Road-course race No. 4 of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season takes place Sunday at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The Verizon 200 at the Brickyard (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC) takes place on the Indy road course, where A.J. Allmendinger is the defending race winner.
Allmendinger will start Sunday’s race from the 20th position, making him a comfortable cash-game play.
A few other drivers also make the cut as solid cash-game plays starting in mid-pack.
However, there are several nice pivot options as well for Sunday’s slate to help you get away from all the chalk.
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.
With that said, let’s dive into Sunday’s NASCAR DFS picks and strategy for Sunday’s Verizon 200 at the Brickyard.
Pocono DraftKings DFS Cash Game Picks
Ross Chastain ($10,400): Chastain starts 21st thanks to a rough qualifying lap, but he practiced just fine. He was the winner earlier this year at Circuit of the Americas (COTA), which has similar tire wear to Indianapolis.
My model has him as one of the top five drivers most likely to win, so he’s a pretty comfortable cash-game play starting in 21st.
Kyle Larson ($10,200): Everything I said about Chastain I can echo in Larson. He starts 22nd and has top-five upside, per my model.
Larson dominated the first stage at Sonoma before faulty pit strategy bit him, and he ran inside the top five for most of the race at Road America.
The one drawback for him: he didn’t run particularly well at COTA, which may be a reason to be underweight on him in big tournament formats.
Austin Dillon ($6,700): Dillon has shown improved form at road courses in recent years, finishing between 10th and 15th in each of his last seven major incident-free road course races.
Dillon didn’t put together a strong qualifying effort, relegating him to a 29th place starting spot. However, that just means there’s plenty of place-differential potential for him.
He was 10th-fastest over five consecutive laps in practice, showing there is speed in that car.
Pocono DraftKings DFS Tournament Picks
Kevin Harvick ($8,400): If you’ve been following my bets in the Action App, you’ll see that I’ve definitely invested in Harvick’s upside Sunday.
His crew chief, Rodney Childers, stated that he has a fast car and a fast driver, and Childers is known for his truth telling on Twitter.
Harvick looked comfortable in practice, posting a top-eight time in practice over five consecutive laps. Unlike the front three starting drivers, Tyler Reddick, Austin Cindric, and Chase Briscoe, Harvick doesn’t have to worry about points.
He is only here to race for the win.
Harvick is a great pivot off of Kyle Larson, Ross Chastain, and A.J. Allmendinger.
Christopher Bell ($8,600): Speaking of racing for the win, Bell is the driver who starts furthest forward of the ones who don’t have to worry about points racing. Bell is 120 points to the good of the current cut line, meaning it would take the most epic collapse of all time for him to miss out on the playoffs.
That means if Reddick, Cindric, and Briscoe are points racing, Bell stands as the driver most likely to benefit. He was incredibly fast on the long run, posting the fastest five and 10-lap average times in practice.
Chris Buescher ($7,500): My model suggests that Buescher will be played at nearly the perfect amount in tournament formats, should all go according to speed.
However, my model cannot account for the fact that as many as five or six drivers may end up points racing, which should put them on a suboptimal strategy.
Buescher is the driver who has shown the most speed while among drivers priced under $8,000 and who is guaranteed to not be points racing. He has the added benefit of starting mid-pack in 16h place.
That means there’s place-differential potential and upside with Buescher as others gravitate toward a more stars-and-scrubs lineup with Allmendinger, Chastain, and Larson drawing a lot of usage.