NASCAR DFS: Quaker State 400

NASCAR DFS: Quaker State 400

by July 9, 2021 0 comments

Chase Elliott’s victory last Sunday at Road America did not begin easily, as he started from as deep as 34th place. Despite this, it didn’t take the young road racer long until he was already cracking the top 15. By lap 46, Elliott had taken over the lead, and proceeded to dominate the race from then on.

After a disappointing 21st place finish at Daytona in February, Elliott  has been on an absolute tear at the Road Course. Last weekend’s victory at Road America continued his impressive road course streak; he had previously claimed the win at the COTA and finished second at Sonoma, to boot. It’s worth mentioning that seven out of Elliott’s 13 cup wins have come on road courses

Kyle Busch was another driver who encountered difficulty out of the gate. In addition to starting last overall, he would need to do it in a backup. Like Elliott, it wouldn’t take him long before he was banging doors with the top group of drivers. Busch would finish a strong third.

Quaker State 400 Moves to Atlanta After 10 Years

The Quaker State 400 has been run yearly in Kentucky since 2011. However, news came down in September that NASCAR would move the sponsored event to Atlanta for July 2021. Looking at the track specs for Atlanta Motor Speedway, it is a 1.5-mile, quad-oval track. The unique feature is the driving surface, which has not been repaved since 1996. As this pavement is so old, there will be countless bumps, seams, and grooves, giving drivers plenty of places to maneuver.

In terms of selecting drivers for this race at Atlanta, this is an event that will offer some dominating value, with 260 laps to run at a total of 182 DraftKings points. Taking an early lead in Atlanta is vital since clean air is a critical component. Consider that the average number of dominator laps in the last four Atlanta races is 185. Despite the reduction in laps, there is still a chance for a particular driver to collect a boatload of points.

This week, the Money Train delves into the DFS options for Sunday’s Cup Series event in Atlanta, GA. 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.

High Salary

Kyle Larson (14,500 FD | 12,000 DK)

Larson was unstoppable for about a month, but it was only a matter of time before he let owners down, which he did in last Sunday’s race at Road America. This Sunday, I look for Larson to come on like a tidal wave, piling up the laps led. Many of us witnessed his dominating performance at the March race in which he led 269 of the 325 laps (before losing to eventual race winner Ryan Blaney). Larson is starting on the third row, so it should not take him long to pick off those front-runners. Additionally, there’s a handful of place differential points on the table should he take advantage. Since Larson has so much potential, we expect to see him targeted heavily this weekend. Regardless of his high price tag, you’re going to need him in your arsenal.

Kevin Harvick (11,700 FD | 10,900 DK)

Harvick has won two of the last four Atlanta races, playing to his strengths in this concrete jungle. Along with those wins, he has managed to lead 377 laps during those races (second only to Larson). Despite his failure to have a dominant run this season, he remains a valuable driver for Sunday. He won’t likely be as dominating as in years past, but Harvick still has a chance to make a strong run for a top-four finish. It is important to note that he finished eighth or better in his three previous races prior to last Sunday. Due to his 21st place starting spot, he is one of the chalkier bets on the board. Nonetheless, Harvick promises to be a tempting positional play, and your portfolio may suffer if you don’t at least pick up a few shares.

Mid-Range

Chris Buescher (7,300 FD | 8,600 DK)

Buescher’s first few trips to Atlanta were not great, finishing only as high as 24th, but his fortunes have improved considerably over the past couple of seasons. In March, he gained a career-best finish of seventh here to go along with 17 stage points. As we approach Sunday’s race, a handful of drivers remain on the fringe of the playoffs. With Buescher just 25 points behind Kurt Busch for the final playoff spot, it is still very much within grasp. The price of Buescher may be high at first glance, but given the strength of his recent Atlanta history and the fact that he has a solid starting position, we might be looking at one of the best mid-range options available.

Value Play

Daniel Suarez (6,500 FD | 7,700 DK)

Suarez looked like a top-10 contender before his transmission failed last Sunday at Road America. This week should be a good opportunity for him to come back strong. The most recent trip he made to Atlanta saw him finishing 17th after starting from 25th place. As you may recall, before his late pit road penalty due to speeding, Suarez was keeping up with those top drivers. His average finish of 19.0 places him among some decent drivers like Matt Dibenedetto and Christopher Bell. As a cheap value play, I’d say that most weeks Suarez has earned his keep. Place him towards the back of your roster this weekend, and you’ll be fine.


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