NASCAR DFS: Verizon 200 at the Brickyard

NASCAR DFS: Verizon 200 at the Brickyard

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.

Verizon 200 at the Brickyard

Location: Speedway, Ind.
Course: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course
Format: 2.4-mile road course
Laps: 82

NASCAR Verizon 200 at the Brickyard Race Preview

Denny Hamlin crossed the finish line first one week ago at Pocono, but the race win went to Chase Elliott after both Hamlin and teammate Kyle Busch were disqualified for failing postrace inspection. The win extended Elliott's lead in the standings to more than 100 points heading to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course this week. Elliott's fourth win of the year kept the tight playoff battle largely the same, too. Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. remain the only two drivers among the top 16 without a win. With five races left in the regular season, it is entirely feasible that either or both of those drivers could find themselves on the outside looking in, too. This week's road course visit is one of those wild-card races where the playoff battle could take another twist. AJ Allmendinger won the series debut at the track last year, and many winless drivers this season will think they can do the same.

Key Stats at Indianapolis

  • 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: 69.171 mph

Previous Indianapolis Winners

2021 - AJ Allmendinger

The infield road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway offers multiple passing opportunities, especially where the long front and back straights feature heavy braking into tight corners. However, while passes can be made, track position remains one of the biggest advantages. Teams that get their cars setup right early in the weekend and qualify at the front of the pack will have an easier time maintaining their spots if they avoid mistakes in the race. Cars that don't qualify as well will have more work to do to move forward, either through passes on track or pit strategy. Teams will plan their trips to pit road around the finish and stage breaks to calculate their windows for stops, and pitting early can be used as a way to get drivers out of traffic. Running laps on a clear track will be faster than fighting traffic, and teams that call their drivers in too late will find themselves losing positions as the cycle plays out. This is also a race where teams fighting for the race win will sacrifice stage points by pitting before the stage break in favor of gaining track position for the next segment. 

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DraftKings Value Picks for the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Chase Elliott - $10,600
Ross Chastain - $10,400
Kyle Larson - $10,200
Tyler Reddick - $10,000

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Kyle Busch - $9,800
Martin Truex Jr. - $9,600
Ryan Blaney - $9,200
Austin Cindric - $9,100

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Denny Hamlin - $8,900
Chase Briscoe - $8,800
Kevin Harvick - $8,400
AJ Allmendinger - $8,200

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Michael McDowell - $7,300
Erik Jones - $7,100
Ty Gibbs - $7,000
Cole Custer - $6,300

NASCAR DFS Picks for the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Chase Elliott - $10,600
Denny Hamlin - $8,900
AJ Allmendinger - $8,200
Joey Logano - $8,000
Erik Jones - $7,100
Ty Gibbs - $7,000

Not only is Elliott (DK $10,600, FD $14,000) the hottest driver in the series with finishes of first or second in the last five races, but he is also one of the best on road courses. One of those recent runner-up finishes was to Tyler Reddick at Road America, and Elliott appeared committed to not letting that happen to him again on the next road race. He finished fourth at Indianapolis last season. Hamlin (DK $8,900, FD $9,500) had last week's win taken away from him, and he also had the win at this track taken away from him in a different way last season. He led 27 laps in this race last season before being hit from behind while leading by an aggressive Chase Briscoe, ultimately finishing 23rd. While Hamlin's current feud isn't with Briscoe, the biggest question for fantasy owners this week will be his response to last week's disqualification. AJ Allmendinger (DK $8,200, FD $11,000) was the benefactor of that bump. Allmendinger went on to lead the last two laps of the race after Hamlin was moved out of the lead, winning in his part-time schedule. This will be his 11th series start this season. Joey Logano (DK $8,000, FD $8,500) enters this week's race aiming to turn Team Penske's fortune around. Logano has finished outside of the top 20 in the last four races, but a road course visit could help him reverse the trend. He has a win at Watkins Glen and has traditionally been a top-10 contender at these tracks. Erik Jones (DK $7,100, FD $6,500) is another driver who can outperform this week. He finished ninth earlier this year at Circuit of the Americas and finished seventh in this race last season. Lastly, Ty Gibbs (DK $7,000, FD $7,000) will substitute for Kurt Busch again this week. He impressed in his first series start last week at Pocono with a top-15, but this week could be even better for him considering his multiple road course wins in the Xfinity Series.

Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Ross Chastain - $10,400
Austin Cindric - $9,100
Chase Briscoe - $8,800
Chris Buescher - $7,500
Michael McDowell - $7,300
Cole Custer - $6,300

Ross Chastain (DK 10,400, FD $13,000) made himself a road course favorite with his win at COTA in March. He went on to finish seventh at Sonoma and then fourth at Road America, too. He is hoping to regain any momentum he may have lost last week crashing while racing for the win, but is the driver with the most momentum going for him behind Elliott. A road course visit means fantasy owners should also consider Austin Cindric (DK $9,100, FD $11,500). He won the Xfinity race at Indianapolis last season and was one of the best road racers in that series before graduating to Cup full time. He was seventh at Road America, fifth at Sonoma and seventh at COTA. Chase Briscoe (DK $8,800, FD $8,200) had his first series win in sight at Indianapolis last year before he was penalized for cutting a corner. The bigger story may have been the contact he had with Hamlin shortly after that, but now has a race win under his belt and will feel confident this week after leading 12 laps in last year's race. Sonoma was a sign Chris Buescher (DK $7,500, FD $7,800) could strike a win on a road course, too. He finished second that day to Daniel Suarez, and then went on to back that up with a sixth-place finish at Road America. He finished 12th in this race last year. Another driver always worth consideration at these tracks is Michael McDowell (DK $7,300, FD $7,200). His team was hit with a major penalty following Pocono, but a win Sunday would erase those troubles. He crashed out of last year's race but did lead one lap before then. His only top-five so far this season was at Sonoma, too. Cole Custer (DK $6,300, FD $5,800) should warrant consideration this week as well. He shows the potential for a top-15 run this week after his 15th-place finish at Road America just a few races ago.

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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