Richmond Raceway is the site of today’s NASCAR Cup Series race (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX).
Richmond is one of the most predictable tracks that NASCAR visits. That means projected speed should closely translate to finishing position.
As a result, I won’t get too crazy with my picks, but there are still some solid pivots out there for tournaments.
Let’s dive into today’s NASCAR DFS picks for Richmond.
Toyota Owners 400 DraftKings DFS Cash Game Picks
Ryan Blaney ($9400)
I can see arguments for getting away from Blaney in tournament formats, but to me, he’s a must-play in cash games.
Blaney has been the best car all year by multiple predictive metrics. He backed that up by running the fastest five, 10, 15, 20, and 25 consecutive lap averages in practice. After that, he placed his car in the pole position.
Richmond has traditionally been Blaney’s weakest track, but last year he had his two best showings here.
He should rack up all the early dominator points and contend for the top five, if not the lead all day.
The biggest question is his pit stops, which have been among the slowest of all top cars. However, those slow stops were mainly due to the setup of his car rather than the pit crew itself.
Martin Truex, Jr. ($9600)
Truex is my model’s favorite to win today’s race.
Put simply, he absolutely dominates Richmond. He’s led at least 80 laps in eight of his last 10 starts, and has finished in the top five in every Richmond race since he joined Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR).
If people are down on JGR thanks to its early struggles, all the better. Truex was very happy with his car’s pace and balance in practice.
A happy Truex should make for a fast Truex.
Toyota Owners 400 DraftKings DFS Tournament Picks
Kevin Harvick ($8000)
Harvick starts just far enough forward (7th) that he might be overlooked when considering he hasn’t been blazing fast over the last year.
However, any time I can get Harvick at this price, when he’s this comfortable with his car, I have to pounce.
Harvick ran 30 consecutive laps in practice — something he doesn’t do unless he’s happy with his car.
Additionally, those 30 consecutive laps were less than one-third of a second per lap slower than Blaney.
Harvick had the third-fastest green flag speed earlier this year at the other short, flat-track — Phoenix Raceway — despite ranking slightly worse in his practice metrics at that venue.
Barring any issues, expect Harvick to contend for the top five, if not a win.
Brad Keselowski ($7400)
There’s a lot of negative aura around Keselowski thanks to his awful start to the year and the L2 penalty his team received. Starting in 19th place probably doesn’t help either, as many DFS players will consider that too far forward.
However, Keselowski was fast in practice, piloting his No. 6 car to the ninth-fastest speed over 10 consecutive laps out of 21 cars.
Richmond is one of Keselowski’s better tracks. Over his last eight Richmond starts, Keselowski’s driver rating has been 11.5% better than his average driver rating at all other tracks.
His practice speed and track history should carry him to a solid finish.
Toyota Owners 400 Paul Menard Pick of the Week
Unfortunately, with Richmond being as predictable as it is, I can’t recommend any super contrarian plays this week.
I will say, based off my model and talking to other top experts I respect around the NASCAR DFS and betting industry, there are some names I’m tuned into this weekend. In addition to the drivers I’ve mentioned above, I am bullish on:
- Ross Chastain
- Erik Jones
On the flip side, I like fading:
- Chase Elliott
- Austin Cindric
Next weekend NASCAR heads to Martinsville. If the past is any indication of the future, Martinsville will give us another good shot at a Paul Menard Pick of the Week.
Until then, good luck with today’s NASCAR DFS slate for Richmond!