The 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. The action on DraftKings gets underway at 3:10 p.m on Saturday.
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eNASCAR Price Check
- Timmy Hill ($12,500) – On the last run, Wiliam Byron had fresh tires and easily passed Timmy Hill. Even when the two were on equal tires, Hill couldn’t hold off Byron. Hill is a great iRacer, but he’s clearly the second best iRacer when Byron is in the field. Byron isn’t racing this week.
- Chirstopher Bell ($10,500) – Last week, Bell showed off his short track and iRacing expertise. The winner of the North Wilkesboro race will be an adept iRacer and a short tracker. Bell fits that criteria.
- Landon Cassill ($8,500) – After over one thousand laps of practice at Dover, Cassill had nothing to show for it. Cassill lined up in fourth with just a handful of laps left, but William Byron dumped him in turn one. That’s iRacing. Cassill has the third best average finish in the series.
- Denny Hamlin ($11,000) – There are no shortcuts in iRacing. The best drivers put in a lot of work. Hamlin practiced religiously and was in contention for the win last week until John Hunter Nemechek intentionally wrecked him. Hamlin’s long run expertise could lead to a win this weekend, as long as an angry competitor doesn’t wreck him.
- Parker Kligerman ($9,400) – No one is safe. Kligerman got dumped while running up front. After a quick repair, Kligerman had to race his way through the field, but he was unable to escape the mayhem. Based on average finish in this series, Kligerman ranks 6th.
- Dale Earnhardt, Jr. ($8,800) – The only reason this race is possible is because Dale Jr. and his friends went to North Wilkesboro with a calvary of weed wackers, so iRacing could scan the historic track. After resurrecting North Wilkesboro, it would only be right that Junior wins this race.
- Garrett Smithley ($9,700) – Cross your fingers. Hopefully, NASCAR continues the invitational iRacing series after real racing resumes. No one wants to see Smithley running in 35th place in real life, but it’s been a pleasure to watch Smithely streaming races and practicing with his NASCAR friends. Smithely ranks second in average finish among drivers in the field.
- Ryan Preece ($10,000) – North Wilkesboro is a short, flat track. This is the type of track Preece grew up racing in New England. It might be a stretch to compare Preece’s grass roots career with an iRacing track, but Preece won the pole and led 59 laps at Richmond (short, flat track).
- Bobby Labonte ($6,700) – How old is Labonte? He actually raced at North Wilkesboro. It’s unlikely that his experience at North Wilkesboro will help him much this weekend. There’s no way that he remembers how to drive the track, but it’s a cool story.
- John Hunter Nemechek ($8,200) – The playing field is level this week. Nemechek has never raced at North Wilkesboro and he can’t practice in A or B class races this week because the track is not public. Everyone starts from zero in terms of track experience, but karma does not reset. Nemechek intentionally wrecked Hamlin last week and payback is likely.
- J.J. Yeley ($5,400) – The one stat that matters is laps. Yeley put in a ton of practice laps before the Dover race and earned a 19th place finish. Practice lap data will not be public this week because North Wilkesboro is in beta mode, but it can be assumed that Yeley will put in the same amount of practice as last week.
- Aric Almirola ($6,500) – It appears that Almirola is a quick study. Dover was just his second race in the Pro Invitational Series, and he finished 10th. Was he the 10th best driver? Probably, not, but he was the 10th best at avoiding wrecks.
- Michael McDowell ($7,600) – In his five iRaces, McDowell is averaging a 17th place finish. That’s good enough for 16th best in the series. Take out the 34th place finish at Talladega, and his average finish jumps to 13th. That’s equal to Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
- Kevin Harvick ($7,300) – On Tuesday night, Harvick finished 31st in the Replacements Series street stock race at Phoenix. That sounds horrible, but the field was stacked. Getting laps on iRacing, no matter the car or the track, still means something.
- Tyler Reddick ($7,800) – At the most challenging tracks (Bristol and Richmond), Reddick finished 8th and 12th. At the other tracks, Reddick’s average finish is 25th. North Wilkesboro will be an extremely challenging track.
- Erik Jones ($8,000) – Other than the infamous Windows Update that caused Jones to finish 31st at Bristol, Jones is averaging a 10th place finish (excluding Talladega). At the challenging tracks (Richmond and Dover), Jones finished 7th and 4th.
- Kyle Busch ($9,100) – Over the last month, Busch has transformed into a pretty decent iRacer, but decent doesn’t cut it as a DFS pick. Busch finished 5th at Richmond and 8th at Talladega, but his best finish is 15th in the other four iRaces.
- Ross Chastain ($5,800) – He’s not in the elite iRacer tier, but he’s not a “noob” either. Excluding Talladega, Chastain has earned a top 20 finish in four of the five iRaces. That might not sound like the greatest feat, but given the volatility of these events, DFS players can do a lot worse.
- Cole Custer ($6,300) – His first race in the series was Talladega, and it was an unremarkable 26th place finish. In his second week, he finished 12th at Dover. Custer isn’t an avid iRacer, but he’s a millennial, so he should know a little about video games.
- Jeff Gordon ($6,000) – In the final race at North Wilkesboro in 1996, Jeff Gordon led 207 laps and took the checkered flag. It’s unclear what is more ridiculous – citing stats from 25 years ago or using real life stats to predict iRacing outcomes.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.