This article is part of our DFS NASCAR series.
Beef. It's What's For Dinner. 300
Location: Daytona Beach, Fla.
Course: Daytona International Speedway
Format: 2.5-mile tri-oval
NASCAR's Xfinity Series kicks off their 2021 season this Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. Noah Gragson won this race last season while Justin Haley took the checkered flag in the fall visit. Austin Cindric captured the series title with a win last year in Phoenix, which gave him six victories for the season. Chase Briscoe was the driver who won the most races (nine) last season, however. Briscoe has taken a step forward to the NASCAR Cup Series this year, while Cindric will return to try to defend his title in 2021. He'll pull double duty this weekend after racing his way into Sunday's Daytona 500 through his qualifying race on Thursday. Only two Xfinity Series drivers won the first Xfinity race of the season at Daytona and then went on to win the series championship. Tyler Reddick was the last to pull off the feat in 2018.
Key Stats at Daytona International Speedway
- Number of races: 58
- Winners from pole: 4
- Winners from top-5 starters: 25
- Winners from top-10 starters: 39
- Winners from 21st or lower starters: 4
- Fastest race: 157.137 mph
Previous 10 Daytona Winners
2020 fall - Justin Haley
2020 spring - Noah Gragson
2019 fall - Ross Chastain
2019 spring - Michael Annett
2018 fall - Kyle Larson
2018 spring - Tyler Reddick
2017 fall - William Byron
2017 spring - Ryan Reed
2016 fall - Aric Almirola
2016 spring - Chase Elliott
Daytona International Speedway is a 2.5-mile high-banked tri-oval that features pack racing, and drafting is the name of the game. The track also has a history of producing close finishes with 31 of the 32 most recent Xfinity Series green-flag finishes having ended with a margin of victory of less than a second. The closest finish in series history was also at this venue when Reddick topped Elliott Sadler at the line in his championship season of 2018. Fantasy players should also prepare themselves for a late-race pass for the win. Drivers often make moves from behind on the final laps to snatch victory. Teams will have to prepare for the potential of an overtime finish, too. As the laps wind down, aggression ramps up, which produces cautions and restarts. Gragson won from the 12th starting position last season, which was the furthest back a driver has started and won at Daytona since Aric Almirola won the fall race in 2016 from the 23rd starting spot.
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)
Justin Allgaier has never won in the series at Daytona and crashed out of both races there last season. He led 23 laps last year, however, and scored four top-fives and eight top-10s in his 20 career starts. Justin Haley won at Daytona in both Xfinity and Cup Series races. Like Allgaier, he is consistently a driver to watch in the draft and is often found near the front of the pack. Haley is looking to win the title this season after finishing third last year. Harrison Burton's rookie debut in the series ended with an impressive runner-up finish in this race last season. He returned in the fall to finish fifth, making him a driver fantasy owners should consider selecting this week. Ryan Sieg has 14 series starts at this track. He scored three top-fives and five top-10s in that span with two third-place finishes and was ninth in this race last season. Josh Williams picked up six top-10 finishes on his way to a 15th-place finish in the championship standings last season. One of those top-10s was at Daytona in the fall race when he finished ninth despite starting 20th. Alex Labbe finished even on points with Williams last season and also picked up a Daytona top-10 finish in 2020. He finished 10th in the February visit and led 19 laps that day.
Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Gragson scored two wins last season and finished fifth in the championship. One of those victories was the 2020 edition of this race where he led 15 laps. Reddick is also a former Daytona winner. He won this race in 2018 with JR Motorsports. He is a full-time Cup Series driver but will be doing double duty this weekend. Michael Annett has also won this race. His visit to Victory Lane came in 2019 with 45 laps led. He crashed out of last year's edition, but came back to finish seventh on the return visit in the fall. Riley Herbst has three Daytona Xfinity starts, and his best finish at the track came last fall when he finished fourth. He led four laps in that race and didn't start lower than 11th in those three outings. Veteran Landon Cassill may also be a good choice for fantasy managers this week. He has seven series starts at Daytona and scored a highest finish of third in 2011. His only series start at the track in the last five years was 2019 when he crashed out. His experience makes him a viable option at a low price this week, but him not having a regular drive comes with some risk. Finishing the higher-risk selections is Tommy Joe Martins. His only Xfinity Daytona appearance was last fall, but he finished a respectable 14th after starting 18th.