DFS NASCAR: Enjoy Illinois 300

DFS NASCAR: Enjoy Illinois 300

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.

Enjoy Illinois 300

Location: Madison, Ill.
Course: World Wide Technology Raceway
Format: 1.25-mile oval
Laps: 240

Race Preview

It's a new track for the NASCAR Cup Series this week as they visit World Wide Technology Raceway for the first time. NASCAR's Xfinity and Truck Series have both raced at the track, but not the Cup series. A number of drivers have won at the track in the past, but the new car and new track coupled with a relatively recent repave will offer many unknowns. Denny Hamlin won last week's marathon Coca-Cola 600, battling to the front through two overtime restarts to become the third repeat winner this season. His second season victory leaves five playoff spots open for nonwinners. Tyler Reddick moved into the 16th and final playoff spot and heads into this week's contest with a scant eight-point gap to Aric Almirola in 17th. The competition for those spots is heating up as the regular season rolls on, and everyone will be aiming for that all-important win this week in Illinois.

Key Stats at World Wide Technology Raceway

  • Number of races: 0
  • Winners from pole: 0
  • Winners from top-5 starters: 0
  • Winners from top-10 starters: 0
  • Winners from 21st or lower starters: 0
  • Fastest race: N/A

Previous World Wide Technology Raceway Winners

2019 Trucks - Ross Chastain
2018 Trucks - Justin Haley
2016 Trucks - Christopher Bell
2015 Trucks - Cole Custer
2014 Trucks - Bubba Wallace
2010 Trucks - Kevin Harvick
2010 Xfinity - Brad Keselowski
2009 Xfinity - Kyle Busch
2004 Xfinity - Martin Truex Jr.
2001 Xfinity - Kevin Harvick

World Wide Technology Raceway is a uniquely configured oval that features different radius turns at each end of the circuit. While the two ends of the track most closely resemble New Hampshire and Phoenix, its shape is more like Darlington. The flatter banking than Darlington will put more of an emphasis on handling, similar to the other flat circuits on the schedule. That emphasis on grip will make tires a concern considering how many tire failures the season has seen thus far. Getting the setup correct quickly will be the aim in order to give drivers an early advantage in track position through qualifying up front. Track position has historically been a factor, too. Many of the other series' prior races have been won by drivers starting up front. Practice and qualifying will be the best opportunity for fantasy players to assess driver potential with the cars being on track both Friday and Saturday before racing Sunday, but a big consideration for recent momentum should also be a good guide.

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

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Kyle Larson - $11,300
Kyle Busch - $10,900
Chase Elliott - $10,200
Ross Chastain - $10,000

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

William Byron - $9,800
Ryan Blaney - $9,600
Tyler Reddick - $9,400
Christopher Bell - $9,200

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Joey Logano - $8,900
Alex Bowman - $8,700
Kevin Harvick - $8,500
Daniel Suarez - $8,000

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $7,700
Erik Jones - $7,300
Bubba Wallace - $6,700
Justin Haley - $6,000

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Chase Elliott - $10,200
Tyler Reddick - $9,400
Kevin Harvick - $8,500
Daniel Suarez - $8,000
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $7,700
Justin Haley - $6,000

Chase Elliott (DK $10,200, FD $12,000) has had plenty of speed recently, just not the luck needed to convert that into a win. He does have his Dover win to put him in the playoffs. He also led 86 laps last week at Charlotte. He gets another chance to go to Victory Lane this week and his bad luck has to run out some time. Reddick (DK $9,400, FD $8,800) is looking for luck to go along with his speed. Reddick looks like one of the most likely to become the next first-time winner and worked his way into the top 16 in the standings with a sixth-place finish last week. Kevin Harvick (DK $8,500, FD $8,000) has also been in good form with two top-fives from the last three races. He has also won multiple races at this track. Daniel Suarez (DK $8,000, FD $7,800) is also knocking on the door of success. He finished 10th at Darlington and led 36 laps last week at Charlotte. He appears to be regaining his footing after a brief slump and could be in store for another good outing this week. One firm statement last week came from Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (DK $7,700, FD $5,300). For those paying attention, Stenhouse has actually been on a run of top-10s since Dover. He is in some of his best form, and fantasy players should take advantage of that this week. Another former winner at this circuit is Justin Haley (DK $6,000, FD $3,500). Haley finished third at Dover, 11th at Darlington, and won the Truck Series race at this track in 2018.

Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Ross Chastain - $10,000
Ryan Blaney - $9,600
Christopher Bell - $9,200
Kurt Busch - $8,200
Erik Jones - $7,300
Zane Smith - $5,400

Fantasy players looking for momentum need to look no further than Ross Chastain (DK $10,000, FD $11,500). Not only did he win the Truck race at this track in 2019, but he remains on the best form of his career and is leading the points! There are no indications that he would experience a dropoff this week considering his recent experience at the track. Ryan Blaney (DK $9,600, FD $10,500) needs some luck, too. He was running well at Charlotte only to become part of that race's heavy attrition. He is the top nonwinner in the points, but a victory would go a long way to relieving the pressure that is building on him. Christopher Bell (DK $9,200, FD $9,500) also showed his promise of a 2022 victory last week. With five top-10 finishes in the last five races, including the All-Star Race, Bell is right in the window to grab that win. Kurt Busch (DK $8,200, FD $7,500) should be another driver to consider. When he avoids trouble, he has been finishing in the top 10. That's exactly what he did to win at Kansas. Assuming no issues for him on Sunday he should be another top-10 contender. Things have also been trending the right direction for Erik Jones (DK $7,300, FD $6,800). He has had his share of trouble, but this new track could be a field leveler that helps him outperform typical expectations. He is 29 points out of the playoff positions but is closing that gap rapidly. Finally, selecting Zane Smith (DK $5,400, FD $4,000) could be a great option for fantasy rosters. Racing in the Truck Series he has three recent starts at this track with two top-10 finishes, and he is also leading that series with three victories so far this season! He will be filling in for Chris Buescher who tested positive for Covid and will miss the weekend. This race will be an excellent opportunity for Smith to make a great impression in Cup machinery.

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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