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NASCAR DFS Preview | Trucks/Xfinity Series | Circuit of the Americas

Nascar DFS Trucks

NASCAR DFS Preview | Trucks/Xfinity Series | Circuit of the Americas

By: Dustin Maybin (@CUPharmDFS)

Left turns, right turns, and hills, oh my! This weekend, NASCAR will be in Austin, Texas as all three series compete at Circuit of the Americas (COTA). It is the first of several road courses on the schedule in 2022, but luckily for us, this track type has historically been more predictable than what we’ve been trying to decipher the past few weeks. Though it will be a change-of-pace, COTA should continue the excitement and forward momentum of the 2022 season!

Pace Laps

COTA is a 3.426-mile road course, famously used for F1, IndyCar, MotoGP, and now NASCAR among others. 2021 marked the first time NASCAR raced here, but conditions were much different than will likely be seen this weekend. Last year, the race was ran during a torrential downpour, while today, the weather is sunny with temperatures around 90 degrees. How that will affect results and strategy remains to be seen, but we have a decent sample size of other road course races that should provide some clarity as to what to expect.

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nascar dfs preview

Stage 1: XPEL 225 (Truck Series)

For the first time in his illustrious Truck Series career, Kyle Busch will be competing on a road course. Per usual, the question of whether to roster him or not provides the framework for every lineup decision due to his $13,000 price tag. I will likely be underweight given the limited dominator points available, but I’ll let you make that decision for yourself.

  • Over the last 6 road course races, drivers starting in the top 5 have achieved a top 10 DraftKings score 3x as often as a bottom 10 score. On 17 occasions, drivers starting 5th or better had a top 10 DraftKings score, while bottom 10 scores occurred just 5 times. 76.5% of those drivers led at least 8 laps. While dominator points are not especially important due to the limited number of laps, only roster drivers in the top 5 if they have dominator potential.

  • All drivers making an optimal lineup on a road course have finished 16th or better and achieved at least 4.8x value. Due to the limited number of laps, relative to other track types, more emphasis should be placed on place differential and finishing position when constructing lineups. Since 2018, a driver has scored more than 60 points seven times. Only one time was it done from a top 10 starting spot, making Kyle Busch more risky since 4.8x value would be 62 DK points.

  • 82% of laps over past 6 road course races were led by a driver starting on the front three rows (positions 1 through 6). Again, laps led aren’t as significant at road courses, especially long ones like COTA, but to reiterate my point, rostering drivers starting up front should only be done if you think they have winning and/or leading potential.

  • Roster at least 2 drivers starting worse than 20th and no more than 2 drivers starting 10th or better. Over the past 4 Truck Series road course races, multiple drivers starting worse than 20th have made the optimal lineup. Likewise, each lineup has featured only one driver starting better than 10th. My only hesitation with this rule is that road course races at Canadian Tire in 2019 and 2018 were fairly calm with every top 10 DK score coming from drivers starting 17th or better.

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Stage 2: Pit Boss 250 (Xfinity Series)

While there is no Kyle Busch conundrum, there are some important decisions to be made at every salary range for today’s Xfinity Series race. Since Austin Cindric matriculated to the Cup Series, AJ Allmendinger is the clear-cut best road course racer in Xfinity, though Ty Gibbs isn’t far behind. The addition of Cup ringers like Ross Chastain and Cole Custer and usual frontrunners like Noah Gragson and Justin Allgaier further complicates things, but it makes for an intriguing DFS slate!

  • 95.5% of drivers making an optimal lineup at a road course since 2020 achieved a top 10 DraftKings score. This illustrates that there have been few occasions where a punt play underachieved but made the optimal lineup due to salary relief needed for a top dominator. All of these drivers scored at least 37 DK points.

  • With regard to salary, 7 of 11 optimal lineups spent at least $49,000. The other 4 were at “hybrid” road courses, such as Daytona RC, Charlotte ROVAL, and Indianapolis Grand Prix. More carnage tends to occur at those pseudo-road courses while cars tend to spread out more at tracks like COTA, Watkins Glen, and Road America, leading to less huge performances from cheap drivers. Despite leaving less than $1,000 on the table, the past 11 optimal lineups at road courses have rostered at least one driver priced less than $6,000.

  • Since 2020, 72.7% of optimal lineups at road courses have included 2 to 3 drivers starting in the top 10. Combining the previous two trends, immense place differential upside often doesn’t come through, while there are more laps led points available than in the Truck Series. For what it’s worth, in 10 of these 11 races, a driver starting on the front row has led double-digit laps. 92.4% of optimal lineup appearances featured drivers finishing in the top 15, while 93.9% achieved at least 5x value. Thus, simply a solid finish can still contribute greatly toward a DFS performance at this track.

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Final Lap

After reading this NASCAR DFS preview, be sure to look over scrosby’s race notes, the NASCAR Study Hub, and our core picks! For more information on how to maximize your ROI using Fantasy Cruncher, we have you covered here!

For updates after qualifying or if you have any questions, feel free to follow me on Twitter or hit me up in the Team Rise or Fall Discord!