NASCAR

Daily Fantasy NASCAR: Current Form, Track History, and Betting Odds for the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500

Ryan Blaney brings a strong history at Texas and a lower salary than other potential lap-leaders. Which other drivers have had noteworthy performances recently for NASCAR DFS?

Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series race in Texas kicks off the Round of 8, a three-race stretch that includes a pair of races on 1.5-mile tracks.

At this point in the year, we know what to expect on that track type.

The Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 will be the eighth race this year on a 1.5-mile track. It will also be the fifth such race to feature non-extreme tire falloff, giving us a healthy number of relevant races to look at.

So, which drivers have thrived in these circumstances thus far?

The data sheet below attempts to lay that out. It includes the four races at 1.5-mile tracks with limited tire falloff -- two in Las Vegas, one in Charlotte, and one in Kansas -- along with two races in Atlanta. Atlanta's a very different track due to the heavy tire falloff there, so it should be de-emphasized relative to the other races in the current form section.

As always, the data listed is each driver's average running position in those races. That number can help illustrate the true dominance of Kyle Larson ($14,500 on FanDuel). Wins are nice, and Larson does have two of those on 1.5-mile tracks this year. But he has two separate races with a first-place average running position where he led more than two-thirds of the race. There have been just eight first-place average running positions since the start of 2019; half of them have been Larson this year.

The 2021 All-Star Race at this track isn't listed below due to a wonky format, but we can and should factor in the results. Doing so only bolsters the appeal in Larson, who won that race, as well.

The other numbers listed are each driver's starting position, FanDuel salary, and win odds at FanDuel Sportsbook. The win odds are in fractional form, so Larson's being listed at 3.6 means he's +360 to win.

Current
Form
Track
History
Driver FD
Salary
Win
Odds
Start Vegas
2
Atlanta
2
Charlotte Kansas Atlanta
1
Vegas
1
2020
2
2020
1
2019
2
2019
1
Kyle Larson $14,500 3.6 1 7 9 1 3 1 3 -- -- 11 27
Denny Hamlin $13,500 6.5 2 2 9 10 8 6 4 14 9 24 9
Kyle Busch $13,000 8 3 4 2 5 4 7 12 7 7 9 7
Ryan Blaney $11,000 11 4 7 9 17 8 3 6 6 5 13 17
Joey Logano $10,500 14 5 12 13 13 17 13 11 8 7 9 12
Chase Elliott $12,500 8.5 6 7 12 3 9 20 12 13 13 35 9
Brad Keselowski $9,500 21 7 10 9 14 4 20 4 10 11 35 32
Martin Truex Jr. $11,500 11 8 9 11 14 9 9 7 4 17 13 11
Tyler Reddick $8,200 35 9 6 5 8 10 30 20 16 15 -- --
Chris Buescher $7,300 85 10 23 16 14 17 10 18 37 17 17 19
Christopher Bell $9,000 26 11 23 12 20 11 21 9 14 22 -- --
William Byron $9,800 19 12 11 13 3 10 7 6 12 18 12 8
Matt DiBenedetto $7,500 70 13 11 12 20 12 9 11 9 11 14 24
Alex Bowman $9,200 23 14 14 5 7 21 5 11 8 13 10 21
Austin Dillon $8,500 32 15 13 13 8 13 9 16 10 14 14 11
Michael McDowell $5,000 200 16 21 27 22 21 20 18 24 23 27 15
Kurt Busch $8,700 31 17 12 2 32 13 27 14 14 8 10 13
Bubba Wallace $7,000 150 18 17 15 13 22 17 32 34 20 22 23
Daniel Suarez $6,500 130 19 20 35 20 20 15 22 27 29 7 9
Cole Custer $6,200 150 20 27 21 24 24 17 25 16 24 -- --
Erik Jones $6,000 85 21 20 24 16 26 25 17 15 9 7 15
Aric Almirola $8,000 35 22 20 20 25 25 19 27 22 10 4 10
Ryan Preece $5,200 200 23 26 24 24 27 25 19 22 28 17 25
Kevin Harvick $10,000 17 24 9 16 7 7 19 18 17 8 6 12
Ross Chastain $7,700 55 25 21 20 35 16 19 22 -- -- 34 31
Chase Briscoe $6,700 130 26 16 17 24 25 25 24 -- -- -- --
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. $5,700 170 27 21 35 12 19 14 15 19 24 35 16
Anthony Alfredo $4,000 200 28 28 27 22 24 28 23 -- -- -- --
Corey LaJoie $4,500 200 29 29 22 22 26 28 28 24 23 37 31
Quin Houff $3,500 200 30 35 34 32 36 32 34 35 32 32 --
Ryan Newman $5,500 170 31 20 25 20 28 14 20 21 18 17 12
Justin Haley $4,000 200 32 32 29 29 32 31 29 -- -- -- --
Josh Bilicki $2,500 200 33 35 35 35 39 38 36 31 37 32 --
Cody Ware $3,000 200 34 31 32 31 35 33 33 -- -- -- --
B.J. McLeod $2,000 200 35 33 30 32 33 35 30 -- 37 -- 33
Garrett Smithley $2,000 200 36 35 32 34 34 -- 32 31 -- 32 34
Joey Gase $2,000 200 37 37 -- -- 36 36 35 35 37 -- --
David Starr $2,000 200 38 -- -- 37 -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Timmy Hill $2,000 200 39 -- -- -- -- 37 37 31 37 36 38


Larson's +360 for a reason, and you can justify betting him at that number. The other big threats to lead laps seem to be Denny Hamlin ($13,500), Kyle Busch ($13,000), and Ryan Blaney ($11,000).

All three of those drivers have a win on a 1.5-mile track this year. Busch has finished top-five in all but one of seven races, and Hamlin got the playoff win in Las Vegas. Even though it will strap you for salary, jamming in two of Larson, Hamlin, and Busch is desirable here.

Using Blaney, instead, gives you a bit more balance. He beat out Larson in Atlanta and has strong history in Texas. He led 150 laps here last year and led 148 back in 2017 while he still drove for Wood Brothers Racing. In a vacuum, Hamlin and Busch grade out better, but Blaney's salary keeps him firmly in the rotation for potential dominators at the top of the pool.

The other route for saving salary could be to punt with someone like Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($5,700). Stenhouse is starting back in 27th, which gives him some place-differential upside. He also has had a top-16 average running position in 4 of 7 races at 1.5-mile tracks this year, turning that into 4 top-13 finishes. He's earns the nickname "Wrecky," so the risks here are obvious, but the flexibility Stenhouse lends you makes the poor floor worthwhile.