NASCAR DFS:  NASCAR All-Star Race

NASCAR DFS: NASCAR All-Star Race

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.

NASCAR All-Star Race

Location: North Wilkesboro, N.C.
Course: North Wilkesboro Speedway
Format: 0.63-mile oval
Laps: 200

NASCAR All-Star Race Preview

NASCAR's All-Star Race is upon us and the single priority for every team and driver this week will be to take home the million-dollar prize for winning Sunday night's feature event. After many years of hosting the All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway NASCAR started moving the event around to different tracks in 2020. This year's stop will be the third different circuit since that tradition started. This trip to North Wilkesboro Speedway is certainly the most anticipated venue yet, though. This historic short oval last brought NASCAR's top series through its gates in September of 1996. The track hosted 93 prior NASCAR Cup Series races dating all the way back to 1949, too. The circuit is steeped in history and one of the most nostalgic circuits no longer featuring on the regular-season calendar. Much investment has been made in preserving the track as it was versus bringing it into the future, and that is what is promising to make this weekend a special one. The unique elevation changes, rough and worn out pavement, and short-track flare is sure to make this season's All-Star Race one for the ages.

Key Stats at North Wilkesboro Speedway

  • Number of races: 93
  • Winners from pole: 23
  • Winners from top-5 starters: 69
  • Winners from top-10 starters: 77
  • Winners from 21st or lower starters: 0
  • Fastest race: 107.360 mph

Previous 10 All-Star Race Winners

2022 - Ryan Blaney
2021 - Kyle Larson
2020 - Chase Elliott
2019 - Kyle Larson
2018 - Kevin Harvick
2017 - Kyle Busch
2016 - Joey Logano
2015 - Denny Hamlin
2014 - Jamie McMurray
2013 - Jimmie Johnson

Eligibility for this season's All-Star Race is not terribly different from that of the past. Drivers qualify for the main event by having won a race in 2022 or 2023 or are full-time drivers that have won a prior All-Star Race or the championship. Everyone else will have to race their way in by being one of the top two finishers of the Open or winning the fan vote. Sunday night's lineup will be set via two 60-lap heat races, which will take place Saturday. That will be the best chance to preview which drivers might have the potential to win on Sunday. The lineup for Saturday's heat races will be determined by the Pit Crew Challenge.

The All-Star Race itself will be a 200-lap event with a competition break targeted to come about halfway through the distance. Most importantly, teams will have four sets of tires to use through the 200-lap main event, and they must start the race on a set of sticker tires. Additionally, they can only use one set of sticker tires following the competition break. The tire restrictions, coupled with North Wilkesboro's rough surface, are intended to reward drivers who do the best job preserving tire grip throughout the second half of the race. However, the restriction also gives teams plenty of opportunity to gamble on tire strategy to give their driver as much grip as possible in the final laps. Saturday's heat races will be a good indication of how Sunday may turn out, but Sunday's much longer distance could be heavily impacted by the variety of pit strategies that teams may employ.

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DraftKings Value Picks for the NASCAR All-Star Race (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Kyle Larson - $10,100
Kevin Harvick - $9,900
Martin Truex Jr. - $9,300
William Byron - $9,100

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Denny Hamlin - $8,800
Ross Chastain - $8,600
Chase Elliott - $8,300
Kyle Busch - $7,900

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Tyler Reddick - $7,700
Ryan Blaney - $7,400
Brad Keselowski - $7,100
Bubba Wallace - $6,900

DraftKings Long-Shot Values (All-Star Open Contenders)

Josh Berry - $8,400
AJ Allmendinger - $8,100
Ty Gibbs - $8,000
Ryan Preece - $7,800

NASCAR DFS Picks for the All-Star Race

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Kyle Larson - $10,100
Martin Truex Jr. - $9,300
Denny Hamlin - $8,800
Kyle Busch - $7,900
Brad Keselowski - $7,100
Chase Briscoe - $6,800

Both lineups for Sunday's All-Star Race will focus on drivers already in the main event. Heading the list would be Kyle Larson (DK $10,100, FD $13,500), who is capable of winning any race at any track. He is one of the most versatile drivers in the Cup Series and his talent should rise to the top under the conditions this week's race will present. Similarly, Martin Truex Jr. (DK $9,300, FD $12,000) is an extremely capable competitor. He won the first short-track event of the season in the Clash at the Coliseum and has been one of the best short-track racers in recent seasons. Fantasy players find another short-track great in Denny Hamlin (DK $8,800, FD $11,000). Hamlin was ninth in the Clash and fourth at Martinsville. Those are two tracks that give some suggestion of what success at North Wilkesboro might look like, and Hamlin was good at both. 

A track like this week's should also prompt fantasy players to think of Kyle Busch (DK $7,900, FD $9,000). His experience and ability to win in a variety of conditions make him a top choice, too. His third-place finish in February's Clash could be a good indication of what his potential should be Sunday. Brad Keselowski (DK $7,100, FD $7,000) is another veteran fantasy players should consider this week. The former champion excels on rough surfaces, and this week's pavement will be among the toughest. His third top-five finish of the season came last week at Darlington, which is another circuit notorious for tire wear. Keselowski may be one of the best values on the board due to that trend. Chase Briscoe (DK $6,800, FD $6,000) makes another optimistic selection. He finished fifth on the dirt at Bristol as well as at Martinsville. He was 12th at Richmond and 15th in the Clash. Briscoe has been most consistent on short tracks this season, which means he will be playing to his strength this week.

Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Kevin Harvick - $9,900
William Byron - $9,100
Ross Chastain - $8,600
Chase Elliott - $8,300
Ryan Blaney - $7,400
Daniel Suarez - $6,600

The higher-risk lineup option for the All-Star Race also focuses on drivers already in the main event, but is more heavily weighted toward drivers who have shown current-season promise. Kevin Harvick (DK $9,900, FD $12,500) is in his final full-time season in the series and has been on the edge of winning a race. His veteran experience should be an advantage this week, too. He finished second a week ago at Darlington with a damaged car. He was also fifth at Richmond and ninth on the dirt at Bristol. Harvick has had a great short-track career and Sunday should be another opportunity for him to add to his list of accomplishments. No stranger to success this season would be William Byron (DK $9,100, FD $13,000). This team is operating at a championship-winning level and Sunday's All-Star Race would be another feather in their cap. The main risk with taking Byron is that his best short-track result of the season was 10th in the Clash. Ross Chastain (DK $8,600, FD $10,500) has an ever diminishing list of on-track allies, but his speed each week has not been up for debate. He currently tops the points tally, finished eighth in the Clash, and came home third at Richmond. Chastain's primary risk remains his aggression and lack of friends on track. 

Despite missing a number of races due to a broken leg, Chase Elliott (DK $8,300, FD $9,500) is as competitive as ever. His return from that injury was at Martinsville and he finished that race 10th. He hasn't finished lower than 12th since and is a prior All-Star Race winner. Were it not for bad luck Ryan Blaney (DK $7,400, FD $8,000) might have a race win already this year. He has been a consistent top-10 finisher, though. His best short-track result of the year was at Martinsville where he finished seventh, and he won last year's All-Star Race at Texas. Daniel Suarez (DK $6,600, FD $6,500) got into the All-Star Race by virtue of winning at Sonoma Raceway last season. While Sonoma and North Wilkesboro are two completely different types of tracks, a road course style of driving might be a successful approach the find success Sunday night.

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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