Despite not being among the most exciting events on the Cup Series schedule, last weekend’s doubleheader did have its fair share of late-race surprises. It began on Saturday with Kyle Larson losing his bid for a fourth consecutive win in a row after just a front straight away remained. If he had achieved this feat, he would have tied the record for four consecutive victories held by NASCAR legends Bill Elliott, Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, and Dale Earnhardt.
On the back end of the doubleheader, Kyle Busch would emerge victorious in a battle of attrition. The lead changed hands several times in those final 10 laps as Brad Keselowski, William Byron, and Denny Hamlin all had to refuel. With just one lap remaining, Busch would be the next man up. If Busch had given out, Larson was ready to pounce, but the no.18 had just enough to push him over.
Visiting Road America for First Time since 1956
We now leave behind Pocono and head 13 hours east to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, and Road America. Only one Cup Series race has ever taken place at Road America, and that was in 1956. However, a handful of current cup drivers have recent experience here via the Xfinity Series. It has also hosted numerous other forms of Motorsport racing over the years, including IndyCar, SportsCar Championship, and AMA Superbike.
Looking at the track specs for Road America, it is a 4.0 mile, asphalt road course. There are 14 turns on the course, as well as many elevation changes and a front stretch where cars can reach speeds upwards of 200 mph. As a result, drivers must certainly remain alert throughout.
The strategy for this weekend continues to be to stay away from numerous dominators and adopt one that emphasizes drivers who will need to gain many positions early on. Considering the length of the track, fantasy owners must be aware that the laps led and fastest lap will earn a smaller number of points. Of course, you can include a single dominator to fill out the roster. However, the majority of your points are going to need to come mainly from place differential and high finishing position. Qualifying begins only hours before the race, which will make it difficult to determine the race order.
This week, the Money Train delves into the NASCAR DFS options for Sunday’s Cup Series event in Elkhart Lake, WI. 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.
Chase Elliott (14,500 FD | 10,600 DK)
Elliott returned to what he does best on the road courses following the unfortunate Daytona result, taking home a win and placing runner-up respectively this season. Despite dominating points being more difficult this week, there are still 43 DK points to be earned based on the fastest lap and the laps led combined. Elliott ought to qualify well enough in the field to challenge for the race lead early so that he can take advantage of the limited point bounty. Elliott’s ability to put himself in the right place at the right time in any constrained situation on a road course is what makes him successful. The last time he laced up a pair of race gloves at the Road America was six years ago, and both previous attempts ended with top-four finishes.
Joey Logano (11,800 FD | 9,800 DK)
Previously, Logano struggled on road courses, but those days seem long gone. For example, Logano has finished in the top nine in the last six races on a road course, and he has finished no worse than fourth in five of them. Aside from a handful of disappointing results at places like Talladega or Charlotte, he has consistently performed well wherever NASCAR has visited. In the Pocono doubleheader last weekend, Logano picked up top 7 and top 10 results, respectively. Additionally, Logano has performed well on all the new tracks he has faced this season. He could make for a sneaky outright play, depending on qualifying.
A.J. Allmendinger (8,900 FD | 9,000 DK)
A former regular in the Cup Series, Allmendinger has primarily been used this season as a ringer in 2021. Earlier this season, Kaulig Racing designated Allmendinger for both the Daytona Road Course and the COTA with great success. Take a look at his performance at Daytona, where he finished seventh despite starting from 34th (even managing to lead a couple of laps). At the recently completed Road America race, Allmendinger fought his way from 33rd to runner-up by putting forth a first-rate effort. A lot of the cup competition should be no match for Dinger, so if he qualifies among the top 20 drivers, you’ll get a steal.
Ross Chastain (7,400 FD | 7,900 DK)
Nobody is sure what the next move for Chastain will be after this season, given that Chip Ganassi was sold to Trackhouse Racing this week. For now, he should try to obtain as many strong results as possible to build his resume further. If you missed out on Chastain’ during his record-breaking finish at the COTA, I hope you picked him up for Sonoma. That race saw him start as deep as 29th before finishing seventh, netting him 59.45 DK points. With a chance to start from a favorable position, he is an intriguing speculative addition (with the potential for some fastest laps). Chip has supplied him with fast road course cars and is likely to do so again.
Austin Cindric (8,700 FD | 8,300 DK)
As Sunday approaches, Cindric could be considered the most prepared driver. In addition to being Road America’s defending champion, he could very easily have won consecutive track races. The defending Road America winner had the potential to be a fantastic value in the latest road course event at the COTA. However, he qualified third in the running order leaving no room for error. If Cindric can qualify as deep as the top 15, for instance, that should provide him with sufficient cushion. Cindric has raced just five times so far in his limited cup schedule, having yet to make the top 10; I believe his best chance to do so has come this weekend.
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