This article is part of our DFS NASCAR series.
Go Bowling 250
Location: Richmond, Va.
Course: Richmond International Raceway
Format: 0.75-mile oval
Last week Noah Gragson locked himself into the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series playoffs with a long-awaited win at Darlington Raceway. With that win in his pocket he can now focus on advancing through the championship elimination rounds. Only two races remain before those races get underway, which means only two races are left for drivers not currently locked into the playoff field to earn their entries. Up first is the annual visit to Richmond Raceway. Justin Allgaier swept the double-header weekend held at the track in 2020. He will start this year's visit much farther forward that he did in either race last season, too. Gragson will start third, while Austin Cindric and Harrison Burton occupy the front row that will lead the field to green this Saturday.
Key Stats at Richmond International Raceway
- Number of races: 74
- Winners from pole: 14
- Winners from top-5 starters: 45
- Winners from top-10 starters: 57
- Winners from 21st or lower starters: 7
- Fastest race: 108.415 mph
Previous 10 Richmond Winners
2020 II - Justin Allgaier
2020 I - Justin Allgaier
2019 fall - Christopher Bell
2019 spring - Cole Custer
2018 fall - Christopher Bell
2018 spring - Christopher Bell
2017 fall - Brad Keselowski
2017 spring - Kyle Larson
2016 fall - Kyle Busch
2016 spring - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Like Darlington last week, Richmond is a place where track position matters. As with most short-tracks on the schedule, passing is the name of the game. Track position versus fresh tires will be the decision teams need to focus on throughout the race distance, just as it was last week. Richmond offers enough room to try different lines, but cars spend the majority of the lap turning. The track exposes weak handling machines, and the short lap distance makes pitting off strategy less attractive, since heading to pit road under green guarantees drivers will lose laps to the leaders. Fantasy owners should focus on drivers starting inside the top 15 and those with top finishes at flat circuits so far this season.
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)
This week, Ty Gibbs will aim to continue his great season. He'll start this week's race 15th and will attempt to get into Victory Lane for the fourth time this year. He'll have to beat Allgaier to do that, though. Allgaier won both races at the track last season and has four consecutive top fives at the track heading into this week's race. Burton could be another top choice this week. He has two top-10s from three Richmond starts and led 11 laps in the third. He is slated for the outside of the front row to start this week and could be the next new 2021 winner. Riley Herbst will start 20th on Saturday. He also has two top-10s from three Richmond starts. He crashed out of the second race there last season and was on a run of three straight top-10s before last week's race. Herbst is in the midst of a fight for a spot in the playoffs, which is tremendous incentive to be at his best this week. Michael Annett is also finding his footing with more consistent top-15 finishes each week. He has the 10th-place starting spot for this week's race and finished in the top 10 in the last three Richmond visits. After a strong showing last week, Alex Labbe should reenter fantasy consideration. His 10th-place finish at Darlington was his second top-10 of the year, and he gets the 13th starting spot for this week's race.
Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. will make a rare Xfinity Series start this week at Richmond. He'll start deep in the pack in 30th position. He has been making one start per season since 2018 and has finished in the top 10 every time. Cindric is starting to put some recent bad finishes behind him. He finished third last week at Darlington, which is great news for him as the playoffs approach. He will start Saturday afternoon's race on pole and hasn't finished lower than 13th in his six series starts at the track. Jeb Burton should also be high on fantasy radars this week. He led 12 laps and finished second in the second Richmond race last season. Like Burton, Brandon Brown scored his best Richmond finish of 11th in the second race there last year. He has eight career starts at the track and will start 17th this week. Ryan Sieg will line up 11th this weekend, which is right where he finished last week. His best Richmond finish is fifth and he has finished 15th or better in his last four tries. Jeremy Clements got back into the top 10 last week, his seventh of the season, and will aim for another this week. He has 21 career Richmond starts and only missed the top 20 there once in the last nine races.