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 Go Bowling at The Glen slate locks at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.
1. Chase Elliott ($10,600) — The reigning road course emperor is looking to add another notch in his belt. Elliott won at COTA and Road America, he should have won at the Daytona Road Course race and no one was touching Larson back in June (second at Sonoma). Elliott is the favorite to win at Watkins Glen and make it three in a row at the New York road course.
2. Kyle Busch ($10,900) — The last race at Watkins Glen was eventful for Kyle Busch. William Byron spun him, so he spun William Byron. During a stage break, Byron retaliated, but the damage to Busch’s car was not too severe. Later in the race, Bubba Wallace intentionally wrecked Kyle Busch. When it was all said and done, Busch still managed to finish 11th, but he could have been a contender.
3. Martin Truex Jr ($10,400) — Hendrick Motorsports has dethroned Truex as King of the Road. Chase Elliott has made Truex the runner-up in the last two races at Watkins Glen, and Kyle Larson’s win at Sonoma ended Truex’s two-race win streak in wine country.
4. Denny Hamlin ($9,400) — At Road America, Hamlin’s fifth place finish may seem disappointing, but Hamlin was not surprised. He liked his car, but it was not great. The bigger issue was that he was unfamiliar with the track. Fifth is pretty good for a first ever race at Road America.
5. Kyle Larson ($10,200) — After winning at Sonoma, Larson had a shot at beating his teammate Chase Elliott at Road America, but his other teammate, Alex Bowman, wrecked Larson. The wreck was unintentional and Larson wasn’t likely going to win, but he was in fourth place with six laps remaining.
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6. Kurt Busch ($10,000) — Chase Elliott has the best average finish at the NASCAR road courses since 2012 (9th), but he’s only raced in 16 events. Kurt Busch has an average finish of 10th, and he’s been in 25 road course events.
7. Christopher Bell ($8,800) — There was a little luck involved in his win at the Daytona Road Course, but luck doesn’t help a driver nail turn after turn. Bell again demonstrated his road course mastery at Road America by finishing second.
8. William Byron ($9,800) — After his back and forth with Kyle Busch, Byron attempted to intimidate Kyle Busch and it backfired. The end result was a caved in nose on the No. 24 car. Byron had a top-5 car before the incident.
9. Alex Bowman ($8,600) — Wrecking into Kyle Larson on lap 56 of 62 at Road America did not work out well for Bowman. He was in fifth place, but after the incident, he ended up finishing 22nd. The Hendrick cars have been great at the road courses, and it’s possible that all of them could finish inside the top 5.
10. Kevin Harvick ($8,500) — In the last three road course races, Harvick has failed to earn a top-20 finish. COTA was a monsoon, so write that one off. At Sonoma, Harvick was in 11th before a pile-up wreck with 15 laps to go. Finally, at Road America, he struggled all race long.
11. Brad Keselowski ($9,000) — In the last 12 road course races, Keselowski has three top-10 finishes and a best finish of fifth in a volatile Daytona Road Course race in February. His average finish over that span is 15th. He’s never been a particularly great road course racer, but he finished second at The Glen three seasons in a row a decade ago.
12. Joey Logano ($9,600) — In the first three road course races of the season, Logano finished much better than where he ran. His average running position in those races was eighth, but his average finishing position was third. He’s good, but not that good and his variance swung the opposite direction at Road America with a 15th place finish.
13. Ryan Blaney ($9,200) — Watkins Glen would appear to be a road course that suits Blaney. It’s a high speed track with few if any technical turns. Blaney finished fifth in the last race at the Glen and was a contender early in the Xfinity race at The Glen, but faded in stage 3.
14. Ross Chastain ($8,100) — The last time Ross Chastain raced at Watkins Glen, his race ended early with him being spun into the tire barrier. He calmly responded to his crew on the radio, “I’m going to kill him.” Chastain accidently wrecked Justin Allgaier, so Allgaier intentionally wrecked Chastain. Things are better for Chatain now — top-10 finish in each of the last three road races.
15. Chris Buescher ($7,800) — In his rookie season, Buescher struggled at the Cup Series road courses, but he figured it out quickly. In his last 14 road course races, Buescher has finished inside the top 20 every time and has an average finish of 15th.
16. Chase Briscoe ($8,300) — The lone bright spot in Briscoe’s rookie season has been the road course races. Driver error and mechanical failures ruined his Daytona Road Course race, but he followed that road race with a sixth place finish at COTA. His 17th place finish at Sonoma is not bad for a rookie, and he improved at Road America with another sixth place finish.
17. Austin Dillon ($6,100) — He’s never been considered a road racer, but in all fairness, Dillon’s never had great equipment in the Cup Series. Dillon had top notch equipment in the Xfinity Series and he won the 2013 championship. His equipment may not be the best, but it’s pretty close. In the last three road course races, Dillon has finishes of 11th, 13th and 12th.
18. Corey LaJoie ($5,800) — In the last three road course races, LaJoie has finished 21st, 18th and 20th. At his price, that’s exactly what DFS players need. It appears that the car is mechanically sound and LaJoie is capable of earning a top-20 finish.
19. Michael McDowell ($7,200) — The former teenage go kart instructor is a decent road racer. McDowell isn’t going to beat Chase Elliott or even keep pace, but he can finish better than the small team drivers and the inexperienced racers on big teams.
20. Tyler Reddick ($8,000) — The last time that NASCAR raced at Watkins Glen, Reddick was a fulltime Xfinity driver. Reddick broke his transmission in practice, then proceeded to miss the bus stop multiple times during the race.
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