NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: DuraMAX Drydene 400
If you are looking for an action-packed way to consume sports on the weekend, 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, though!
With all of this in mind, let's preview the DuraMAX Drydene 400 at Dover International Speedway on FanDuel.
|Practice||Saturday, April 30th
10:30 a.m. EST
|Qualifying||Saturday, April 30th
11:05 a.m. EST
We're back to early-season vibes in NASCAR DFS this weekend.
Dover, as a high-banked, one-mile oval, is a unique format that truly isn't represented in what we've seen in this next-generation car thus far.
All of the short tracks (Phoenix, Richmond, Martinsville) have been flat...or on dirt. All of the larger tracks with banking (Daytona, Talladega, Atlanta) are drafting ovals.
We'll have to be totally malleable based on who's fast in practice. Thankfully, this race track has historically been one where practice times have correlated well with its strongest cars on Sunday.
In the last spring race with practice in 2019, Martin Truex Jr. was second in final practice and won the race. That fall, Kyle Larson was fastest in final practice and won the race.
Practice on Saturday is so much more important than my rankings in this helper.
General Lineup Strategy
With 400 laps on the docket, we'll want to prioritize two or three spots in our lineup towards cars that can dominate and potentially win the race. That's 40 available points for laps led on FanDuel.
In the only 2021 race here, Kyle Larson and Alex Bowman combined to lead 361 of the 400 laps total. That type of split is very possible on Sunday.
With practice and qualifying on deck, you'll know the best candidates to lead laps based on their practice speeds, and the fastest cars should start upfront.
That said, if a car stands out to you in practice and they don't start close to the front, you can still use them; just make sure you use a car starting closer to the front to lead until they make their way to first.
For the value options behind them, feel free to use options who can provide place-differential upside. Daniel Suarez and Cole Custer made last year's perfect lineup at Dover starting 24th and 30th, respectively. That was in an aerodynamic package less conducive to passing than this one, too.
Below are my pre-qualifying rankings for each driver based on equipment, track history, recent form, and overall talent level in that order. Only drivers with a win probability above 0% were included.
Because this track is so unique, in lieu of a median lap time sample this week, a lot of determination for this week was made off of prior history at Dover. Therefore, a rank of historical Dover points earned slots the drivers with a recent appearance on the track in terms of total points across the last six races here.
For dominator viability, the driver is ranked 0-10 on a scale to potentially lead laps and win the race if they start upfront. A "10" is among the favorites to win the race, and a "0" has no realistic chance to lead the race at any point.
For flex play viability, the driver is ranked 0-10 on a scale to finish in terms of potential to finish inside the top-15 spots. These drivers will be better daily fantasy plays the further back in the field they start for optimal place-differential points.
It will be very interesting to see how popular Kyle Larson ($14,000) is, and it may depend on his practice speed.
Larson hasn't had close to the same level of dominance he had in 2021, posting just 1 win and 118 laps led in 10 races thus far. That said, even his time in lesser equipment in 2019 shows he's the man to beat at Dover currently. In addition to leading a race-high 263 laps in last year's even, Larson scored top-two finishes in the two races back in 2019.
Until we see how it shakes out, I'd put Chase Elliott ($13,500) above William Byron ($13,000). Elliott has four top-five finishes in the last six races at Dover, but both -- and Alex Bowman ($12,500) -- are viable due to the historical dominance by Hendrick Motorsports at this track.
For a "horse for the course," Kevin Harvick ($10,000) has seven straight top-10 finishes at Dover, including the 2020 and 2021 editions in which Harvick's equipment has been significantly slower. Given that Harvick has flashed speed at Phoenix and Richmond -- two of his other top tracks -- in 2022, my hunch is he'll be a threat on Sunday.
Of the previous winners in 2022, Chase Briscoe ($8,500) would be my favorite. He's got an Xfinity Series win here from back in 2020. Ross Chastain ($9,000) and Tyler Reddick ($8,800) have just one combined top-10 finish in their past seven starts at Dover, and neither broke through in the Xfinity Series.
Amazingly, Ryan Blaney ($12,000) has zero top-10 finishes in his last six races at Dover. He's been so fast at all locations in 2022 that I can't cross him off yet, but I definitely won't be able to overlook slow practice speeds and include him in my driver pool if he struggles through Saturday.
I'm optimistic for both Kurt Busch ($7,000) and Bubba Wallace ($5,500) given that Wallace finished 11th here last year for 23XII Racing. Busch has three top-10 finishes in his last seven Dover tries, so he might be able to push for a top-dozen finish, as well.
For other value plays, Daniel Suarez ($7,200), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($5,800), Erik Jones ($5,000), and Cole Custer ($4,500) each have a pair of top-10 finishes in the last six races at Dover. Jones is especially interesting given he's flashed excellent speed this season and scored five top-15 finishes.