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 NASCAR Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond slate locks at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.
1. Martin Truex Jr ($9,600) — In the spring race, an unscheduled pit stop in stage 3 knocked Truex out of contention. Misfortune struck again in the fall, but Truex overcame a race opening pass-thru penalty to go on to win the race.
2. Kyle Busch ($9,900) — After an undercut in Stage 3, Busch cycled to the lead at Richmond last fall. Unfortunately, Busch got busted speeding on his second green-flag pit stop and finished ninth.
3. Denny Hamlin ($9,300) — He was the best driver in both Richmond races last season, but he has nothing to show for it in the win column. Wins are nice, but hog points (fast lap and laps led points) are what really matter from the expensive options in DFS, and he scored those.
4. Joey Logano ($9,200) — He couldn’t run with Hamlin and Truex in the fall race, but he was a solid top-5 driver all night. In the spring, he had exceptional short-run speed.
5. Christopher Bell ($8,700) — JGR was dominant at Richmond last season. The Toyotas were fast, but the drivers were faster. Bell has three Xfinity Series wins at Richmond.
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6. Chase Elliott ($10,500) — Early in the fall Richmond race, Elliott was outpacing Denny Hamlin. That battle would not last because Elliott backed up while on a jack stand. He spent the rest of the race overcoming the poor pit stop.
7. Alex Bowman ($8,500) — He backed into the win last spring at Richmond. It is a fair criticism given his underwhelming performance in the fall race, but it’s not accurate. He was inside the top 5 all race long in the spring day race.
8. Kyle Larson ($10,200) — Richmond is one of the tracks that Larson can’t figure out. He was really strong in stage 1 last fall, but then fell off. It will click at some point.
9. Tyler Reddick ($8,200) — Do dirt trackers have an advantage in the new 2022 racing package? Reddick, Briscoe and Larson have been up front every race. There might be something to it.
10. William Byron ($9,000) — Two trends meet this weekend. Byron has been one of the best drivers in the new package, but he’s struggled at Richmond throughout his career.
11. Kevin Harvick ($8,000) — A tire failure knocked him out of the spring race. In the fall, much like most of the races in 2021, Harvick was just out there.
12. Kurt Busch ($7,900) — At Phoenix, Busch finished sixth (top-5 driver rating). Phoenix is a hybrid track. It has intermediate track vibes, but one half of the track races like a short, flat track. Richmond is a short, flat track.
13. Ryan Blaney ($9,400) — Richmond is one of Blaney’s worst tracks. This will be his third crew chief at Richmond, and his first two crew chiefs had been very successful at Richmond with previous drivers. It’s likely that he continues to struggle on Sunday.
14. Harrison Burton ($5,700) — His salary is shocking. If it wasn’t for a late race caution, Burton would have won the Richmond Xfinity race last fall. Also, the Wood Bros. No. 21 Ford is closely connected to Penske as evidenced by the employment of superstar Penske crew chief Brian Wilson.
15. Todd Gilliland ($5,500) — “Stop trying to make fetch happen!” A NASCAR punt is now called a Todd. It will happen. Outside of the plate races, Gilliland has four top-25 finishes and an average finish of 20th in his four races.
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