DraftKings NASCAR: Cheez-It 355 at the Glen

DraftKings NASCAR: Cheez-It 355 at the Glen

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.

Cheez-It 355 at the Glen

Location: Watkins Glen, N.Y.
Course: Watkins Glen International
Format: 2.45-mile road course
Laps: 90

Race Preview

For the second time this season the Pocono race was delayed until Monday due to rain. The shifting of the schedule means a shortened week for drivers and teams as they prepare for the second and final road course race of the 2016 season. Tony Stewart jump-started his season with a win at Sonoma Raceway on the first road course event of the season and leads active drivers at Watkins Glen with five track wins from 15 career starts. Drivers hoping to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup can feel the pressure rising as the regular-season winds down. Just five races remain to make the cutoff for the Chase, and drivers like A.J. Allmendinger, who are on the outside looking in, will have this week's race circled on the calendar as their best chance to force their way in. Road course races often produce exciting and sometimes unexpected results, and the same can be anticipated at Watkins Glen this week.

Key Stats at Watkins Glen International

Number of previous races: 33
Winners from pole: 9
Winners from top-5 starters: 21
Winners from top-10 starters: 24
Winners from 21st or lower starters: 0
Fastest race: 103.030 mph

Last 10 Watkins Glen Winners

2015 - Joey Logano
2014 - A.J. Allmendinger
2013 - Kyle Busch
2012 - Marcos Ambrose
2011 - Marcos Ambrose
2010 - Juan Pablo Montoya
2009 - Tony stewart
2008 - Kyle Busch
2007 - Tony Stewart
2006 - Kevin Harvick

Road courses require a different kind of rhythm from drivers than the traditional ovals on the schedule. These types of circuits also tend to neutralize some of the performance differential between manufacturers. In other words, a top-tier road course driver can often keep faster cars at bay despite not having the advantage in terms of chassis performance. Watkins Glen, when compared to Sonoma, features fast flowing corners that reward drivers that can carry their heavy machines through the turns on a knife edge without losing control. The track doesn't feature as many hard braking areas as does Sonoma Raceway, and passing will require getting out of a corner faster than the opposition in order to maximize straightaway speed into the next turn. Pit strategy and track position will be two of the biggest factors in Sunday's race, and teams that make the fewest mistakes throughout the afternoon will rise to the front of the order.

(Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values

Kurt Busch - $10,400
Kevin Harvick - $10,300
Kyle Busch - $10,100

DraftKings Tier 2 Values

A.J. Allmendinger - $9,900
Joey Logano - $9,500
Brad Keselowski - $9,300
Tony Stewart - $9,100

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Martin Truex Jr. - $8,900
Jimmie Johnson - $8,800
Jeff Gordon - $8,600
Kyle Larson - $8,200

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Casey Mears - $6,600
Danica Patrick - $6,100
Regan Smith - $5,300


Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Kyle Busch - $10,100
Carl Edwards - $9,700
Brad Keselowski - $9,300
Kyle Larson - $8,200
Casey Mears - $6,600
Danica Patrick - $6,100

If you were to rank the total DraftKings score of every active Sprint Cup driver at Watkins Glen in the last five races, you would find that the lower-risk lineup option gives you five of the top 10 drivers. Kyle Busch is ranked No. 1 with that method primarily because of a win in 2013 and a runner-up finish last year. A healthy dose of laps led also propels him forward. Edwards has never won at Watkins Glen, but he has also never failed to finish inside the top 20 in 11 career starts. With three consecutive second-place finishes at the Glen between 2011 and 2013, you can expect Keselowski to be a contender for the victory on Sunday. He led 27 laps in last year's race before finishing seventh. Larson is still waiting on that first Sprint Cup win, and he finished fourth here his rookie season. Mears and Patrick offer bargain prices for the points they've been able to accumulate at this track. Both drivers have an average finish differential greater than 10 positions in the last five Watkins Glen races.

Higher-Risk Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

A.J. Allmendinger - $9,900
Joey Logano - $9,500
Tony Stewart - $9,100
Matt Kenseth - $8,100
Ryan Newman - $7,100
Aric Almirola - $6,300

The higher-risk lineup for Watkins Glen includes some great road course racers. Allmendinger is one of the first names that pops to mind when you think of great Sprint Cup drivers at Watkins Glen. He won this race two years ago and led 21 laps last year. The man who won last year was Logano, and he has four top-10s in his last five Watkins Glen starts. Stewart has been on a hot streak lately, and he owns five wins at the Glen. Steady improvement on this circuit is what makes Kenseth valuable. He has three top-10s in the last four races at this track, which doubled his total from his first 12 starts here. The No. 31 team has found their footing in 2016 just in time for the arrival of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, and he is a consistent top-15 finisher at Watkins Glen. To complete the roster we add Almirola. He has zero Watkins Glen top-10s, but has only failed to finish inside the top 20 there twice in five starts.

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.
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only NASCAR Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire NASCAR fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
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.
NASCAR DFS:  AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400
NASCAR DFS: AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400
Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 Preview: Round of 12 Begins
Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 Preview: Round of 12 Begins
NASCAR Barometer: Denny Hamlin Lands Third Bristol Victory
NASCAR Barometer: Denny Hamlin Lands Third Bristol Victory
NASCAR DFS:  Bass Pro Shops Night Race
NASCAR DFS: Bass Pro Shops Night Race
F1 DFS Picks and Preview:  Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix
F1 DFS Picks and Preview: Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix
NASCAR Xfinity DFS: Food City 300
NASCAR Xfinity DFS: Food City 300