This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.
Go Bowling 235
Location: Daytona, Fla.
Course: Daytona International Speedway Road Course
Format: 3.61-mile road course
The NASCAR Cup series visits the road course at Daytona International Speedway for the first time in its history this week in the Go Bowling 235. There have been 129 road course races in Cup history on 11 tracks. Daytona this weekend will make that 12. Those 129 races produced 52 different winners with Jeff Gordon winning the most at nine. While the circuit may be new for the series, many veterans have experience on the track, having raced in the Daytona 24-hour race at one time or another. Jimmie Johnson has made seven starts in that race and finished second twice. Michael McDowell also has seven starts in the race with a best finish of third. In total, 10 active drivers have starts on the road course with Brendan Gaughan being the only one with a victory -- a class victory in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge in 2011.
Key Stats at Daytona Road Course
- 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 10 Road Course Winners
2019 Charlotte - Chase Elliott
2019 Watkins Glen - Chase Elliott
2019 Sonoma - Martin Truex Jr.
2018 Charlotte - Ryan Blaney
2018 Watkins Glen - Chase Elliott
2018 Sonoma - Martin Truex Jr.
2017 Watkins Glen - Martin Truex Jr.
2017 Sonoma - Kevin Harvick
2016 Watkins Glen - Denny Hamlin
2016 Sonoma - Kurt Busch
Chase Elliott and Martin Truex Jr. have been the dominant road course racers in the Cup series in recent years. The pair have combined to win six of the last seven road course races and will start seventh and third respectively on Sunday. While Daytona's road course may present new challenges and some unknowns, these two have proven to be among the best. Daytona's sweeping turns and significant time spent on the high-banked turns will lend a new twist to road course racing, and fantasy players might want to envision the track playing out like an elongated Charlotte course. The race sets itself up much like a wild-card event where long-shots could upset the playoff picture. Track position and pit strategy will be keys to victory, and getting those two things right on Sunday could propel an unlikely candidate into the championship battle.
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)
The beauty of a wild-card type race means that creative fantasy lineups are possible. This week's most creative has arguably all the main favorites for this race with Ryan Blaney (DK $11,000, FD $11,400), 2018's Charlotte road course winner leading the pack. He starts 24th on Sunday and should offer up plenty of finish differential points while also remaining within reach of the race win. Chase Elliott (DK $10,600, FD $13,500) and Martin Truex Jr. (DK $10,100, FD $14,000) have been the two most dominant road course drivers in this series through the past few seasons. The pair are among the best on these types of circuits and have won five of the last six road course races the past two years. Michael McDowell (DK $7,000, FD $6,500) is also an accomplished road course driver. He has seven starts on this particular track with a best finish of third and finished 12th last year at the Charlotte road course. Austin Dillon tested positive for Covid-19 and will be replaced this weekend by Kaz Grala (DK $6,000). Grala finished fourth in last week's Xfinity series visit to Road American — just his second series start of the year. Finally, Australian road course ace James Davison (DK $5,200, FD $3,000) should be at his best this week. He starts 38th but brings Indy Lights wins at Mid-Ohio and three Weathertech SportsCar Championship podium finishes into this week's race.
Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Kyle Busch (DK $9,800, FD $11,000) may be looking at his best opportunity to score his first 2020 win before the playoffs begin this week. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has been shut out this year, but he started turning in regular top-fives and is quick on the road courses. He has four road course victories and starts on the second row Sunday. Busch's teammate Denny Hamlin (DK $9,400, FD $12,000) is also a previous road course winner and has been one of the hottest drivers in the series this year. The playoff bubble spot is currently occupied by William Byron (DK $8,600, FD $9,000). The Hendrick Motorsports driver has Chad Knaus on his pit box, and this road course race could be won by strategy. There aren't many other crew chiefs in the garage capable of calling a better strategy than Knaus, and Byron has proven that he is a fast driver on road courses with three front-row starts in the three road course races last season. As mentioned, Brendan Gaughan (DK $7,500, FD $4,000) won on this circuit in 2011. He also finished third on the track in 2016 in the Prototype Challenge class, and starting last on Sunday gives him a lot of points potential from finish differential alone. Rookie Tyler Reddick (DK $7,400, FD $8,000) will start 18th and did not fail to finish in the top five on any road course in last year's Xfinity series. Finishing off this stout lineup is Christopher Bell (DK $7,200, FD $8,400), who finished second twice and won once on road courses last season in the Xfinity series.