The rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings’ NASCAR salaries for Sunday. The order is not based on the highest projected fantasy totals, but rather by the value of each driver.
The DraftKings Jockey Made in America 250 Presented by Kwik Trip NASCAR slate locks at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.
1. Chase Elliott ($10,600) — He should have won the Daytona Road Course race, but a questionable caution flag ripped that win away. NASCAR taketh and NASCAR giveth. The entire COTA race was dangerous and could have been stopped at any moment, so NASCAR chose to call the race when Elliott was leading.
2. Kyle Larson ($10,500) — His win streak came to an end last week, but barely. He was leading and blew a tire on the final turn of the first Pocono race. In the second race, he had to start in the back, and he still finished second — with nose damage. Larson won the last road race at Sonoma a month ago, and he destroyed the field in that race (led 61% of the race).
3. Christopher Bell ($8,000) — He’s a past Xfinity Series winner at Road America, and he beat Austin Cindric and AJ Allmendinger in that race. Bell earned another road-course win in the Cup race at the Daytona Road Course in February.
4. Austin Cindric ($8,300) — He won the 2020 Xfinity Series Road America race with ease, and he should have won the 2019 race, but his team got the pit strategy wrong. It’s possible Cindric is the best and most experienced Road America racer in the Cup Series field.
5. Kyle Busch ($10,100) — When Kyle Busch is in the Skittles sponsored car, he does not lose. That’s an exaggeration, but this isn’t a silly DFS narrative like birthday games, revenge games or the infamous shower narrative. These stats can be verified. Busch has won five Cup races in the Skittles car over the last three seasons.
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6. Martin Truex Jr ($10,300) — Ignore some of the results. Cole Custer ran over Truex in the rain at COTA. Truex was fast at the Daytona Road Course, but mistakes cost him a good finish. At Sonoma, he looked like the road racing expert DFS players expect.
7. Joey Logano ($9,800) — In every road course race, Logano has been a top-five driver with a chance to win, but only a chance. The No. 22 car is fast enough, and Logano is skilled enough to keep pace, but he needs the favorites to make mistakes.
8. Denny Hamlin ($9,700) — He has never raced at Road America, so you better believe he fired up iRacing this week. Fortunately for Hamlin, there will be practice on Saturday, but it might not be that beneficial. One hour of practice does not provide a lot of reps at a track where a lap takes over two minutes.
9. William Byron ($9,400) — Some drivers have entered the Xfinity race at Road America in order to get extra laps. Byron and other Cup drivers have entered the Trans Am race at Road America in order to get extra laps. Check out gotransam.com to keep up to date on Byron’s Tran Am race results. If he wins the Trans Am Road America race, then he should be in good shape for the Cup race.
10. AJ Allmendinger ($9,000) — The concern with Allmendinger is not his skill but his equipment. He has earned a top-10 finish in both of his Cup Series road course races for Kaulig Racing this season, but the DRC race turned into a wreck fest and COTA was a joke. The quality of his equipment still remains in question.
11. Ryan Blaney ($9,200) — In 2015, Blaney competed in his only race at Road America and finished second. Like most fields for the Xfinity Series Road America race, Blaney didn’t beat the best in the world. Regardless of the competition, he seemed to know his way around the four-mile track.
12. Kevin Harvick ($8,600) — At COTA, Harvick entered the Xfinity race to get extra reps. Due to the weather, those extra reps did not amount too much. This weekend, the weather looks beautiful in Wisconsin, and the extra reps might help Harvick finally get to victory lane.
13. Kurt Busch ($8,800) — This weekend will be a real test of Kurt Busch’s road-racing prowess. Statistically, he’s the best road racer in the series, but he has more experience at Sonoma and Watkins Glen than any other driver. Busch has raced at Road America once back in 2012. He might as well be a rookie this weekend.
14. Brad Keselowski ($8,500) — It’s hard to get a read on Keselowski’s road racing skills in 2021. The COTA race was in a monsoon, he always struggles at Sonoma and he finished fifth at the Daytona Road Course. But based on his driver rating, he was a 15th-place driver in that race.
15. Michael McDowell ($7,600) — A legitimate argument can be made that McDowell is not really a road-racing expert. But this week, that argument does not hold water. McDowell won the 2016 Xfinity Series race at Road America.
16. Chris Buescher ($7,500) — The Daytona Road Course race and COTA were pretty wild, but Buescher survived the madness and earned a top-15 finish in both races. He may not be the best road racer, but he’s decent. Since 2018, his average finish in a road course race is 15th.
17. Alex Bowman ($8,100) — Since the 2018 Roval race, Bowman’s worst road-course finish is 12th. His average finish in those seven races is eighth. He’s safe, but he lacks upside.
18. Daniel Suarez ($6,500) — He no longer drives for a small team. Trackhouse Racing bought Chip Ganassi Racing on Wednesday. That deal doesn’t go through until 2022, but it’s clear this team has money and is willing to spend it. Suarez has been given fast cars frequently this season, and he’ll likely get another this weekend. He’s not an expert road racer, but he did gain a lot of experience road racing in Mexico during his youth.
19. Erik Jones ($6,600) — His equipment will keep him out of the top 10, but Jones can sneak away with a top-15 finish at Road America. Jones earned several top-five finishes while road racing for JGR. His stats have declined with RPM, but he’s finished 16th or better in each road race this season.
20. Cody Ware ($4,600) — He’s almost the minimum price, and he’ll likely start in the back. Although his stats don’t show it, Ware is a decent road racer. His 19th-place finish last week in the Road America IndyCar race is nothing special, but those laps are invaluable.
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