Hopefully, you were able to wait out the weather and the destruction to enjoy your first week of NASCAR DraftKings action. If last week’s Daytona 500 was your introduction to the sport, know that you still witnessed an exciting finish and one of the more memorable races in recent history. That said, the drivers get to stay in Daytona this week for a crack at the road course.
Road courses are unique in that they do not follow the typical four left turns of the ovals. These races require patience and steady hands. Very often, solid oval track racers struggle when it comes to road tracks. Likewise, there are some drivers who thrive under those circumstances. All told though, it should be an exciting 70 laps of NASCAR action.
If you are new to NASCAR on DraftKings, points are scored on the following metrics: place differential between starting and finishing position, laps led, fastest laps, as well as finishing position.
Here are some suggestions as you build your DraftKings lineups for the race. They are broken down by price range and do not suggest a full lineup. These are merely drivers to consider when constructing your rosters. I always suggest you do some more research of your own on top of what I offer. Let’s make this a profitable season and above all, let’s have some fun.
Pay Up For:
Chase Elliot ($10,700); Starting Position: 1st
Chase Elliot fought his way to a second-place finish in the 500-mile demolition derby on the Daytona tri-oval. This week, he looks to defend as the champion of the Daytona road course. Last season, Elliot held off Denny Hamlin to take first place in the inaugural running of Daytona’s road race. He led 34 laps that day which was the most of any driver. On top of that, he posted the fastest laps 18 times. It was quite the dominant performance.
On Sunday, he will lead the field to the green flag. This offers him the opportunity to lead right from the start and to hang on for as long as he can. At the beginning of the month in the preseason Busch Clash, he started seventh and finished second on this course. He’s the odds-on favorite in this race and will be your high-priced anchor, especially in your cash game lineups.
Ryan Blaney ($10,400); Starting Position 27th
If you are looking for a tournament pivot from Elliot, Ryan Blaney offers that to you. He comes with a hefty price tag. He becomes profitable though, given his starting position coupled with his showing at the Busch Clash last week. Blaney will begin the race from the 27th position as decided by NASCAR’s qualifying formula. His No. 12 machine was in the mix at the end of the exhibition race during Speedweeks. Were it not for contact with Elliot, Blaney may have been the one creating smoke at the end of the race.
He could serve as a pivot from Elliot in a few of your NASCAR DraftKings tournament lineups largely due to his less than favorable finish last season. In the race formerly called Go Bowling 235, Blaney finished a disappointing day in the 31st position. He had trouble improving on his 24th starting spot. This could cause some to balk at the thought of using him this week. From what we saw in the Clash, he seems to have things dialed in and ready to rock for this week’s race. Should he climb his way to the front, his 25+ points from place differential alone will make you a happy camper.
If You Must Fade:
Alex Bowman ($9,000); Starting Position 36th
The next “tier” here starts a little more pricey than would normally be the case. The biggest cause for this is the extreme volatility towards the bottom end of this slate. As the drivers become less expensive, the range of outcomes becomes far dicier for comfort. So in this case, selecting a higher priced mid-ranged driver is the play. Bowman had the iconic No. 48 at the front of the pack to start the Daytona 500, only to get swept up in the chaos of the day. Ultimately, his 35th place finish was not a representation of his talent. This is something he will be out to prove this Sunday as he takes his Ally Financial Chevrolet to the road track at Daytona.
Bowman drove the No. 88 to 12th place in the Go Bowling 235 last season charging up 15 spots from his 27th starting spot. Last week, he held on to finish 7th in the Busch Clash. The algorithm that selected his starting position this Sunday unknowingly gave you a giant advantage in your DraftKings lineups. He will certainly not stay at the back of the pack for long. This is evident by his nine straight Top-15 finishes in road courses since the 2018 Sonoma race. Barring another disastrous wreck, big points for your NASCAR DraftKings rosters should be had from Bowman this week.
William Byron ($8,800); Starting Position 22nd
Another of the new crop of “Young Guns,” Byron has the potential to return nicely on his price tag this Sunday. He enters the weekend with a fifth-place finish on the Daytona road course in the Busch Clash under his belt. Last season, he crossed the finish line in eighth place on this same track. It was one of 14 total Top-10 finishes for the No. 24 car in 2020.
Road races are certainly a different beast. They are creatures that Byron has had success in taming recently. His lowest finish over his last four road courses happens to be eighth place in the Go Bowling 235 last year. You can expect him to find his way back toward the front of the pack near the checkered flag on Sunday. The differential will make for a solid base in which to build your NASCAR DraftKings lineups.
For The Bargain Shopper:
Erik Jones ($7,800); Starting Position 37th
It was a rough night for just about every driver last week, except Michael McDowell of course. Erik Jones found himself taken out in the lap 13 crash that marred the Great American Race’s start. He was almost able to slide low enough to miss the whole mess until the No. 1 was shoved into his right front. It eventually sent him up the track directly into the bumper car rides before the No. 1 found him again to help finish him off. He’ll look to stay out of trouble this week on the road offering at Daytona, where he placed 8th overall in the Busch Clash last week.
Some drivers just run well on road courses, and Jones is one of them. Since 2017, he’s participated in 11 road races. Of those, he’s failed to finish in 11th place or better only three times. Coincidentally, that 11th place was logged at the Daytona road course last season. He’s a good value for your lineup at his starting position, given his potential for a Top 10 finish. He’s also the key to unlocking the higher-priced options on the slate.
Chris Buescher ($7,200); Starting Position 30th
Consider Chris Buescher as your dart throw of the week. As stated in the opening, as you make your way into the $6k range, your options start to get limited. With that said, a guy like Buescher fits into your lineup while leaving you room to roster a couple of the higher-priced options. Although, don’t let his price or his starting position scare you too much. There is some upside to be had here. Last season, he was able to turn in a Top-5 finish at this course. He was also a participant in the Busch Clash last week crossing the finish line in the 16th position. Buescher was also a casualty of the lap 13 cluster bomb of a wreck. His day barely began before it ended. This week, he gives you favorable salary relief for your NASCAR DraftKings lineups with at least Top-10 upside.