After a week off, the NASCAR Cup Series is once again on track. This time, drivers head to the 1.33-mile concrete track at Nashville Superspeedway for the Ally 400 (5:00 p.m. ET, NBC).
The Truck and XFINITY Series have also run at Nashville so far this weekend, and one theme appears consistent. Drivers that do well at the concrete tracks of Bristol, and especially Dover, have run well at Nashville as well.
We shouldn’t discount the other shorter flat tracks, but I’ll definitely be leaning on Dover, last year’s Nashville race, and “garage talk” for my picks today.
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 jump into today’s NASCAR DFS picks for the Ally 400 at Nashville.
Ally 400 DraftKings DFS Cash Game Picks
Kyle Busch ($11,000): Busch was among the fastest cars over the long run in practice, but he spun out and hit the wall during his qualifying lap. However, the damage wasn’t extremely significant.
That means the team repaired the car and will not move to a backup. However, Busch will still start 36th, making him the ultimate cash-game lock.
Bubba Wallace ($6500): Wallace had nearly identical times to fellow Toyota driver Kyle Busch in practice. Even better, Wallace is priced $4500 cheaper than Busch.
His 30th place starting spot is not reflective of his true speed. He had a wiggle during his qualifying lap trying to go for too much. But come the drop of the green flag, watch for Bubba to move forward.
Martin Truex, Jr. ($9700): In celebration of his announcement that he’ll be back for the 2023 season, Martin Truex, Jr. had what he called his best practice session of the year.
He was extremely happy with his car on the long run, showing very little falloff.
Truex has always been very strong at Dover, including this year where he was on track for a top-four finish before tangling on the last lap with Ross Chastain. That concrete prowess should carry over to today’s race.
Ally 400 DraftKings DFS Tournament Picks
Ross Chastain ($10,500): In my opinion, Chastain should be the race favorite. He’s excelled at all seven similar tracks and finished second last year at Nashville in equipment that isn’t as good as he has now.
Chastain was exceptional at Dover, piloting his car to a third-place finish. He also had arguably the strongest car at both Darlington and Charlotte, the two tracks that most correlated with Nashville last year.
Kurt Busch ($8900): Kurt Busch really popped in my early-week model, and despite him dropping a touch as other drivers popped, he’s still in line for a solid day.
Kurt has been very fast at the relevant tracks this year, even when he’s had a poor result from bad luck or incidents. And he’s part of that Toyota stable that has shown incredible speed in practice.
I think others will look at more hyped, younger drivers like Tyler Reddick ($8900) or Chase Briscoe ($8100) in Busch’s price range, leaving him slightly underutilized in tournaments.
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. ($7100): Stenhouse was made for concrete racing, so it’ll be awfully hard to pass on his upside today.
The newly re-signed driver for JTG-Daugherty Racing finished second at Dover earlier this year, and has had some incredible runs on the concrete at Bristol in the past.
In addition, Stenhouse brought home his Chevy inside the top eight at both Darlington and Charlotte, which again, were the two most correlated tracks to Nashville last year.
Ally 400 DraftKings Paul Menard Pick of the Week
Justin Haley ($5900): Haley has been incredibly consistent as of late, finishing 15th or better in eight of the last 12 races. This consistency has held true regardless of where Haley starts.
In nine races where the 23-year-old driver has started 20th or worse, he’s averaged 35.7 DraftKings points. And that doesn’t even include his 42-point performance on the concrete at Dover, where he started 14th and finished 11th.
One other encouraging data point — Haley finished third at Darlington earlier this year, which as I pointed out earlier, had the highest correlation with Nashville last year.
My model gives Haley nearly a 12% chance of being in the optimal lineup compared to 9% projected ownership.