DFS NASCAR: WISE Power 400

DFS NASCAR: WISE Power 400

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.

WISE Power 400

Location: Fontana, Calif.
Course: Auto Club Speedway
Format: 2.0-mile D-shaped oval
Laps: 200

Race Preview

Austin Cindric, Team Penske's newest addition to its NASCAR Cup Series driver lineup, walked away from last week's Daytona 500 as a series winner, a Daytona 500 champion and with a place in the season-ending playoffs. To say it was a successful weekend for the rookie attempting his first full-time season in the series would be an understatement. This week's visit to Auto Club Speedway will be a totally different challenge, though. This will be the first time NASCAR has visited the track since 2020 due to on-going restrictions due to the pandemic. Alex Bowman won the last trip to the speedway, while Joe Gibbs Racing's Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. took victories in the two visits prior to that. Many questions remain about how the new car will affect racing, which teams have the early advantage and who will be the ones to watch as NASCAR enters its normal season with this week's WISE Power 400.

Key Stats at Auto Club Speedway

  • Number of races: 31
  • Winners from pole: 3
  • Winners from top-5 starters: 13
  • Winners from top-10 starters: 17
  • Winners from 21st or lower starters: 7
  • Fastest race: 160.166 mph

Previous 10 Fontana Winners

2020 - Alex Bowman
2019 - Kyle Busch
2018 - Martin Truex Jr.
2017 - Kyle Larson
2016 - Jimmie Johnson
2015 - Brad Keselowski
2014 - Kyle Busch
2013 - Kyle Busch
2012 - Tony Stewart
2011 - Kevin Harvick

Auto Club Speedway is a wide and fast D-shaped oval. Pole-winning speeds consistently hover around the 180 mph mark. This week's race will be a true first test of the new generation of car. The significantly modified aerodynamic properties will be put to the test as the track's long straights create a strong draft, and the wide corners allow for ample passing opportunities. Racing throughout the field has typically been enabled by this track's characteristics, but the true test of the new car will be how close the cars can get to one another at the battle this weekend. Ford has not won at the track since Brad Keselowski visited Victory Lane in 2015. Aside from that, Chevrolet and Toyota have won every trip to the track since 2009. 

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

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Kyle Larson - $11,600
Chase Elliott - $11,100
Denny Hamlin - $10,700
Kyle Busch - $10,400

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Martin Truex Jr. - $9,800
William Byron - $9,600
Joey Logano - $9,400
Alex Bowman - $9,000

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Kurt Busch - $8,800
Brad Keselowski - $8,600
Tyler Reddick - $8,400
Christopher Bell - $8,000

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Austin Dillon - $7,800
Austin Cindric - $7,600
Harrison Burton - $6,900
Daniel Suarez - $6,100

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Kyle Busch - $10,400
William Byron - $9,600
Brad Keselowski - $8,600
Christopher Bell - $8,000
Harrison Burton - $6,900
Erik Jones - $6,400

With four Fontana victories from 22 starts, Kyle Busch (DK $10,400, FD $13,000) might be the top fantasy selection this week. Being second fastest in opening practice only enhances that view. He nearly won the Clash prior to heading to Daytona, where he raced at the front and led 28 laps before a crash limited his finish to a still impressive sixth. With practice and qualifying back on the schedule, this could be Busch's chance to fully return to form. William Byron (DK $9,600, FD $11,000) has three Fontana starts and three finishes of 15th. The Hendrick Motorsports driver finished second at Michigan last season and could be a contender again this week. The season has started strongly for Keselowski (DK $8,600, FD $9,000) with his new team. He was the last Ford driver to win at Auto Club Speedway, too. This week's race should be a good gauge of what he might be capable of achieving this season. Christopher Bell (DK $8,000, FD $8,500) retired from his only series start at this track with an engine failure in 2020 but will be one of many drivers seeking to overcome a bumpy Daytona with a top run this weekend. Harrison Burton (DK $6,900, FD $5,800) falls into that same category after crashing last week. This will be his first visit to the track in Cup equipment,  but he won the last Xfinity Series race there in 2020. Daytona was a respectable outing for Erik Jones (DK $6,400, FD $5,000). He finished down the order after crashing but will be looking forward to returning to Fontana where he has two top-10s from four series starts. His top-10 practice pace Saturday suggests he might be able to compete at the front again this week.

Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Ryan Blaney - $10,000
Martin Truex Jr. - $9,800
Alex Bowman - $9,000
Austin Dillon - $7,800
Chase Briscoe - $7,200
Daniel Suarez - $6,100

Ryan Blaney (DK $10,000, FD $11,500) has three top-10s from five Fontana starts with a best finish of fifth. He led 54 laps at the track in 2020, too. He narrowly missed out on the Daytona 500 a week ago as his teammate drove to Victory Lane, which could give him extra motivation this week. Martin Truex Jr. (DK $9,800, FD $12,000) is a Fontana winner. He also has seven top-10s from his 20 starts at the track and showed a good amount of speed compared to the competition last week at Daytona. Alex Bowman (DK $9,000, FD $10,000) led 110 laps to win the most recent Cup Series race at this week's track. He was on pole last week at Daytona and should have the speed to contend at the front again this week. Another driver fantasy players should consider this week is Austin Dillon (DK $7,800, FD $7,000). He finished third in the Clash before picking up a 25th-place finish at Daytona last week. He has two top-10s from seven Fontana starts. Chase Briscoe (DK $7,200, FD $5,500) will be making his first Fontana appearance in the Cup Series this week, but he does have a fifth-place finish from his two Xfinity Series starts at the track. Wrapping up the higher-risk selections is Daniel Suarez (DK $6,100, FD $4,500) who picked up a seventh-place finish in his first series start at Fontana. He will be aiming to repeat that again this week after finishing 18th last week. 

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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