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NASCAR Xfinity Series DraftKings Preview | United Rentals 200 | Phoenix Raceway

Nascar DFS Xfinity

NASCAR Xfinity Series DraftKings Preview | United Rentals 200 | Phoenix Raceway

By: Dustin Maybin (@CUPharmDFS)

The Xfinity Series has been quite exciting in all three races so far this season. From epic wrecks damaging Michael Jordan’s bus to drivers purposely trying to wreck each other and whiffing, the entertainment value has been unmatched. Just as NASCAR tries to build on the momentum of the past few weeks, so do we after a profitable start to the season.  

Pace Laps: Race Information

Phoenix Raceway is a 1.0 mile tri-oval with relatively flat banking that races mostly like a short track. Unlike races at intermediate tracks or superspeedways, 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 Richmond, New Hampshire, and, to a lesser extent, Martinsville, all of which are flatter tracks less than or equal to 1 mile in length. While Richmond and Phoenix and Richmond have rounded frontstretches wider corners requiring more throttle control, New Hampshire and Martinsville resemble paperclips, putting an emphasis on precise braking.

Saturday’s United Rentals 200 is scheduled for 200 laps, yielding a maximum possible 136 dominator points. Of note, Justin Allgaier leads the series in average finish (8.7) at Phoenix and is the only driver with 100+ laps led (474), so his track history should make him a prime target for lineups this weekend.

Stage 1: Track Trends to Know

  • 34 (85%) of the 40 Xfinity Series race winners at Phoenix Raceway have started the race 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. Surprisingly, since the track was reconfigured in 2018, the winner has not come from the front row starting positions.

  • Over the past 9 races at Phoenix, the polesitter has scored an average of 30 dominator points.

In the past 9 races, the polesitter has led 33 or more laps (avg: 57.3) in every race. Likewise, they have all incurred at least 10 fastest laps (avg: 31.1). Though wins have not necessarily been present recently, these drivers have shown speed in practice and qualifying that has allowed them to have big DraftKings performances.

  • Since the track reconfiguration in 2018, 37 (52.9%) of 70 drivers with a top 10 DraftKings score came from a top 10 starting position.

As previously mentioned, it is hard to pass at Phoenix. Therefore, place differential points are harder to come by unless chaos ensues or a top tier team has to start in the rear. Furthermore, 30% of top 10 scores came from the top 5, nearly double the occurrences of drivers starting worse than 20th!

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Stage 2: Optimal Lineup Construction

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

The sheer amount of dominator points available and attrition seen with minor crashes allow for higher cash lines at short tracks. 87.5% of drivers in the 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 is likely not enough.

On two instances, Matt Mills was priced at $4700 and snuck into the optimal lineup despite not scoring more than 30 DK points in either race. His cheap price yielded the salary relief needed to cram in all of the dominator points up top. In these races, prioritize potential for laps led and fastest laps!

  • Target drivers starting in the top 4 as potential dominators.

78.3% of the laps run since 2018 have been led by a driver starting in the first two rows. Of the 31 drivers scoring a top 10 DraftKings score and landing in the optimal lineup, 10 led at least 24 laps (6 dominator points) while 11 ran 18 or more fastest laps (9 dominator points).

  • Roster 2 to 3 drivers starting in the top 12 positions.

In the 6 Phoenix races since Xfinity Series DFS started, 5 of them have met this criteria. The lone exception was last year’s spring race, which was a wreckfest. Since place differential is harder to obtain, a strong finishing position can provide an adequate amount of DraftKings points. Of the 19 drivers in optimal lineups with a top 5 DK score, 14 (73.7%) of them started in the top 12.

Final Lap

Since there is qualifying this season, pricing and, consequently, winning lineups could look different this year. Pricing is released pre-qualifying, so there will likely be a piece of chalk or two. Also, of note, this season has had an above average caution rate and number of caution laps. With that in mind, punts are possibly more viable due to attrition. I’d lower my max exposures on the chalk plays as well, just in case variance hits.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to follow me on Twitter or hit me up in the Team Rise or Fall Discord!

NASCAR Xfinity Series DraftKings Preview

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