This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.
South Point 400
Location: Las Vegas, Nev.
Course: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Format: 1.5-mile oval
NASCAR South Point 400 Preview
The first of three races to cement the final four contenders for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series championship is this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The final eight title contenders were decided last week at Charlotte as Christopher Bell won on the road course to advance, eliminating Kyle Larson, Austin Cindric, Daniel Suarez and Alex Bowman from the championship battle. The points reset puts Chase Elliott back to the top of the standings as drivers dig in to make their bid to be among the final four at Phoenix. Elliott holds a 20-point advantage over Joey Logano in second and a 31-point advantage of Ryan Blaney in fifth, the first spot outside of the final cutline. Bowman won last time out at Las Vegas, but no non-playoff eligible driver has ever won the playoff race at Las Vegas. That trend will be one to watch this weekend this season bucking many well established trends already. The 2022 championship finale begins taking its final shape this week in the South Point 400.
Key Stats at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
- Number of races: 29
- Winners from pole: 1
- Winners from top-5 starters: 10
- Winners from top-10 starters: 16
- Winners from 21st or lower starters: 5
- Fastest race: 154.849 mph
Previous 10 Las Vegas Winners
2022 spring - Alex Bowman
2021 fall - Denny Hamlin
2021 spring - Kyle Larson
2020 fall - Kurt Busch
2020 spring - Joey Logano
2019 fall - Martin Truex Jr.
2019 spring - Joey Logano
2018 fall - Brad Keselowski
2018 spring - Kevin Harvick
2017 - Martin Truex Jr.
Alex Bowman's win at Las Vegas in March marked just the third time a driver has started outside of the top 10 and won at the track since 2015. Like other 1.5-mile ovals, Las Vegas has rewarded teams that deliver a fast car early. The ability to adjust this new car in 2022 has upended that trend, though. Despite the ability to fix an ailing car quickly, drivers will still focus on having positive track position. Specifically, they will work to get the most out of qualifying, restarts, and trips to pit road. With one visit to this track with the new car under everyone's belt, it may be more difficult for teams to overcome missing the mark early. Qualifying up front and maintaining that track position will be the easier path to success. Teams that are successful in these categories will have an early advantage Sunday. Getting to the front early enables a wider array of options to stay up front as the race progresses, too. Long green-flag periods are common at this track, which gives cars with early speed the chance to segregate themselves from the competition. For that reason fantasy players will again want to focus their roster selections on drivers starting in the first five rows.
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DraftKings Value Picks for the South Point 400 (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)
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DraftKings Long-Shot Values
NASCAR DFS Picks for the South Point 400
Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Despite not being at the top of the standings for this round, Denny Hamlin (DK $11,100, FD $14,000) is making a strong case to be a championship favorite. He has been consistently quick all season and could be the favorite this week, too. He won this race last season and has led 336 laps in his last four starts at the track. Ryan Blaney (DK $9,500, FD $10,500) is eying a spot in the championship fight at Phoenix, too. He has yet to visit Victory Lane this season, but that could change any week. He has eight top-10s from 12 Las Vegas starts and has led at least one lap at the track in his last six starts. Kevin Harvick (DK $8,300, FD $8,000) is not in the title hunt, but he is in it for more victories. He was the runner up last week in his eighth top-five effort this season. He has two Las Vegas victories and was 12th despite starting 25th in March. Daniel Suarez (DK $7,900, FD $7,500) has also been eliminated from the championship fight. Three of his last five races have ended with finishes of 12th or better, though. Suarez crashed out of the spring race, but has a best Las Vegas result of eighth. Another 2022 victor that could be a smart selection this week is Erik Jones (DK $7,100, FD $7,000). His car has been competitive at these quicker tracks all season and this is a week he should be able to capitalize on it again. Like Suarez, he crashed out of the spring race but does have three top-10s from 10 starts. Another reliable option for the lower-risk lineup is Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (DK $6,000, FD $5,000). He broke a dry spell by returning to the top 20 last week at Charlotte and led four laps at this track in March before finishing 21st.
Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
The higher-risk lineup for Las Vegas focuses a bit more on the upset possibilities. After his performances all season Ross Chastain (DK $9,900, FD $11,500) should not be considered much of an upset, but he would be if he were to go and win the championship at Phoenix. That could be within his reach, too. He was third and led 83 laps at Las Vegas in March, and with some tweaks could be in Victory Lane with a spot in the season finale at the end of this race. Martin Truex Jr. (DK $9,100, FD $10,000) could be a good option to keep the championship contenders out of Victory Lane. He has yet to win this season, missed the championship fight, but would not be a shock winner. He has two Las Vegas wins and finished eighth or better in nine of the last 10 races at the track. This could be final four appearance for Joey Logano (DK $8,900, FD $9,200). The Team Penske driver has kept himself in title contention and is in good position to be among the final four at Phoenix. Logano is a two-time Las Vegas winner and finished 14th in the spring race. Teammate Austin Cindric's (DK $7,700, FD $7,200) championship run came to an end last week. The Daytona 500 champion has grown in competitiveness since that win, though. Cindric qualified third at Las Vegas in March, but was still honing his craft in races and should improve upon that 19th-place finish this week. Austin Dillon (DK $7,500, FD $7,000) could be another selection with the potential for a top finish. He was 10th last week at Charlotte and has three top-15 finishes in the last five races. Dillon finished 11th at Las Vegas in the spring, too. Another driver that could still win before the season ends is Brad Keselowski (DK $6,900, FD $6,500). Teammate Chris Buescher has visited Victory Lane, and Keselowski has been close, too. Keselowski has three Las Vegas wins, led three laps in the spring race, and has been fast on most 1.5-mile ovals this season.