NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: Go Bowling 235

Chase Elliott has had success on road courses recently. Which other drivers should you check out for Sunday's race?

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. Jim also has a current form and odds breakdown to analytically review how NASCAR's best drivers are performing recently.

Kevin Harvick continued his domination at Michigan International Speedway last weekend, winning both races. He's now won four of the last five events in the Irish Hills. Harvick will have his hands full with road course ringers Martin Truex Jr. and Chase Elliott this weekend, however, as NASCAR makes its debut at Daytona International Speedway's ROVAL. Long home to NASCAR's season opener, the road course gets its first run in NASCAR's top series due to Watkins Glen needing to be removed from the schedule because of COVID-19 protocol in the state of New York. This famed 3.61-mile road course inside the speedway plays host to the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona each February, and its 14-turn layout, including a new chicane, is the ultimate test balancing speed and precision.

This is the first week NASCAR is moving to a weighted formula as the standard qualifying procedure. This week's lineup was determined using owner points, last week's finish, and last week's fastest lap of the race for each driver. After calculating the formula, Harvick is on the pole position for this race, and with pit stalls chosen based exclusively on last week's finishing order, he will also have the premier pit stall in the event. No PJ1 compound will be applied to the road course. Because this race is only 65 laps, pass differential and finishing position will be the two highly-weighted measures of a driver's success in a FanDuel lineup.

With that, let's preview the Go Bowling 235 at Daytona's ROVAL.

Higher-Priced Drivers

Chase Elliott ($13,500): There are two heavy betting favorites this weekend -- Elliott and Martin Truex Jr. ($14,000). These two have dominated road courses recently and likely would have finished in the top two in several events if not for mechanical failures or crashes. Elliott is the slight favorite at +420 as he won the last two road course events in the 2019 Cup Series at the Charlotte ROVAL and Watkins Glen. Elliott also led laps at Sonoma in 2019 before an engine failed, or it could have been three consecutive wins on road courses. As the heavier favorite, slightly cheaper, and with the slightest bit of pass-differential upside from seventh, Elliott is my preference over MTJ. Because there are so few laps in the event, stacking these two is not a viable strategy. Of the two, pick the one you think will win, and then go for pass-differential upside elsewhere.

Ryan Blaney ($11,400): I like the idea of pairing one of the above drivers with Blaney, whose mishap last week has left him with plenty of pass-differential upside from 24th on the starting grid. Blaney is quietly an accomplished road racer himself with a win at the Charlotte ROVAL in 2018 and three top-10 finishes in the three road course events in 2019. Blaney should be able to navigate toward another top-10 from this far back, as passing is not expected to be an issue on the 14-turn layout with the additional chicane. Blaney is a cash-game staple due to his starting position, and he will be popular in tournaments, too.

Mid-Priced Drivers

Brad Keselowski ($10,600): Keselowski has an up-and-down history as a driver going left and right, but he does have six career top-five finishes on road courses. He is responsible for Blaney starting so far back, as he took Blaney and himself out in an incident last Sunday in Michigan. It also means Keselowski will start fairly deep himself as he's 17th in the grid, but as a result of starting higher and being not quite as accomplished a road racer, he is much more affordable than Blaney, his Penske teammate. With three wins this season and currently second in points due to great speed all year, "Bad Brad" will be looking to rebound with his first road course win on Sunday at the famed speedway where he won in July 2018, but that was on the oval.

Alex Bowman ($9,100): Largely seen as an oval racer who rose the ranks through ARCA, Alex Bowman has a surprisingly consistent and successful road course trajectory. Bowman has six straight top-15 finishes at road courses with a second- and a fourth-place finish at the Charlotte ROVAL each of the last two years. That ROVAL layout will be similar to this weekend's with large stretches on Daytona's high-banked oval. Bowman is a cash-game staple from his starting spot of 27th, which is a result of a mechanical failure last week. He possesses top-five upside. He is in need of a good finish, too, with only one top 10 in his last seven races.

Lower-Priced Drivers

Chris Buescher ($7,000): Buescher has a similar background in ARCA as Bowman does, and he has also had no issues with a few right turns. Buescher's first Xfinity Series win came at Road America in 2014, which is a long road course like Daytona, spanning 4.04 miles in length. Buescher's results in mixed equipment have not been sexy with a best finish of only 11th, but he does have nine straight top-20 finishes at road courses. That ability to remain incident-free should be very helpful on Sunday, as the very first laps many of these drivers have seen at this course will be under green-flag conditions. Buescher offers some pass-differential upside, as well, from his starting place of 21st.

Michael McDowell ($6,500): Similar to Buescher, Michael McDowell has outperformed his so-so equipment at road courses for a few years, as he has seven top-20 finishes in the last nine events on such tracks with the two exceptions still being top-25 outings. Starting 30th, McDowell offers plenty of pass-differential upside with the ability to reach a top-10 spot. He finished 12th at the Charlotte ROVAL last fall, so his recent success at fast road courses shows he should be very competitive. That's something he has been all season, as he's looking to be post his third top-10 finish of the campaign. That would already mark a new career-high mark for McDowell.

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.