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NASCAR DFS Xfinity Series Preview | Toyota Care 250 | Richmond International Raceway

Nascar DFS Xfinity

NASCAR DFS Xfinity Series Preview | Toyota Care 250 | Richmond International Raceway

By: Dustin Maybin (@CUPharmDFS)

Pace Laps: Race Information to Know

This weekend, NASCAR descends upon Richmond International Raceway, which is a 0.75-mile tri-oval with relatively flat banking. Today’s Xfinity Series race is scheduled for 150 laps. Nailing the right combination of dominators is essential to DFS success at short tracks due to the increased number of laps and thus, dominator points available.

Comparable tracks include Phoenix, New Hampshire, and, to a much lesser extent, Martinsville, all of which are flatter tracks less than or equal to 1 mile in length. It has been said that Richmond and Phoenix are reverse versions of each other. Speed is sustained by momentum through the corners onto the straightaways. On the other hand, New Hampshire and Martinsville are more so rhythm tracks with an emphasis on precise braking.

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Stage 1: Track Trends to Follow

Over the past 30 years, 87.7% of race winners have started in the top 10.

Even further, 64.9% of race winners in that same timespan started in the top 5! This track type is typically hard to pass on, allowing frontrunners to stay in place and rack up dominator points and wins. Though it can be a fairly boring track to watch races at, fortunately, Richmond is good for DFS purposes given its above average predictability.

Since 2018, drivers starting 5th or better achieved a top 10 DraftKings score six times as often as they achieved a bottom 10 DraftKings score. 

There are not as many big wrecks at Richmond, so for the most part, drivers starting near the front do not

On the other hand, drivers starting 25th or worse had a bottom 10 DraftKings score three times as often as they obtained a top 10 score.

As previously mentioned, passing comes at a premium at a track like Richmond. Place differential points come mainly via attrition or wrecks, unless a top tier team is starting in the back. Due to the short track length, backmarker cars can get lapped fairly quickly, limiting their place differential upside. However, as you will see, they may be necessary for lineup construction.

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NASCAR DFS Xfinity Series Preview

Stage 2: Construction Tips to Apply

Target 6x value for all drivers, unless priced below $5000.

As mentioned earlier this season for the Phoenix race, the sheer amount of dominator points available allows for higher cash lines at short tracks. 87.5% of drivers in optimal lineups at tracks measuring 1-mile or less in 2021 achieved 6x value. Therefore, when looking at ceiling projections (since optimal lineup appearances usually require ceiling performances), 5x value is likely not enough to take down a GPP.

  • Fantasy Cruncher tip: Limit pool to drivers projecting for at least 4.5x value.

Prioritize dominator potential.

In 5 of the past 7 Richmond races, there have been at least five drivers leading double-digit laps. Over those same races, each had exactly 4 drivers leading 10+ laps and achieving a top 10 fantasy score. Only one time over the same timespan has one of these drivers starting outside the top 15. In the other two races, Christopher Bell, a now-Cup driver whose best tracks are flat short tracks, dominated leading over 100 laps in each race.

  • Fantasy Cruncher tip: Create a group with all drivers starting in the top 15, and roster 2 to 3 of them.

Utilize a stars-and-scrubs approach.

Obviously, qualifying and practice results could have an effect on this, but data since 2019 supports this notion. All five optimal lineups at Richmond have featured at least two drivers priced over $9,500 and two or more drivers priced less than $6,000. The high-priced drivers are most likely to rack up dominator points, while the punt plays provide just enough place differential points to be optimal.

  • Fantasy Cruncher tip: Create two groups for ‘high-priced’ and ‘low-priced’ drivers, and roster 2+ from each group.

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nascar dfs xfinity series preview

Final Lap

Before you go, here are some quick driver notes that may help guide your Xfinity Series research this week at Richmond:

  • Ty Gibbs and AJ Allmendinger were the only drivers to score 10+ dominator points at Richmond in 2021. However, Justin Allgaier is the only driver to rack up 25+ dominator points in multiple Richmond races.
  • Speaking of Allgaier, JR Motorsports has been very fast so far in 2022. Noah Gragson has topped the practice charts 3 weeks in a row and won here last fall. Sam Mayer and Josh Berry should be able to use their short track racing background to have success this weekend.
  • On the other hand, Kaulig Racing has been good but not great this season. Trust the JRM and JGR cars to score the majority of dominator points. 
  • At first glance, former Kaulig driver Jeb Burton appears slightly underpriced, but not as much as Ryan Sieg, Brandon Brown, and Matt Mills.

Again, wait for practice and qualifying before fully constructing lineups! For the most recent updates or if you have any questions, feel free to follow me on Twitter or hit me up in the Team Rise or Fall Discord!