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NASCAR DFS Preview | Trucks/Xfinity Series | Las Vegas Motor Speedway

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NASCAR DFS Preview | Trucks/Xfinity Series | Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Viva Las Vegas, baby! NASCAR is racing out west again this week, but this time, all 3 series will descend upon Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The Xfinity Series race last weekend in Fontana went pretty much as expected, which is good news when evaluating historical data to make decisions regarding lineup construction. We haven’t seen the Truck Series since Daytona, so it’s a little tougher to know exactly what to expect. Let’s dig in and see what we can find…

Pace Laps

Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a 1.5 mile intermediate oval, known for its fairly steep banking and multiple racing grooves. Though not considered a high tire wear track (like last week in Fontana), it is beginning to show some age and ranks slightly above average in tire degradation rate. Comparable tracks on the schedule include Kansas, Charlotte, Texas, and, to a lesser extent, Michigan.

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Stage 1: Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 (Truck Series)

Friday night’s race will mark the return of a prominent successful Truck Series driver that must be discussed. No, not former champion Todd “The Onion” Bodine! Kyle Busch will be making his 1st of 5 scheduled Truck Series starts in 2022. Obviously, his presence has a significant impact on lineup construction, due to his success and astronomical price. Is he worth it?! Let’s see what the numbers say…

Lock Kyle Busch even at $15,000 

It may be tempting to fade such high ownership, but playing the chalk is warranted. In the 4 Vegas races since 2018, Busch has 3 wins and a 2nd-place finish. In his 15 Truck Series starts over the past three years, he has averaged 85.9 DraftKings points from an average starting position of 8th. If he starts near the front, he’s likely to rack up dominator points. If he starts near the back, he has more place differential upside than basically everyone.

But what if we doesn’t win the race? Busch finished 2nd to teammate John Hunter Nemechek at Vegas last spring, but he still scored 80 fantasy points. His price in that case kept him out of the optimal lineup, but still allowed DFS players to cash with him. Kyle has scored the most DraftKings points in 11/15 starts over the past 3 years, outscoring the 2nd highest score by an average of 31 points. Only one time has he scored less than 65 points and his truck had mechanical issues. Lock him in single-entry, increase exposure in GPPs, and move on.

Roster 2 drivers starting in the top 10. 

At intermediate tracks in 2021, 6 of 9 optimal lineups had exactly 2 drivers starting in the top 10. Of the three that did not, one included Chase Elliott starting 22nd, one had 2 drivers priced above $10,000 in elite equipment starting worse than 30th, and the other was dominated by KFB.

Roster at least 2 drivers starting worse than 25th. 

All optimal lineups at intermediate tracks in 2021 featured at least 2 drivers starting in this range with the majority including exactly two drivers. Further, at least one driver should start worse than 30th. If priced less than $7,000, optimal lineup appearances from these starting positions required at least top 20 finishes, while those priced above $7,000 secured top 15 finishes. Of those starting in the back half of the field, a starting spot worse than 30th was twice as likely as those starting 21st to 30th to achieve a top 10 score in 2021.

Remember there are multiple ways to win. 

73.3% of top 10 DraftKings scorers at Las Vegas since 2019 started in the top 20. In 2021, however, wreckfests ensued, so only 55% of top 10 scores came from the top 20. Seven of the eight drivers who led more than 30 laps at Las Vegas since 2019 started on the front two rows, so they could be potential dominators in the event Busch has an issue. On the other hand, if Busch dominates per usual, there will be less points available to the other top drivers starting up front. Though the trends are positive, it may be best to cap exposure, especially to the other top drivers, to account for different scenarios.

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Stage 2: Alsco Uniforms 300 (Xfinity Series)

Thankfully, the Kyle Busch dilemma will not (or is at least not scheduled to) affect the Xfinity Series this season. Practice and qualifying may alter some thoughts on Saturday’s race. Be sure to follow on Twitter for the most recent updates!

Roster 3 drivers starting 24th or worse. 

At intermediate tracks with low to moderate tire wear in 2021, 5 of 7 optimal lineups included exactly 3 drivers starting in the bottom ⅓ of the field. Additionally, at Vegas over the last 6 races, drivers achieving a top 10 DraftKings score started outside the top 30 on eleven occasions, while starting between 20th and 203th on seven occasions. When trying to decide between drivers in this range with equal equipment and similar price, choose the one starting farther back.

Roster 3 drivers starting in the top 20. 

This is another scenario that happened in 5 of 7 comparable races last season. Furthermore, 80% of these races featured exactly 2 drivers starting in the top 10. 

At least 1 driver should be priced less than $6,000. 

12 of the 13 intermediate track races, regardless of tire wear, featured at least one punt play from this price range. The lineup that did not included two drivers priced $6,100 and $6,200. Do not go too low though! Only four drivers priced below $5,000 made an optimal lineup at an intermediate track in 2021. All four of them did start in the top 30, so crappy equipment and starting position is not a recipe for success.

Target drivers starting on the front two rows as potential dominators. 

71.4% of drivers who have led over 10 laps in the past 6 Vegas races started 4th or better. 80% of those drivers also led more than 20 laps. Given that practice/qualifying are good indicators of speed, it makes sense that these drivers tend to pull away in clean air. Likewise, drivers leading the most laps have also obtained the most fastest laps in the past 6 races, thus becoming strong dominator plays. When deciding, as mentioned last week, target drivers racing for Joe Gibbs or JR Motorsports as they have proven to be the teams to beat on intermediate tracks.

Want to put these trends to use? Your Team Rise or Fall membership includes a monthly $20 voucher for Fantasy Cruncher, the industry’s leading lineup optimizer!

Final Lap

Both the Truck Series and Xfinity Series have grown in field strength in 2022 and should put on exciting shows! Be on the lookout for our driver pool, updated projections in the NASCAR Study Hub, and core picks, and we’ll see you in victory lane!

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! 

 

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