NASCAR DFS: EchoPark Texas Grand Prix

NASCAR DFS: EchoPark Texas Grand Prix

by May 22, 2021 1 comment

Last weekend, Alex Bowman became just the second of two drivers to secure multiple wins this season, in what was an all-Hendricks result. With this most recent win at Dover, Bowman adds to the long-established success by the No. 48 car. Former Cup driver Jimmie Johnson having won 11 times at Dover in that same car, a record.

Having led 263 of the 400 laps, Kyle Larson was untouched for a good majority of the event.  However, like two weeks ago at Darlington, Larson would again finish just short of a victory. While he was unable to put the icing on the cake, he would be a dominating force in DK (posting 165 points).

Martin Truex Jr came out strong, leading the first dozen laps. However, that soon changed once he gave up the lead to Larson. After surrendering the lead, he would continue to drop positions until eventually struggling to stay within the top 19 drivers.

We leave Dover behind and head 25 hours south to Austin.

Looking at the track specs for Circuit of the Americas, it is a 3.4-mile, 39-foot wide track. Although brand new to the NASCAR Series, it has been home to numerous other forms of Motorsports racing over the years. This includes events like Formula One, IndyCar, MotoGP, and Rallycross.

Drivers will need to be on their toes as they try to work their way through this event. The course is chock full of uncertainty, with 20 turns and an elevation change of 133 feet. When considering which drivers to invest in for such an unknown road course event, I suggest sticking with the usual suspects. Drivers like Chase Elliott and AJ Allmendinger, for example.

Like the Bristol Dirt Track event earlier this season, we will have qualifying and practice. And with qualifying beginning mere hours before race time, it’s going to be a tough squeeze in terms of sorting out the race order.

This week, the Money Train delves into the DFS options for Sunday’s Cup Series event in Austin, TX. I’ve broken down the selections between high salary, mid-range, and value play. Included are player salaries from both FanDuel and DraftKings. Best of luck to everyone with their lineups this weekend.

You can find all of our past DFS articles in multiple sports here.

High Salary

Chase Elliott (10,500 DK | 14,500 FD)

It’s true, the COTA road course is brand new territory for the Cup Series drivers. However, Elliott has shown to be the most bankable driver when it comes to this style of racing. Over the last nine road course events, not even Truex has been able to touch him in terms of wins and laps led. With this race having just 68 laps over three stages, you’re going to need to hit on that dominator.

Having won four straight road course events heading into the Daytona race in February, it looked like Elliott would carry on the streak. After shooting out to the early lead, he really was on another level, leading 44 laps. However, a dubious caution in stage three would dash any chance of a successful finish. Depending on where Elliott qualifies, if he grabs the early lead I expect it will be tough to knock him off the perch.

Ryan Blaney (9,100 DK 12,000 FD)

Blaney was arguably one of the hottest road course commodities on the cup circuit only two seasons ago. During that hot streak, he finished top-eight in all three of the series road courses. Although Blaney has since cooled off to an extent, I feel like he’s prime for a rebound. Currently, in a battle for fourth in the points, a strong run this weekend could be enough to help him leap frog both Larson and Joey Logano.

With all of the prior success at tracks like Charlotte Roval, Watkins Glen, and Sonoma, Blaney should be able to come into this event cold and handle his own. While he has been a good finisher at road courses in the past, he’s never been a dominator. If he can qualify, say, among the top-15 drivers, that would offer good place differential value. The odds for Blaney as outright winner sit at 14/1, in case you’re interested.

Mid-Range

Austin Cindric (8,700 DK | 8,200 FD)

Before eventually working his way into a NASCAR job, Cindric was a seasoned road course expert. He was not only involved in sportscar racing at one point, but also competed in the Global Rally Cross Championship. Over the last two Xfinity road course races, Cindric ranks tops in most statistical categories. Most recently, he led a race best 29 laps at the Daytona road course, on top of finishing with a runner-up result.

Qualifying among those top 20 drivers should be within reach when keeping in mind Cindric’s strong road course background, coupled with a Penske-supported race car. Currently his odds for a top-10 are even money.

Value Play

Ty Dillon (5,500 DK | 4,500 FD)

It certainly wouldn’t be the first time he’s far out performed his bargain basement salary as a road course driver. Consider that over these last five trips to a road course, Dillon has finished outside the Top 20 just once. I don’t know about you, but that seems like pretty good potential value for a driver that costs well under 6,000 fantasy dollars on both DK and FD. If Dillon can qualify among those top 32 drivers, that would be ideal.


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