DFS NASCAR: Federated Auto Parts 400

DFS NASCAR: Federated Auto Parts 400

This article is part of our DFS NASCAR series.

Federated Auto Parts 400

Location: Richmond, Va.
Course: Richmond International Raceway
Format: 0.75-mile D-shaped oval
Laps: 400

Race Preview

Martin Truex Jr. looked like he was headed to the first playoff win of the season last week at Darlington, but contact with Chase Elliott sent both tumbling down the order in the final laps of the race. Kevin Harvick was poised to pick up the pieces to claim the win and become the first driver to guarantee his spot in the next round of championship eliminations. Two short-track races remain in the round of 16 for the next 11 spots to be finalized. The first is at Richmond International Raceway where Truex and Kyle Busch have won the last four and Toyota has won seven of the last nine. Truex dominated the circuit last year, leading 295 laps between the two races. He could be the driver to beat this weekend, especially after coming so close to victory last week.

Key Stats at Richmond International Raceway

  • Number of races: 127
  • Winners from pole: 23
  • Winners from top-5 starters: 72
  • Winners from top-10 starters: 98
  • Winners from 21st or lower starters: 11
  • Fastest race: 109.047 mph

Previous 10 Richmond Winners

2019 fall - Martin Truex Jr.
2019 spring - Martin Truex Jr.
2018 fall - Kyle Busch
2018 spring - Kyle Busch
2017 fall - Kyle Larson
2017 spring - Joey Logano
2016 fall - Denny Hamlin
2016 spring - Carl Edwards
2015 fall - Matt Kenseth
2015 spring - Kurt Busch

Richmond International Raceway is a 0.75-mile D-shaped oval on which drivers spend the majority of each lap turning. The wide and flat banking offers options for drivers to adjust their line to what their cars can handle, but track position will always be one of the most important factors in short-track racing. The vast majority of Richmond winners start inside the top 10, and having a fast car can mean significant amounts of time spent out front leading laps. Drivers at the rear of the field have little chance to gain track position since the short lap distance means heading to pit road off cycle means losing laps to the leaders, which could trap a team deep in the running order if an ill-timed caution were to appear. Track position will be a big factor on restarts, but teams looking for a chance to win could opt for fresh tires in a bid to work their way forward on late caution periods.

DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Denny Hamlin - $11,600
Kevin Harvick - $11,300
Martin Truex Jr. - $10,900
Chase Elliott - $10,500

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Kyle Busch - $9,800
Joey Logano - $9,300
Kurt Busch - $9,100
Erik Jones - $8,900

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Jimmie Johnson - $8,700
Clint Bowyer - $8,300
Austin Dillon - $7,900
Alex Bowman - $7,700

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

William Byron - $7,400
Christopher Bell - $7,200
Bubba Wallace - $7,100
Chris Buescher - $5,900

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Martin Truex Jr. - $10,900
Kyle Busch - $9,800
Clint Bowyer - $8,300
Christopher Bell - $7,200
Bubba Wallace - $7,100
Matt Kenseth - $6,700

After dominating the last two Richmond races Martin Truex Jr. (DK $10,900, FD $13,000) is a logical choice to lead the lower-risk lineup. He led more than 100 laps in each of his last six races at the track and was close to winning last week, too. Teammate Kyle Busch (DK $9,800, FD $11,700) is still looking for his first 2020 win. He has had a top-five car for much of the season but still needs a breakthrough. He won both races at this track in 2018 and has six series wins at the circuit. Clint Bowyer (DK $8,300, FD $10,500) is a two-time Richmond winner who will start 11th Saturday night. Bowyer is on the bubble in the standings and finished third and eighth in the two races here last season. This will be the first time Christopher Bell (DK $7,200, FD$8,400) races at this track as a Cup series driver, but he won three of the last four Richmond Xfinity races. Bubba Wallace (DK $7,100, FD $6,000) confirmed this week that he would be leaving Richard Petty Motorsports after the season. His best Richmond finish of 12th came last fall. Matt Kenseth (DK $6,700, FD $7,000) is a is a two-time winner at this track, and should be looking forward to driving forward from the 19th starting position on a track that should make for more of a level playing field for his equipment. 

Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Denny Hamlin - $11,600
Joey Logano - $9,300
Jimmie Johnson - $8,700
Austin Dillon - $7,900
John Hunter Nemechek - $6,500
Chris Buescher - $5,900

Denny Hamlin (DK $11,600, FD $13,500) is one of the favorites this week. He has three Richmond wins but hasn't led a lap at the track since 2017. He starts seventh this week and will be looking to overcome his 13th-place Darlington finish from a week ago. Joey Logano (DK $9,300, FD $12,200) made the most of a difficult Darlington race and sits third in the standings as a result. He has two Richmond wins and finished second in the spring race last season. Jimmie Johnson (DK $8,700, FD $10,000) will start 18th Saturday night and has three Richmond victories on his resume. He also hasn't finished lower than 12th at the track since 2014. Last week was an excellent race for Austin Dillon (DK $7,900, FD $9,000), and he now finds himself eighth in the standings. He has just two top-10s at Richmond but both of those came in his the last three starts. Rookie John Hunter Nemechek (DK $6,500, FD $5,000) has three top-15 finishes at this track and will be starting 31st in his first start here in the Cup series. He has top-20 potential every week with the upside potential of a top-15 as evidenced by his 13th-place Bristol finish earlier this season. Chris Buescher (DK $5,900, FD $6,200) will start 25th Saturday night and has a best Richmond finish of 17th. He also has three top-15 finishes in the last five races.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. C.J. Radune plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: cjradune, RaceDayScore: cjradune.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
C.J. Radune
Radune covers NASCAR, Formula 1 and soccer for RotoWire. He was named the Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association in 2012 and 2015.
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