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NASCAR DFS Pit Stop: Cup Series Talladega 10/2



Welcome to the NASCAR DFS Pit Stop for Sunday’s YellaWood 500 from Talladega Superspeedway!

As with most superspeedway races, this one should be filled with destroyed cars. After what we’ve seen in the lack of safety and tires in this new car I am hoping we don’t have any wrecks but they are inevitable in these races. What happened in the Xfinity Series race, every car finished the race, will not happen on Sunday. That was the first time that has ever happened in any of the three national series in NASCAR.

In four of the last five Talladega races, the winner won with a last-lap pass. Like I have said all weekend and at previous superspeedway races, you need to focus on place differential and finishing position. If you are playing only one lineup, you should be completely fading the drivers starting in the top 10. In most of the last five Talladega races, 2-3 drivers starting in the top 10 would finish there. The majority of the top 10 came from the high teens and further back. Also, there are only 37 cars in the field so there will be lower place differential totals on Sunday so you don’t need to stack the chalk from the back.

NASCAR DFS: Dominators

Ryan Blaney ($10,400)

Starting Position: 19th

Blaney is one of the series’ top superspeedway drivers and should be one of the top picks to win this race. Earlier this season at Talladega, Blaney finished 11th, but he led 23 laps and was running second but had a pit road issue that led to his 11th place. In the last five races here, Blaney has the 3rd best average finish (of drivers with more than one race) and has one win and two top 10’s in those races.

Chase Elliott ($10,000)

Starting Position: 16th

Superspeedways are not Elliott’s best track type but he should be a top performer on Sunday. Elliott needs points and can’t afford to wreck out early in this race. Since 2019, Elliot has one win and four finishes of 8th or better in that span.

Other Options: Kyle Busch ($9,900 – P26), Martin Truex Jr. ($9,700 – P22)


Bubba Wallace ($8,900)

Starting Position: 27th (Dropping to the rear for engine change)

Even with Wallace dropping to the rear, this shouldn’t deter anyone from playing him on Sunday. Wallace is one of the supreme superspeedway drivers in the Cup Series and should be near the front at day’s end. Last fall at this race Wallace earned his first career Cup Series win and has excelled at every superspeedway race since. At the Daytona 500, Wallace was in a position to win at the end but ended up 2nd behind Austin Cindric. Then at the first Talladega race this season, Wallace led 15 laps and won stage 1. Wallace was pushing back to the front on the last lap, but was caught up in the last lap wreck and finished 17th.

Lower Owned Pivot: Kevin Harvick ($8,100 – P24) – Harvick has run well at Talladega recently with 5 finishes in the top 20 out of five races. Harvick also has four top 10’s in that time and the second best average finish (10.4)

Chris Buescher ($7,600)

Starting Position: 23rd

Buescher is another driver who traditionally runs well at this track type. In the last two fall races, Buescher won stage 1 and has two top 10’s in the last five races here. Last Fall at this race, Buescher won stage 1 as I mentioned, and he also led seven laps in that race on his way to a 6th place finish. Ford’s, and more specifically RFK Ford’s, run well at this track type and Sunday should be no different.

Outside of the three drivers above, there are three more I highly rank for today’s race:

Austin Cindric ($7,900 – P17): Cindric won the Daytona 500 this year and ran well at Talladega but was caught up in the big one in stage 2 and finished 21st.

Austin Dillon ($7,200 – P20): Dillon is a superior superspeedway driver and is coming off a win at Daytona.

Brad Keselowski ($7,400 – P18): Keselowski is a 6-time winner at Talladega and should be a contender on Sunday. Can he win this race? Of course he can, but I view Kes as a top 10 car. In his last five Dega races, Keselowski has finished every race running and has only one finish lower than 19th (23rd – Spring ’22) and won the spring race here in 2021. Keselowski also has the second-most quality passes over the last 5 races (passes inside the top 15 under green)

NASCAR DFS: Value Tier Rankings

  1. Corey Lajoie ($6,000) – P32
  2. Todd Gilliland ($4,900) – P34: Gilliland may be my favorite play on the entire slate. He is a driver that never gets above 20% ownership and typically runs well at drafting tracks.
  3. Ricky Stenhouse ($6,400) – P25 (Speicial 2Lock Bday narrative today!)
  4. Ty Dillon ($5,300) – P30
  5. Cole Custer ($6,700) – P28): Nobody ever plays Custer as these tracks but he (almost) always does well.
  6. Michael McDowell ($6,600) – P29
  7. Landon Cassill ($5,800) – P33
  8. Justin Haley ($6,200) – P21: Haley probably comes in at sub 10% ownership which makes me love him more. If you are making 1-3 lineups, don’t go here but if you’re MME like me crank up the exposure.

Realistically everyone in this tier is in play, even Noah Gragson ($5,600 – P7).

There are a lot of good drivers that I don’t want exposure to in DFS, like Kyle Larson, but I will have some Erik Jones ($8,300 – P12) exposure on Sunday. He is my pick to win this race and has decent odds on DK still at +3000. I also think Stenhouse can get it done today as well at +4000 on DK, but a real darkhorse bet that I put some money is Harrison Burton ($5,100 – P15) at +10000.

Remember everyone, this a superspeedway and you should NOT be looking to max out your salary. Instead look to drivers who run well and are good at avoiding the wrecks to have good finishes. Of course, place differential is key but you do NOT need to just “stack the back”, drivers in the low 20’s and teens are playable.

Check out my NASCAR DFS Tutorial! Ensure you are ready and understand how I break down the races and build lineups (

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 (

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