NASCAR DFS: Quaker State 400

NASCAR DFS: Quaker State 400

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.

Quaker State 400

Location: Hampton, Ga.
Course: Atlanta Motor Speedway
Format: 1.5-mile quad-oval
Laps: 260

NASCAR Quaker State 400 Race Preview

Tyler Reddick became the 13th different NASCAR Cup Series winner this season when he took the checkered flag last week after a hefty battle against Chase Elliott at Road America. His win ratcheted up the pressure in the playoff picture as only three spots now remain to be filled on points alone. His win pushed Kevin Harvick out of the playoff positions, leaving the former champion 20 points behind Christopher Bell in the 16th and final playoff slot. A further eight regular-season races remain to set the playoff picture, and with some of the biggest stars still winless, the race for those 16 spots is far from over. Any driver hoping to be part of the championship fight has to be fighting for wins now, and this week's return trip to Atlanta Motor Speedway could be their opportunity. William Byron won a very different type of race there in March after the track's reconfiguration produced pack-style racing more akin to Daytona and Talladega than a typical 1.5-mile oval. The pressure continues to build and fireworks are sure to come as the NASCAR Cup Series hits the track again this week in the Quaker State 400.

Key Stats at Atlanta Motor Speedway

  • Number of races: 116
  • Winners from pole: 14
  • Winners from top-5 starters: 62
  • Winners from top-10 starters: 90
  • Winners from 21st or lower starters: 8
  • Fastest race: 166.633 mph

Previous 10 Atlanta Winners

2022 spring - William Byron
2021 fall - Kurt Busch
2021 spring - Ryan Blaney
2020 - Kevin Harvick
2019 - Brad Keselowski
2018 - Kevin Harvick
2017 - Brad Keselowski
2016 - Jimmie Johnson
2015 - Jimmie Johnson
2014 - Kasey Kahne

Atlanta Motor Speedway's reconfiguration delivered exactly what it intended when the NASCAR Cup Series first hit the track earlier this season. The old rough surface was fresh and smooth, and the steeper banking opened the racing groove throughout the track's turns. The changes kept the field bunched much closer together throughout the 500 miles raced, generating a whopping 46 lead changes. Byron spent 111 laps out front on his way to victory, but there were still 20 different leaders throughout the race. Cautions also increased with the cars racing closer together. The March race endured 11 caution periods for 65 laps, and 12 cars failed to finish due to damage. In short, the race looked more similar to Daytona and Talladega than it did past Atlanta races. That trend is likely to continue again this week as the teams return for their second visit this season where their ability to draft, maintain momentum through turns, and make passes to get to the front will be the key areas of focus.

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DraftKings Value Picks for the Quaker State 400 (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Ryan Blaney - $10,700
Chase Elliott - $10,500
Ross Chastain - $10,300
Kyle Larson - $10,100

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Kyle Busch - $9,900
Denny Hamlin - $9,700
Joey Logano - $9,600
William Byron - $9,500

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Daniel Suarez - $8,900
Bubba Wallace - $8,700
Christopher Bell - $8,500
Austin Cindric - $8,100

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Kevin Harvick - $7,600
Michael McDowell - $7,300
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $7,100
Erik Jones - $6,700

NASCAR DFS Picks for the Quaker State 400

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Joey Logano - $9,600
Martin Truex Jr. - $9,100
Daniel Suarez - $8,900
Bubba Wallace - $8,700
Chris Buescher - $7,000
Erik Jones - $6,700

Joey Logano (DK $9,600, FD $10,500) started third and led 12 laps at Atlanta in March before finishing ninth. He has consistently run at the front of these types of races and should be a contender again this week. One of the heavy hitters still looking for a 2022 victory is Martin Truex Jr. (DK $9,100, FD $9,500). He recently announced he would be back with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2023 and is still expected to be in the playoffs this year. He led five laps and finished eighth at Atlanta in the spring and is itching to grab his first win in the new generation of car. Daniel Suarez (DK $8,900, FD $9,800) broke his victory drought in Sonoma. He was also one of the fastest cars at this track in March, leading 13 laps and finishing fourth. The Trackhouse Racing Team has been competitive every week, and there is no reason to believe this one will be any different for Suarez. Another top driver in the draft is Bubba Wallace (DK $8,700, FD $8,800). He won his first series race at Talladega last season, led three laps at Atlanta and finished that race 13th. He will need a win in the next 10 races to be part of the playoffs this season and will believe he can get it done this week, too. Chris Buescher (DK $7,000, FD $6,800) had two of his best results of the season in the last three races. One of his five top-10 finishes so far this year came at this track, too. He finished the March race in seventh position and will view this week's race as another chance he might have to fight for a win. The same would be true for Erik Jones (DK $6,700, FD $5,500). The Petty GMS Motorsports driver finished 14th at Atlanta in March and was fifth at the end of the first stage that day. The new style of racing at Atlanta should put Jones on a more level footing with the bigger teams, giving him a better chance at a top finish this week.

Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Chase Elliott - $10,500
Ross Chastain - $10,300
Austin Cindric - $8,100
Michael McDowell - $7,300
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $7,100
Brad Keselowski - $6,500

Elliott (DK $10,500, FD $14,000) was close to winning two races in a row last week. He might not care so much about that if he were to score a win at his home track this week, though. If he did it would be his first win at Atlanta and his third of the season. He led 29 laps and finished sixth there in the spring as he watched teammate Byron make the turn into Victory Lane. Two-time 2022 winner Ross Chastain (DK $10,300, FD $13,500) was close to making Atlanta the site of his debut win. He finished second in the spring race with 42 laps led but had to wait until Austin to make his first trip to Victory Lane. However, Chastain remains one of the hottest drivers in the garage and could have one of the cars to beat this week. Pack racing usually brings Austin Cindric (DK $8,100, FD $8,500) to the front, too. The Team Penske rookie won at Daytona in February but didn't get to show what he could do at this track after crashing out after 200 laps. Cindric enters this weekend's race with three consecutive finishes of seventh or better in the last three races, too. Another name that should be at the top of fantasy players' minds this week is Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (DK $7,100, FD $6,000). He always puts on a show in the draft and led 22 laps before crashing out at this track in the spring. If he can avoid trouble and get to the finish it would not be a surprise to see him going for the win. Brad Keselowski (DK $6,500, FD $5,800) is another driver that should take advantage of Atlanta's new format to outperform recent expectations. He started at the rear of the field due to unapproved adjustments but raced his way to a 12th-place finish in March. The team also suffered a hefty penalty that day for running a tail panel that wasn't repaired to NASCAR's expectations. The team has more spares on hand now than they did then, and the trip to Atlanta should be a good opportunity for Keselowski to score his third top-10 of the season.

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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