For the first time in NASCAR Cup Series history, teams will take on Nashville Superspeedway. Let’s get your NASCAR DraftKings lineups ready for Sunday’s (June 20) race!
Nashville is a 1.33-mile, D-shaped oval made of concrete and hasn’t been raced on in any NASCAR national series since 2011. NASCAR put down a resin on the track to help with grip and used a tire dragon to lay down rubber. Teams will use the higher-horsepower package with low downforce. Additionally, the same tire compound that was used at Dover International Speedway will be put on the right side of the cars, while the left sides were used at Kansas Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Since this weekend is the inaugural race at this track, you must be out of luck at predicting who will score well on DraftKings, right? Not so fast. You can look at each driver’s current form to see if there’s an upward trend. Also, check out Darlington Raceway and Dover’s statistics; Darlington is closest in size, while Dover is made of concrete (though a bit shorter).
A few Cup drivers racing today have ventured to Nashville in the Camping World Truck or Xfinity series, though their results are all 10+ years ago. Still, the resin/rubber may help the cars react to the track the same way as back then.
Cup practice is Saturday at 2:05 p.m. ET while qualifying is Sunday at 11:05 a.m. ET. Be sure to watch for top drivers in practice as well as who has a slight mishap in qualifying; if they’re normally fast, position differential could come into play by the end of Sunday’s race.
Before I move on to this week’s picks, I’ll review what happened in last week’s Xfinity race.
Basically, the experiment did not go as planned, as the lineup was doomed from the start. Bayley Currey had a battery problem and didn’t even get to go out on track, while Harrison Burton crashed late in the race. Kyle Busch won and a couple of drivers got top-15 finishes but it wasn’t enough to pull this lineup out of the hole it was already in.
252.95 DraftKings points earned $1.67 in the $1 Happy Hour tournament, while 218.6 was just enough to cash the large $1 double up contest.
As for scoring, DraftKings lowered the points for each fastest lap to 0.45 this season, as well as the points awarded for first place to 45. DraftKings has also put more emphasis on drivers who finish inside the top 10 and top 20. For example, the gap between 10th and 11th place is now two points instead of one: 10th gets 34 points, while 11th gets 32, etc.
You can view this year’s full DraftKings rules below.
Note: the following is a sample NASCAR DraftKings lineup; you can use the information to create your own. Intermediates in this case are tracks 1-to-2 miles long.
Fantasy NASCAR DraftKings Picks: 2021 Ally 400
Kyle Larson ($11,800)
Career at intermediates: 119 starts, 3 wins, 44 top fives, 66 top 10s
Average finish at intermediates: 12.9
I mean, really, who else would I start with at this point? The man has been on a tear since the start of May, though his results don’t show it in the Kansas race. Larson has posted 44.4 DraftKings points or more in every race since Kansas and has won the last three events, including the All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway. His highest DraftKings score during this span was 164.7 at Dover, Nashville’s sister track. He led 263 laps in that race and posted 122 fastest laps.
The No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports driver has also won three points events so far this season, and even though he has never raced at Nashville, I don’t think he’ll have any problem continuing this hot streak. Remember to check practice and qualifying results, though to make sure Larson can give you maximum value for his price.
Kyle Busch ($9,900)
Career at intermediates: 288 starts, 26 wins, 112 top fives, 168 top 10s
Average finish at intermediates: 12.7
Busch is one of the few drivers who has experience at the Lebanon, Tenn. course. He won in both of his Truck starts and earned an additional Xfinity Series victory in 2009. He also finished third or better in each of the last four races there in NXS. Busch is pulling double duty this weekend and should do well on Sunday, especially since there’s practice.
Though the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing driver didn’t do well at Dover a few weeks ago, he finished third there last year and won in 2017. Busch has a victory at Kansas this year and was third at Darlington the following week. He took home two additional top fives before the All-Star Race and seems to be on an upward trend. If the veteran can dial in his car for Sunday’s race, he should be a favorite to contend with the Hendrick stable.
Kevin Harvick ($9,100)
Career at intermediates: 360 starts, 36 wins, 124 top fives, 210 top 10s
Average finish at intermediates: 12.0
Harvick also has raced at Nashville before, earning two Xfinity wins in 2006 and 2010 as well as three top fives and four top 10s. Additionally, he ran a Truck race in 2010, finishing second after starting ninth.
Unfortunately, last year’s regular season points champion is still searching for his first win this season. There were a few races where Harvick drove the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford to a good finish, including a four-race top-10 streak from Talladega Superspeedway through Dover. He started trending downward at the road courses since then, but Nashville is not a road course. Check Harvick’s practice to see if he is happy with his car, as well as his starting spot on Sunday.
Bubba Wallace ($6,500)
Career at intermediates: 62 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 3 top 10s
Average finish at intermediates: 23.4
The remaining picks here have never been to Nashville, so I’m going off of mainly current form and previous Dover history. Wallace has wheeled his No. 23 Toyota of 23XI Racing to four top-15 finishes including the All-Star Open event. One that was more notable for me was his result at Dover: he gained 11 positions to finish 11th, scoring 43.9 fantasy points. It was his best finish at the Monster Mile by far, as well as his best finish of the season. If Wallace can perform like this on Sunday, he would be a great value to your lineup.
Daniel Suarez ($6,300)
Career at intermediates: 79 starts, 0 wins, 3 top fives, 16 top 10s
Average finish at intermediates: 19.4
Like Wallace, Suarez rallied his No. 99 Trackhouse Racing car to ninth at Dover, 15 spots further from where he started. This strong feat resulted in 50.5 DraftKings points — his highest score on the site this season. The team has shown flashes of strong runs and fast cars, and since there’s practice at Nashville, they should be able to set up the car to Suarez’s liking.
That ninth at Dover broke a slump of four straight finishes outside the top 10 at the Monster Mile and was his best finish since 2018. Suarez has earned five top 10s there, and now that he found speed again, it could translate to this concrete racetrack at Nashville. Just be careful about too much speed; if he qualifies within the top 10, I’m not sure I would want him in my lineup.
Dark Horse Performer
Ryan Preece ($6,000)
Career at intermediates: 48 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 0 top 10s
Average finish at intermediates: 26.3
Preece is an interesting one, as he hasn’t earned a top 10 on any intermediate track yet in his Cup career. However, he does usually qualify poorly (mostly due to poor finishes), so there’s the potential to pass cars if he starts further back.
Lately, the No. 37 JTG Daugherty Racing pilot has three top 18s in the past seven races. This run includes an 18th at Dover after starting 25th, a rally that earned Preece 32 DraftKings points. He also was 19th in 2019 after beginning 32nd.
And guess what? He just won the Truck race at Nashville. Could Preece use this momentum throughout this weekend? If you think he can, place him in your lineup.
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