This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.
Federated Auto Parts 400
Location: Richmond, Va.
Course: Richmond International Raceway
Format: 0.75-mile oval
NASCAR Federated Auto Parts 400 Race Preview
The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series playoff picture was shaken up once again last week as Kevin Harvick won for the sixth time at Michigan to become the 15th different winner this season. The victory vaulted him back into the playoff field at the expense of Martin Truex Jr., who now sits 19 points behind Ryan Blaney, the only remaining driver in the playoff positions without a 2022 victory. Three regular-season races remain, and there is still everything to play for. A short track, a road course, and a superspeedway will finalize the 16-driver playoff field in one of the most unpredictable seasons in memory. First up is the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway where Denny Hamlin drove to Victory Lane in April, and Joe Gibbs Racing cars have won six of the last eight races at the track. Truex will be hoping he can be the JGR driver who wins this week to bump his way back into the championship battle.
Key Stats at Richmond International Raceway
- Number of races: 131
- Winners from pole: 23
- Winners from top-5 starters: 73
- Winners from top-10 starters: 100
- Winners from 21st or lower starters: 12
- Fastest race: 109.047 mph
Previous 10 Richmond Winners
2022 spring - Denny Hamlin
2021 fall - Martin Truex Jr.
2021 spring - Alex Bowman
2020 - Brad Keselowski
2019 fall - Martin Truex Jr.
2019 spring - Martin Truex Jr.
2018 fall - Kyle Busch
2018 spring - Kyle Busch
2017 fall - Kyle Larson
2017 spring - Joey Logano
Track position is a key ingredient for success at Richmond. The short 0.75-mile oval puts drivers in traffic throughout the race, and being able to dictate the pace early from the front is the best way to set up a top finish. Qualifying well is more important here than some other tracks as being near the back of the field early risks being trapped a lap down to the leaders. Teams must give their drivers machines that can make effective passes. Richmond's wide and flat surface gives options for drivers to adjust their lines to suit their tires and handling, but a car that can't navigate traffic quickly can ruin the day. Most Richmond winners start inside the top 10, and fantasy players should look to the top times in practice and qualifying to make their selections. Pressure will be on the teams to be mistake free on pit road, too. Track position can be gained from two-tire and fuel-only stops, but teams will also use the stage breaks to set up a run for the race win.
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DraftKings Value Picks for the Federated Auto Parts 400 (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)
DraftKings Tier 1 Values
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DraftKings Tier 3 Values
DraftKings Long-Shot Values
NASCAR DFS Picks for the Federated Auto Parts 400
Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
The twists and turns this season has taken suggests another surprise might be in the cards, and Truex (DK $10,600, FD $14,000) could be the beneficiary. He swept wins at Richmond in 2019 and won this race last season. He has also led 80 or more laps in nine of his last 11 starts there. Blaney (DK $9,900, FD $10,000) would love to extract himself from the playoff rollercoaster. A win would do it for him, too. He only has two top-10 Richmond finishes, but led 128 laps from pole at the track in April before finishing seventh. Tyler Reddick's (DK $8,800, FD $8,800) recent victories are evidence of his progress. He also finished second at Pocono and was 12th at Richmond earlier this year. He has an average finish of 14.5 from four Richmond starts and is likely to be a top-10 contender this week. Ty Gibbs (DK $7,600, FD $7,500) will substitute again for injured Kurt Busch. Gibbs grabbed his first top-10 finish a week ago at Michigan and won the Xfinity race at this track in the spring. Chris Buescher's (DK $6,600, FD $6,200) best Richmond finish came this past April when he finished 15th. He has been making the most of the new generation of car and should again be a top-15 contender this week after three finishes of 17th or better in the last five races leading into this race. Those picks then leave room for Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (DK $6,400, FD $5,800), who has two Richmond top-10s on his resume with a best finish of fourth in 2017.
Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Hamlin (DK $11,100, FD $13,500) kicks off the higher-risk lineup after winning at this track earlier this season. He has four Richmond wins and three consecutive finishes of first or second at the track leading into this weekend. Last week's victory may spark a revival in Harvick (DK $9,100, FD $9,500), too. The former champion had been a top-10 machine since Charlotte, and finally won last week after back-to-back finishes outside of the top 25. He has three races to rediscover that top-10 form before the playoffs get underway. Alex Bowman (DK $8,400, FD $7,800) may have found his way back into the mix after a top-10 last week. Unlike Harvick, Bowman largely struggled since Charlotte. His ninth-place finish last week could suggest another good result this week considering he also finished eighth at this track back in April. Momentum has not been an issue for Bubba Wallace (DK $8,000, FD $8,500). He is on the best run of form in his career and just extended his stay with 23XI Racing for multiple years. His best Richmond result was 12th in 2019, and fantasy players might expect even more this race. We also recently learned that Erik Jones (DK $7,900, FD $7,000) and Noah Gragson (DK $5,500, FD $4,000) will be full-time teammates at Petty GMS in 2023. Jones started fifth at Richmond in April and has a best finish of sixth in 2017. Gragson will be working to make the most of his remaining Cup Series starts this season in preparation for his full-time move to the series next season. This will be his first series start at this track, but he does have one Xfinity Series Richmond win to his credit.