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NASCAR

NASCAR DFS Pit Stop: Cup Series Indy Road Course

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Welcome to the NASCAR DFS Truck Series for Sunday’s Verizon 200 from The Brickyard! The NASCAR Cup Series returns to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course for the second time ever and needless to say, I expect this year’s race to be a lot less eventful. Last season we had mayhem ensue towards the end of the race thanks to some of the curbs on track. This season, NASCAR has removed some of those curbs that caused the incidents and it will make for a cleaner race. Because of the way qualifying worked out, I am going to break down the top and mid-tier a little different and separate my cash game/SE drivers from the pure GPP plays.

Roster Construction:

In my eyes, there are two distinct builds. There are cash game plays and there are GPP plays. You can mix and match some of them for SE if you prefer, but if you are MME in large-field GPP’s there will be drivers you want to be underweight on. For me, the cash build is a straight PD lineup and pretty much builds itself. As for GPP’s you will have decisions to make.

NASCAR DFS: Top Tier ($9K +)

Cash Game/Single Entry:
  1. Kyle Larson ($10,200 – P22) – Larson ran well here in 2021 and was leading when it all went haywire. In this race last season, Larson led 28 laps and ended up finishing third. Larson didn’t have a great one-lap time, but he was 5th best in 5-lap average in Saturday’s practice. So far in 2022, Larson has the 7th best speed ranking and 6th fastest late in a run on road courses. Larson is a top 10 car and my lock for cash.
  2. Ross Chastain ($10,400 – P21) – Chastain has been the best driver in 2022 on road courses in regards to speed rankings. In three road course races, Chastain has the best speed ranking and third best late run speed. In Saturday’s practice session, Chastain was fourth fastest in single lap time, but he was only 17th in 5-lap average. I am worried about his car’s late run speed in this race but he is plenty safe for cash.

Other Options: Martin Truex Jr. ($9,600 – P25)

GPP Options:
  1. Austin Cindric ($9,100 – P2) – Cindric is a road course specialist and had the fastest car in practice on Saturday. In 2022 on road courses, Cindric has the 3rd best average finish (6.7) and has the best late in a run speed ranking. This season on road courses, Cindric has finished no worse than 8th and he finished 9th here in 2021. In the Xfinity race in 2021, Cindric led 29 laps as he went home after making a stop in victory lane as the winner. I think Cindric is a dark horse bet to win this race and could be a dominator if he can get past the next driver.
  2. Tyler Reddick ($10,000 – P1) – Reddick was the winner the last time the Cup Series was on a road course, besting probably the best road course racer over the last 5 years (Elliott). In Saturday’s practice session, Reddick was 7th best in single lap time, but in 5-lap average he was 3rd and of the 11 cars that ran 10 consecutive laps Reddick was 2nd. There is a chance that Cindric is a little more popular than I anticipate but I don’t believe Reddick even sniffs double-digit ownership. Reddick could put on a similar performance to that of Allmendinger in Saturday’s Xfinity race.
  3. Chase Elliott ($10,600 – P8) – I don’t know that Elliott is a full GPP play, but at his salary and with so many other drivers in his price range starting so far back he won’t be as popular as usual. Elliott comes into this race with five straight top 2 finishes (Yes, last week’s “win” counts) and will definitely be in position for a 6th straight. This season on road courses, Elliott ranks 2nd in both total speed ranking and late run speed. Elliott is always a great play at any track type, especially road courses.

Other Options: Daniel Suarez ($9,400 – P11) – Suarez looked incredibly fast in practice and has a win at Sonoma earlier this season. Ryan Blaney ($9,200 -P6)

NASCAR DFS: Mid Tier ($7K – $8.9K)

Cash game/Single entry:
  1. AJ Allmendinger ($8,200 – P20) – I fully expect Allmendinger to be the highest-owned driver in Sunday’s field. We saw how Dinger dominated the Xfinity race on Saturday and he is also the previous winner of this race in 2021. In Saturday’s practice session, Allmendinger was 8th fastest in single lap time and 5th best in 5-ap average. Even though I list Dinger as a cash play, he is also playable in GPP’s.
  2. Alex Bowman ($7,800 – P28) – If you watched the Xfinity race, Bowman was the only driver who gave Allmendinger a run for his money. I don’t expect a similar performance from the 48 car on Sunday, but Bowman is cheap, and an exceptionally safe play in my eyes. In 2022, Bowman is top 10 in both total speed ranking as well as speed late in a run.

Other Options: Erik Jones ($7,100 – P35)

GPP options:
  1. William Byron ($8,700 – P23) – Byron could be considered for cash but I think the options listed above will be higher owned and are safer plays. In Saturday’s practice, Byron was not near the top of the charts, but he has been good at road courses in 2022. Byron ranks 15th in total speed ranking and is 11th late in a run. With so many options for cash, I think Byron has PD upside at low ownership.
  2. Chris Buescher ($7,500 – P16) – Buescher has been a solid road course racer in 2022. In three races on this track type, Buscher has the 7th best total speed ranking and is 10th best late in a run. Buescher didn’t put down a great lap, but he did have the 6th best 5-lap average. I can see Buescher as a top 10 car on Sunday.

Other Options: Ty Gibbs ($7,000 – P26), Christopher Bell ($8,600 – P4), Kevin Harvick ($8,400 – P18)

Value Tier ($6.9K and under)

  1. Ricky Stenhouse ($6,100 – P38)
  2. Justin Haley ($6,200 – P17)
  3. Austin Dillon ($6,700 – P29)
  4. Cole Custer ($6,300 – P24)
  5. Ty Dillon ($6,000 – P30)
  6. Harrison Burton ($5,800 – P13)
  7. Brad Keselowski ($6,800 – P12)

Check out my NASCAR DFS Tutorial to ensure you are ready and understand how I break down the races and build lineups (https://windailysports.com/nascar-dfs-pit-stop-2021-introduction-to-nascar-dfs/).

There were a lot of changes in the cars and what driver is in what car/truck in 2022. Check out my What’s new in 2022 article (https://windailysports.com/nascar-dfs-whats-new-in-2022/)

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