This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.
Location: Daytona Beach, Fla.
Course: Daytona International Speedway
Format: 2.5-mile tri-oval
NASCAR Xfinity Wawa 250 Race Preview
Kyle Larson won last week's Xfinity Race at Watkins Glen after series wins leader Ty Gibbs clashed with William Byron in a late-race battle for the lead. Larson went on to win again on Sunday to sweep the weekend's victories, which left the Xfinity playoff battle largely the same for this week's return to Daytona International Speedway. Austin Hill won at Daytona in February to kickstart his playoff effort, and he enters this weekend's return visit with two wins to his credit this season. With four races remaining for drivers to claim one of the 12 playoff spots, Ryan Sieg is the one on the bubble. He holds a 38-point gap to Sheldon Creed, who narrowed his deficit last week with his fourth finish of 11th or better in the last five races. Competition for the five playoff spots not currently taken by race winners is certain to heat up, and the tight pack racing of Daytona is sure to bring the temperature up a notch.
Key Stats at Daytona International Speedway
- Number of races: 61
- Winners from pole: 5
- Winners from top-5 starters: 27
- Winners from top-10 starters: 42
- Winners from 21st or lower starters: 4
- Fastest race: 157.137 mph
Previous 10 Daytona Winners
2022 spring - Austin Hill
2021 fall - Justin Haley
2021 spring - Austin Cindric
2020 fall - Justin Haley
2020 spring - Noah Gragson
2019 fall - Ross Chastain
2019 spring - Michael Annett
2018 fall - Kyle Larson
2018 spring - Tyler Reddick
2017 fall - William Byron
The NASCAR Xfinity Series teams move from the superspeedway of road courses last week at Watkins Glen to an actual superspeedway in Daytona this week. This will be the second visit to the track this season, and Austin Hill was the victor back in February. The track's high banks and full-throttle action make drafting and momentum the keys to success. While Daytona is run full-throttle through an entire lap, handling is also important, more so than at Talladega. Daytona's comparatively narrower racing surface means less room to account for the sliding that comes along with tire wear, and with the entire field packed together, one small slip can spell disaster for many. Drivers will also seek partners to work with to move forward in the field since a single car is slower than multiple cars drafting together. The fastest way around the track is for cars to line up as close as possible to one another from nose to tail, and the more cars in a line, the faster that line can go. These features also mean single-car pit stops are a rarity. Many teams will time their stops with one another to ensure drafting partners are around when they return to the track to regain speed. This makes fuel strategy an ineffective way to get to the front, but it also means any extra trips to pit road mean getting trapped behind the lead lap with few potential chances to get back in the fight.
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DraftKings Value Picks for the Wawa 250 (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)
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NASCAR DFS Picks for the Wawa 250
Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has made a name for himself on superspeedway circuits. His aggressive style often gets him to the front of the pack and in contention to win these races. This week's race will be the second Xfinity start of the year for Stenhouse, and fantasy players would expect him to be a contender for the win. Series regular Noah Gragson will make the step up to full-time Cup Series competition next year. Until then he's focused on winning the 2022 Xfinity championship. Gragson has three victories this season and a 2020 Daytona win. He finished third at the track in February. Another one to watch in the draft is Daniel Hemric. He enters this week 10th in the playoff standings with three top-10s from eight series Daytona tries. Right behind Hemric in the standings is Landon Cassill. He has been consistently turning in top-15 finishes and was 14th at Daytona in February. He should be a reliable value for fantasy rosters this week. Myatt Snider could play the spoiler role this week. He has had his share of trouble this season, including 33rd last week, but he finished in the top 10 in both Daytona visits last season. A mistake-free night could give him another top finish. Jeb Burton should also punch above his weight this week. Burton has been lagging behind the competition on many types of tracks this season, but a superspeedway should minimize those disadvantages. He finished 19th at the track in February and has three top-fives from six Daytona starts.
Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
John Hunter Nemechek will make his eighth Xfinity appearance of the season Friday. This start will also be his third series start at Daytona. He is focused on winning the Truck Series championship in 2022 but will use that off week to get some seat time with the Xfinity field. He has three top-fives from his seven starts this season and brings a best Xfinity Daytona finish of eighth from two prior starts. Justin Allgaier brings plenty of experience to fantasy rosters this week. He has three 2022 victories so far and has 10 Daytona top-10 finishes from his 23 prior starts. He should be a top fantasy selection this week with two top-fives in the last two Daytona races, too. Brandon Jones should also make a compelling option for fantasy players. He has a victory this season and is in the playoffs. His best Daytona finish was fourth in 2020, and a trouble-free night this week should leave him in contention for another top-10. Driving a Richard Childress Racing car at Daytona usually means big things could be possible. That is no different this week for Creed. This will be his third Xfinity start at the track, and he finished sixth in February. This track should also give Jeremy Clements a chance to shine. Clements has 24 previous Daytona appearances with two top-10 finishes. He crashed out of February's race but should be expected to be among the top 15 if he can avoid trouble and be racing at the finish. Lastly, 2021 Talladega winner Brandon Brown should also be a fantasy consideration this week. He has four top-10s from nine Daytona starts and led 12 laps on his way to one of those top-10s in February.