NASCAR DFS:  Wurth 400

NASCAR DFS: Wurth 400

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.

Wurth 400

Location: Dover, Del.
Course: Dover Motor Speedway
Format: 1.0-mile oval
Laps: 400

Race Preview

Kyle Busch scored his second 2023 victory a week ago at Talladega Superspeedway in an overtime finish. The superspeedway produced its typical high-drama finish with multiple late-race restarts and a crash that ended the race on the final lap. Busch positioned himself to be in touch with the lead for that opportunity and the spoils fell his direction when Ryan Blaney and Bubba Wallace triggered the final caution in a wreck that Busch simply slipped through. Busch is now the third driver to win multiple races this season as the regular season schedule marches on.

On tap this week is the punishing concrete surface of Dover Motor Speedway. The 1.0-mile oval features high banking and high speeds without the pack-style style racing of Talladega. The track has hosted 104 prior contests with Chase Elliott winning the stop there last season. Since 2021 the track has hosted just one stop per season, which means this week's learnings will not be applicable to the playoff battle later in the season. The goal for every team will be simply to win. Hendrick Motorsports has won each of the last two races at the track in Elliott and Alex Bowman, but Bowman will not be competing this week. The 2021 Dover victor suffered a back injury that will keep him out of action for multiple weeks, similar to the fate Elliott just endured. Fiur hundred punishing laps are ahead this Sunday as drivers jockey for the all-important victory that will assure their name is among those battling for the championship at season's end.

Key Stats at Dover Motor Speedway

  • Number of races: 104
  • Winners from pole: 13
  • Winners from top-5 starters: 59
  • Winners from top-10 starters: 78
  • Winners from 21st or lower starters: 5
  • Fastest race: 135.734 mph

Previous 10 Dover Winners

2022 - Chase Elliott
2021 - Alex Bowman
2020 II - Kevin Harvick
2020 I - Denny Hamlin
2019 fall - Kyle Larson
2019 spring - Martin Truex Jr.
2018 fall - Chase Elliott
2018 spring - Kevin Harvick
2017 fall - Kyle Busch
2017 spring - Jimmie Johnson

Dover has historically been a punishing track. The circuit's fast straights and tight turns are a lot like a larger Bristol with significantly higher speeds. Brakes and tire failures can be common, and a failure in either category cam be detrimental given the high speeds. Track position is still a valuable commodity and winners typically start within the top 10 spots. Drivers will want to settle into a rhythm as early as possible, driving with the track and not using up too much of their equipment too early. Given that track position is a critical factor, mistakes on pit road will be extra costly this week. Restarts also become an important determinant as the chance of cautions likely increases in the later laps. Those late cautions can jumble the order if teams end up getting off strategy earlier in the race. However, it is likely that the drivers that start near the front will get to the front to lead laps and spend a significant amount of time out front.

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

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Kyle Larson - $11,500
William Byron - $11,200
Chase Elliott - $10,800
Denny Hamlin - $10,500

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Ross Chastain - $9,800
Kyle Busch - $9,600
Kevin Harvick - $9,300
Tyler Reddick - $9,000

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Joey Logano - $8,800
Ryan Blaney - $8,600
Brad Keselowski - $8,400
Chase Briscoe - $8,200

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Chris Buescher - $7,700
Ryan Preece - $6,900
Austin Cindric - $6,800
Aric Almirola - $6,500

NASCAR DFS Picks for the Wurth 400

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

William Byron - $11,200
Kevin Harvick - $9,300
Ryan Blaney - $8,600
Brad Keselowski - $8,400
Austin Dillon - $6,300
Erik Jones - $6,100

Hendrick Motorsports has won the last two races at Dover, and William Byron (DK $11,200, FD $13,500) could extend that trend this weekend. He has two 2023 victories under his belt already and has two fourth-place Dover finishes on his resume. Byron has been among the fastest each week, and this is a track Hendrick knows well. That combination is a confidence booster when selecting him for fantasy rosters this week. Kevin Harvick (DK $9,300, FD $12,000) is another booster. He finished ninth in this race last season and has three prior Dover wins. The biggest question about Harvick this weekend will be the past few weeks where he finished 20th and 21st. He will need to turn that around at Dover. Last week's runner-up finish was another opportunity missed for Ryan Blaney (DK $8,600, FD $9,000). The Team Penske driver led eight laps and won the second stage of this race last season, but needs some luck to go his direction to capitalize on his speed. Blaney has two prior Dover top-10 finishes with a total of 45 laps led in his last three visits. 

Fantasy players should recall RFK Racing's competitiveness on concrete and rough surfaces last season. Brad Keselowski (DK $8,400, FD $8,000) didn't lead at Dover last season, but his teammate did. Keselowski finished 20th in that race but was 10th in the first stage. He is also a prior Dover winner. Austin Dillon (DK $6,300, FD $5,200) is looking to put Talladega behind him quickly. He finished 12th at Martinsville and was third at Bristol prior to last week's early exit. Those prior results are a good indication of his potential this week at Dover, though. Dillon has three Dover top-10s and eight top-15s from his 17 career starts. Erik Jones (DK $6,100, FD $5,800) is another tough driver for this tough track. He snagged a top-10 finish last season and carries seven top-15s at the track into this weekend's contest.

Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Denny Hamlin - $10,500
Kyle Busch - $9,600
Chase Briscoe - $8,200
Chris Buescher - $7,700
Josh Berry - $7,500
Aric Almirola - $6,500

Denny Hamlin (DK $10,500, FD $11,500) heads the higher-risk lineup for Dover. He may have finished 21st there last season after losing a wheel, but don't lose sight of the fact that he led 67 laps and won a stage prior to that. Hamlin is still looking for his first win of the season and Dover is a track that he could finally check that box with. He won there in 2020 and finished seventh in 2021, too. He has also led a whopping 678 laps at this track in his career. Backing him up would be former teammate Kyle Busch (DK $9,600, FD $9,500). It will be tough for Busch to win on back-to-back weekends, but that isn't beyond this particular talent. He is a three-time winner at this track and finished seventh last season. Fantasy players looking for who might be the next 2023 winner shouldn't look past Chase Briscoe (DK $8,200, FD $7,500). Briscoe finished this race 13th last season and in the midst of a streak of three consecutive top-five finishes as this weekend approaches. 

Like team owner Keselowski, Chris Buescher (DK $7,700, FD $7,800) presents a compelling fantasy play this week. We know the team is quick on concrete and Buescher himself finished eighth in this race last season with 18 laps out front. Last year's race was his first Dover top-10, though. Back again this weekend, albeit unexpectedly, is Josh Berry (DK $7,500, FD $8,700). After just one weekend out of the No. 9, Berry returns to the series in the No. 48 filling in for injured Alex Bowman. Berry was just getting some top performances with a runner-up finish at Richmond before Chase Elliott returned to action. It might take a minute for Berry to adjust, but he is getting some good experience by playing a substitute role. It hasn't been long enough for him to get cold, and Dover is a venue that plays to Hendrick's strengths. That bodes well for Berry this weekend. Finally, veteran Aric Almirola (DK $6,500, FD $7,000) may also be worth a gamble for DFS rosters this week. He has four career top-10s at this track and has proven to be a consistent top-20 finisher regardless. Almirola's price this week presents good value for the type of finish that is well within his average (17.1) at the track. 

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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