This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.
Beef. It's What's For Dinner. 300
Location: Daytona Beach, Fla.
Course: Daytona International Speedway
Format: 2.5-mile tri-oval
Daniel Hemric enters the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series as the reigning champion after taking the title last season, and he hopes to replicate Tyler Reddick's back-to-back series titles with different organizations, too. Hemric made the move to Kaulig Racing through the offseason. The big news heading into the series opener was that Ty Gibbs would be driving the No. 54 machine full time this season. He won four times last season in a part-time schedule and will immediately be one of the favorites to capture the championship this season. He'll have to overcome Hemric and his Kaulig Racing teammate AJ Allmendinger, however. Another name fantasy players should keep in mind as an early championship contender is Noah Gragson, who will compete full time in the series with JR Motorsports.
Key Stats at Daytona International Speedway
- Number of races: 60
- Winners from pole: 5
- Winners from top-5 starters: 26
- Winners from top-10 starters: 41
- Winners from 21st or lower starters: 4
- Fastest race: 157.137 mph
Previous 10 Daytona Winners
2021 fall - Justin Haley
2021 spring - Austin Cindric
2020 fall - Justin Haley
2020 spring - Noah Gragson
2019 fall - Ross Chastain
2019 spring - Michael Annett
2018 fall - Kyle Larson
2018 spring - Tyler Reddick
2017 fall - William Byron
2017 spring - Ryan Reed
Kaulig Racing's Justin Haley won the most recent series race at Daytona last summer, but it was Team Penske's Austin Cindric who won the season opener. Kaulig's first series win came at this track and the organization always fields a lineup of contenders to win to Daytona. Last year's race was decided by an overtime finish and featured nine total cautions. Cindric and Harrison Burton shared the most laps led that afternoon with 28 each while a full count of 18 cars failed to finish. Brandon Jones and Brett Moffitt took the two stage victories, but Penske and Cindric finished at the front, right where they started that long afternoon. All eyes this weekend will be on Gibbs, though. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver topped the practice charts in his first outing in the car since being named its full-time driver.
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)
There is much anticipation as Ty Gibbs takes the wheel of the No. 54 machine for the full 2022 Xfinity season. This week will be his first series start at Daytona, but he already won four races last year and topped the timesheets in the opening practice this week. Gragson will drive for three different teams in NASCAR this season, but his full-time Xfinity ride is his familiar JR Motorsports entry. Gragson won this race in 2020 and led 16 laps to finish seventh at the track last summer. Sam Mayer grabbed one top-five finish in a part-time Xfinity schedule last season. He raced in the second Daytona visit last season and put up a 12th-place finish. This track was a good spot to visit for Myatt Snider last season. He scored seventh- and eighth-place finishes here last season and will be looking to work his way into the top five this week. Jeb Burton will drive for Our Motorsports this season. He drove his first full-time schedule in the series last year with Kaulig and finished fourth in both Daytona visits. Jesse Iwuji is also looking forward to a full-time Xfinity schedule this year with Chevrolet. He has five series starts with a top finish of 23rd heading into this endeavor. This will be his first Daytona series start.
Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Hemric will start his title defense this weekend with a new team. He has just one top-five Daytona finish, which came last season in his fifth-place run last summer. Justin Allgaier, on the other hand, has scored five top-fives from 22 series Daytona starts. He finished third in the second race at the track last season but didn't lead any laps. He was sixth in the opening practice of the weekend, too. Sheldon Creed moves to the Xfinity Series from the Trucks this season. He will drive for Richard Childress Racing He has one prior series start at Daytona from 2019 when he finished 34th, but fantasy players should expect more from him this week with his new team. Brandon Brown led one lap and finished sixth in this race last year. He has a quick car this week and posted the second-fastest time in practice. Ryan Sieg led 23 laps in this race last season before being caught in a crash and suffering damage. His best Daytona finish is a pair of third-place results. Jeffrey Earnhardt is also a driver to consider this week. His 11 series Daytona starts produced a best finish of 15th in 2019.