NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: Ally 400
If you are looking for an action-packed way to get your sports fix, NASCAR may be a great avenue to explore. Far from just driving in circles, some of the world's best compete nearly every weekend from February to November on tracks across America. NASCAR drivers are scored ultimately based on how they finish in the race, how many spots they advance from their starting position, and how many laps they finish and lead. Avoiding drivers who crash out of the race is a must, of course!
numberFire is always your home for fantasy NASCAR advice. In addition to this helper, Jim Sannes has you covered with his current form and odds breakdown as well as his track preview to spotlight this week's venue. For driver picks and a full preview of the event, Jim also discussed this weekend's race on the latest NASCAR episode of The Heat Check Daily Fantasy Podcast.
He did it again. Kyle Larson found a way to the checkered flag again in last Sunday's All-Star event, and although no points or season-long implications were on the line in that one, Larson continued his scorching-hot run through NASCAR's early summer schedule. Thirty-nine other drivers will attempt to cool him off this Sunday in NASCAR's return to Nashville Superspeedway. This 1.33-mile concrete oval in the unofficial capital of the South hosted dozens of Xfinity Series and Truck Series event in the early 2000s, but the Cup Series embarks upon the unique oval for the first time this weekend.
Practice was held on Saturday given that this is the first time the series has ever visited this track. There was also qualifying to set the starting lineup early Sunday morning on a time-trial basis. That session put Aric Almirola on the pole for Sunday's 300-lap event, and Kyle Busch will start on the outside of Row 1. NASCAR has applied a special resin and tire machine to the track this weekend to try and prevent severe tire issues with the track returning to competition for the first time in a decade.
With that in mind, let's preview the Ally 400 in Nashville, TN on FanDuel.
Kyle Larson ($14,000): Larson's popularity off three straight weekends of victories is going to be enormous, but he has simply been too strong at the track this weekend to go away from him. Larson had the fastest single-lap, five-lap, and 10-lap average times in practice on Saturday, and he backed that up with a fifth-place qualifying run Sunday morning. Larson's recent hot streak on totally different formats of tracks is less relevant this weekend than the 263 of 400 laps Larson led at the circuit's closest configuration to Nashville at the short, concrete oval Dover in May. His salary may be more adequate for Larson's performances in the other aerodynamic package, but there still is no current profile better to dominate and win this particular race. The championship favorite will hope to take home a custom guitar and fourth straight victory on Sunday.
Martin Truex Jr. ($13,500): Qualifying early Sunday morning created some unexpected headlines entering the race, and one of them is the deep trek Martin Truex Jr. will now have to make from 35th starting spot after nearly hitting the wall in time trials. Truex has been the class of the field at the 750-horsepower ovals this year, with wins at Phoenix, Darlington, and Martinsville, and he has led a combined 581 laps in the package this season in strong efforts at Bristol, Richmond, and other tracks where he was unable to secure a victory. Truex should carry plenty of popularity due to his starting spot, but he is now unlikely to lead a bunch of laps on a track that is difficult to pass on. Truex is a great option for cash games because of his floor, but it is reasonable to pivot off of him in some tournament spots.
Others to Consider: Kyle Busch ($12,000), William Byron ($11,500)
Joey Logano ($11,000): The only driver to score a top-10 finish in every 750-horsepower oval race this year is Logano, who comes at a mid-range salary due to his total irrelevance in the 550-horsepower format that has been in place in two of the past three weeks. Logano struggled Saturday in practice to just 20th on the single-lap charts and 14th over a 10-lap average, but his 3rd-place qualifying effort provides hope that the speed in this package is still inside his Penske Ford. Nashville has proved a brutal place to pass in the Truck Series and Xfinity Series races this weekend, and that means there is a possibility that any driver starting up front could take the lead and never look back. Logano could be that guy. This track also makes its modern-era Cup Series debut Sunday, but there are some drivers who have experience here from their Xfinity Series starts earlier in the century, and that includes Logano, who has a win and three poles in four career Xfinity starts in Nashville.
Tyler Reddick ($8,800): Reddick is the most glaring example of a car that was fast Saturday and made a qualifying mistake, as even Martin Truex Jr. was not very quick in Saturday's session. Reddick posted 5th in the single-lap time charts and 4th in the 10-lap averages, but he starts 26th after his qualifying mistake. Although it is tough to pass, Reddick is likely to find a way to make it happen against the wall as he does every weekend. He has been better on the 550-horsepower tracks but still has three top-10 finishes in this aero package, including an eighth at Dover on concrete. Originally, the optimal strategy entering the weekend would have been to use a third potential lap leader in this range, but Reddick -- among others -- brings plenty of place differential to the table and doesn't come with too much risk.
Others to Consider: Alex Bowman ($9,500), Christopher Bell ($9,000), Kurt Busch ($8,500)
Austin Dillon ($8,000): Dillon is among the strongest performers in 2021 who will start closer to the back due to a poor qualifying effort as he rolls off in 28th. He has been the model of consistency for an improved Richard Childress Racing team, with 12 top-15 finishes in 16 races, and that has been no different in either aerodynamic package. His salary is too low for someone with that profile, because usually, without qualifying, Dillon would start well inside the top-10 spots as a reward for his previous week's efforts, but the time trial format this week opened the door for Dillon to potentially start deeper in the field. Dillon may not have the balance right yet with just a 23rd-place effort in practice, but with 8 Chevrolets inside the top-10 spots in that session, including teammate Reddick, Dillon has the right horse under him to eventually find it and move forward.
Ross Chastain ($6,800): Another one of the fast Chevrolets on Saturday was Ross Chastain, and it should come as no surprise given his top-16 average running position on each of the last three 750-horsepower ovals. Chastain was seventh on the single-lap board and trailed only Kyle Larson on the 10-lap average charts, which provides tremendous speed for such a lower salary in this spot. Personally, I was concerned Chastain would qualify too well to be worth using on this slate, but he went early in qualifying, when the track did not have a lot of grip, and will start 17th. That is an optimal spot for a fast car to still have some place-differential upside but not be in fear of getting lapped early, which makes him stand out in a competitive value tier.
Others to Consider: Chris Buescher ($7,000), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($6,600), Bubba Wallace ($5,000)
Austin Swaim is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Austin Swaim also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username ASwaim3. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.