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NASCAR DFS Pit Stop: Cup Series Texas 9/25



Welcome to the NASCAR DFS Pit Stop for Sunday’s Auto Trader EchoPark Automotive 500 (sheesh…that’s a mouthful)

Unlike last week, this should be a relatively boring race. Texas is not known for fun and exciting races. The drivers hate it and the fans do as well. As Kyle Larson stated earlier on Saturday, “I would like them to demolish this place first and then start over from scratch”. Couldn’t say it any better myself. Last season in this race we had only five incidents that produced caution, but the first one had 12 cars involved. At the end of the day, only 15 cars ended the day on the lead lap and 13 cars (out of 39) wrecked out.

Based on all that, a “stack the back” lineup may seem ideal, but consider this; six of the top in that race started in the top 10 and the polesitter won (not happening on Sunday). Only four drivers outside the top 20 finished inside the top 20. While loading up on drivers in the late 20s and 30s may seem smart, I won’t be doing that. Now, finding 2-3 drivers who may be lower owned with some potential for high teens to low 20s finish is worth a shot and is something I will try to do.

Getting a few potential place differential plays is something we need to consider, but finding potential dominators may be more critical. With there being 334 laps, we have an overabundance of dominator points to search for, 233.8 to be exact. Kansas is the most similar track the series has visited recently (9/11) and Goodyear is bringing the same tires setup from that race to Texas. In that race, the Toyota’s dominated with four of the top five finishers, but the next three were all Chevy’s, 2 HMS Chevy’s, and Ross Chastain to be exact.

NASCAR DFS: Dominators

Potential Dominators:

  • Kyle Larson ($10,700 – P9)
  • Denny Hamlin ($10,800 – P8)
  • William Byron ($9,100 – P3)
  • Tyler Reddick ($9,400 – P4)

All four of these drivers have won multiple races in 2022 and led a lot of laps in the process. On the season at this track type all four rank inside the top 10 in average speed ranking and in the top 10 in speed at Kansas two weeks ago. Reddick was actually at the top of the speed charts but wrecked early after leading 38 laps in that race. Looking at the salaries, using one of the $10K guys with one of the $9K drivers fits all build types perfectly and will most likely be how I start all my lineups on Sunday.

Other Options: Ross Chastain ($9,200 – P12), Joey Logano ($8,900 – P2), Chase Elliott ($10,500 – P6)

NASCAR DFS: Top Tier Place Differential:

Christopher Bell ($10,300)

Starting Position: 22nd

Bell starts in a spot that makes him the ideal place differential play for this race. Since Richmond (six races), outside of Daytona where he wrecked, Bell has yet to finish worse than 8th. Bell does have some dominator potential, albeit low, but I am not rostering him for those points. Since I view Bell as a top 10 car with an outside shot at winning, I want to use the 20 car to earn PD points.

Ryan Blaney ($9,600)

Starting Position: 14th

Blaney has been outstanding at Texas since joining Penske. Since 2018, Blaney has finished 8th or better in every race (except Spring 2019 – Overheating) and won the All-Star race here earlier this season. At Kansas, Blaney finished 9th and was the highest finishing Ford in that race as well. In 2022, Blaney ranks 3rd in total speed ranking and was 5th best in that Kansas race.

Kyle Busch ($10,000)

Starting Position: 18th

It’ll be hard to roster Busch with all the bad luck he has been having, but there is upside here if his car doesn’t fail him. Kyle is a four-time winner at Texas and has five straight top 10 finishes.

Other Options: Martin Truex Jr. ($9,800 – P15)


Alex Bowman ($8,400)

Starting Position: 17th

Bowman was the top Chevrolet at Kansas finishing 4th after leading 107 laps. Bowman comes in with two top 5’s in the last four times he’s points raced here (not including the All-Star race). Before getting caught up in the big one at Bristol, Bowman had back-to-back top 10s and four straight finishes of 14th or better. I view Bowman as a top 10 car on Sunday.

Bubba Wallace ($8,600)

Starting Position: 19th

Wallace had a convincing victory at Kansas where he drove through the field late to lead the final 58 laps while having the 3rd best speed ranking. At Michigan, the last high-speed intermediate track, Wallace finished 2nd to Harvick but had the better car in that race. Wallace is a top 10 car who could compete for the win again on Sunday.

Ty Gibbs ($7,000)

Starting Position: 16th

Gibbs is cheap enough that if he finishes right around where he starts he can make value. In his nine Cup Series races, Gibbs either finishes in the top 20, or wrecks out. If the Toyotas run as well as they did in Kansas, I can see Gibbs earning his 2nd career top 10 on Sunday.

Other Options: Kevin Harvick ($8,700 – P23), Chase Briscoe ($7,500 – P30), Erik Jones ($8,000 – P27)

NASCAR DFS: Value Tier Rankings

  1. Justin Haley ($5,700) – P31
  2. Noah Gragson ($5,900) – P26
  3. Ty Dillon ($5,400) – P32
  4. Landon Cassill ($4,900) – P35
  5. Corey Lajoie ($5,200) – P29
  6. Cody Ware ($4,700) – P36
  7. Todd Gilliland ($5,000)- P28
Cash Core:

Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell, Bubba Wallace, Justin Haley – This core will leave you with $7,350 for your final two spots. That is plenty of salary especially with the upside in the $5K range on this slate.

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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