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NASCAR DraftKings Preview | Trucks/Xfinity Series | May 27-28, 2022

NASCAR DraftKings Preview | Trucks/Xfinity Series | Charlotte Motor Speedway

By: Dustin Maybin (@CUPharmDFS)

Welcome to another NASCAR DraftKings Preview! The point of this preview is to give you an idea of how winning lineups are constructed at a specific track. This week, all 3 series will be racing in their backyard at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and it should certainly be more exciting than what we witnessed last week in Texas. 

Charlotte Motor Speedway is a 1.5 mile intermediate track with low to moderate tire wear. Comparable tracks include Texas, Las Vegas, and Kansas, all of which have been raced already this season. Variance has been higher this year than normal, or so it seems, but there is still plenty of data for us to analyze.

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Stage 1: North Carolina Education Lottery 200 (Truck Series)

Friday night’s race will be Kyle Busch’s 4th of 5 Truck Series races this season. Despite having driver rating ranks of 1st, 3rd, and 1st in his three races so far in 2022 (all at different track types), he has underwhelmed DFS-wise, not making the optimal lineup in any race. Is he worth the risk this week? Let’s dig in a little further…

Lineup construction decisions begin with Kyle Busch – In the race at Vegas earlier this season, I recommended playing Busch, even at $15,000 despite massive ownership. That came back to bite me as others outscored him at lower salaries while I had 75% exposure. However, I will continue to play him this week, though likely at a slightly lower exposure. 

Busch is priced at $14,400 this week, making it much more manageable to build palatable lineups. He has raced at Charlotte in 7 of the past 10 years. He has scored at least 53 DK points in every race, averaging 82 points. Those performances have been mainly due to dominator points since he has an average starting position of 4th in those races (excluding 2020 when the field was not set by qualifying.)

In his 18 Truck Series starts over the past since 2019, he has averaged 80.1 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. He hasn’t scored over 60 DK points in his 3 starts this season, but he certainly still has the upside to do so.

Dominators will likely come from the top 10. – 20 of 23 drivers who have led 20+ laps in the past 10 Charlotte races started in the top 10. In each of those races, the top dominator has led at least 44 laps. 7 of those 10 drivers started in the top 4. I’ll be rostering 1 to 2 drivers from the top 10 to hopefully lock up a majority of the available dominator points.

Avoid drivers starting worse than 30th unless they have top 20 upside. – 92% of top 10 DraftKings scores over the past 10 Charlotte races came from drivers starting in the top 30. Though there have been 10+ cautions in most races, attrition has been lower than what is seen at other tracks. Furthermore, 80% of top 10 scores came from the top 20. Unless qualifying presents clear chalk plays, I will be employing 3+ drivers from the top 20 and no more than 2 from 30th or worse.

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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. In the two Charlotte optimal lineups without Kyle Busch, both rostered 3 drivers in this range, as did the optimal lineups at intermediate tracks so far this season (Auto Club, Vegas, Texas).

Roster 2+ 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. In 2022 at similar tracks, the same trend has been observed. Over the past 10 Charlotte races, 80% of top 10 DK scores have come from drivers starting in the top 20, while just 7% started 21st to 30th.

At least 1 driver should be priced less than $6,000. – 12 of the 13 intermediate track races in 2021, 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 five drivers priced below $5,000 made an optimal lineup over the past 16 intermediate races. Four of the five did start in the top 30, so crappy equipment and bad starting position is not a recipe for success.

Target drivers starting in the top 5 as potential dominators. – 88.9% of drivers who have led 20+ laps over the past 10 Charlotte races started in the top 5. The top dominator at Charlotte has led 93 or more laps in 9 of 10 races, with the only exception being 76 laps. 90% of the top dominators started in the top 5, while 80% started top 3. 

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, 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.

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Final Lap

Both the Truck Series and Xfinity Series have been highly competitive thus far in 2022 and should continue their strong momentum this week at Charlotte! 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!