NASCAR returns to the unique 1.5-mile drafting track at Atlanta Motor Speedway (3:00 p.m. ET, USA).
The weather forecast is quite ominous, meaning this race could be shortened or even moved to Monday. However, when the race does get in, it is expected to be quite hot, meaning the racing should change a bit from the first Atlanta race this year.
In the XFINITY race, cars became strung out and ended up single file for several different segments of the race. If that’s how the Cup race plays out, we should lean a bit more toward the bigger teams and drivers.
As such, I’ll keep that strategy in mind when giving you my picks for today’s race.
Before we jump into my picks, don’t forget all my NASCAR projections can be found in the NASCAR Models on FantasyLabs, complete with floor, ceiling, median, and ownership projections.
Let’s not skip the best part — my Perfect% metric — a metric that tells you how often certain racers appear in the optimal lineup when running 10,000 race simulations.
Let’s dive into today’s NASCAR DFS picks for the Quaker State 400 at Atlanta.
Quaker State 400 DraftKings DFS Cash Game Picks
Keep it simple: At drafting tracks, we always use drivers starting in the back in our cash-game lineups. In this case, with the smaller teams at likely a bigger disadvantage, we’ll pick the drivers from bigger teams starting in the rear. Bubba Wallace, Brad Keselowski, and Austin Dillon fit the bill for today’s race, all starting 26th or worse.
Quaker State 400 DraftKings DFS Tournament Picks
Harrison Burton ($5500): Burton might go lower owned than Corey LaJoie, Noah Gragson, and Todd Gilliland thanks to the latter trio starting behind Burton. However, Burton should not go overlooked. He’s an accomplished racer at drafting tracks, having finished second and third at Daytona in the XFINITY series. In one of those races, he also led the most laps.
Earlier this year in the Daytona 500, Burton ran inside the top 10 for most of the first stage until being spun from behind by Keselowski. Wood Brothers Racing has long been in contention at drafting tracks. That shouldn’t change much today.
Kurt Busch ($8200): DFS players will likely have a whole lot more exposure to Aric Almirola ($7400) and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. thanks to their cheaper salary and two drafting-track wins.
That leaves Busch in no-mans land, sandwiched in the 21st starting position between Almirola (22nd) and Stenhouse (20th) in DFS players’ eyes.
However, Busch can get it done at the drafting tracks just like Almirola and Stenhouse.
Despite only one win, Busch has 14 career top-three finishes and 23 top-five finishes at drafting tracks in his career in 86 starts.
Kurt finished third at Atlanta earlier this year and has been fast at the 1.5-mile tracks this year as well. That includes a win at Kansas.
Christopher Bell ($8500): Once again, this is a situation where DFS players will look toward Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano starting immediately behind Bell and overuse these two drivers.
That should leave Bell underutilized despite his drafting prowess. Bell has had an average running position inside the top 11 in all but one drafting race with Joe Gibbs Racing.
He would have finished second earlier this year at Atlanta if not for a penalty for going below the inside line on the last lap.