NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: O'Reilly Auto Parts 500

If you are looking for an action-packed way to get your sports fix, NASCAR may be a great avenue to explore. Far from just driving in circles, some of the world's best compete nearly every weekend from February to November on tracks across America. NASCAR drivers are scored ultimately based on how they finish in the race, how many spots they advance from their starting position, and how many laps they finish and lead. Avoiding drivers that crash out of the race is a must, of course!

Here at numberFire, we've always got you covered for everything NASCAR DFS. Our track preview breaks down this week's venue, and we also have The Heat Check Fantasy Podcast, where Jim Sannes breaks down his favorite plays for Sunday's slate.

The All-Star Race on Wednesday led to several interesting storylines. The night had it all -- fans back at the track, underglow lights below each race car, fan vote projected winner Bubba Wallace intentionally wrecked, and a choose cone that allowed drivers to select where to restart. When it was all said and done, Chase Elliott dominated NASCAR’s exhibition event to win the $1 million prize. NASCAR returns to racing for points this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. This fast, 1.5-mile track presents a very difficult challenge, and passing will be tricky again.

The starting lineup for Sunday's race was determined by a tiered random draw based on owner points, which put Aric Almirola on the pole position for Sunday’s race. Pit stalls, however, were drawn off last Sunday’s finishing order in Kentucky, which puts surprise winner and rookie Cole Custer in the premier first pit stall. The traction compound PJ1 will be applied on the racetrack to select areas in hopes to assist passing.

With that, let's preview the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas.

Higher-Priced Drivers

Kevin Harvick ($14,500): I promise I try to get creative while also providing advice, but it is back to the well with driver number-four. Admittedly, Harvick ran poorly on Sunday in Kentucky, which is similar to Texas in that is a smooth, 1.5-mile configuration with different banking in the corners, but Harvick has struggled in Kentucky historically. The four-time winner in 2020 should be back near the front at his best statistical racetrack. He owns a 2.83 average finish here in the last six races, including three wins and 498 laps led. Harvick has dominated since the return from the COVID-19 break, and he can continue that at his best track with easy access to the lead early from his starting spot of fifth.

Ryan Blaney ($11,200): If Harvick does not lead early, it will likely be because Blaney is a difficult man to pass on 1.5-mile tracks these days. He has five straight top-10 finishes on 1.5-mile racetracks, with his worst outing being sixth at Kentucky on Sunday or they would all be top-five finishes. Blaney is no slouch at Texas historically, either -- leading 233 laps in the last six races here with top-10 finishes in four of the last five events. Blaney will have the advantage over Harvick to start as he will have tremendous access to lead early from the outside pole position.

Mid-Priced Drivers

Erik Jones ($10,000): Jones has had a Jekyll-and-Hyde run in his last five points events. The good news is he has two top-five finishes, but he accompanies that with three DNFs. If Jones can find the end of this race, there is a good chance he will be high up in the running order again as Jones has five straight top-10 finishes at Texas. He offers plenty of pass differential because of a good draw for fantasy as he starts 23rd on Sunday’s starting grid.

Christopher Bell ($9,000): The king of pass differential is henceforth Bell, who has top-10 finishes in four of the last fives races in which he has started 30th or worse. Bell once again continues to get no luck on the starting draw and starts 33rd on Sunday. One would think the racing gods would eventually reward Bell for his efforts with a better starting spot, but until they do, he remains a fantasy goldmine at an affordable price tag. Bell led 101 laps in a dominant Xfinity Series win here last November, as well.

Lower-Priced Drivers

Tyler Reddick ($8,000): Reddick was leading that November Xfinity Series race before an accident, and Reddick was also the first runner-up to Texas Xfinity Series juggernaut Kyle Busch in the spring event. Those strong results should bode well for Reddick, who recorded his fifth top-10 of an impressive rookie season Sunday in Kentucky. Reddick got a favorable draw for fantasy as he starts as deep as he could have in 24th.

John Hunter Nemechek ($6,000): The third rookie in a row I'm recommending is John Hunter Nemechek, whose wreck last week may have propelled him to temporary fantasy stardom. Before the wreck, Nemechek was in the group of cars drawing for any position between 13th and 24th, but now he draws outside the top 24 in points, and that will significantly increase both his ceiling and floor moving forward. His first draw in this tier was 28th for this race, and chances are the rookie will outrun that spot at a track where he finished 21st last November. He was also a solid fifth in the Xfinity Series event that same weekend.

Austin Swaim is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Austin Swaim also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username ASwaim3. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player
selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.