Kwik Trip 250: Top NASCAR DFS Cup Series Targets at Road America
What better way to spend your July 4th weekend than playing NASCAR DFS as the Cup Series visits yet another road course in Road America?
It will mark just the second time since 1956 that the series has raced at Road America, with last year being the first. The race was won by Chase Elliott, who started from p.35 before battling to the front and collecting his second of two wins in 2021.
It wasn’t that long ago that the NASCAR Cup Series made just two trips per season to tracks where they would make right-hand turns too. When I started watching NASCAR in the late 1990s, Sears Point, (now Sonoma) and Watkins Glen were dominated by Jeff Gordon, and many “road course ringers” were hired by teams instead of going with their normal driver behind the wheel.
Adance to 2022, and so much has changed.
With six road courses now on the schedule, as well as NASCAR’s “win-and-in” format for the playoffs, these races and NASCAR DFS have officially picked up in excitement and intensity.
It’s not often that I start going through data and DraftKings pricing and have this hard of a time selecting my top-5 drivers to target, but this weekend is certainly tough. With all that considered, we’re going to do our best to decipher all the information and win some money on DraftKings on Sunday!
NASCAR DFS Targets for the Kwik Trip 250
#5 Kyle Larson ($11,400) | #9 Chase Elliott ($11,100)
I know I just said I’d do my best to work through this data, but with this one, I truly feel like you can flip a coin. These guys have run 1-2 several times in 2022, including two weeks ago at Sonoma with Elliott getting the better of Larson. An argument can be made that Larson is the best driver in the world at the moment, and his Espy nomination is further proof. Elliott however, is currently the series points leader over another solid road course driver in Ross Chastain.
More on him in a moment.
Over the last three years, Elliott has the best average finish on road courses of any active driver at 7.0. The second best is Larson with an 8.5. Elliott will start from the pole on Sunday afternoon, with his Hendrick Motorsports teammate lined up in third, directly behind him. They’re also priced as the highest two drivers on DraftKings and are just $300 apart.
It’s hard to imagine one of these guys not leading a ton of laps today, and in fact — both of them could. It will however be nearly impossible to get both into your lineup, so I will leave that decision up to you.
What a finish from Road America
Ty Gibbs with the pass and win over Kyle Larson pic.twitter.com/HPN56z208J
— Barstool Racing (@rubbinisracing) July 2, 2022
Larson or Elliott? Can you really go wrong?
#1 Ross Chastain ($10,300)
There is no driver currently hotter in NASCAR or NASCAR DFS than Ross Chastain. Really, there’s no team hotter than Trackhouse Racing either. He won at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas earlier this year, is one of four drivers to finish inside the top-10 at both of the road courses visited thus far in 2022, and is the only one of that group to have won while turning right.
He’s also averaged more points fantasy points per race than any other driver in NASCAR DFS this year. He is extremely talented, he is an aggressive driver, and he’s currently second in points behind the aforementioned Chase Elliott.
He is also expensive and hard to budget into your lineups, but he has to be mentioned here.
#12 Ryan Blaney ($9,200)
Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney is an undervalued road course racer in my opinion. Admittedly, he did finish 20th here last year, but his average finish over the past three years on road courses is 11.6. He’s currently sitting third in the Cup Series points standings, and he starts from p.19 later today.
The field is absolutely stacked with talent, but I firmly believe he will find himself inside the top 10 when all is said and done. On top of that, I feel like drivers priced around him, (Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr, and AJ Allmendinger) could likely be higher owned when ownership percentages become visible after the green flag.
I’m using my gut a bit here, but I am going with Blaney over the guys I just mentioned.
#34 Michael McDowell ($6,800)
Speaking of undervalued road racers and drivers likely to have low ownership, look no further than the 2021 Daytona 500 winner — Michael McDowell. The FrontRow Motorsports driver has always run well on road courses as he proved just a couple of short weeks ago after finishing p.3 at Sonoma.
McDowell has six top 10s this season, the most in his career. He was 13th at Circuit of the Americas, is still fresh off his best run of 2022 in wine country, and just might be the 13th different winner of the year when the checkered flag falls.
What’s likely to drive his ownership down is his starting position of 6th on Sunday.
It’s a risk, but you have to take some chances in NASCAR DFS.
Happy Independence Day to you and yours! Have fun and be safe this weekend!
Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @Nate_FFL and @TeamRiseOrFall for continued NASCAR DFS coverage and advice, as well as any late-breaking news prior to the green flag at Road America. Also, be sure to check out all the other great NASCAR DFS content at TeamRiseOrFall.com.