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 All-Star Race at Texas slate locks at 8:00 p.m. ET on Sunday.
1. Kyle Busch ($9,500) — Pit crews will heavily influence the All-Star Race. As stated in the NASCAR Best Bets article, Busch’s pit crew is head and shoulders above the rest of the field.
2. Christopher Bell ($7,500) — Texas is a track position race. If a driver starts upfront, then there is a good chance that they will finish up front. Bell leads NASCAR with three poles this season.
3. Kyle Larson ($10,000) — He came up just short last week at the intermediate track in Kansas. Larson had short run speed and a fast pit crew. That’s the recipe for success this week.
4. Ross Chastain ($8,600) — He checks all of the boxes: fast car, aggressive driver and a fast pit crew. Chastain could be $1 million richer on Sunday night.
5. William Byron ($8,800) — The No. 24 car might be the fastest in the Cup Series. After nearly winning at Darlington, Byron was back up front leading at Kansas until a flat tire during Stage 2 ruined his race. Texas has always been one of his best tracks.
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6. Martin Truex Jr ($9,000) — Passing is difficult in this package, but not for Truex. He blew a tire under green and earned two speeding penalties, but he drove from the back of the field to the front twice at Kansas.
7. Chase Elliott ($9,700) — Kyle Busch has the No. 1 pit crew, but Elliott’s crew is No. 2. Busch’s crew averages an 11.9 second stop, but Elliott’s crew is a fraction slower at 12.0. Busch’s crew recorded the fastest pit stop last week, but Elliot’s crew clocked times that were the fourth and sixth fastest on the day.
8. Denny Hamlin ($9,200) — At Kansas, he did not run as many laps inside the top 5 as the top cars, but Hamlin had to start in the rear. Once he cracked the top 10 on lap 154, he remained inside the top 10 for the final 114 laps and turned 95 of those laps inside the top 5 (83%).
9. Ryan Blaney ($7,900) — Texas is a pure speed track and Blaney loves the full throttle tracks. The Next Gen package could change this, but he has been fine everywhere else this season.
10. Alex Bowman ($8,200) — There have been three intermediate track races this season: Las Vegas, Dover and Darlington. In those three races, Bowman’s 0.88 Real Rating ranks fifth (my own statistical creation that weighs a driver’s average position along with the amount of laps led and laps driven inside the top 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 — a perfect score is 1.00).
11. Joey Logano ($8,400) — His top-5 lap rate is fifth (33%). His pit crew ranks sixth (12.4 second average). His Real Rating is seventh (0.73). His top-10 lap rate is tied for eighth (54%).
12. Kevin Harvick ($7,300) — The best way around Texas is on the bottom. It’s the only way around on this one-groove track notorious for its lack of racing. If Harvick unloads fast, then this could be his week.
13. Tyler Reddick ($8,000) — His ownership may be lower than it should be because he has to qualify for the race. He’s not in the race based on last season’s results. Based on this season’s results, he should be a favorite.
14. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. ($7,100) — He’s not in the show, but he should make it. His car has been fast over the last month, so he shouldn’t have a problem beating his Open opponents. If he qualifies, then he will start in the back and have place differential upside.
15. Michael McDowell ($5,600) — It’s very likely that McDowell starts in the back, so he can’t lose very many points in a race with a smaller field. He has a good chance at a top-20 finish and a safe 5x return.
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