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 the value of each driver.
The DraftKings TOYOTA OWNERS 400 slate locks at 3:00 p.m. ET on Sunday.
1. Brad Keselowski ($12,000) - Team Penske was the best at high-horsepower, low-downforce races last season. Keselowski went into the Richmond race expecting to dominate, and he did just that.
2. Martin Truex Jr ($11,400) - He won both Richmond races in 2019. Last season, Truex had a top-three car, but he had nothing for Keselowski. No one wins every short track race, but Truex wins almost every short track race.
3. Joey Logano ($10,600) - Keselowski was the best, but Logano had a top-three car at Richmond last season. Statistically, Logano was the best driver in 2020 in the 750 package. He’s picked up right where he left off with a big day at Phoenix a month ago.
4. Denny Hamlin ($11,000) - The No. 11 car was really good early in the Richmond race. A penalty forced him into traffic, and Hamlin lost the handling. Towards the end of the race, Hamlin’s team figured out the change, but the damage was already done.
5. Kyle Larson ($10,300) - In 2017, Larson won a green-white shootout finish at Richmond. He was fast at Phoenix in this racing package, but he had to drive through the field too many times. Larson looked pretty good at Martinsville last week, and that’s one of his worst tracks. The Hendrick cars are for real and Larson is the championship favorite.
6. Chase Elliott ($9,700) - Richmond is not a great track for Elliott, but he hung around and made the car better late in the race. With other drivers being exceptional at this short, flat track, Elliott’s ownership will likely dip.
7. Alex Bowman ($8,800) - Greg Ives, Alex Bowman’s crew chief, said Richmond had always been a tough track for the No. 88 team and they just needed a solid run. Bowman earned his best-ever finish at Richmond, ninth place. This could be a product of the RCR and Hendrick engine alliance.
8. Kyle Busch ($10,000) - It’s the same old story, Busch unloaded slow. Before the Richmond race, Busch stated that his car was unloading with about 80% of the speed of the other cars. His team slowly got the car better throughout the race, but as he plays catch-up, everyone else is making their cars better, too.
9. Austin Dillon ($7,500) - As the 2020 playoffs began, RCR and Hendrick entered into an engine alliance. RCR and Hendrick cars were very fast to start the playoffs and ran well at races they had struggled at in the past. Dillon had a race-winning car, but he choked. He sped on pit road early in the race and later missed pit road during a green flag stop.
10. Kevin Harvick ($9,400) - An unconventional pit strategy at Richmond was ruined by a commitment violation penalty. Harvick laid down fast times with a tire advantage, but he had a top-five car, not a race-winning car.
11. Christopher Bell ($7,800) - He’s been at his best at the short tracks over his career. His crew chief, Adam Stevens, has two wins at Richmond. Bell has a top-10 finish in every low downforce race this season.
12. Ryan Blaney ($9,100) - This might be where the hot streak ends. Blaney had to pit twice under caution for a loose wheel, but he struggled with the setup all night at Richmond. Even without a penalty, it wasn’t going to be his race.
13. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ($6,200) - His JTG Daughtery team experimented with the setup last season at Richmond and it was a success. It may not seem obvious with his result, but his mediocre finish is due to a green flag pit road penalty. Stenhouse had top-five speed last fall at Richmond.
14. Aric Almirola ($8,200) - The crew chief of the No. 10 car, Mike Bugarewicz, was very confident heading into Richmond. The SHR Fords were good at Richmond in the Ford Fusion body and Bugarewicz was able to adapt the Fusion setup for the Mustang body.
15. William Byron ($8,500) - Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman were surprisingly good at Richmond last fall. Jimmie Johnson damaged his race car early in the race. Byron struggled all night with the setup. It’s surprising he did not take a step forward. His crew chief, Rudy Fugle, has never built a vehicle for Richmond.
16. Kurt Busch ($8,300) - The veteran did not have a good car in the Richmond playoff race, but the veteran did what veteran’s do. He battled all night and earned a 13th-place finish.
17. Tyler Reddick ($7,200) - The Hendrick and RCR cars stood out last season at Richmond. In hindsight, Reddick’s 11th-place finish is not shocking since we now know the two teams formed an engine alliance that produced strong results.
18. Erik Jones ($7,600) - To no one’s surprise, Erik Jones is struggling in RPM equipment. He struggled in JGR equipment. Even with the struggles, he’s still in play because of his starting position. Jones got lucky at Las Vegas. The caution flag can fall at the right time for anyone. He can get lucky again, but be honest with your expectations. This pick is based on luck, not talent or equipment.
19. Daniel Suarez ($6,600) - The car looks good, but maybe too good. Having a strong car has enabled Suarez to be aggressive — too aggressive. His car ended up in a blaze at Martinsville. If Suarez can dial it down a notch, he’ll be a great DFS play.
20. Ryan Preece ($5,600) - JTG Daughtery found something at Richmond last year with Ricky Stenhouse. It stands to reason the two teams will share notes. Preece honed his skills on short, flat tracks and has finished 20th in two of his three Richmond races.
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