another driver who can be dominant at this track type, and I think it could come down to him or Reddick at the end. Similar to Reddick, Larson was fast late in his practice run on Saturday. Larson posted the 4th best 15-lap average, but he was second only to Reddick in 20 and 25-lap speed. Also, similar to Reddick, Larson should be at lower ownership than usual which is always a positive.
William Byron ($9,200)
Byron is the polesitter for Sunday’s race, and he should be considered a contender as well. This track type is one of Byron’s best, and he was dominant here last year on his way to victory. During the 2022 playoffs, Byron has the best average running position (7.1) and 3rd best average finish (8.7) at this track type. Byron also ranked top 6 in all lap average categories in Saturday’s practice.
Other Options: Denny Hamlin ($10,600 – P14): Great play, but will be chalky. Joey Logano ($9,800 – P17): Another chalky, but solid PD play. Martin Truex Jr. ($9,400 – P12): Won’t carry the ownership of the Hamlin and Logano but is riskier. Chase Elliott ($10,400 – P3): Well, because it’s Chase Elliott.
NASCAR DFS: Mid Tier
Kevin Harvick ($8,600)
Harvick is a driver who typically runs well at this track type and should be a top 10 car at day’s end. In practice, Harvick was not showing a lot of speed, but this team should find a way to get speed into this car for Sunday. This season at high tire wear tracks, Harvick has finishes of 4th and 7th and was a top 5 car when he caught fire at the second Darlington race.
Austin Dillon ($7,200)
Starting Position: 32nd
I don’t love the idea of playing Dillon after seeing how slow this car was in practice, but when you look at his history here, it’s hard to pass him up. Dillon will be popular, no doubt, and is a lock for cash games and probably single-entry because of the upside. In his last six Homestead races, Dillon has a 10.2 average finish and has not finished lower than 12th in any race. This season at high tire wear 1.5-mile tracks, Dillon has the second-best average finish (9.3).
Daniel Suarez ($8,300)
Suarez has been good to near great at both high-speed 1.5-mile ovals and at high tire wear tracks in 2022. Suarez finished 7th at Auto Club, 10th at Darlington 1, and was a contender at Darlington 2 until a late race pit penalty. At high-speed 1.5-mile tracks, Suarez has been a mid-teens driver but has shown better speed later in the season with two top-5 rankings in his last four at this track type. I view Suarez as a mid-teens driver with top 10 upside on Sunday.