This article is part of our DraftKings NASCAR series.
Camping World 400
Location: Joliet, Ill.
Course: Chicagoland Speedway
Format: 1.5-mile tri-oval
Martin Truex Jr. turned a top-10 start and sound pit strategy into his fourth win of the season last week at Sonoma Raceway. It was his second consecutive win on the track and moves him even with teammate Kyle Busch for most wins so far this season. Hendrick Motorsports' William Byron took the lead at the start and held on to dominate the first stage while Truex opted to race for the overall win and gave up on stage glory to be in position to capitalize with another victory. That win means Joe Gibbs Racing has now won 10 races so far this season. Next closest in the wins column would be Penske Racing with five victories split between Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano. The Gibbs Toyotas continue to be the team to beat, and only Penske seems capable of beating them most weeks. Up next is the Camping World 400 at Chicagoland Speedway where Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Truex have won the last four races. Keselowski is the only Ford to have ever won at the track since it joined the calendar in 2001. This weekend's race will be the first 1.5-mile oval since Charlotte last month and the first 1.5-mie tri-oval since Kansas.
Key Stats at Chicagoland Raceway
• Number of previous races: 18
• Winners from pole: 1
• Winners from top-5 starters: 2
• Winners from top-10 starters: 7
• Winners from 21st or lower starters: 5
• Fastest race: 145.401 mph
Last 10 Chicagoland Winners
2018 - Kyle Busch
2017 - Martin Truex Jr.
2016 - Martin Truex Jr.
2015 - Denny Hamlin
2014 - Brad Keselowski
2013 - Matt Kenseth
2012 - Brad Keselowski
2011 - Tony Stewart
2010 - David Reutimann
2009 - Mark Martin
Chicagoland Speedway could set up an exciting race for fans and fantasy owners. Some of the best racing under the current rules package happened at similar circuits earlier in the season. Weather is one factor that could weigh heavily on the race, however. A hot and slippery circuit could make the race more processional in nature, but history shows Chicago as being a competitive venue. Busch and Truex each lead fewer than 100 laps in their wins here in the last three seasons. While Keselowski is the only Ford to have ever won at the circuit in the Cup series, fantasy owners shouldn't discount Fords this week. The pair won at both Las Vegas and Kansas earlier this year, which are ovals more similar to what we'll see this week. Like most weeks, this one will put a premium on remaining mistake free on pit road and maintaining track position for any restarts. We've seen races come undone for competitive cars this season due to small errors on pit road that have earned penalties, putting the driver behind for the rest of the race. While early weekend speed will be an important factor for fantasy owners to watch, qualifying position won't be as important as it was last week. Three of the last five winners here have started outside of the top 15.
DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)
DraftKings Tier 1 Values
DraftKings Tier 2 Values
DraftKings Tier 3 Values
DraftKings Long-Shot Values
MY PICKS THIS WEEK
Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Joe Gibbs Racing drivers and affiliated Toyota teams have won five of the last six Chicagoland races. They've also won three of the four most recent races this season, and with Kyle Busch frustrated in finishing second to a teammate last week it would be unwise to bet against the defending race winner this week. Chase Elliott has been hot on 1.5-mile ovals this season as well. The Hendrick Motorsports driver has earned the second most points on those tracks so far this season and has two top-five Chicago finishes from just three career starts. Denny Hamlin, another JGR option, won the 2015 edition of this race and hasn't finished lower than seventh in his last five visits either. With top-10 finishes at Pocono and Michigan before last week's road course race, Suarez also makes a good fantasy option. He hasn't started or finished worse than 13th in his two visits to the track, which is exactly the type of performance these middle positions in a roster need to deliver. Daniel Hemric has shown flashes of speed and potential a few times this season and has finally turned the corner on delivering results. He started fifth at Las Vegas and was a top-15 driver in Kansas. That bodes well for Chicago. Finishing out the safer selections is Ross Chastain. He raced on this circuit last year, which gave him a higher driver rating at the circuit than most other drivers in this price range.
Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
As in the safer lineup option, it's hard to go against the JGR drivers this week. Martin Truex Jr.'s risk this week would be from the potential hangover from winning at Pocono. Fantasy owners not confident he can win back to back may want to opt for Kevin Harvick in this slot. Pressure continues to mount on Kyle Larson, but pace does not elude him. Banishing the mistakes will get him a top finish, and Chicago is a top track for him with an average finish of seventh from five starts. More JGR firepower comes from Erik Jones. He started ninth and finished sixth in this race last year with the same team. William Byron qualified eighth for this race last season but has the maturity to finish out race distances with that speed this year and should be a contender for a top-10 on Sunday. Chris Buescher does not have a top-10 at Chicago but was sixth at Charlotte last month and was 10th at Kansas. Those results indicate he has upside value this week. Finally, Bubba Wallace has not been having a season to remember. He finished 23rd here last season, had single-lap pace at Kansas and should be in with a shot for a top-20 this week. A finish like that could also go a long way to improvement for the second half of the year.