Rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings’ NASCAR salaries for that day. The ordering is not based on the highest projected fantasy totals, but rather by value of each driver.
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NASCAR Price Check: Xfinity Cup Toyota 200
1. Kyle Busch ($16,000) – Don’t overthink it: His ownership should be close to 100% and you still can’t fade him. He checks every box – starting position, No. 1 pit stall, the best car, the most experience and he’s the only driver in the field that’s raced a car this week.
2. Daniel Hemric ($9,100) – It’s not very often that a Jr. Motorsports car starts 23rd. Hemric’s season hasn’t gotten off to a great start, but this is the same driver that almost won the 2018 Xfinity championship. This price tag is way too low given his starting position.
3. Noah Gragson ($8,700) – At Phoenix, Gragson ended up in the optimal lineup. It wasn’t because he had the best car or even a top-tier car. Gragson works his way into optimal lineups by being good enough to race inside the top 10 and grabbing the lead on pit road. On Tuesday night, he starts on the pole and will lead laps until Kyle Busch takes over.
4. Chase Briscoe ($10,600) – Dirt racers have an advantage at the high groove race tracks. Briscoe is accustomed to running the wall and in his first race at Darlington last season, he finished seventh. That might not sound great, but look who finished ahead of him: Hamlin, Custer, Reddick, Blaney, Bell and Earnhardt Jr.
5. Jeremy Clements ($7,100) – Due to a disastrous start to the season, Clements will start 30th. He is typically a 15th to 20th place driver. Darlington is his hometrack and he’s averaging a 16th place finish over the past five races at the South Carolina super speedway.
6. Harrison Burton ($9,700) – Darlington is a brutal track for rookies. A normal practice session for a rookie involves becoming best friends with the wall. This week, the Xfinity rookies will not be afforded that luxury. Burton won for the first time at Fontana in his first visit there, but Fontana is not Darlington, and he had plenty of practice laps under his belt.
7. Brandon Jones ($10,000) – At Fontana, Jones led every lap in stage 1 and 2, but a bad pit stop led to a race-ruining wreck. At Phoenix, he had the opposite luck. Justin Allgaier had the race in the bag, but foolishly decided to pit and forfeited the lead. On a long run at the end of the race, Jones inherited the lead and won for the second time in his career.
8. Austin Cindric ($10,300) – In three seasons in elite Penske equipment, Cindric has never won at an oval race track. He’s barely been in contention a couple times and he has never been the favorite. Avoiding Cindric outright is not a smart play, but not because of Cindric. It’s never smart to completely fade a fast car against a watered down field.
9. Riley Herbst ($7,600) – The JGR equipment is much better than the driver. This equipment nearly propelled the inexperienced rookie to a win at Fontana. His car will help this week, but Herbst is as green as they come. Most of his experience is ARCA and that series has barely been a series over the past several seasons.
10. Justin Allgaier ($11,000) – Everything must work out for Allgaier to win. During 2018, Allgaier won multiple races, but in those races everything lined up in his favor. Kyle Busch entering this race does not help. The only way Allgaier wins is if he pushes his car to the limit. That’s going to be tough considering Justin WALL-gaier hit the wall 15 times in the 2019 race.
11. Justin Haley ($8,100) – Kaulig racing fields two equal cars. Ross Chastain is an aggressive driver that seems to suffer from a Napoleon complex. Haley is calm and even keeled. NASCAR fans prefer the intimidators, but it’s often the smooth drivers that are the best. Haley has the third-best average finish and two top 5s. Chastain does not have any top 5 finishes.
12. Ross Chastain ($9,400) – He’s the Ricky Stenhouse of the Xfinity series. His equipment is good, but not the best. Pushing the equipment to the ragged edge results in wrecks. Ross CRASH-tain has been involved in a wreck in every Cup, Xfinity and Truck race this season.
13. Timmy Hill ($5,700) – The price is right for the Timmy Hill that is normally a start and park operation. After Hill’s month in the spotlight as a premier iRacer, his team now has a decent amount of sponsorship money. When Hill gets to run, he can finish 20th. He did not park at Darlington last year and he was in the optimal lineup. This is too cheap for a guy that is actually racing.
14. Anthony Alfredo ($6,600) – Jumping into a race cold is challenging, but that’s exactly what Alfredo has done during his young career. “Fast Pasta” is an expert iRacer. He does not get to race every week, so he uses iRacing and simulator time at RCR to prepare for weeks just like this.
15. Michael Annett ($8,500) – It’s hard to get excited about Annett. He finished 17th at Fontana and 15th at Phoenix against soft fields. At least he has Darlington experience and he’s been good in those races with finishes of 14th, 10th and 17th. This looks like a terrible play on paper, but if Annett can lead early and keep his negative place differential in the single digits, he can work.
16. Ryan Sieg ($8,000) – The narrative is wonderful. A small team grinds it out for years and becomes competitive. The keyword is competitive. Sieg isn’t winning and he is not finishing 20th. A solid performance at Las Vegas has been blown out of proportion. It’s a wonderful story, but Sieg needs a poor qualifying spot to have DFS relevance.
17. Ronnie Bassett Jr. ($5,800) – The last time we saw the Bassett brothers they were in a fist fight at the end of the Phoenix race. Lappers don’t fight. Only the drivers fighting for position fight. Bassett may be a 25th place driver at best, but there aren’t many other drivers that fit with a $16,000 Kyle Busch.
18. Colin Garrett ($5,200) – Sam Hunt Racing threw together a team at the end of 2019 and in their only race, Garret finished 21st at Homestead. Covid-19 may have affected this team financially and the cars may suffer, but that can be said of most Xfinity teams. Hunt has a relationship with TRD and has raced used JGR equipment.
19. Mason Massey ($4,700) – There’s too much expensive place differential to chase. That means Massey is firmly in place at his price starting 33rd. Massey doesn’t have much history, but over the last year, the BJ Motorsports No. 99 car has averaged a 25th-place finish.
20. Joe Graf Jr. ($5,900) – It’s never smart to roster bad race car drivers, but this is a stars and scrubs week. Graf is cheap, he’s starting in the back, and his car was consistently a top 15 car in 2019 when Gray Gaulding was driving the No. 08 car.
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