DraftKings NASCAR: Toyota Owners 400

DraftKings NASCAR: Toyota Owners 400

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.

Toyota Owners 400

Location: Richmond, Va.
Course: Richmond Raceway
Format: 0.75-mile D-shaped oval
Laps: 400

Race Preview

Kyle Busch had to wait until Monday to win his second race in a row in last week's Food City 500. Sunday's running was interrupted by multiple red flags before being postponed until Monday. Busch had to overcome Kyle Larson to get the job done, but those two were consistently fastest on track once Ryan Blaney made an early exit. As the laps wound down it appeared as though Larson was going to make the breakthrough, but losing the handling on his car in the final miles gave Busch the chance to get to the rear bumper and force his way into the top spot. The victory was Busch's second of the season and his seventh at Bristol. Many drivers left Monday's race with showings to be proud of, and a few head to Richmond looking for redemption. Jimmie Johnson had his best run of the season with a third-place finish, and teammate Alex Bowman also picked up his first top-five in the series. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. continued to prove he is more than just a restrictor-plate specialist by finishing fourth for his sixth top-10 at the circuit, and Darrell Wallace Jr. also led his first laps in the series. Drivers like Blaney, Larson, Erik Jones, and Denny Hamlin will be on the hunt for better fortunes this week, though.

Key Stats at Richmond Raceway

Number of previous races: 123
Winners from pole: 23
Winners from top-5 starters: 71
Winners from top-10 starters: 96
Winners from 21st or lower starters: 10
Fastest race: 109.047 mph

Last 10 Richmond Raceway Winners

2017 fall - Kyle Larson
2017 spring - Joey Logano
2016 fall - Denny Hamlin
2016 spring - Carl Edwards
2015 fall - Matt Kenseth
2015 spring - Kurt Busch
2014 fall - Brad Keselowski
2014 spring - Joey Logano
2013 fall - Carl Edwards
2013 spring - Kevin Harvick

The Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway is the second short-track race in as many weeks and the first night race of the season. Joey Logano and Kyle Larson won at the venue in 2017, but Kyle Busch leads the current field with four circuit victories. The short track is longer than Bristol, and features significantly less banking. The D-shaped oval does allow for passing, but starting out front and maintaining track position is the easiest way to get the job done. Remaining trouble free during pit stops will also be a necessity. Denny Hamlin slipped back at Bristol due to a loose wheel, and vented his frustration with the new standard pit guns afterward. The long time spent turning each lap can wear out right-side tires, and it isn't uncommon to see teams push the envelope with tire pressures. Drivers will try various grooves throughout the night in an attempt to get the best out of their cars, but preserving equipment throughout a fuel run and the race will be essential to be in contention to battle for the lead in the final miles.

(Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values

Kyle BUsch - $11,400
Kevin Harvick - $11,200
Martin Truex Jr. - $10,500
Kyle Larson - $10,100

DraftKings Tier 2 Values

Joey Logano - $9,500
Jimmie Johnson - $9,100
Kurt Busch - $8,900
Aric Almirola - $8,300

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $7,800
Jamie McMurray - $7,400
Alex Bowman - $7,100
Daniel Suarez - $6,900

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Paul Menard - $6,700
William Byron - $6,500
Darrell Wallace Jr. - $6,000
Ty Dillon - $5,600


Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Kyle Busch - $11,400
Brad Keselowski - $10,300
Denny Hamlin - $9,800
Daniel Suarez - $6,900
Kasey Kahne - $6,100
David Ragan - $5,500

Kyle Busch said he would swing for the fence to match his longest career streak for consecutive wins this week in Richmond. Busch won three in a row once before in 2015, and has a shot at repeating it this week. He has four Richmond wins and four top-10s in his last five starts there. Contrary to Busch's momentum is Brad Keselowski's issues the past two weeks. His last top-10 was at Martinsville, but he did lead 67 laps at Bristol. If he can avoid mistakes this weekend he should make a return to the top 10 with a high probability of a top-five. Similarly, it hasn't all been roses for Denny Hamlin recently, but he has consistently shown competitive speed. Hamlin has three Richmond wins along with three top-fives in his last three visits. Teammate Daniel Suarez is another to keep in mind. He finished a solid 11th-place at Bristol and has 12th- and seventh-place finishes at the circuit last season. While Kasey Kahne did not make the lineups last week, he was competitive. He qualified 15th at Bristol before finishing 34th, but has a good record at Richmond with one win and 10 top-10s from 28 starts. David Ragan finishes off the lower-risk lineup due to his 12th-place finish last week coupled with a 19th-place finish in this race last season.

Higher-Risk Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Martin Truex Jr. - $10,500
Kyle Larson - $10,100
Aric Almirola - $8,300
Jamie McMurray - $7,400
Alex Bowman - $7,100
Trevor Bayne - $6,300

Bristol was not a good race for Martin Truex Jr., and the 2017 champion is anxious to end his two-race skid. He will have to also turn around recent Richmond fortunes to do so, but he has more than enough potential to get it done. He led more than 190 laps in two of the last three races at the track, and has three top-10s in the last four starts there. Similarly, Kyle Larson will be out to make amends for last week when he had the fastest car, but left without a victory. Larson won the most recent race at this track, and should be a force after having led 200 laps en route to a runner-up finish last week. Aric Almirola has continued to elevate the No. 10 team's average finish, and should have plenty of short-track swagger after last month's climb from 19th starting position to sixth. He was ninth in this race last season and could be even stronger this week. Jamie McMurray finished sixth in this race last season, and showed signs of life last week. The organization as a whole is improving, which is a strong indicator of more to come. It also seems like the garage has been watching Alex Bowman's stock rise. He has improved since the season kicked off, and could be expected to be a regular top-15 contributor to fantasy rosters for the foreseeable future. Lastly, Trevor Bayne delivered two top-15 finishes in his last three Richmond starts and may pick up a bit of a boost from teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s short-track prowess to grab another this Saturday.

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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