This article is part of our DFS NASCAR series.
Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey 200
Location: Watkins Glen, N.Y.
Course: Watkins Glen International
Format: 2.45-mile road course
NASCAR Xfinity Series action returns this week after a two-week break in the Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey 200 at Watkins Glen International. This will be the first year the series has visited the upstate New York road course since 2019 when Austin Cindric took the checkered flag. This weekend's race will be the 27th at the circuit, and there have been 15 different winners. Only two of those races were won by a driver starting outside of the top 20, and no one has won starting outside of the top 10 since Marcos Ambrose came from 12th to win in 2008. Justin Allgaier and Cindric will start on the front row in the first of seven regular-season races to go before the championship playoffs commence at Las Vegas.
Key Stats at Watkins Glen International
- Number of races: 26
- Winners from pole: 9
- Winners from top-5 starters: 20
- Winners from top-10 starters: 22
- Winners from 21st or lower starters: 2
- Fastest race: 106.582 mph
Previous Watkins Glen Winners
Like most road courses, Watkins Glen rewards track position. The course is a natural-terrain circuit with plenty of elevation changes as well as a few hard-braking corner entries where drivers can make passes. Perhaps one of the most important factors in success at the track is staying out of trouble – especially on restarts. A damaged car can be very disruptive in the track's fast and flowing turns, where downforce and drafting can actually become a factor. Passes can be made at multiple spots on the 2.45-mile course, but one of the favorites is under braking into the bus-stop chicane. Setting up a pass into that area requires a good launch out of the flowing esses in order to set up an out-braking maneuver into the tight complex. Teams will work backward from the finish and stage breaks to determine their optimal pit windows, but strategies could change with caution periods and traffic when opportunities to gamble for track position gains might be a possibility.
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
Watkins Glen and AJ Allmendinger are a match. Allmendinger has a Cup Series victory at the track and was the runner up in the Xfinity Series visit in 2018. He also led 24 laps and finished second again in 2019 before being disqualified for a technical violation after the race. He will start sixth Saturday. Cindric was the one who finished ahead of him in 2019. He led eight laps in that victory and has gone on to be one of the best road course racers in the series since. Allgaier is the one who will lead the field to green from the pole. He has six top-10s from nine Watkins Glen starts and led 13 laps in 2019 on his way to a third-place finish. Michael Annett grabbed his first top-10 at the track in 2019 and is looking to get his season headed the right direction as the playoffs approach. Alex Labbe is another good choice on road courses. He led four laps at the track in 2018 and finished 16th there in 2019. Jade Buford is slated to start 16th this week. It will be his first series visit to Watkins Glen and he has top-15 finishes this season at Mid-Ohio and Circuit of the Americas.
Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Ty Gibbs has had a dream part-time season in the Xfinity Series, winning twice and finishing in the top five seven out of nine times. He won on the road course at Daytona on his debut and backed up that road-course prowess with a third-place run at Mid-Ohio. He will start 15th this week and is looking to bounce back from a retirement at Elkhart Lake due to a transmission failure. Sam Mayer will pull double duty this weekend in the Trucks and Xfinity. He will start 32nd in the Xfinity race and could be a top-10 contender despite rolling off deep in the field. Surprisingly, Noah Gragson is still looking for his first 2021 win. He finished ninth in his only series start at the track in 2019. Harrison Burton is also looking for a 2021 win and will try again this week from the fourth starting position. This will be his first series visit to this circuit but that shouldn't slow him down much. Jeremy Clements has a pair of 11th-place finishes at Watkins Glen, including last time out in 2019. The final choice in the higher-risk lineup this week is Josh Williams, who drove from 30th to 19th in 2019.