Rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings’ NASCAR salaries for that day. The ordering is not based on highest projected fantasy totals, but rather by value of each driver.

(fppk = average fantasy points per $1,000 of salary. The typical median fppk for a 2015 race was in the 3s. Plate tracks tend to be lower and short tracks tend to run higher due to the amount of laps.)

RankDriverSalary
1Kevin Harvick$10,400
2Kurt Busch$10,700
3AJ Allmendinger$9,600
4Dale Earnhardt$9,700
5Jimmie Johnson$10,100

1. Kevin Harvick ($10,400) – The next couple of weeks are weird. A road course and a plate race turn fantasy NASCAR on its head, so #1 goes to old faithful. Harvick averages 72 fantasy points per race, that’s 15 more than second best. (6.9 fppk)

2. Kurt Busch ($10,700) – He didn’t win at Sonoma, but he dominated the race by landing 43 laps and scoring the most fantasy points. Outside of AJ Allmendinger, Kurt Busch might be the most skilled road racer in NASCAR at the moment. (5.1 fppk)

3. AJ Allmendinger ($9,600) – Most NASCAR drivers have spent the majority of their careers running ovals. The Dinger came up through Champ car (basically, IndyCar road races). Now that Marcos Ambrose and Juan Pablo Montoya have exited, the road course crown has been handed over to Allmendinger. The 2015 road races were ruined by mechanical failures. That can’t happen three times in row, can it? (4.7 fppk)

4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($9,700) – Junior has never much like road courses. In 2014, he decided to stop testing at these tracks, and just have fun. He’s the 4th highest rated road racer since 2014 with two top 10s at Sonoma. (4.2 fppk)

5. Jimmie Johnson ($10,100) – California kid in a California race? That’s not a thing. Who won this year’s Fontana race? Jimmie Johnson; it’s a thing. The 48 has not won at a road course since 2010, but he consistently finishes inside the top 10 (9 top 10s in the last 10 races). (4.4 fppk)


RankDriverSalary
6Martin Truex Jr.$9,300
7Carl Edwards$9,100
8Joey Logano$9,500
9Brad Keselowski$8,100
10Kyle Busch$9,800

6. Martin Truex Jr. ($9,300) – Last season was a forgettable road racing year, but before that Truex had strung together a handful of good road races. From 2011 to 2014, Truex’s average finish was 10th and he won at Sonoma in 2013. (6.2 fppk)

7. Carl Edwards ($9,100) – Current Form? Check. Road racing success? Check. Trivia time: Who, Where, When was the last Roush Fenway Win. Carl at Sonoma in 2014. Edwards has 5 top 10s in the last 6 road races. (5.8 fppk)

8. Joey Logano ($9,500) – Fresh off his Michigan domination (thank you, clean air), Logano will look to make it two in a row. It’s not out of the question. Logano got hot last summer, and in his last 5 road races, he’s has 4 top 10s including a win at The Glen last season (but say it sea-sen, so it rhymes). (3.9 fppk)

9. Brad Keselowski ($8,100) – Just because Sonoma and Watkins Glen are road courses doesn’t mean they’re the same. Brad Keselowski has The Glen figured out (three 2nd place finishes). At Sonoma, he’ll be the first to tell you that he struggles (20th avg. finish). (4.7 fppk)

10. Kyle Busch ($9,800) – Rowdy stole the win from his brother at Sonoma last year. That was during a stretch when he was unbeatable. This year, Kyle enters the race with a stretch of four consecutive finishes outside of the top 30. (5.1 fppk)


RankDriverSalary
11Matt Kenseth$7,600
12Chase Elliott$8,500
13Denny Hamlin$8,000
14Ryan Blaney$7,200
15Ryan Newman$7,500

11. Matt Kenseth ($7,600) – The season turned around a little over a month ago, and everything seems fine for the JGR 20 car. Kenseth finished 4th at Watkins Glen last Fall, but he’s not a road racer (4 top 10s in the last 20 road races). (3.8 fppk)

12. Chase Elliott ($8,500) – The presumptive rookie of the year has one of the longest top 10 streaks and has as many top 5s as Jimmie Johnson. Can he road race? He never finished outside of the top 10 in 6 Xfinity road races (4 top 5s). He’s never raced Sonoma, so he’ll run a warm up race in the K&N series this weekend. (4.9 fppk)

13. Denny Hamlin ($8,000) – Was winning the Daytona 500 a bad thing? The 11 car has a win and a ticket to the Chase. Some believe they have experimented every weekend since then. Hamlin has been top 5 or bust this year. (2.7 fppk)

14. Ryan Blaney ($7,200) – Rookie plus road race equals “let’s go to the Xfinity stats!” Unfortunately, there’s just one race to analyze. Blaney finished 2nd at Road America in 2015. (3.9 fppk)

15. Ryan Newman ($7,500) – What does Ryan Newman do on ovals? He finishes in the teens and has a very low rate of wrecking. It’s the same thing at road courses. He is what he his because he is. (3.9 fppk)


RankDriverSalary
16Kasey Kahne$8,700
17Clint Bowyer$7,700
18Paul Mendard$6,900
19Jamie McMurray$7,800
20Casey Mears$5,800

16. Kasey Kahne ($8,700) – I can’t fault you for staying away from Kahne. The last two years have felt like a baseball player that has forgotten how to throw (e.g. Rick Ankiel, Chuck Knoblauch). At Sonoma, Kahne doesn’t have the yips. He’s finished inside the top 10 in each of the last three races. (3.4 fppk)

17. Clint Bowyer ($7,700) – Will Bowyer have a competitive car this weekend? If he shows speed in practice, then he should be good to go. Bowyer has the second highest driver rating (114.6) over the last 5 road races. (4.4 fppk)

18. Paul Menard ($6,900) – If it wasn’t for several uncharacteristic performances, Menard would be averaging 31 fantasy points per race. At road courses, Menard had 8 top 20s in the last 10 races. (3.8 fppk)

19. Jamie McMurray ($7,800) – Watkins Glen was a tough day for Jamie Mac last season. He got caught in a restart wreck. As far as his own driving goes, he’s been solid at road courses lately with 4 consecutive top 15s before the Watkins Glen wreck. (3.9 fppk)

20. Casey Mears (5,800) – In the last 10 races races for the 13 car (small team), Mears has 8 top 20 finishes. A top 10 is pushing it, but Mears should return value wherever he starts. (4.3 ppk)