NASCAR Xfinity DFS: Explore The Pocono Mountains 225

NASCAR Xfinity DFS: Explore The Pocono Mountains 225

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.

Explore The Pocono Mountains 225

Location: Long Pond, Pa.
Course: Pocono Raceway
Format: 2.5-mile tri-oval
Laps: 90

NASCAR Xfinity Explore The Pocono Mountains 225 Race Preview

Justin Allgaier led 47 laps last week at New Hampshire to win his third race of the season. The victory moves him one closer to series leader Ty Gibbs who has four wins to his credit, though both trail AJ Allmendinger in total points. Eight races remain to settle the regular-season championship and 12 playoff contenders. Pocono Raceway hosts the first of those final eight races this week in the sixth NASCAR Xfinity Series appearance at the long track. Austin Cindric won last year's race, holding off Gibbs who won the second stage and finished the race second. Pocono has produced five different winners from its five prior races. Cole Custer, who won the 2019 race, is the only driver entered this weekend who could become the track's first repeat winner, though. 

Key Stats at Pocono Raceway

  • Number of races: 6
  • Winners from pole: 1
  • Winners from top-5 starters: 4
  • Winners from top-10 starters: 5
  • Winners from 21st or lower starters: 0
  • Fastest race: 135.583 mph

Previous Pocono Winners

2021 - Austin Cindric
2020 - Chase Briscoe
2019 - Cole Custer
2018 - Kyle Busch
2017 - Brad Keselowski
2016 - Kyle Larson

Pocono's long straights and distinct turns challenge teams to find the proper setup. Drivers starting in the top 10 typically have an advantage in the race if they are able to stay on top of changing track conditions. Those drivers starting outside of the first five rows can opt to use pit strategy to gain track position, however. The long 2.5-mile lap distance enables green-flag stops without drivers losing laps to the leaders, which makes this race one where strategy can overcome a suboptimal starting position. The track does favor fast cars, though. Powerful engines that can propel drivers down the long straights enable drivers to pull off passes at corner entry. Drivers must maximize speed at corner exits to set up those passes, however. Turns 1 and 3 give drivers opportunities to adjust their lines to suit handling, too. All told, practice and qualifying will be excellent views into which drivers will likely be the most competitive come race time.

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NASCAR Projections

DraftKings Value Picks for the Explore The Pocono Mountains 225 (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Ty Gibbs - $10,700
Justin Allgaier - $10,500
Noah Gragson - $10,300
Cole Custer - $10,100

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Josh Berry - $9,900
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $9,700
Sam Mayer - $9,500
AJ Allmendinger - $9,300

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Daniel Hemric - $8,900
Brandon Jones - $8,600
Riley Herbst - $8,400
Sammy Smith - $8,200

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Landon Cassill - $7,900
Jeremy Clements - $7,000
Myatt Snider - $6,800
Ryan Vargas - $6,300

NASCAR DFS Picks for the Explore The Pocono Mountains 225

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Ty Gibbs - $10,700
Daniel Hemric - $8,900
Riley Herbst - $8,400
Landon Cassill - $7,900
Brandon Brown - $7,200
Myatt Snider - $6,800

After nearly winning last year's Pocono race, Gibbs is an easy selection this weekend. The young driver leads the series in victories and led 11 laps on his way to last year's runner-up finish at this track. Daniel Hemric Is also quite good at Pocono. He has three top-10s from four series starts at the track and led 18 laps in last year's race. Riley Herbst sits ahead of Hemric in the playoff standings and has three top-10 finishes in the last five races. He has two prior Xfinity starts at this week's track with a best finish of ninth in 2020 despite starting 24th that day. Landon Cassill is still battling to stay in the playoff positions. He lost some ground in that fight last week at New Hampshire and only has one series start at Pocono. His experience and ability to score top-10 finishes this season should be the strengths he brings to fantasy rosters this weekend. Brandon Brown has been making up ground in the playoff standings with consistent top-15 finishes. He got his best finish of the season last week at New Hampshire, too. He has three prior Pocono starts, and two of those ended with top-15 finishes. Rounding out this lineup is Myatt Snider. He should be considered a contender for the top 20 and maybe even the top 10. He has an average finish of seventh from his two prior starts at Pocono.

Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $9,700
Austin Hill - $9,100
Brandon Jones - $8,600
Sammy Smith - $8,200
Santino Ferrucci - $7,800
Ryan Vargas - $6,300

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will take over the wheel of the Big Machine Racing entry this week at Pocono. The team won with Tyler Reddick at Texas and finished fourth at Atlanta. It will be Stenhouse's first start in the series since 2016. He is a two-time series champion and should be a competitive risk worth taking this week. Austin Hill is on a terrific run of form with seven top-10 finishes from the last eight races. He has two victories this season and one prior Xfinity start at Pocono, and should offer more top-10 potential for rosters this week. Sammy Smith will make his second series start this weekend. He is also racing in the ARCA Series at the circuit Friday evening, which will give him extra track time before he gets behind the wheel again Saturday. Another part-timer worth consideration is Santino Ferrucci. He has one prior series start at Pocono, finishing an impressive 14th last season after starting just 21st. This will be his eighth start in the series after he scored four top-15 finishes last season. Ryan Vargas rounds out the selections with a 13th-place Pocono finish from his first of two series races at Pocono. He crashed out of last year's race but could be a top-15 contender again this year if he is able to avoid trouble Saturday.

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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