NASCAR DFS:  Enjoy Illinois 300

NASCAR DFS: Enjoy Illinois 300

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.

Enjoy Illinois 300

Location: Madison, Ill.
Course: World Wide Technology Raceway
Format: 1.25-mile oval
Laps: 240

NASCAR Enjoy Illinois 300 Race Preview

After an extended stay in Charlotte with the Coca-Cola 600 postponed until Monday, teams ship out to the Midwest for this week's Enjoy Illinois 300 at World Wide Technology Raceway. Ryan Blaney will be riding the high of his win on Monday, though. The Team Penske driver finally got the victory he deserved considering the pace he has shown much of the early season. His win also took up another playoff spot from those hoping to get in on points alone. While the race-winners list isn't what it was last season, there have still been 10 different winners. Only six spots remain in the playoffs for non-winners, and there are still 12 regular season races remaining. Last year's Gateway winner was another Team Penske driver in the form of Joey Logano. The team as a whole will be buoyed by the relatively stronger showing last week from Ford, but stiff competition remains from the Chevrolet contingent, who have dominated much of the year so far. This will be just the second time the series has raced on Gateway's oblong oval, and the first visit was a competitive affair. There were 12 total lead changes among nine drivers, with no one dominating the running. Fantasy players will have their work cut out for them as they prepare lineups for this week's battle.

Key Stats at World Wide Technology Raceway

  • Number of races: 1
  • Winners from pole: 0
  • Winners from top-5 starters: 0
  • Winners from top-10 starters: 1
  • Winners from 21st or lower starters: 0
  • Fastest race: 97.965 mph

Previous World Wide Technology Raceway Winners

2022 - Joey Logano

World Wide Technology Raceway is a relatively flat 1.25-mile oval with different turns at each end. Those turns closely resemble New Hampshire and Phoenix, but the overall track shape when you put them together looks more like Darlington. The track's flatter banking means that handling is of particular importance. However, despite the flat turns, the track is wide enough to enable drivers to work different grooves to support their handling characteristic. The emphasis on grip will make makes tire management throughout a fuel run especially impactful as well. Getting the setup correct early in the weekend will be the aim in order to give drivers every advantage possible in track position through qualifying up front. Like some other circuits, practice and qualifying will be the best opportunity for fantasy players to forecast Sunday's outcome, but fans should expect Sunday to be a competitive affair similar to what we saw last season. That will make this race a particularly tough one to predict.

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NASCAR Projections

DraftKings Value Picks for the Enjoy Illinois 300 (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Kyle Larson - $11,300
William Byron - $11,000
Christopher Bell - $10,700
Denny Hamlin - $10,500

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Kyle Busch - $9,800
Ross Chastain - $9,600
Joey Logano - $9,400
Tyler Reddick - $9,200

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Kevin Harvick - $8,900
Alex Bowman - $8,600
Bubba Wallace - $8,400
Brad Keselowski - $8,200

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Ty Gibbs - $7,800
Chris Buescher - $7,500
Austin Dillon - $7,000
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $6,400

NASCAR DFS Picks for the Enjoy Illinois 300

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Ross Chastain - $9,600
Joey Logano - $9,400
Kevin Harvick - $8,900
Brad Keselowski - $8,200
Chris Buescher - $7,500
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $6,400

Based on Ford's strength a week ago at Charlotte, as well as their Gateway performance last season, the lower-risk lineup for the Enjoy Illinois 300 leans heavily to their favor. He isn't a Ford driver, and despite a weak outing from Ross Chastain (DK $9,600, FD $10,500) a week ago at Charlotte, this week's race presents an opportunity for a quick recovery for the No. 1 team. Despite famously tangling with Denny Hamlin in this race last season, Chastain pulled out an eighth-place finish. He earned stage points in the first segment, too. Fantasy players should view Chastain's 22nd-place finish a week ago as a blip. Another lackluster performance this week could signal greater issues, though. Joey Logano (DK $9,400, FD $10,000) is another driver who had a rough outing last week. However, Team Penske won that race and Logano is the defending winner at Gateway. Logano has just the one victory from Atlanta earlier this season but has been a regular top-10 finisher otherwise. Similarly, Kevin Harvick (DK $8,900, FD $9,000) has been quite competitive. He is still looking for a victory in his final season of full-time competition, though. He crashed out of this race last season but finished 11th or better in the last three points-paying races. 

Brad Keselowski (DK $8,200, FD $8,000) and Chris Buescher (DK $7,500, FD $7,500) continue the Ford lean. Both RFK Racing drivers performed well at Charlotte. This will be Buescher's first series race at this track after missing last season's due to illness, and Keselowski is finding some recent consistency. Both should make good roster options this week if Ford truly has closed the gap. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (DK $6,400, FD $5,200) finishes the selections with his recent consistency. He finished in the top 15 in the last four races, including a seventh-place run at Charlotte. He spun and had contact in this race last season, which means his poor finish in this race last season is not indicative of what his true potential is this weekend.

Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

William Byron - $11,000
Tyler Reddick - $9,200
Bubba Wallace - $8,400
Ty Gibbs - $7,800
Austin Dillon - $7,000
AJ Allmendinger - $6,100

While the lower-risk lineup leans into Ford-powered potential, this week's higher-risk lineup goes more with drivers who showed increasing potential for top finishes recently. William Byron (DK $11,000, FD $13,500) is certainly not a recent face in that category, but he remains a very reliable option most weeks. He finished 19th in this race last season, but he is operating at a different level now. With four top-five finishes from the last four races he remains the man to beat this year. Tyler Reddick (DK $9,200, FD $9,500) also has a win in 2023, but after a small stretch of relative inconsistency, he is back to his usual top-10 finishes. He finished ninth or better in four of the last five races including the All-Star Race. He finished 16th in this race last season, but should be expected to be more competitive this time around. Teammate Bubba Wallace (DK $8,400, FD $8,200) is also making people take notice. He enters this week's race 15th in the playoff standings and finished fifth or better in the last four races also including the All-Star Race. This is the best stretch of his career so far and fantasy players should feel confident riding that momentum.

Similarly, Ty Gibbs (DK $7,800, FD $6,000) has been making a regular impact. He ran confidently inside the top 10 all day at Charlotte before a crash took him down to a 26th-place finish. Despite the poor finishing position, he was competitive throughout the distance and has been growing in consistency and speed through his first full-time season. His car also finished third in this race at the hands of Kurt Busch. Austin Dillon (DK $7,000, FD $5,500) got a boost last week with a top-10 finish at Charlotte. Couple that with his seventh-place finish at Kansas and he is finding his way closer to the playoff hunt. He finished 15th at this track last season. Lastly, this flat and unique track should suit AJ Allmendinger's (DK $6,100, FD $6,800) strengths. He delivered another top-15 finish last week, which was his second in the last four races. That is a step forward from where he and the team were earlier in the year and he should be in contention for another top-15 this week with the top-20 being a comfortable expectation to fall back on.

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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