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

Chris Buescher took RFK Racing to Victory Lane for the second race in a row last time out. Now the team on a hot streak takes their might to a road course. Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosts the first of a two-race stretch of road courses before one final trip to Daytona sets the field for the championship playoffs. This weekend's Verizon 200 at the Brickyard will be the fourth road course stop of the season and the second time the NASCAR Cup Series races on the famed speedway's infield circuit. Tyler Reddick won last year's race from pole and AJ Allmendinger won the inaugural stop at the track in 2021. However, the most recent road course affair on the streets of Chicago was all about part-timer Shane van Gisbergen. The Australian Supercar ace blitzed the field in Chicago to win in his first series start, and he'll return to the cockpit this week for a second try. All eyes will be on him to see if he can repeat his magic this week in another crack at Cup Series competition.

Key Stats at Indianapolis

  • Number of races: 2
  • Winners from pole: 1
  • Winners from top-5 starters: 1
  • Winners from top-10 starters: 2
  • Winners from 21st or lower starters: 0
  • Fastest race: 78.511 mph

Previous Indianapolis Winners

2022 - Tyler Reddick
2021 - AJ Allmendinger

The infield road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was originally built to host Formula 1 and offers multiple passing opportunities, especially at the end of the long front and back straights. Like all other road courses, track position is key. Teams that get their settings right early in the tend to qualify up front and then have an easier time maintaining their spots in the race. Teams that start the race further back will have to make adjustments to move forward, or try to get off strategy to gain an advantage as the race goes on. Teams will work backward from the finish to identify their pit windows, and pitting early in those windows is a way to get drivers out of traffic and potentially gain some positions as stops cycle through. Running laps on a clear track is faster than fighting traffic, and teams that call their drivers in too late will find themselves losing positions as the cycle plays out. All eyes will be on turn 1 for restarts, though. The heavy braking area has been a spot for carnage in the two prior races, and the best chance of making it through there unscathed will be on the inside.

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

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Martin Truex Jr. - $10,500
Tyler Reddick - $10,300
Shane van Gisbergen - $10,100
Chase Elliott - $10,000

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Kyle Busch - $9,800
Kyle Larson - $9,600
Christopher Bell - $9,400
AJ Allmendinger - $9,300

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

William Byron - $8,900
Daniel Suarez - $8,500
Ross Chastain - $8,300
Austin Cindric - $8,100

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Michael McDowell - $7,500
Ty Gibbs - $7,400
Kamui Kobayashi - $7,100
Chase Briscoe - $6,700

NASCAR DFS Picks for the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Martin Truex Jr. - $10,500
AJ Allmendinger - $9,300
Austin Cindric - $8,100
Joey Logano - $7,900
Ty Gibbs - $7,400
Chase Briscoe - $6,700

One of the most competitive drivers right now also happens to be one of the best on road courses, too. Martin Truex Jr. (DK $10,500, FD $14,000) finished seventh or better in all but two of the races since the All-Star Race, including a victory at Sonoma. Truex was once the dominant road course driver, and his win in wine country is indication he is back. Another road course contender not to overlook is AJ Allmendinger (DK $9,300, FD $10,500). He won the inaugural running of this race and could become a playoff spoiler by winning at one of these next two road course races. Allmendinger is 19th in the championship standings and finished sixth at Sonoma in June. The Team Penske duo of Austin Cindric (DK $8,100, FD $7,200) and Joey Logano (DK $7,900, FD $7,500) are also no slouches on these tracks. Cindric was the dominant road course racer during his Xfinity Series days, and was able to lead laps on these courses immediately upon stepping into Cup Series equipment. He has yet to turn that potential into a Cup victory at a road course, but it won't be a surprise when he does. Logano does have that series road course win on his resume. He also placed eighth at Sonoma and third at Chicago this season. Ty Gibbs (DK $7,400, FD $6,800) won on a road course in his first Xfinity Series start. His best finish on the road in the Cup Series was ninth earlier this season at Circuit of the Americas. He is a playoff contender and should be a safe and capable option for rosters this week as he seeks to confirm his top 16 finish in the standings. Rounding out the lower-risk choices is Chase Briscoe (DK $6,700, FD $5,800). He led 17 laps in the last two races at this track and finished 15th earlier this season at COTA.

Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Shane van Gisbergen - $10,100
Chase Elliott - $10,000
Chris Buescher - $9,200
Michael McDowell - $7,500
Kamui Kobayashi - $7,100
Ryan Preece - $5,400

After the Chicago street course race, Shane van Gisbergen (DK $10,100, FD $11,000) is no unknown quantity in NASCAR. He enters this weekend's race undefeated in his short NASCAR career and is one of the obvious favorites for the win. His ability in challenging conditions at Chicago make you wonder how good he will be when conditions are better. His noteriety comes with the price of attention now, though. Van Gisbergen will undoubtedly be one of the most followed drivers this week. Chase Elliott (DK $10,000, FD $13,500) used to be the sure bet on road courses. He has seven road course wins on his resume, but he hasn't been able to replicate that success with the current generation of car. He finished fifth at Sonoma earlier this season, and his playoff hopes are on the line. The next two races need to be where Elliott is at his best if he hopes to have a chance at the championship this season. Chris Buescher (DK $9,200, FD $10,000) rattled off two wins in a row heading to Indianapolis. This driver has taken the recent momentum and forced his way into the playoffs. He was optimistic about the next two races following last week's victory, and with good reason. Buescher has an average finish of 11th from the two races at this track and finished in the top 10 in every road course race so far this season. 

Another quietly good road course racer is Michael McDowell (DK $7,500, FD $8,500). His best Indianapolis finish came last season when he raced to eighth, and he finished seventh at Chicago and Sonoma. McDowell is racing for a spot in the playoffs and road courses give him the chance to outperform some of the other contenders in the same situation. Fantasy managers should also take a good look at Kamui Kobayashi (DK $7,100, FD $5,200). It would be easy to write him off given his inexperience in NASCAR, but he is driving a car prepared by 23XI Racing, which is no stranger to road course success. Couple that with Kobayashi's talent and you have a potent combination. He is a former Formula 1 driver, a World Endurance Championship series champion, and won the 24 Hours of Le Mans overall with Toyota. Finally, Ryan Preece (DK $5,400, FD $4,500) should be a value option for rosters a Indy. With back to back top-15 finishes on road courses, these next two races are places Preece can outperform his normal expectations.

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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