NASCAR

Daily Fantasy NASCAR: Current Form, Track History, and Betting Odds for the YellaWood 500

Our objectives for this week are twofold: we need a winner, and we need place-differential. It's still a simple formula.

As discussed in this week's track preview, even with the 12 playoff drivers starting at the front, our typical blueprint for superspeedways in NASCAR DFS stays the same. We can pick a driver at the front if we think they'll win, but the other four spots in our lineup should be dedicated to drivers projected to finish better than where they're starting.

Now we've gotta put that plan into action.

The starting order for Sunday's YellaWood 500 has been set, so we know which drivers can check the place-differential box. It helps that we have some logical choices back there, which we'll discuss momentarily.

To pinpoint those logical choices, we'll want to put a heavy emphasis on track history. Looking at what drivers have done at Daytona helps, but Talladega is a very different track, and some drivers perform better at one spot than the other.

The past five Talladega races are listed in the data sheet below. Next up are the two Daytona races. Finally, we've got four recent races that have utilized the 550-horsepower package. They'll be running just 450 horsepower this week, but it's a closer parallel than looking at the 750 package. I skewed toward the larger tracks like Michigan and Pocono where top-end speed is more apparent.

As always, the data listed here is each driver's average running position rather than their finish. However, it's worth noting that those numbers can be a bit misleading on superspeedways. Some drivers will hang out in the back, hoping to avoid trouble, which drags down their average running position. Only 2 of the past 11 winners on superspeedways have had an average running position outside the top 15, but it's still a mark that's a bit more deceptive than usual.

To get a look at finishes, you can supplement the data with Racing Reference's fantasy tool and check out the past seven superspeedway races. Seven races is still a small sample, so I wouldn't cross off drivers who haven't had success in that stretch, but it can show us who is out front when it matters most.

The other data listed is each driver's starting position, FanDuel salary, and win odds at FanDuel Sportsbook. The win odds are in fractional form, so Denny Hamlin ($14,000 on FanDuel) being listed at 9.5 means he's +950 to win.

Track
History
Current
Form
Driver FD
Salary
Win
Odds
Start 2021 2020
Fall
2020
Spring
2019
Fall
2019
Spring
Daytona
Summer
Daytona
Spring
Vegas
Fall
Michigan Pocono
2
Pocono
1
Denny Hamlin $14,000 9.5 1 20 20 12 19 34 11 6 2 5 10 8
Kyle Busch $9,800 17 2 9 19 14 8 10 9 5 4 9 9 6
Chase Elliott $13,500 11 3 18 20 22 11 10 8 8 7 6 15 19
Ryan Blaney $12,500 11 4 9 15 6 9 9 11 29 7 9 16 10
Kyle Larson $11,000 14 5 40 -- -- 24 12 19 9 7 3 17 5
Martin Truex Jr. $8,800 32 6 16 13 24 31 10 12 27 9 14 9 14
Brad Keselowski $10,000 14 7 8 8 8 10 10 17 12 10 12 8 15
Joey Logano $13,000 11 8 29 9 4 8 8 12 7 12 12 14 8
Kevin Harvick $9,500 17 9 12 17 15 12 38 16 6 9 14 12 13
William Byron $12,000 13 10 12 11 12 15 12 14 27 11 8 9 7
Alex Bowman $9,000 22 11 23 18 11 22 9 15 33 14 13 12 11
Christopher Bell $5,500 38 12 10 39 15 -- -- 10 11 23 12 13 23
Tyler Reddick $5,900 32 13 16 15 13 -- -- 17 26 6 12 11 13
Kurt Busch $6,500 32 14 25 21 12 11 12 22 25 12 8 12 8
Matt DiBenedetto $6,800 32 15 10 10 16 14 16 22 32 11 9 20 21
Austin Dillon $7,100 32 16 15 20 22 12 13 8 6 13 18 20 23
Chase Briscoe $4,500 55 17 16 -- -- -- -- 19 22 16 22 19 20
Daniel Suarez $5,000 55 18 28 24 27 14 16 25 34 20 21 15 14
Bubba Wallace $11,500 32 19 12 13 15 28 38 14 12 17 19 12 13
Aric Almirola $10,800 22 20 18 28 20 14 8 22 32 20 20 10 19
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. $10,300 38 21 23 38 10 11 8 10 15 21 20 19 20
Michael McDowell $6,300 49 22 10 30 21 18 38 38 14 21 18 14 14
Ross Chastain $8,200 38 23 14 -- -- 32 27 12 12 21 27 18 20
Chris Buescher $8,600 49 24 12 8 15 18 19 14 30 23 20 20 20
Ryan Newman $5,300 49 25 25 10 26 22 19 27 36 20 18 21 31
Erik Jones $7,500 49 26 20 10 23 21 13 24 38 20 24 27 20
Ryan Preece $8,000 55 27 14 11 18 26 21 18 9 26 21 17 24
Cole Custer $8,400 55 28 13 21 12 -- -- 17 13 27 25 23 37
Corey LaJoie $4,000 75 29 27 32 26 25 22 15 14 29 -- 25 30
Anthony Alfredo $3,500 110 30 23 -- -- -- -- 37 31 28 30 37 24
Cody Ware $2,500 200 31 30 23 -- -- 31 30 22 31 30 27 24
B.J. McLeod $2,000 200 32 28 -- 31 -- -- 31 20 33 31 30 29
Justin Allgaier $6,100 75 33 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 26 --
Josh Bilicki $2,500 200 34 38 -- -- -- -- 32 22 35 34 36 33
Quin Houff $2,500 200 35 26 24 35 -- -- 39 28 35 33 35 31
Joey Gase $2,000 200 36 35 26 36 34 -- 34 20 37 37 -- --
Garrett Smithley $2,000 200 37 -- -- 38 -- -- 32 -- 35 35 33 29
Justin Haley $7,700 38 38 32 27 -- -- 22 21 -- 32 27 -- 27
David Starr $2,000 200 39 -- -- -- -- -- 36 -- -- -- -- --
Landon Cassill $3,000 200 40 -- -- -- 29 34 23 -- -- -- -- --


As you can tell by the win odds, your search for place-differential should start with Justin Haley ($7,700).

Haley is a beast on superspeedways, even if you ignore his rain-aided win in the Cup Series back in 2019. He has four wins in the Xfinity Series at either Daytona or Talladega, and he has one additional runner-up in Xfinity and a runner-up in the Camping World Truck Series. When you put him in good equipment, this guy competes for wins.

He'll have that good equipment this week. Rather than driving for his typical Cup Series employer, Spire Motorsports, he's driving for Kaulig Racing. Kaulig is his Xfinity Series team, and they'll field a car for him in the Cup Series next year. Kaulig got a win with A.J. Allmendinger at the Indianapolis road course, and Kaz Grala got them a top-10 finish in the spring Talladega race. Putting Haley in the seat for Sunday makes him a cash-game play and a standout tournament option despite likely high popularity.

The starting range from 19th through 27th is littered with drivers who have had past success on superspeedways. Bubba Wallace ($11,500) has had blistering speed at Daytona and Talladega this year. Aric Almirola ($10,800) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($10,300) are both former Talladega winners. Ross Chastain ($8,200), Chris Buescher ($8,600), and Ryan Preece ($8,000) bring starting spots in the mid-20s and have shown juice on this track type, as well. This is the range -- in addition to Haley -- where we want to build our core this weekend. Even with the top drivers at the front, these guys give us logical ways to attack Sunday's race.