DFS NASCAR: Pennzoil 400

DFS NASCAR: Pennzoil 400

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.

Pennzoil 400

Location: Las Vegas, Nev.
Course: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Format: 1.5-mile oval
Laps: 267

Race Preview

Kyle Larson will attempt to defend his spring Las Vegas victory from last season on the heels of his win just last week at Auto Club Speedway. The win came with a bit of controversy, as contact with teammate Chase Elliott while the pair fought at the front of the field sent Elliott's day into a downward spiral. Aside from Larson's win, it was a difficult day for Hendrick Motorsports overall with only Larson finishing in the top 20. That wasn't the story for Chevrolet, though. The manufacturer swept the top four finishing positions last week with Ford taking the next three. Kurt Busch was the only Toyota finisher in the top 10. Joey Logano leads the standings among nonwinners rolling into Las Vegas, and fantasy players will get their best opportunity yet to separate the pretenders from the contenders as the NASCAR Cup Series visits its first 1.5-mile oval of the 2022 season.

Key Stats at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

  • Number of races: 28
  • Winners from pole: 1
  • Winners from top-5 starters: 10
  • Winners from top-10 starters: 16
  • Winners from 21st or lower starters: 5
  • Fastest race: 154.849 mph

Previous 10 Las Vegas Winners

2021 fall - Denny Hamlin
2021 spring - Kyle Larson
2020 fall - Kurt Busch
2020 spring - Joey Logano
2019 fall - Martin Truex Jr.
2019 spring - Joey Logano
2018 fall - Brad Keselowski
2018 spring - Kevin Harvick
2017 - Martin Truex Jr.
2016 - Brad Keselowski

Drivers and teams will battle tooth and nail for track position this week. The Las Vegas 1.5-mile oval has made a habit of letting quick cars build significant on-track advantages, often lapping much of the field before the finish. As a result, drivers will focus on getting the most out of restarts, and their trips to pit road. Gaining a quick understanding of how this new car handles on the quick track will be the key to maximizing its grip and pushing the lap times lower and lower. Despite getting a little extra practice time this week, the teams will still be pressured to get the setup as close to perfect as quickly as possible. Those who do will have an advantage in qualifying, which helps for Sunday, as early track position opens the door to more options as the race continues. The Las Vegas oval tends to produce long, green-flag runs, and teams will have to be perfect on the adjustments made on pit road in the few opportunities they get them to move up the running order.

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

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Kyle Larson - $11,300
Chase Elliott - $11,000
Joey Logano - $10,800
Ryan Blaney - $10,500

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

William Byron - $9,000
Martin Truex Jr. - $9,500
Tyler Reddick - $9,300
Kevin Harvick - $9,100

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Kurt Busch - $8,900
Alex Bowman - $8,700
Christopher Bell - $8,200
Austin Dillon - $8,000

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Austin Cindric - $7,700
Erik Jones - $7,300
Daniel Suarez - $7,000
Bubba Wallace - $6,300


Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Kyle Larson - $11,300
Martin Truex Jr. - $9,500
Austin Dillon - $8,000
Austin Cindric - $7,700
Erik Jones - $7,300
Harrison Burton - $5,900

Larson (DK $11,300, FD $14,000) is going for back-to-back wins. He won this race last season and made the most of his Hendrick Motorsports machine last week. He also led nearly 200 laps in the two races at the track last season. The year has started well for Martin Truex Jr. (DK $9,500, FD $10,500) who now sits second in points among the nonwinners. Truex has two prior Las Vegas victories along with four finishes of sixth or better at the track from the last five. It shouldn't be a big surprise to fantasy players to see Richard Childress Racing's early-season speed, and they should consider Austin Dillon (DK $8,000, FD $7,700) for their rosters as a result. He finished second last week and has two top-fives from 13 Las Vegas visits. He led seven laps in last year's fall race, too. Austin Cindric (DK $7,700, FD $8,000) backed up his Daytona 500 victory with another strong race last week in California. He finished 12th and lurked around the top 10 all afternoon. He finished fourth in his two track appearances last season in the Xfinity Series. Offseason personnel moves at Richard Petty Motorsports appear to be making a big difference for Erik Jones (DK $7,300, FD $8,500). He enters this week's race in the top 10 in the championship standings and a third-place finish from last week. He has three top-10 finishes at Las Vegas, including his 10th-place finish in this race last year. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Harrison Burton's (DK $5,900, FD $5,000) season has gotten off completely on the wrong foot. Two crashes in the first two races haven't allowed him to show his potential yet. He has an average finish of 8.8 from four Xfinity starts at the track, however. 

Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Ryan Blaney - $10,500
Denny Hamlin - $10,000
Alex Bowman - $8,700
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $7,200
Daniel Suarez - $7,000
Bubba Wallace - $6,300

Ryan Blaney (DK $10,500, FD $12,500) was let down by his pit crew last week. He had one of the fastest cars on track but lost significant time on pit road throughout the afternoon. If the team can make adjustments this week he should be a top performer. He has five top-fives and eight top-10s from 11 starts. Denny Hamlin (DK $10,000, FD $11,500) is the most recent Las Vegas winner, having driven to Victory Lane last fall. That was his third consecutive top-five at the track, a span which includes over 300 laps led, too. That statistics make Hamlin one of the best options this week. Alex Bowman (DK $8,700, FD $9,700) is stumbling out of the gate this season. The first two races have shown speed, and he scored stage points in the first segment of last week's race, but he needs to close out a race with a good finish to start turning things around. He has demonstrated good speed at this track with three consecutive top-10 starts, but again will need to close out a full race distance. He has two top-10s from 10 series starts. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (DK $7,200, FD $6,800) is in a playoff position in the standings after his 10th-place finish last week. His 11th-place finish in this race last year along with two top-10s from 13 Las Vegas starts are good indicators of his potential this week. Daniel Suarez (DK $7,000, FD $7,500) looked like a potential winner last week. He hit the ground running with the new car and makes a nice option for fantasy rosters this week, having led 12 laps in this race last season. Another driver in that category is Bubba Wallace (DK $6,300, FD $5,000), who is in the top 10 in the points as he enters this week's race. He finished 19th at Fontana after brushing the wall and has a best finish of sixth at Las Vegas from 2020. 

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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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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